millet, strawberry, tahini breakfast cake

Growing up, I remember trying to make Mother’s Day breakfast extra special for Mom. The four of us would assemble a haphazard tray of breakfast goodies we’d made and carry it up the stairs to her bedroom as carefully as we could. I’m sure she would have preferred a peaceful moment to herself, but instead we’d probe her with questions of how it all tasted making sure she ate every crumb of our painstakingly prepared food.

While my Mom’s breakfasts in bed were far from luxurious, I know that she appreciated all the effort we put into them, if not every morsel of burnt toast. To celebrate all Moms out there, I’ve got a wonderful breakfast treat that will make her morning. Whether you serve it in bed or not is up to you.

There are millet believers and millet doubters; some enjoy its coarser, drier texture and slightly nutty flavor while others, like my sister, harken it to bird food. But before you turn your nose up at this, bear with me. Cooked millet gets doused in an egg, maple, and almond milk bath, dotted with strawberries, and drizzled with tahini. Cinnamon, vanilla, and lemon lend a delicate aroma. What emerges is a tender slice with a moist, cake-like crumb.

Strawberries are in season over here, but feel free to swap out with another favorite berry, or even a mix of your favorite. Fresh are wonderful, but I have had great success and ease with frozen. Either way, you’ll reap the free radical fighting abilities of antioxidants.

This recipe takes 3 steps: cooking the millet, assembling the rest of the ingredients, and baking. To save time, you can either cook the millet the day before, or cook the millet, assemble everything the night before, and store it in the refrigerator. Just keep in mind that if you choose the overnight route, it may need about 10 extra minutes to cook.

This is a lightly sweetened cake, perfect for breakfast, but it could also serve well as a not-too-sweet dessert. Top it with coconut whipped topping like I do here or a dollop of your favorite regular or dairy-free yogurt, fresh berries, and some crunchy goodness.


strawberries  |  antioxidants: prevent premature aging by reducing inflammation |  vitamin C: aids in collagen production to boost skin suppleness

millet  |   fiber: regulates digestive health  |  protein: repairs damaged cells, boosts collagen production |  vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): enhances mood  |  iron: increases energy and strengthens nails

tahini (ground sesame seeds)  |  protein: aids in muscle and collagen formation to keep skin looking plump  |  omega-3 fats: reduce inflammation, boost mood, balance skin hydration, prevent premature aging from sun exposure|  magnesium: assists in antioxidant function  |  zinc: aids in tissue healing

Millet, Strawberry, Tahini Breakfast Cake
Serves 4-5

¾ cup uncooked millet
1 ½ cups water
(Alternatively, use 2 ½ cups cooked millet)

2 eggs
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla
Zest of 1 lemon
Generous pinch of sea salt
¼ cup maple syrup or honey
3 tablespoons runny tahini, divided (I’m a super-fan of Soom if you can find it!)
2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries, cut in half if large
Coconut oil, butter, or other neutral oil for greasing

For serving:
Coconut whip, regular or dairy-free yogurt (preferably unsweetened)
Sliced fresh strawberries, preferably organic as they are part of the EWG’s dirty dozen
Maple syrup for drizzling
Chopped toasted almonds, optional
Toasted unsweetened coconut, optional

Cook millet. Bring water to boil. Add millet, return to boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Allow to cook 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. This step can be done the day before.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 8” or 9” square or small round baking pan with coconut oil or other oil. In large bowl, whisk eggs until uniform. Add cinnamon, vanilla, lemon zest, salt, maple syrup, and 1½ tablespoons tahini. Mix well to combine.

Stir in cooked millet (it should equal about 2 ½ cups) and strawberries. Pour mixture into prepared baking pan, making sure strawberries are evenly distributed. Drizzle remaining 1½ tablespoons of tahini over top. At this point, mixture can be covered and allowed to rest overnight in the refrigerator.

Bake in oven for 65 minutes uncovered, or until cake is set. If assembling the night before, it may need about 10 extra minutes of cooking time. You don’t want any jiggle in the center. With cake still in the oven, turn broiler to high and cook for 4-5 minutes, being careful the top doesn’t burn.

Remove from oven and allow to rest 15 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve with a dollop of coconut whip or yogurt, fresh berries, a drizzle of syrup, and nuts and coconut if desired.

Photos by: Katie Hennessey  |  @iamkatiehennessey
Thanks to the Lokal Hotel | @stay_lokal for letting us borrow their beautiful new space in Philly!