Queen of the Night – Black Sesame Cake

Queen of the Night – Black Sesame Cake

HELP! It’s another Halloween in NYC.

Living right next to the route of the massive Village Halloween Parade, we have to navigate closed streets, sidewalks packed with partiers, inebriated ghouls, backed-up traffic with angry drivers, and some truly clever costumes and giant puppets—just to get home that evening.

Rather than dress up for a party or parade, I’d rather channel my energy on my version of Halloween dessert.

Back in the days when I did transform for the occasion, the themes tended toward the dark side.  So it is for dessert. Black is the color of the night and black sesame is the perfect ingredient to represent it. It’s also one of my all-time favorite ingredients.

This cake goes well with a cup of coffee or tea, it evokes comfort and calm. If you want a treat after a night of tricks, then bake one up so you can enjoy later. It’s just the prescription before getting back in the crypt.


Black Sesame Cake


Black Sesame Cake
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces/1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 4-1/2 cups (22-1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (3 ounces) black sesame powder
  • 1/2  cup (3-1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Black Sesame Filling
  • 12 tablespoons (6 ounces/1-1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (3-1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoon honey
  • 5 tablespoon toasted black sesame seeds, coarsely ground
Black Sesame Icing & Assembly
  • 1-1/2 cup (6 ounces) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup black sesame powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons light rum or water
  • 1 tablespoon toasted black sesame seeds


Black Sesame Cake

1. Whisk  milk, eggs, and melted butter together in bowl of stand mixer. Stir in flour, black sesame powder, granulated sugar, yeast, and salt until just combined. Attach bowl to stand mixer and fit with dough hook. Mix on medium-low speed for 10 minutes. Transfer dough to greased bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise inside oven until doubled in size, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. While  dough is rising, make filling.

2. Grease 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan. Roll out dough into 18×14-inch rectangle on lightly floured counter, with long side parallel to counter edge. Spread filling evenly on top, leaving a 1/2-inch border on the long sides. Roll dough away from you into log and pinch along seam to seal. Form into ring and seal ends together. Place seam side up into prepared pan, cover loosely with plastic, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350℉.

3. Bake until deep golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan, transfer to wire rack seam side down, and let cool completely, about 2 hours.

Black Sesame Filling

1. In the bowl of stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, all ingredients and beat on medium speed until creamy and thoroughly combined. Set aside until ready to use.
Black Sesame Icing and Assmebly

2. Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl until smooth. Spoon icing over cake. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top, serve.