Black Sesame Mochi Cake

All the nutty deliciousness of black sesame seeds. Plus, the squishy, chewy fun of mochi! Black Sesame Mochi Cake is the sophisticated, one-bowl recipe that’s a party in a 9×13″ pan!

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with black sesame seeds. This nutty, savory little seed makes everything taste better.

Especially dessert. As you know, I’m not a big sweets fan. But adding black sesame powder to anything dessert-y adds instant richness, depth, and savory oomph.

In my quest to find the perfect black sesame dessert, a friend told me about mochi cake. Squishy, chewy mochi transformed into cake-like form? I had to give it a try.

Mochi cake is an Asian-fusion dessert with Hawaiian roots. Using Hawaiian Butter Mochi as a base, I tinkered and toyed until I made a Black Sesame Mochi Cake recipe that I loved! And couldn’t stop baking and eating!

Take one bite and you’ll agree — Black Sesame Seed Mochi Cake is the chewy dessert that is so satisfying to eat. Bouncy and springy. Modern and refined. Plus, the dark, moody color! This recipe is decadently rich yet so easy to put together. An upscale party in a 9×13″ pan!

Ingredients:

Canned Milk. Mochi cake is classically made with two kinds of canned milk: Coconut Milk and Evaporated Milk.

When you live on a tiny, volcanic island far from land-grazing cattle (i.e., Hawaii) , canned milk is an easier-to-find, cheaper alternative to fresh milk. Canned milk also lasts forever. And requires no refrigeration.

All to say — you could make mochi cake with regular milk. But I’ve decided to stay true to the Asian-fusion, Hawaiian origins of this cake by using canned milk.

Black Sesame Seeds. You can buy black sesame seeds and toast and grind them yourself. But if you want to skip a step, by all means — buy the powdered version from the Asian grocery store! So much easier!

dark grey plate with black sesame mochi cake

Glutinous (Sweet) Rice Flour. This recipe calls for GLUTINOUS RICE FLOUR not regular rice flour. Yes, there is a difference. (FYI Glutinous Rice Flour and Glutinous Sweet Rice Flour are the same.)

Glutinous means sticky and that’s exactly what you need. Glutinous Rice Flour will give mochi cake that characteristically chewy, bouncy texture.

However, determining for doneness will be challenging. The skewer test will not work, as the batter will remain moist and sticky even when fully baked. Instead, check for doneness by looking for edges that are brown and naturally pull away from the pan. Give the pan a little shake — the center of the cake should be set with no jiggle.

How to Make Black Sesame Mochi Cake:

To toast: add black sesame seeds to a dry saucepan over medium heat. Toss the seeds from time to time or mix with a wooden spoon, until they begin to crackle and smoke, about 3-5 minutes.

To grind: Transfer seeds to a food processor. Pulse until seeds are finely processed into powder. Be careful here — there is a fine line between powder and paste. Pulse the seeds until the oil starts to release and clumps together just a bit; the powder will look moist. But exercise caution — if you pulse too much, you will end up with tahini paste!

(If you buy black sesame powder, skip this step.)

Scrape black sesame powder into a large bowl. Add sugar and melted coconut oil. Whisk until well combined.

Add eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition.

Whisk in evaporated milk and coconut milk.

Whisk in glutinous sweet rice flour, baking powder, and salt.

Pour into a well-oiled 9×13″ pan.

In a small bowl, combine remaining 1 Tbsp black sesame seeds and 1 Tbsp white sesame seeds. Sprinkle along the edge of the pan.

Slide carefully into the oven and bake until done. Cool for 1 hour and cut with a serrated knife. Enjoy!

Black Sesame Mochi Cake

All the nutty deliciousness of black sesame seeds. Plus, the squishy, chewy fun of mochi! Black Sesame Mochi Cake is the sophisticated, one-bowl recipe that's a party in a 9×13" pan!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Cooling Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Asian, Fusion Food
Keyword: Black Sesame, Cake, Mochi
Servings: 24 squares
Author: The Subversive Table | Lis Lam

Equipment

  • 9×13 pan

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup black sesame seeds (or 3/4 cup black sesame powder, if you want to skip roasting and grinding the seeds)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted) (regular vegetable oil also works)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 400ml/13.5 oz can coconut milk (full fat, not the boxed kind)
  • 1 354ml/12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 3 cups glutinous (sweet) rice flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Garnish (optional)

