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Say hello to your new favorite dessert/snack! Vegan Halva! This plant-based halva recipe requires just 2 ingredients and is super easy to make! It’s naturally sweetened and full of tahini flavor!

Vegan Halva (2-Ingredient!)

📘 What is Halva

Halva, or halvah, is a middle eastern dessert very popular in Israel, Greece, Turkey, and many other countries. Made with tahini and honey or sugar, it’s sweet, nutty, and has a crumbly yet soft texture. It is often served with coffee and makes a delicious afternoon snack!

I love Halva, but I’m not a fan of white sugar, so I had to come up with a healthier recipe without sacrificing on flavor. This 2-ingredient halva is not only vegan but it’s also refined sugar-free! AND I’m sharing 5 ways to flavor it! Let’s do it!

Vegan Halva (2-Ingredient!)

🍁 Ingredient Notes

The base of this recipe requires just two ingredients:

  • Tahini – Also called sesame paste, tahini is an essential ingredient in making halva. It brings creaminess, richness, and a nutty flavor. Be aware not all brands of tahini are equal, so try to use tahini that has no bitterness for the best flavor.
  • Maple syrup – Preferably grade A maple syrup (light or medium amber). I recommend staying away from dark amber maple syrup, as it would overpower the flavor of the tahini.

🥣 How to Make Halva

  1. Add the maple syrup to a saucepan and bring it to a simmer.

The secret to getting halva that sets and becomes crumbly is to heat the maple syrup to 266°F (130°C), so you will need a thermometer for this recipe. If you don’t boil the maple syrup enough, your halva will have the consistency of nut butter instead of being firm.

Vegan Halva (2-Ingredient!)
  1. Once the maple syrup has reached the correct temperature: remove it from the heat and stir in the warm tahini.
  2. Stir until it thickens and forms a paste. At first, it will be quite liquid but will quickly thicken.
  3. Then transfer to a small baking dish (or greased ramekins). The shape doesn’t really matter. Use what you have on hand.

Finally, wait until the halva firms up, which will take about 2 hours at room temperature. Once firm, cut into squares and enjoy!

You can serve this halva with coffee, latte, or tea or use it as a topping in recipes like brownies, cookies, or even ice cream!

🍫 Flavor Ideas

If you are interested in making flavored halva, I have got you covered! Here are 5 other halva flavors:

  • Vanilla: A classic but one that never disappoints! It makes the tahini flavor shine.
  • Pistachio: If you are on the crunchy team, this one is for you! Roasted pistachios add more texture and a beautiful green color to the halva.
  • Chocolate Hazelnut (aka Nutella): This halva is super nutty with a light chocolate flavor. Tahini combined with hazelnut butter and cocoa powder makes this halva super addictive.
  • Pecan Cinnamon: Probably my favorite! Loaded with candied pecans and full of cinnamon, this halva is the best for the Holidays! Plus, it makes a great gift!
  • Marble: Melted chocolate swirled into halva? Count me in!
  • Peanut Butter: It tastes like peanut butter fudge but is more crumbly and has crunchy peanut pieces.

There are many other ways to flavor halva. You can add spices like cardamom, ground coffee, rose extract, and more!

📔 Tips

  • Be aware this recipe yields halva that is crumbly in texture, just like the real one but doesn’t have that crystalized/flaky texture. If you ever had Halva, you probably know what I mean by that. The thing is, it’s not possible to achieve such texture without making a very, very large batch (probably hundreds of pounds of halva). It doesn’t make it any less delicious, though!
  • A candy thermometer is essential if you want the best texture.


Can I replace the maple syrup with honey?

If you are not vegan, you can use honey instead of maple syrup. Simply change the temperature to 240°F instead of 266°F.

How long does Halva keep?

Halva will keep for weeks stored in an airtight container at room temperature, just like any nut butter. After about a week, it tends to become a bit dryer, though.

Vegan Halva (2-Ingredient!)

I hope you will all love this vegan halva! It’s naturally sweetened and has a delicious and nutty flavor. Tahini lovers, definitely try this recipe!

🍭 More Candy Recipes

Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!

Vegan Halva (2-Ingredient!)
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Vegan Halva (2-Ingredient!)

Vegan Halva (2-Ingredient!)

4.79 from 23 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
Sweet and nutty halva that is naturally sweetened! This one comes with 4 variations! Vegan + GF.
Prep Time : 20 minutes
Cook Time : 5 minutes
Total Time : 25 minutes
Servings 9 small squares
Calories 116 kcal



  • Lightly grease a small glass baking dish. You can use a silicone muffin pan if you want. The shape doesn't really matter.
  • Place the maple syrup in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until it reaches 266°F (130°C). The maple syrup will bubble, and some foam will form; this is normal. While the maple syrup is heating, place the tahini, vanilla extract, and pistachios, if using, in another saucepan and warm over low heat. Tahini must be just warm, not hot.
  • Once the maple syrup has reached the temperature, turn the heat off and pour the warm tahini into the saucepan. Using a wooden spoon, stir until it thickens and doesn't look shiny anymore. You can use an electric beater if you want but do not beat for too long as it thickens very quickly, about 5-10 seconds.
  • Pour immediately into the prepared dish and spread it into an even layer. Let cool at room temperature for at least 3 hours before removing from the pan or baking dish.
  • You can then cut it into small squares or make small chunks using your fingers. Enjoy with coffee, tea, or as an afternoon snack!
  • Halva will keep stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.


