Black Sesame Pear Cake

 So I started out wanting to make a pumpkin chiffon cake and I ended up making this instead. Where exactly in my thought process, the switch from classic fall to Asian fusion flavors happened is beyond me. Nonetheless, I couldn’t be happier with how this cake turned out! I came up with this recipe based off one I found online that was originally way too rich/unhealthy for my liking (1 stick of butter, more than 1 1/3 cups of sugar, 1 cup of almond flour). So after at least halving the unhealthy stuff, doubling the amount of pears, and making a few other adjustments, I was very pleased to have a cake I could feel good about eating too! The black sesame really comes through in this moist cake, while chunks of pear surprise with perfect bursts of tart sweetness. Although we were happy to share some with friends, this was one we had no trouble finishing ourselves.

Black Sesame Pear Cake

Makes 16 serving (Loosely adapted from Bon Appétit)

Ingredients:2014-10-01 19.43.18

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup black sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 pears, peeled, cored, and cut into small pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease a cake pan well (especially if it’s a hello kitty one!).
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set it aside.2014-10-01 19.10.18
  3. Grind the sesame seeds in a bullet blender until it forms a thick paste (~ 2 min).2014-10-01 19.11.142014-10-01 19.16.31
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the sesame paste and mix until well blended. Add the eggs in one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each egg between additions. Mix in the applesauce.
  5. Alternate beating in the flour mixture (3 additions) and buttermilk (2 additions), beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add in the cubed pears and gently them fold into the batter.2014-10-01 19.17.122014-10-01 19.18.05
  6. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan and bake for 45 minutes (although baking time will largely depend on the dimensions of your cake pan) or until the cake passes the toothpick test. Let cake cool before serving.

Note: I actually liked the cake more and more each time I ate it (over a span of 3 days) because the flavors really seemed to develop more over time. Just goes to show that sometimes leftovers can be a very good thing!

2014-10-01 19.19.14 2014-10-01 19.20.23 2014-10-01 19.21.03

Makes for a delicious end to dinner… or an even better beginning to your day. 🙂2014-10-01 19.22.57

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