DIY project: Baking black sesame cake

Annie Chang/Staff

Ever since I first tried black sesame buns in high school, I fell in love with black sesame desserts. I fantasized about black sesame cake, butter, cookies, macarons and bread. Two months ago, after talking to my mother about the vast possibilities for black sesame and joking around about opening up a black sesame dessert shop, we looked up black sesame cake recipes. We found one on a random Chinese website video that looked relatively easy to make. Cooking and baking have always been challenging for me, so when I say the recipe is easy, I mean it.

When you make the batter, you will be amazed by the nutty, sweet, bitter, earthy and roasted smell of the black sesame powder. The aroma filled up the entire kitchen, and I could not stop leaning into the bowl to smell it. The black-and-gray mixture might not look very appetizing, but it is the true color of black sesame that promises delicious cakes.

Don’t expect the cake to rise much — ours was only 1.5 to 2 inches thick. Wait for it to cool, and when you take a bite, you will see that it is delicious, rich and dense like a brownie — but also slightly crumbly like a cake. It will not be too rich or overly sweet, though, and I can eat multiple pieces. The baking process removed the slight bitter taste of black sesame and left its nuttiness for our enjoyment. It was like eating peanut butter mixed with sesame seeds.

The recipe was a success for us. After the first try, we baked it two or three more times within the next two months because it was so easy, and tasty and could not be found in Utah. We continue to make black sesame cake on a regular basis, and it just never gets old. It has become such a staple for me that I also make it in my apartment. Despite the difficulties and my laziness and clumsiness when it comes to cooking, I love making black sesame cake. This delicious recipe marked the beginning of my experiences with baking.

Recipe: Black sesame cake


  • 3 jumbo sized eggs
  • 75 milliliters of milk
  • 38 milliliters of oil
  • ⅓ cup black sesame powder
  • ⅓ cup all purpose flour
  • 0.2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 0.2 teaspoon tartar powder
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar


  • Separate egg yolk and egg whites.
  • Mix egg yolk, milk, oil and black sesame powder in a bowl.
  • Mix all-purpose flour and baking powder in a second bowl.
  • Mix egg whites, tartar powder and brown sugar in another bowl until the mixture is fluffy and whipped.
  • Combine the first two bowls of ingredients.
  • Fold half the egg white mixture from the third bowl into combined ingredients of the first two bowls.
  • Fold the other half of the third bowl mixture into the combined first and second bowls.
  • Pour mixture into greased baking pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 347 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Let cool.

How to fold egg whites

  • Use spatula and pour half of the egg white mixture into the batter.
  • Use spatula to draw a line down middle of batter.
  • Fold one side of the batter over the other.
  • Repeat until mixed.