  • For non-vegans, you can substitute maple syrup for honey. If you don’t have access to maple syrup, you can use 2/3 cup cane sugar combined with 2 tbsp water, bring it to a temperature of 248°F (120°C), and then stir in the tahini.

Halva flavors

  • “Nutella”: Combine 1/4 cup tahini, 1/4 cup hazelnut butter, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, and 1 tsp cocoa powder.
  • Pecan Cinnamon: In a small bowl, coat 1/4 cup pecans with 2 tsp maple syrup, 1/4 tsp oil, and 1/8 tsp cinnamon. Roast for 8 minutes at 350°F (175°C). Add the roasted pecans and 1/4 tsp cinnamon to the tahini.
  • Chocolate Marble: Melt 3 tablespoons of dark chocolate chips over a double boiler. Prepare the halva as explained above. Stir in the melted chocolate after combining the tahini with the maple syrup. Refrain from stirring too much to keep a nice chocolate swirl.
  • Peanut: Combine 1/4 cup tahini, 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup roasted peanuts.


Serving: 1 square (without pistachios) | Calories: 116 kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.3 g | Protein: 2.7 g | Fat: 8.4 g | Fiber: 1.5 g | Sugar: 5.4 g
Course : Candy, Dessert
Cuisine : Persian
Did you make this recipe? Tag @fullofplants on Instagram and hashtag it #fullofplants
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

Learn more ➜

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Thank you for posting this!!! I have been researching halva recipes for the past week or so. All your variations look great but I’m most excited about your pecan cinnamon version. I’m planning on making it for gifting. Thanks again!!

I love halva, and that looks amazing! I am going to try this with rose water, saffron and cardamon, maybe lavender (in three or four separate batches) to give away for Christmas. Maybe with dies like beet, turmeric and blueberry. I’ll follow up on this. Thank you, Thomas!

5 stars
My first experience of Halva was when we lived in Australia back in the early ’80’s. I absolutely loved it!! I couldn’t find my candy thermometer so I just boiled the maple syrup till it was a bit thick and then stirred it into the warmed tahini/peanut butter mixture along with the vanilla. I couldn’t wait 3 hrs. so I cut a few pieces and placed them in the freezer for a few minutes…. Oh my were they delicious!! I especially like that it isn’t very sweet!! NOW I have to make the ‘original’ with just tahini…. Thank you!

Hi Thomas:
This recipe looks amazing
I have tahini that’s runny, and one that’s a bit thicker. Is there a preference?
Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes.

5 stars
Perfect dessert. Do you have a cookbook ? If yes, we need it in our kitchen .

Thanks !

5 stars
This looks fabulous. I have been working on my own halva recipe for years and have never gotten the texture quite as I’d like. I’ve even bought soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) as they use in old fashioned production to mimic the correct texture. I look forward to trying your version.

I just couldn’t understand some people act. If Google is used well enough everything can be found. Halva is one of them which I posted years ago under Halva or Maltese Helwa. Here in Malta we eat it with bread others as it is. Very similar to this.

Good halvah, dude. I made the pecan cinnamon variety.

5 stars
Yum, Yum, Yum – unfortunately I was the only one that liked this in my family – which just meant I ate it all! Thanks again!

5 stars
Best. Recipe. Ever. I cannot stop making this! Thank you!!!

5 stars
I encountered halva when I lived in Egypt for a year. Could not get enough of it. I made this recipe first with honey and it was good. Then tried the maple syrup and that is the real winner. I love it! I only have made the vanilla/pistachio version. Chocolate tends to overwhelm flavors and I love the natural flavor so… maybe one day I will get tired of the vanilla version but no sign of that yet.

For those who have no candy thermometer I use the old candy-making trick of a cup of ice water and dripping a bit of the boiling syrup into it to see what happens. Soft crack stage is what you want — the drips make little balls in the bottom of the cup (instead of splats or disappearing altogether) and when you press on then they give a little. Any past that and it’s too much. Works like a charm for me. Now I can almost tell by looking at the boiling syrup when it is ready. The bubbles change.

Hi, I was wondering if this could be made with date syrup? Thank you!

Hi, I was wondering if this could be made with date syrup instead of maple syrup? Thank you!

5 stars
I am so glad I found this recipe! Thank you for this yummy treat ❤ I ate about a third of it before it had cooled the full 3hrs. I will make this many many more times!

5 stars
It looks so good I am going to make it and share with you.

5 stars
Nice recipe, however I used to prepare it another way, just pouring alternatively sesame seeds and pieces of date in a meat grinder. Hard work for the grinder, better to have a motor. The tricky aspect it to have seeds and pieces of date well mixed, because grinding twice the dough can make the halwa a bit hard.

