Benne Cakes

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Benne cakes are a popular snack cookie that originated in Africa, where the benne seed (or sesame seed as it is known in America) comes from. It is enjoyed year round in Africa, and is especially popular in America during the Kwanzaa celebration. Benne seeds are said to be eaten for good luck, so eating these cakes during Kwanzaa, which begins a new year, is a great tradition.



  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Lightly oil a cookie sheet.
  3. Mix together the brown sugar and butter, and beat until they are creamy.
  4. Stir in the egg, vanilla extract, and lemon juice.
  5. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and sesame seeds.
  6. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto the cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are browned.
  8. Enjoy!