This homemade honey sesame seed candy is a popular treat that is so easy to make. Naturally gluten- and dairy-free, this popular sesame candy can be made crunchy or soft. It is not only a healthier candy but also perfect for holiday gift-giving.

A gift jar filled with wrapped honey sesame candies.

Although our family enjoys this homemade sesame candy around Hanukkah, this honey sesame candy is thought to originate in the Mediterranean, possibly dating back to ancient Greece.

They call this sesame candy Pasteli in Italy, and many cultures include it in their holiday celebrations. In Hebrew, it is called Sukariyot Soomsoom, and it is the perfect candy to serve for Hanukkah or Rosh Hashanah.

Pack it in a jar, wrap it up, and gift it to someone you love. They will thank you because this is the best sesame seed candy! If you love making homemade candy, check out my gluten free candy recipes!

Why I love this candy recipe:

If you haven’t tried a candy recipe with sesame seeds, you are in for a treat. This sesame candy can be made into sesame crunch bars or kept on the chewy side. This versatile candy is easy to make in about 15 minutes, not including cooling time.

For those who like this candy on the softer, chewier side, you can use cookie cutters to cut it into shapes!

Allergen Information:

This homemade sesame candy is gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, dairy-free, and egg-free.

The sesame candy ingredients on the counter.

Ingredient Notes:

For the full list of ingredients and amounts, please go to the recipe card below.

  • Sesame Seeds – I highly recommend getting these on Amazon because they are much cheaper to find in larger quantities than the small jars at the grocery store.
  • Honey – any type is great. You don’t need to use expensive local honey; make sure your choice is 100% honey and has no added corn syrup.
  • Dark or light brown sugar – either one works perfectly
  • A non-stick cooking spray – I used coconut oil spray, but any light, non-flavored spray will work.

Tips For Sucess

1. If you have one, you will want to use a silicone mat. It will prevent sticking and a lot of grief when washing dishes. NOTE: You can use wax paper in a pinch, but you need to move it off quickly so the wax paper doesn’t stick permanently.
2. Do not buy your sesame seeds in a bulk container. Bulk bins are a huge risk for cross-contamination with gluten!
3. You can make this with regular white sesame seeds or black sesame seeds.

Step-By-Step Photos and Directions:

Toasting sesame seeds in a pan.

Step 1: Begin by spraying or coating a casserole dish or baking pan so the candies will not stick. Grab an ungreased, non-stick skillet and the sesame seeds. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the seeds become lightly browned and aromatic.

Place the seeds into a bowl and allow them to cool.

Sesame seeds mixed with the honey mixture in a pan.
Step 3

Step 2: In your non-stick skillet, add the brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, and ginger over medium heat. Stir this mixture constantly and bring it to a boil.

When the mixture comes to a full rolling boil, begin timing. Allow the mixture to cook for exactly two minutes in the pan.

Step 3: After two minutes, remove the skillet from the heat and add the sesame seeds. Stir quickly until they are completely mixed in.

The sesame candy cooling.

Step 4: Pour the mixture into the pan where you sprayed cooking oil. Use a metal spoon or spatula dipped into cold water to press the candy into the pan so that it is an even, smooth layer. Let the candy cool for 15 minutes or until it is only lukewarm to the touch.

Step 5: Gently dump the candy on a silicone mat. This is the time to make cuts and have some fun. You can cut the candy into small shapes with cookie cutters or just cut it into squares or rectangles.

Step 6: Place the cut pieces of cooled sesame honey candy on wax paper. Make sure there is plenty of space around each piece.

Some unwrapped pieces of sesame candy.

Step 7: Cut the wax paper around the candies. Fold the wax paper over the candy, then twist both ends.

Step 8: Store the sesame candy in an airtight container at room temperature. This recipe will make approximately 64 small pieces of candy.

If you love seed candy, you may also love these Honey Roasted Cashews or these crunchy nuts clusters!


This sesame seed candy should last up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. I prefer to store it in the refrigerator; it will last 3 weeks in the fridge.

A large wooden bowl filled with wrapped honey sesame candies.

More Delicious Candy Recipes:

Love This Recipe?

If you made and enjoyed this recipe, I would be incredibly grateful if you could leave a comment below. This will help others know this recipe is delicious. Thank you!

the top view of a jar of wrapped sesame candy

Honey Sesame Seed Candy

Sandi Gaertner
A deliciously sweet sesame seed candy that is also naturally gluten free and vegan. It makes a great holiday gift.
5 from 10 votes
dairy free allergen icon
an egg free allergen icon
gluten free allergy icon
nut free allergen icon
soy free allergy icon
A vegan icon.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cooling 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Gluten Free Candy Recipes
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 64
Calories 42 kcal


  • 2 cups sesame seeds * see note
  • ½ cup honey * see note
  • ½ cup brown sugar dark or light
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger


  • Spray a cookie sheet or dish with non-stick spray.
  • In a non-stick pan, toast your sesame seeds over medium heat
  • In a pot, add the honey, brown sugar, and spices. Cook on medium stirring constantly. Allow this mixture to rolling boil and time it for 2 minutes.
  • When the two minutes are over, remove the skillet from the heat and add the sesame seeds. Mix well.
  • Quickly pour the mixture quickly onto the prepared pan. With a metal spoon or spatula that has been dipped into cold water, press the candy into the pan so that there is an even, smooth layer.
  • Let the candy cool for 15 minutes, or until itis only lukewarm to the touch. Carefully turn it onto the cookie sheet and cut it with a knife or small cookie cutters before it hardens too much.
  • Lay pieces of the sesame candy on a large piece of wax paper. Cut around each candy allowing room for folding. Fold the wax paper over each piece of candy and twist the edges to close it. This should make roughly 64 pieces of candy.


  1. You can use white or black sesame seeds. You want them raw so you can freshly toast them for this recipe.
  2. You can use any honey, there is no need to use expensive honey. Just make sure to use real honey with no corn syrup.
  3. This candy will keep up to 2 weeks in an air-tight container.


Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.


Serving: 1gCalories: 42kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 26mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 1mg
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Nutrition Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.

5 from 10 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. I was wondering how to make softer. Love this candy. My Mom always had some in her side table. But am I’ll and lost my teeth. Thanks for any help you can give me. Denise

    1. Hi Christina, I have not tested coconut sugar. It has a different melting point and I am not sure if it would harden the same way. If you do test it, please let me know how it works.

  2. 5 stars
    Sesame seeds are a favorite of mine! These are perfect for gift-giving – love these tasty treats!

  3. 5 stars
    We love trying new things and adding traditions into our holiday. This just jumped to the top of the list. I’m so excited to make it!