5 stars
could you give me full recipe?

All your varieties and uses sound so amazing! My question is, since I am allergic to sesame (and honey…. I’m an oddball, that is not up for debate. Actually, the medical ‘term’ is “zebra”), would a nut butter work? I can’t have peanut, and have to limit pistachios due to histamines, but almonds and sunflower and some other nuts/butters work for me. And I can have maple syrup…… I’m thinking sunflower butter seems yummy for this if it would work, even with some tweaking if necessary to make it more like tahini texture? What do you think?

Sunflower halva is very popular in the nord east of europe, especially in Russia.

Made this last night and oh my gosh, it worked! I’m walking around this morning with a happy little mantra in my head of “I made halva I made halva I made halva 🙂 ”

I used palm sugar syrup as I didn’t have any maple syrup on hand. I’ve never had success with candy before, so the whole temperature of the sugar thing was nervous making for me, but it worked!!!! So delicious!

5 stars
Amazing recipe!!

[…] finished our day with Halva. I found a recipe that was lower in sugar, using maple syrup. The boys were just OK with it. I […]

Hello Thomas, thank you for all your fabulous recipes, could I reduce the amount of maple syrup a little for this halva recipe?

1 star
I made this twice, and both times, the maple syrup burned before it reached 266. What am I doing wrong here???

5 stars
I just made this. Made the Vanilla version. I couldn’t wait 3 hours so I cut a piece and put it in the freezer for 5 mins and it tasted amazing. Plan o making the other versions at some point all the grocery stores near me are out of Tahini

5 stars
Fantastic recipe! I love that this halva is lower in sugar than most recipes. Thank you so much!

5 stars
This is the best halva recipe I’ve come across. Made it more times than I can count over the past few months. I’ve made the pistachio, cinnamon, and peanut. I’ve also whipped up a couple of different flavours; vanilla almond with a touch of salt and espresso with a touch of ground coffee. So far, I like the versions with nuts to add a little crunch to each bite.

5 stars
I made Halva! The first time I didn’t measure the temperature when heating the maple syrup, but the second time I measured and waited for the right temperature, and tanam,, I made Halva! Great taste and texture, thanks Thomas 🙂

5 stars
The other day I bought a jar of black sesame tahini, and when I opened it, the smell reminded me so strongly of halva I knew I had to try and make some with it. I used to love the stuff, but the last time I had it was something like 15 years ago. So I looked up halva recipes and made this one, because it’s using maple syrup instead of honey and seems les sweet than the others. It really hit the spot! Thank you for this recipe!

After cooling it behaved very oddly, it was somewhat soft but turned rock hard it you pushed it too far, very strange. Anyways it kept its shape, and maybe it was because it was so long ago bu the texture of this halva was exactly like the texture of halva as I remember it! And it was delicious! I made a batch and half and I ate it all within a day because it was so good. I will definitely be making more in the future!

I’m not entirely sure what you mean when you say it doesn’t have a crystalline/flaky texture because it seems like mine broke just like the halva I had many years ago. Maybe it’s because I cut it into rather thin slices instead of cubes, or maybe it’s because it’s summer where I live and the house was really warm and it cooled more slowly than yours did? That would explain why industrial batches of halva set with the correct texture. Or maybe I’m just misremembering and it was just close enough!

I have a question still: why is it that you have to heat maple syrup to a higher temperature than the honey or sugar I’ve seen in all the other recipes?

Mine turned out very soft even after cooling. I didn’t have a candy thermometer and wonder if this was due to the syrup not heating enough. Thoughts or suggestions for next time?

5 stars
Hi Thomas!

Your recipes are outrageously great, and I thank you for them.

A couple of questions about the halva please:

1. Have you ever made this from scratch, using sesame seeds instead of tahini?

2. Are you using tahini made with toasted sesame seeds, or raw tahini? I would think toasted sesame tahini might render an overcooked taste.

Thank you again,


Hi Thomas, Thank you for your lovely halva recipe – wow, I’m so looking forward to trying it out! I made my first Tahini last week, which was exciting, but then I mixed some honey in, thinking that I’d end up with halva, and was quite disappointed about the texture. Now I know the secret about heating up the sweetener! Thank you.

5 stars
Wow! I made this this afternoon and it is the best halvah I have ever had in my life. I didn’t even use my candy thermometer. I just let the honey bubble for a bit in the bottom of a small heavy skillet. I added the tahini without warming it and stirred it in with the heat on low for a few minutes. Spread it in a pan and sprinkled a bit of organic cocoa powder on top. Thank you so much! This is a perfect treat.

5 stars
I made this recipe and substituted date syrup and it came out great. However, do not heat the date syrup to 266 degrees, as it will become too caramelized. I took it off at 250 degrees and that was still too long, however, it was still delicious. I added chocolate chips to the top while it was still warm.

This recipe never fails me and those I make it for. It took my grandparents back to their youth when halawi was a very special treat.

Have you ever tried to make this with date syrup? Would you assume a 1:1 ratio with maple syrup?

Hi! can the maple syrup also be replaced with honey? Can’t wait to try this!