Black Sesame Cake with Raspberry Filling

This is currently my new favorite cake of all time. I love it so much. I tried it originally because I was interested in the beautiful natural charcoal color of the cake and I had some leftover raspberry jam. I’ve been familiar with black sesame as it is a popular ingredient in Asian desserts, but this is the first time I’ve ever worked with it in dessert form.

I made this as a dessert for J’s work potluck dinner. It was a huge hit! I got a lot of questioning eyes when I said “black sesame,” but I think its subtle enough of a flavor that even the most picky people would enjoy it. It’s ever so slightly nutty, but not overpowering.

This recipe also uses the egg whipping technique for the cake, which I believe produces such a nice crumb texture. It reminds me a lot of the chiffon cakes I grew up on. I think I’m almost sold on doing this method for all my cakes going forward, even though it takes a lot more time/effort…we’ll see if it sticks.



Black Sesame Cake

  • 1/2 cup black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) + 1 tablespoon organic pure cane sugar, divided
  • 2 cups (240 grams) cake flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

Raspberry Filling

Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • See recipe here, substituting 16 oz of butter for softened cream cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 6 inch cake pans.
  2. Blend the black sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a food processor until finely ground.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Then with the mixer still on, start adding in 1/4 cup of granulated sugar one tablespoon at a time. Keep mixing until stiff peaks form. Transfer whipped egg whites to a clean bowl.
  5. In the same stand mixer bowl, this time fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and remaining 1/2 cup sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down the bowl, and add egg yolks one by one then add the vanilla. Scrape the bowl again and add the black sesame sugar. Alternate between adding the dry and wet ingredients, starting and ending with the dry, making sure not to overbeat with each addition and mix until just combined. Gently fold the egg white into the batter until no streaks remain. Split the cake batter evenly between the three cake pans and bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Let the cakes cool on wire rack. Once the cakes are at room temperature, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and freeze until firm but not completely frozen, 1 to 2 hours.
  7. Take the cakes out of the freezer. If they are too firm, let them soften at room temperature until you can slice them with ease. Using a sharp serrated knife, level the cakes then split them in half—you should have four layers. Place the first layer on a cake round and spread a thin layer of buttercream on top. Pipe a ring of buttercream around the edge, then spread a thin layer of jam inside the ring. Place the next layer of cake on top and repeat the process until you have assembled all the pieces. Frost the outside of the cake with the remainder of the buttercream. Enjoy!

Adapted from O + O Eats.

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