Three layers of black sesame cake coated with black sesame buttercream and topped with marshmallow webs. This is ultimate Halloween cake!
Growing up, Halloween was a big deal at my parents’ house.
I hope to continue those festive traditions with my own family.
My contribution to Halloween in perpetuity is CAKE!
Black Velvet Cake
This cake was inspired by the recent Food Network Magazine cover photo (October 2015 issue).
Their feature Halloween cake is carrot cake covered in chocolate frosting and a marshmallow web.
Set on creating a “black velvet” version, I opted for black sesame instead of black coloring.
The results are sweet, nutty, and delicious!
Black Sesame Cake Layers
This recipe makes three 6-inch cake layers.
Alternatively, you can make two 8-inch cake layers.
I have a photo of the black sesame flour/powder I used in my black sesame shortbread post.
What does black sesame desserts take like?
Black sesame tastes similar to peanuts.
It’s very toasty and nutty in flavor.
NOTE: If this black sesame cake seems too daunting, here’s an easier black sesame cupcake with matcha frosting.
Prep the cake for decor
Fill, stack, and frost the cake as usual.
Let it chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes to allow the frosting to set and harden.
The frosting must be firm before you decorate it with the marshmallow webs.
Decorating with Marshmallow Webs
This marshmallow web goop is super easy to make.
Simply heat the marshmallows in the microwave.
You end up with this shiny, glossy, and super stringy goop.
The marshmallow webs sort of look like silly string.
You can add as much or as little as you want on the cake.
I should have stopped here for an artistic minimal look- but I went a little overboard as shown in the photo below.
As you can see, this marshmallow web goop stuff can get pretty messy.
If you’re not careful, it’ll end up everywhere… on your camera buttons, in your hair, all over the table, on the floor, on your phone!
When working with marshmallow webs- it’s best to work on a washable surface. Otherwise, these webs will be very difficult to clean off!
The sugary marshmallows really help to balance out the flavors in this cake.
Two thumbs up from my family means it’s definitely a cake I’ll repeat for future Halloweens to come!
Black Sesame Cake with Marshmallow Webs
Black Sesame Cake:
- ⅓ cup sesame paste* (recipe follows)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup black sesame flour (or powder)
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 10 Tablespoons (6 oz) unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temp
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cup whole milk, room temp
Black Sesame Frosting:
- 1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter, room temp
- 4 oz cream cheese, room temp
- 2 Tablespoon black sesame paste*
- 2 Tablespoon black sesame flour (or powder)
- 2 ⅓ cup confectioners’ sugar
- pinch fine sea salt
Black Sesame Paste: (Makes enough for cake & frosting)
- ½ cup black sesame seeds
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- 10 large marshmallows, or more as needed
- orange food gel coloring, as needed
Black Sesame Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line three 6-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Lightly grease pans and set aside.
- Whisk together flour, black sesame flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter. Add sugar and mix until smooth. Scrape down bowl as needed. Add eggs, vanilla, and black sesame paste. Mix until incorporated.
- In three additions, alternate adding dry mixture and milk to batter. Mix on low speed. Scrape down bowl occasionally to make sure all ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Divide batter among prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes before unmolding. Place cake on wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature.
Black Sesame Frosting:
- In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add black sesame paste, black sesame flour, and powdered sugar. Mix on low speed. Scrape down bowl as needed to ensure thorough mixing.
Black Sesame Paste:
- Pulse black sesame seeds in a food processor. Process until almost all the seeds have been ground into a powder. Add honey and corn syrup. Continue to process until thick paste is achieved.
- Place marshmallows in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds until marshmallows have puffed. Stir until smooth and thick. (Mixture will be very HOT!) Add a few drops orange food gel coloring. Mix together and add additional coloring as desired.
- Use two forks to pull out about a tablespoon of marshmallow mixture. Stretch and pull into strands and gently drape over the top and sides of frosted cake.
- Black sesame flour (or powder) is available at Asian supermarkets. Big Asian supermarkets with nationwide locations include: 99 Ranch Market (Chinese), H Mart (Korean), and Seafood City (Filipino).
- The black sesame products are usually stocked along with the rice flours and tapioca starches. It may also be alongside teas and powdered drink mixes.
- Be careful when purchasing black sesame powder. Some versions are mixed with sugar, barley, or rice to make drinks or soups. Look for 100% black sesame in the ingredients list.