  • 1 Tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp white sesame seeds

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Generously brush a 9×13 baking pan with melted coconut oil.
  • To toast: add black sesame seeds to a dry saucepan over medium heat. Toss the seeds from time to time or mix with a wooden spoon, until they begin to crackle and smoke, about 3-5 minutes.
  • To grind: Transfer seeds to a food processor. Pulse until seeds are finely processed into powder, about 30-60 seconds. Be careful here — there is a fine line between powder and paste. Pulse the seeds until the oil starts to release and clumps together just a bit; the powder will look moist. But exercise caution — if you pulse too much, you will end up with tahini paste!
    food processor filled with black sesame seed powder
  • Scrape sesame seeds into a large bowl. Whisk in sugar and melted coconut oil.
    bowls with sugar, black sesame powder, and coconut milk
  • Add eggs, one by one, whisking well after each addition.
    bowl with black sesame seeds and egg with whisk to the side
  • Whisk in evaporated milk and coconut milk, making sure the batter is smooth and lump-free.
    mixing bowl with evaporated milk and coconut milk
  • Whisk in glutinous sweet rice flour, baking powder, and salt, making sure the batter is smooth and lump-free.
    bowl filled with batter for black sesame mochi cake
  • Pour into 9×13 pan. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1 Tbsp black sesame seeds and 1 Tbsp white sesame seeds. Sprinkle along the edge of the pan. (If you prefer, double the amount of both sesame seeds and sprinkle completely over the entire top, not just on the edges.)
    batter for black sesame mochi cake and garnish around the edges in 9 x 13" pan
  • Slide carefully into oven and bake until done, about 60 minutes. Checking for doneness will be challenging, as the batter will remain moist and sticky even when fully baked. Instead, check for doneness by looking for brown edges that naturally pull away from the pan. Give the pan a little shake — the center of the cake should be set with no jiggle. Cool for 1 hour (at least) at room temperature. Cut with a serrated knife into 24 squares.

Notes

*2 and *3.  If using black sesame powder, skip these steps.
For more inspiration, check out the Dessert Archives!
All Recipes, Asian Inspired, Dessert, Popular Recipes, Snacks
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Manny
Manny
5 months ago

If I use sesame powder how much would be needed for the recipe?

Manny
Manny
4 months ago

Should the cake cool down in the pan for an hour or remove it to cool on rack? Is in the oven right now.

Nicole
Nicole
4 months ago

Looks delicious! How did you get the cake out of the pan? Did you use parchment paper to lift it out without it sticking?

M
M
4 months ago

have you tried this recipe using butter instead of coconut oil?

Emily
Emily
3 months ago

Delicious! I halved this recipe and used an 8×8 pan. It still took an hour to cook but it turned out great! Very easy to prep, especially since I used pre-ground black sesame. They turned out soft, chewy but not sticky, and not too sweet!

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[…] if you’re looking for more ways to use up that bag, try Black Sesame Mochi Cake or Black Sesame Creme Brulee. They are proof of my black sesame […]

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[…] If you love mochi, check out Black Sesame Mochi Cake: […]

FloatingK
FloatingK
1 month ago

Can you taste the coconut (or smell) as well since you used coconut milk? I’m kind of afraid to try because I dont like coconut scented desserts (but I love black sesame). Is there any alternative to coconut milk? Also, if I decide to follow the recipe as it is, do I use sweetened coconut milk or evaporated milk or both unsweetened?

Renee
Renee
1 month ago

I tried this today for my fiance’s birthday and it came out exactly as it looks in your photos! I’m terrible at baking and this is the first thing I’ve successfully made!! I also halved the recipe and used a 8×8 pan like another commenter. Thank you!

Alanna
Alanna
1 month ago

how thin is the batter?

shelley
shelley
20 days ago

would it be do-able to make mini cupcake size mochi cakes using mini cupcake pan using the same recipe? how would you adjust the baking time or temperature? thank you

Shirley
Shirley
13 days ago

I loved this recipe and have made it several times already! I’m curious: do you have any advice as how to make a version of this recipe with matcha instead of black sesame?

Jessica
Jessica
8 days ago

Question when you bake this, do you cover it with foil? or bake it open?