This tahini cake is made with a raspberry filling and tahini frosting, then decorated with fun candy, sesame snacks, and fresh raspberries.
I get asked about cake decorating a lot. People stress out and struggle with it, using piping bags, piping tips, cake combs, and other pastry techniques is an important part of cake decorating. But I'm here to tell you that you don't have to stress out about decorating a cake and that you can make a pretty stunning cake without having to break out a cake decorating kit.
If you aren't experienced in the decorating department, you can still make a stunning dessert:
- top a layer cake with a pile of berries, nature's candy, as in this berry chocolate cake
- decorate with dried herbs and loose leaf tea, as in this Earl Grey cake
- use a stencil and some cookie crumbs, cocoa powder, or icing sugar to stencil on a pattern or message, like this spice cake
- top with homemade cookies as for this raspberry chocolate tart
- top with store-bought candy and cookies, just like for the cake presented here
I knew I wanted to pile meringues, marshmallows, and fun candies on the top of the cake. That's about all the decorating I can manage sometimes. That's the truth and that's okay!
To make a sesame flavoured cake and buttercream, incorporating tahini (sesame butter) is the way to go. Sesame and raspberries are a match made in heaven, so garnishing the tahini cake with fresh raspberries and using raspberry jam as the filling is the way to go.
Here are some of my favourite tools to make layer cake recipes like this one (Note As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases):
- Kitchen-Aid Artisan mixer (Amazon)
- Oxo whisk (Amazon)
- Wilton 6 inch cake pans (Amazon)
- Cooling rack (Amazon)
- Ateco mini offset spatula (Amazon)
- Cake tester (Amazon)
- Ateco turntable (Amazon)
To make this cake, I started with the best vanilla cake recipe which I flavoured with a little tahini (sesame butter) to make a sesame layer cake. I baked the layers in three 6-inch cake pans, so make sure to take the time to prepare the cake pans by greasing them, lining the bottom with parchment rounds, and flouring them to make sure you have an easy time unmoulding the cake layers.
How to store this cake
Given this sesame layer cake is made with fresh berries and buttercream, it's best to store it in the fridge. If you've cut into the cake, just cover the cut edges with pieces of parchment to prevent them from drying out. Place the cake in the fridge until the frosting is firm and cold, then cover the whole thing loosely with aluminum foil. You can store this cake for up to a week, or freeze slices for later. The berries will break down if you defrost this cake, so it's best stored in the fridge and eaten within a week.
For a detailed explanation, read about how to store cake.
Tahini cake with raspberries
Sesame cake ingredients
- 250 grams cake flour, 2 cups
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt
- 153 grams unsalted butter, ⅔ cup
- 60 grams tahini (sesame butter), ¼ cup, tahina
- 250 grams granulated sugar, 1 ¼ cups
- 3 large egg(s)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 188 mL whole milk (3.25 % fat), ¾ cup
Sesame filling ingredients
- 58 grams unsalted butter, ¼ cup, softened
- 120 grams tahini (sesame butter), ½ cup, tahina
- 84 grams icing sugar, ⅔ cup
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Sesame buttercream ingredients
- 100 grams granulated sugar, ½ cup
- 21 grams bleached all-purpose flour, ¼ cup
- 188 mL whole milk (3.25 % fat), ¾ cup
- 63 mL honey, ¼ cup
- 42 mL whipping cream (35 % fat), 3 tbsp
- 173 grams unsalted butter, ¾ cup, cut into pieces
- 1 pinch Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sesame filling
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Raspberry filling ingredients
- 63 mL raspberry jam, ¼ cup
- 1 tablespoon Chambord liqueur
- Fresh raspberries, lots
- Sesame snacks, (see notes)
To make the cake layers
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter, flour, and line with parchment three 6-inch cake pans (Wilton on Amazon)
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. This is my favourite whisk on Amazon.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (Amazon), cream the butter and the sesame butter. Beat in the sugar for several minutes until it is well blended, creamy, and light.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for several minutes between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl every so often. The mixture should be super light in colour and very fluffy.
- Add the vanilla.
- Add one third of the flour mixture, mix it in on low speed, then half the milk. Continue with half the remaining flour and the last of the milk. Scrape down the bowl sides and then mix in the last of the flour.
- Divide the mixture between the three pans, banging the pans to release any air pockets. Smooth the surfaces of the cakes with an offset spatula and bake them for about 28 minutes until the edges are golden and pulling away from the sides of the pan.
- Let the cakes cool 10 minutes before unmolding to cool completely on a wire rack (Amazon).
To make the sesame filling
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and the sesame butter. Beat in the icing sugar and mix until smooth and thick. Mix in the vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
To make the frosting
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and flour, then whisk in the honey, milk, and the cream.
- Heat the mixture on medium-high heat, whisking fairly often, especially when the mixture comes to a boil. I heated this mixture for about 11 or 12 minutes until it was super thick and gooey.
- Transfer the mixture into the bowl of a mixer, then beat the mixture to cool (this takes a long time) with the paddle attachment. I surrounded the bowl with a couple ice packs to cool it down faster.
- When you are sure the sweet mixture is completely cooled, add in the butter in dollops, while mixing on low, then when all the butter is added, increase the speed to medium-high and whip the frosting until it is light and fluffy.
- Finish the buttercream by beating in one tablespoon of sesame filling, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
To assemble and decorate the cake
- Level the cakes with a serrated knife, then place the first layer on a cake stand. Smooth on half the raspberry filling, then half the sesame filling. Stack on the second cake layer and repeat with the rest of the raspberry and sesame filling, then top with the final layer and frost the sides and top with the last of the frosting. You may want to just do a crumb coat, then chill for 30 minutes so the layers firm up before finishing to frost/decorate the cake.
- Decorate with meringues, marshmallows, sesame snacks, and lots and lots of candy!
- Makes one 6-inch layer cake
- Calories calculated based on one-twelfth of the cake+filling+frosting
- For the macaroons, check out these on Amazon
- For the sesame squares I used for garnish, I used Prana Sumsuma squares.
Filling and frosting adapted from Baked Elements, which is available on Amazon.
I LOVE the way you decorated this cake! The different toppings look so beautiful together!
What an adorable cake! <3 and I laughed when I read about your adventures of turning 35! haha I'm about to turn 39, and I gotta say, I pretty much feel the same as I approach 40. Expectations and reality are 2 very different things! lol
Fouzia Husainy says
The cake looks fabulous and yummilicious! I love the taste and flavour of sesame and I cannot wait to try it. Thanks for sharing.
Happy birthday! Such a pretty cake and a sweet video too. Thanks for the link to Stacy London's article - such a good read. I, too, do not want to be defined by my age; that's so limiting! And here I am having just turned 59. Where did that number come from?!
Happy belated birthday Janice! I love the idea of decorating a cake with candies and your video as well. I also read Stacy London's article and agree with Marlene, I do not want to be defined by my age. I just celebrated a birthday this week and wondered where did the time go?
I just received your calendar. Beautiful photos!
Bernice Hill says
haha awesome! Happy belated birthday Janice! I WISH I was 35 again...turning 42 tomorrow and I have even FEWER F%&Ks to give LOL.
I sure wish I had this cake to celebrate with...love anything with tahini in it!
Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) says
You're a baby! I love the way you celebrated your birthday with this fun cake! I'm all about the decorating, need to work on my layer cake making skills tho!