dreamy coconut tahini bars

dreamy coconut tahini bars | theclevercarrot.com

Over the weekend, I baked a new recipe from Sarah Owens’ cookbook, Sourdough.

It was a Christmas present from my mom.

I’ve been looking for ways to use my sourdough starter (other than bread) and the coconut tahini bars looked like a fantastic place to start.

And indeed they were.

recipes for sourdough starters | theclevercarrot.com

These bars are sweet, hearty, and spiked with tropical notes of coconut and chocolate.

Trust me when I tell you- the aroma is so enticing, you’ll want to peek inside the oven every time you walk by.

Also interesting to note, when completely cool the bars cut nicely into neat rectangles.

Don’t you just love a good bar that doesn’t fall apart?

These are delicious anytime snacks you can feel food about eating.

It’s a great way to use up any leftover sourdough starter too.

Kitchen Notes

Tips: The original recipe is listed in grams. The metric system is preferred by bakers for accuracy. However, if you don’t have a kitchen scale, convert the measurements online as needed. Just a heads up- online conversions are not 100% accurate, so keep that in mind.

These bars have a slight tang to them from the sourdough starter. For the best flavor (that’s not too strong), I recommend using leftover starter that was recently fed. So, for example, let’s say you have a batch of bubbly, active starter that you are using to make bread dough. Pour off whatever you need for your recipe, and most likely, you will have some bubbly starter leftover. Use that. It should smell fresh and fruity, not like nail polish remover.

PS-  if you can’t use your leftover starter right away, don’t stress. A few hours later on in the day is fine. There is baking powder in the recipe to give the bars a boost.

Substitutions: I’ve made this twice. Once with tahini, and once with almond butter. They both work. My kids prefer the almond butter version because it’s more mild in flavor. Tahini is strong, in an adult tastebuds kind of way. I also swapped cashews for flaked almonds (equal measurement by weight) and left out the candied ginger and sesame seeds based on availability.

Make-Ahead: These bars can be made 1 day in advance. To me, the flavor improves on the second day. Store in an airtight container refrigerated, up to 5 days.

*Recipe adapted with changes from ‘Sourdough’ by Sarah Owens. To visit her blog: {click here}. To check out her book: {click here}.

dreamy coconut tahini bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Wet Ingredients
  • 115 g 100% hydration starter (see note below)
  • 220 g tahini or almond butter at room temperature
  • 160 g mild honey
  • 15 g almond milk or regular milk
Dry Ingredients
  • 30 g ground flax seeds
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 100 g unsweetened desiccated coconut flakes
  • 10 g sesame seeds
  • 30 g chia seeds
  • 130 g cashews
  • 105 g dried cranberries
  • 35 g candied ginger, finely chopped
  • 25 g coconut flakes
  • mini chocolate chips to taste
*100% hydration starter is fed at an equal ratio of flour to water. For the best flavor (that's not too strong and tangy), I recommend using leftover starter that was recently fed. For example, let's say you have a batch of bubbly, active starter that you are using to make bread dough. Pour off whatever you need for your recipe, and most likely, you will have some bubbly starter leftover. Use that. It should smell fresh and fruity, not like nail polish remover.
**After making the original recipe (above), I made this again with a few adaptations based on ingredient availability. I left out the sesame seeds and candied ginger, and the bars were still excellent. Hemp seeds replaced the chia seeds, flaked almonds replaced the cashews, and almond butter replaced the tahini. All replacements were equal measurements by weight.
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line an 8x8 inch baking dish with parchment, leaving some paper to hang over the sides as 'handles' for easy removal.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Make sure that your tahini (or almond butter) is at room temperature or else it will be difficult to mix.
  3. In a separate small bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
  4. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together until a thick mixture forms.
  5. Spread the mixture into your lined baking pan and smooth the surface and sides with a rubber spatula.
  6. Top with coconut flakes and mini chocolate chips, to taste.
  7. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the center is set. The top should be nice and golden.
  8. Cool completely before cutting into rectangles or squares, about 1 hour.


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  1. says

    Very interesting recipe, a nice way to use my sourdough starter, which I just put back into the fridge to sleep for a while ;-)

    I did not enter the giveaway (very generous, by the way), because I have a set of pans I’m happy with and are reasonably new but must say that is one of the most tempting giveaways ever! ;-)

    • Emilie says

      Hello Sally! Thank you! The combination of chocolate and coconut is divine. I’ve been on a quest for interesting sourdough starter recipes, and this was quite unique to make. PS- that is very kind of you about the giveaway. Hugs! xo

  2. says

    For honey it’s 160 grams, right? Part of the measurement was left off. These sound delicious! And I don’t think I’ve ever made anything like them. Now I just need some sourdough starter..

    Ditto SallyBR about the giveaway. So generous and just cool. But I have good pans and didn’t want to potentially keep someone who really needs them from getting them.

    • Emilie says

      Yes! Yes! 160 g of mild honey. Thank you kindly for catching that :) And also, very kind of you to give others a chance at entering the giveaway.

    • Emilie says

      You are quite welcome! The cookbook is fab- it was nominated for a James Beard award too. It’s always handy to have a few leftover starter recipes in your back pocket :)

    • Emilie says

      Haha! My mom actually asked if they can be made without a sourdough starter. I’m sure there’s a way adding a bit of flour and liquid, and perhaps increasing the leavening agent. The experiments continue! Thank you! xo

  3. says

    These look amazing Emily. What a fantastic idea. I am all about bars with lots of nourishing ingredients. Just need to decide whether to use almond butter or tahini…

    • Emilie says

      Hello Sabine! Such a lovely treat, isn’t it? I love nourishing bars too; they’re filling and satisfying, especially with chocolate chips :)

  4. Kelly says

    These bars look so dreamy and amazing! Love the chocolate and coconut combo! Those toasted coconut flakes are definitely calling my name!

    • Emilie says

      Hello Kelly! The chocolate coconut combo is delicious. It reminds me of an Almond Joy bar (but a good for you version!). xx

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