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Marble Halvah


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Marble Halvah


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Marble Halvah

I have come up with a method that yields delicious halvah that is so much fresher and more delicious than any packaged halvah available for purchase. Try this gluten free, vegan dessert for a satisfying treat.


  • Prep Time : 15 min
  • Cook Time : 30 min
  • Ready Time : 45 min




  • 1 pound granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) cold water
  • 1 pound pure sesame tehini (make sure there is no added salt)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 ounces dark chocolate, melted


Line a loaf pan or other mold with plastic wrap leaving a generous overhang on each side. Set aside.

Place the water, sugar, and salt in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the sugar is all dissolving. Once the mixture comes to a boil do not stir it again. Place a candy thermometer in the sugar mixture and cook to 248 Fahrenheit. While it is cooking use a pastry brush dipped in water to periodically brush down the sides of the pan to wash down any sugar crystals.

While the sugar syrup is cooking place the tehini in a small sauce pan and heat to 120 Fahrenheit. (If you do not have a second thermometer just heat it until it is quite warm to the touch but not hot.) Stir frequently to prevent it from burning. Transfer the warm tehini to the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a mixing paddle. Add the vanilla extract.

Once the sugar has come to temperature, immediately pour it into the mixing bowl. Turn it on the lowest setting and mix just until the mixture starts to look a bit grainy and loses some of its shine. Be careful not to overbeat the mixture or it will set in the bowl yielding a crumbly mess rather than a creamy finished candy. This should take no more than a minute. Immediately add the chocolate and mix just until the chocolate is swirled through. Working quickly, transfer the mixture to the prepared mold. Smooth down the top with a spatula and fold the plastic wrap over the top. Let cool at room temperature until set, approximately one hour. Store, well wrapped in plastic, in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Vanilla Halvah: simply omit the chocolate.

Pistachio Halvah: omit the chocolate and add1- 11/2 cups toasted unsalted pistachios to the mixing bowl with the tehini before adding the sugar syrup.


About Shoshana Ohriner


Shoshana is the creator and author of two popular blogs�Couldn't Be Parve, specializing in naturally delicious dairy-free desserts, and Paleo Kosher Kitchen, focusing on healthy Paleo recipes. Her recipes have been published in a variety of newspapers, magazines, cookbooks and websites. She lives in California with her husband and three little boys.




23 Responses to Marble Halvah

  1. avatar says: ohyoucook

    Wow! That looks so easy!

  2. Always wanted to learn how to make halvah! looks and sounds delicious!

  3. avatar says: AutumnFan

    Hi, I was wondering if this is considered a breakfast loaf or more like a dessert loaf? ….If someone has a nut allergy, is this a safe recipe? ..I’m unfamiliar with sesame tehini, so want to be sure.

    • Halvah is often made in a loaf shape but it is a candy rather than being like a loaf kind of cake. Most often it is served in small slivers or chunks for dessert. Sesame tehini does not have any nuts in it, is is simply sesame. That being said some people with nut allergies also have sesame allergies so it would be best to check before serving it,

      • avatar says: AutumnFan

        Okay, sounds yummy; Thank you very much for the quick & informative reply.

  4. I think one in the shuk makes it with honey not with sugar…but tnx for the great recepie

  5. I never realized making halvah would be so simple – thank you so much for this!

  6. Making halvah is much easier than we thought. Thanks for the recipe

  7. I cannot wait to try this Halvah. In Israel as kids, my husband told me, Halvah is eaten on bread. Sounds very fattening that way, not to mention dry. But as a desert candy treat there is no better taste. Many thanks.

  8. Would it be possible to substitute the sugar for stevia and do a sugar-free halva ?

    • In this recipe the sugar is what gives it the distinctive flaky texture, as well as providing the right body and structure. I wouldn’t recommend using stevia, I have no idea how it would turn out.

      • Can you cook stevia into a syrup that can harden up later (candy like)? If yes, then you can probably make halva with, too.

        One can make halva with cooked honey or cooked maple syrup and similar (tried out, both delicious).

      • avatar says: dcalm425

        Do you think that this recipe works using Splenda instead of sugar?

        • The consistency of halvah depends on the cooked sugar syrup. These sugar substitutes, stevia or splenda do not cook into a candy syrup. Plus they provide no volume. In this recipe they make up 50% of the weight. If you don’t want to use sugar try one of the recipes online that use honey.

  9. avatar says: Wendy

    Thank you! I made the marble halvah today and it came out great! I have very little candy making experience but your directions made it easy. I may try mixing for a bit less time next time I make this to see if the texture is any lighter but the flavor is just right and the loaf slices beautifully!

    • I am so glad you liked it!

    • avatar says: elana

      thank you – Wendy – for your comment. I was looking for someone without candy making experience to try this and comment!! So now I will put this on the list of recipes to try. thank you much! and thank you, Shoshana for listing this recipe. Halavah is one of my all time favorites!

  10. avatar says: Annette

    As a little kid I wasn’t allowed candy like my school mates, I was allowed Halva. I absolutely LOVE it, and since moving to another state some years ago I have to beg my Mom to send me some on occasion. I was looking online for places to purchase it when I came across your website. Thank you so much for posting the recipe. I’m so excited to try and make it. Thank you again and take care, Annette.

  11. Help! I have made this recipe, omitting the chocolate four times, with three different results. I have been making half batches for more control. The first time it came out perfectly. The second time I took too long scraping the sugar syrup into the kitchen aid mixing bowl and I mixed for too long and the entire mass seized and had to be thrown out. The third time I decided to pour the sugar syrup into the saucepan of warm tahini, stir by hand and pour into the mold. I bypassed the issues of scraping and uncoupling the kitchen aid mixer which takes too many precious seconds. This worked! I figured that I solved the problem and I could make the halvah for a special event. I went out and bought a container of 8 pounds of tahini. But I just now made a failed attempt. I did everything the same as the successful trial number three and added a half teaspoon of cardamom. I did leave out the salt….This time it did not solidify. It is thick but the oil of the tahini is leaching way from the rest of the ingredients. I really want to get this right! Please advise!!!!! Many thanks!

    • I had the same problem with it separating, Victoria! Did you ever figure it out? I tried it again a few times. It only worked once when I only mixed it for a short time.

  12. I’m love halvah but I’m diabetic. If I was to use honey or, perhaps, agave syrup, what would the measurements be to convert it to one of those liquids instead of granulated sugar. Novice chef, here. I have never attempted any recipe like this one before but I’m looking forward to giving it a try one way or the other. Thanks in advance for any input anyone can provide!

  13. avatar says: Casper

    I’m definitely going to try this. However I have eaten honey Halva before and loved the taste. Do you think I could use part sugar part honey, or would it affect the texture and should I boil the honey and sugar together?

  14. avatar says: Louise

    Do I use toasted or un-toasted tehini?

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