blissful eats with tina jeffers: Black sesame pear cake

Before you pass judgment on this cake, trust me you have to taste it to believe it.  It is rapidly becoming one of my favorite cakes ever.  I want to eat this cake all the time. 


It does look a little unconventional since the addition of ground black sesames gives the batter what I believe a lovely gray color but the taste is unlike anything I have ever encountered.  The cake is lightly nutty and sharp from the sesame paste and they beautifully compliment the honey like sweetness of the pears. 


I did make a few changes from the original recipe.  I baked mine a bundt pan and lined the top with some sliced pears and a brown butter sugar glaze.  The original recipe also calls for you to bake the cake for 1 hour and 40 minutes, which just didn’t make any sense to me, mine was done in 55 minutes and came out with a delicate crumb and was exceptionally moist.


If you have access to a store that specializes in Asian cuisine that will be your best bet for finding black sesames at a reasonable price.  

Black sesame pear cake


Adapted from Bon Appetit




For the pear topping:

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 medium firm but ripe pear, peeled cored and thinly sliced


For the cake:

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 cup almond flour or almond meal

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons plus ½ cup black sesame seeds

1 ½ cups sugar

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

¾ cup buttermilk

1 medium, firm but ripe pear, peeled , cored, cut into ¼ inch cubes 



Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.


Lightly spray a 10 cup bundt pan with cooking spray.  Line the bottom of the pan with the sliced pears, fanning them in a circular pattern.  In a medium saucepan melt the butter and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until deep golden brown.  Add the brown sugar and cook for 1-2 minutes longer until the sugar starts to melt.  Pout the butter mixture over the pears and set aside while you prepare the batter.


Whisk 1 ½ cups flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 2 tablespoons sesame seeds in a medium bowl.  Grind remaining ½ cup sesame seeds in a spice mill to form a thick paste, about 2 minutes.


Using an electric mixer, beat ½ cup butter and 1 1/3 cups sugar in a large bowl until well combined.  Add sesame paste and beat, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, until blended, 1-2 minutes.  Add egg and egg yolk.  Beat until pale and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.  On low speed, beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.  Toss pear with remaining 2 tablespoons flour in a small bowl; fold into batter.


Spoon batter into prepared pan and gently smooth the top.


Bake until a tester comes out clean when inserted into center, about 55 to 60 minutes.  Let cool in pan on a wire rack.  Run a knife lightly around the edges and invert pan onto a plate tapping the top lightly to release.  Serve the cake with an additional sprinkle of sesame seeds if desired.

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