black sesame chiffon-11The thought of attempting to make chiffon cake (again) shudders me. I’ve failed three times in the past. After the third failed attempt, I decided to hide the chiffon pan in the darkest corner of the storeroom so that I won’t be reminded of it ever. And I have to keep telling myself, NO, I don’t like chiffon cakes. Obviously in denial. And it didn’t help that my mother, who is a traditional cake lover, asked me countless times when am I ever going to bake her that pandan chiffon cake.

black sesame chiffon-7

Ok, so this post isn’t about pandan chiffon cake. This post is about black sesame chiffon cake. The thing is, I’d seen this black cake from books and various blogs quite some time ago. I’ve struggled (many times in fact) whether or not to pull out that hidden chiffon pan to bake it. The color of the cake is just so alluring! So I finally decided to give this cake a try after acquiring a wonderful jar of black tahini a.k.a black sesame paste. As you can see from the photos, this time, my chiffon actually rise beautifully!

black sesame chiffon-13

There could be 1001 reasons on why I failed the cakes previously. But personally, I think that the one very important step to take note is the meringue. The meringue has to be whisked to a tight, firm and glossy stage. NO loose meringue or over-beaten-sponge-like meringue. So pay special attention to this step!

black sesame chiffon-6This cake is so perfect! The texture is cottony soft, with just the right moistness and very flavorful. Just what I expected it to be. The addition of toasted black sesame seeds also adds a nice bite to it. I also paired them with my homemade Lemon & Kaffir Lime Curd (recipe for the curd coming up soon). I really love the contrasting color of black and yellow. The ultra smooth curd also lends a refreshing citrusy flavor to the full bodied toasted black sesame flavor. Do note that I added slightly more black tahini than what the original recipe called for and reduced the water to balance up the moisture. I also baked them in a smaller chiffon pan as that is what I have. I always prefer to bake smaller cakes. But this cake is so good that I really wished it was bigger. I guess now I am confident enough to get that bigger chiffon pan.

Note : The measurements I’ve given in this recipe are based on my smaller version as seen in these photos.

black sesame chiffon-17Recipe slightly adapted from Okashi, sweet treats made with love by Keiko Ishida

 ** Updates 6th July 2015

After receiving some comments from readers on the omission of pastry flour in the steps and the size of the pan from the recipe printed on the image above, I have corrected the recipe in text below. My apologies.

Black Sesame Chiffon Cake

Chiffon Cake

40g pastry flour or cake flour, sifted
3 egg yolks
11g brown sugar
15g black tahini or black sesame paste
30g water
22g canola oil or any flavourless oil
11g toasted black sesame seeds


100g egg whites (about 3 eggs)
50g caster sugar
6g cornflour (I used arrowroot flour)


6-inch chiffon tube pan
A bottle or funnel

Preheat oven to 160C.

Combine egg yolks, brown sugar and black tahini or black sesame paste in a bowl and mix well. Add water and canola oil and blend well. Add flour and fold until batter becomes sticky. Fold in black sesame seeds.

To make the meringue, combine caster sugar and cornflour. Beat egg whites until foamy. Add half of the sugar and flour mixture and continue beating for a few minutes, then add remaining sugar and flour mixture and beat until egg whites are glossy and reach stiff peaks.

Add one-third of the meringue into egg yolk mixture and fold lightly, then add remaining meringue and fold to incorporate completely. Do not over-mix as the sesame paste in the mixture will cause the volume of the chiffon cake to deflate and thus making it heavy.

Pour batter into an ungreased 6-inch chiffon cake tube pan. Bake for 35 minutes. When the cake is done, remove from oven and turn it over. Use a bottle or funnel to elevate the cake. Leave to cool completely.

The cake keeps well at room temperature for up to 3 days. Serve with lightly whipped cream or lemon curd like I do.

Join the Conversation

  1. I’m absolutely amazed by the cake, especially the close-up shot with the meringue topping—it’s simply mouthwatering! The black sesame flavor is one of my favorites, and this cake truly takes it to the next level! I can’t wait to explore more of your recipes and indulge in more culinary delights.

  2. Hi…i understand that your recipe is based on using a 6 inch cake tin however if i doubled your recipe will it be too much for the size of my cake tin which is 26cm/10 inches?

    1. vanillyn Author says:

      Hi Rae, I’ve not tried doubling the recipe into a 10inch pan but I think it is worth a try. Just make sure you only fill the pan up to 3/4 full to allow space for the cake to rise.

  3. If I double the recipe for a 10-12 inch tube pan, how long should it be baked for then? 45-55 minutes?

    1. vanillyn Author says:

      Hi Sonia, I haven’t tried baking in a 10-12 inch tube pan but i did a search and most of the recipes recommended 45 minutes.

  4. Wow. I am truly speechless. The one pic of the cake close-up with the meringue on top makes me DROOL. Unbelievable. I love black sesame-flavored everything, and this takes the CAKE!! (pun slightly intended!). I am so looking forward to delving through more of your recipes! Cheers!! <3

  5. jennifer says:

    hi you mentioned pastry flour in the ingredients but never mentioned where to place it in

    1. vanillyn Author says:

      Hi Jennifer, I omitted the step on flour… oops. The flour is to be folded in the egg yolk mixture after the water & canola oil.

  6. jennifer says:

    You mentioned pastry flour in the ingredients but never mentioned in the recipe where to add it in. Unless I’m missing something ?
    oh help
    thank you

  7. Your pictures of this cake made me want to make. It was great especially with the lemon curd. I’m most definitely make it again. I think I’m going to try and doubling the recipe so it fills my pan better. To lazy to go out and buy a smaller pan. Thanks.

    1. vanillyn Author says:

      Thank you April! Doubling the recipe is a great idea! 🙂

  8. Hi! Quick question. What are the dimensions of your cake tin. Plus you have stated that one can use cake flour or pastry flour but the thing is both have different levels of proteins therefore affecting the rise of the cake. So which one in your opinion is better.


    1. vanillyn Author says:

      Hi Maria, thank you for asking on the dimensions of my cake tin, I should have indicated in the recipe. I used a 6-inch chiffon cake tin for this recipe. As for the flour, I tried both cake flour and pastry flour and they both turn out fine but my preference would be the pastry flour for this cake. 🙂

  9. I’m the exact opposite, I had my first beginner’s luck for my first chiffon cake (which was black sesame too! it was greaaaat) then I had my failure for my second- I just got impatient and cooled the cake in the fridge when I thought it was fairly room temp already. But apparently not, so it shrunk to a leathery, dense mess. The memory still scares me, I probably won’t be attempting another soon. Yours look tons beautiful though :)))

    1. vanillyn Author says:

      Hi Irene, yeah I can understand the impatience of waiting for the cake to be cooled… I’ve done that many times for other cakes. Now that I know this “quick cool method” won’t work for chiffon. I’m with you on that scary bad memory of failed chiffon. I hope you will try it again soon 🙂

  10. Chiffon cake is my favourite too. Love the way you took the photo. Thumbs up.

    1. vanillyn Author says:

      Thanks Hankerie!

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