Black Sesame Crumb Cake

This decadent Black Sesame Crumb Cake is like no other.  The black sesame seeds add a subtle kick to the overall flavor.  The Crème Fraiche adds a delightful rich quality.  There is no shortage of crumb topping and I wouldn’t have it any other way!  It goes perfectly alongside a cup of tea, coffee or even a glass of wine.

Black Sesame Crumb Cake Valentine’s day is right around the corner, so I decided to create this decadent black sesame crumb cake as a special treat to celebrate the holiday of love.

Robby and I were married about 2 years ago on March 18th, 2015.  Something you may not know is that Robby and I both grew up in Santa Monica and met through mutual friends when we were teenagers.  He was in a punk rock band with my first boyfriend. At the time there were around ten of us that would hang out together and go to punk rock and reggae shows.

Black Sesame Crumb Cake After my first boyfriend and I broke up, I didn’t hang out with them anymore and ended up moving to Maui, then on to Oregon.  A few years later, Robby had moved to Boston.  Many years would pass until Robby and I would see each other again.  In 2007 I moved back to Venice and a year later Robby moved back as well.  We hadn’t seen each other since we were teenagers yet it seemed like no time had passed.  You can read about how we ended up together in this post.

Black Sesame Crumb Cake Of course, there were a lot of things that we originally didn’t know about each other and have discovered since we have been reconnected.  One of the things we discovered was that we both went to the same elementary school and that we were both obsessed with Hostess crumb cakes, so I thought I would come up a healthier version that we could both enjoy for Valentine’s day.   I replaced white cane sugar with coconut sugar due to Robby’s cane sugar allergy and I used wheat free flours because of my wheat allergy.  It was a tough recipe to nail down but I finally did it!

Black Sesame Crumb Cake Five attempts later, I had my recipe dialed in and it turned out phenomenal and quite addicting.  My favorite way to serve this crumb cake is with cream but it is also insane with ice cream or whipped cream.

Black Sesame Crumb Cake Black Sesame Crumb Cake Recipe:

8 to 12 servings

Crumb Topping
  • 1 1/4 Cups Coconut Sugar – packed
  • 3/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) Butter
  • 3/4 Cup Millet Flour
  • 3/4 Cup White Rice Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Oat Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Ground Black Sesame Seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
Dry Ingredients
  • 3/4 Cup White Rice Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Oat Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Millet Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Ground Black Sesame Seeds
  • 1/4 Cup Tapioca Flour
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
Wet Ingredients
  • 2 Chia Eggs – 2 tablespoons ground chia seeds whisked with 5 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 Cup (1 1/2 sticks) Butter – room temperature
  • 1 1/3 Cups Coconut Sugar
  • 4oz. (1/2 Cup) Creme Fraiche
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
To start

Grease your 9 1/2 inch springform pan with butter then line with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sesame Seeds/Chia Seeds
Add the seeds to the bowl of a food processor or coffee grinder. Pulse the seeds in a food processor until finely ground.  Set aside.  Do the same with the chia seeds.
Crumb Topping

in a small sauce-pan, melt the butter on medium-low.  While butter is melting, in a medium bowl, mix together the flours, sugar, sesame seeds,  and salt.  When the butter is melted add it to the flour and toss with a fork until moist clumps form. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add the flours, sesame powder, tapioca flour, baking soda and salt.  Whisk together really well.  Set aside.
  In a small bowl, add the 5 tablespoons of water and quickly whisk in the 2 tablespoons of ground chia seeds until it becomes gelatinous and then set aside.
In a food processor, cream the butter and sugar together well and then add the apple cider vinegar and vanilla.  Add the chia egg to the butter and pulse until just incorporated.  Next, add the creme fraiche and mix in.  Add the flour in two stages and roughly mix then dump into the large bowl that the flour was in and mix with a wooden spoon or your hands.
Add half of the cake batter into the prepared springform pan and spread evenly.  Sprinkle 1/3 of the crumb topping evenly on top of the batter then plop spoonfuls of batter around the top of the crumbs and very carefully spread the batter over the crumbs.  You need a little bit of patience but don’t worry it will come together.
Put the cake onto a cookie sheet and place into the preheated oven on the middle rack in the middle of the oven.  Bake for 60 minutes.  Carefully remove from oven and place on a cooling rack for at least 1 hour but it is best to let it cool completely. The cake will still be cooking as it cools.

Black Sesame Crumb Cake

Spicy Mexican Style Potato Hash

This Mexican style potato hash is an extremely satisfying dish full of texture and spice.  It has a wonderful element of freshness from the fresh cilantro, jalapeno, chives, tomato and avocado.  It is also great when it is spread out in a Pyrex dish and topped with jack cheese and put under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and melted.

Mexican Style Potato Hash

My mom and I went backpacking in Nepal many years ago on a trek in the Himalayan Mountains.  We started at Pokhara Valley and trekked halfway around Annapurna and back again.  I could barely walk after the first three days of the seven-day journey.  So we decided to stay a couple nights in an incredible little village that had lots of water buffalo roaming around.  There were these Sherpa who would trek from this tiny village down to the Pokhara Valley to get supplies for the villagers as well as for travelers like ourselves.  They made this journey on foot and by on foot, I mean barefoot or in flip-flops.  They had these giant baskets on their backs that were secured by a strap across their foreheads.  Some of these baskets would be filled with beer and soda in glass bottles!


 The man who ran the place where we stayed at had opened a beer that had been recently brought up by a Sherpa and half the beer erupted out because of the continued shaking during its long voyage.  After seeing that I said, “oh hell no, that will not happen to me, I will not loose a single drop”.  Needless to say, he did not believe it was possible.  I took a bottle opener and tapped the cap for a couple of minutes, then I took the opener and barely lifted the cap just enough to let out some of the pressure.  I tapped on the cap a bunch more times, lifted the cap up a little more and continued doing this until the cap was off and not a drop of beer came out.  The man was in utter shock and said he had been losing half his beer for as long as he could remember.  He couldn’t stop thanking me.  That made my day!  I’m sure he passed this knowledge on.


This recipe is perfect with a nice cold Mexican beer.  Well, maybe not for breakfast, ha ha!


Mexican Style Potato Hash Recipe:

3 – 6 Servings

  • 2 1/2 Pounds Potatoes medium high heat
  • 2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
  • 1 Poblano – roasted – de-seeded – de-stemmed – diced
  • 1 Medium Red Bell Pepper – diced
  • 1 Jalapeno – minced – optional
  • 1 Cob of Corn – cut off the cob or 1/2 Cup Frozen Corn – thawed
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Large White Onion – diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves – minced
  • 2 Teaspoon Ancho Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1/2 Cup Green Onion – thinly sliced
  • 1 Cup Cilantro Leaves – roughly
  • chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno – thinly sliced – optional
  • 1 Cup Tomato – wedges or diced
  • 1 – 2 Avocados – thinly sliced or diced

*If you aren’t vegan you can add some jack cheese.

Salsa of your choice. Here are a few I like to serve it with.
Roasted Peppers

Roast the peppers on the stovetop on medium high heat.  A gas stove works the best but it will work fine on an electric stove. Char the peppers on all sides turning with a pair of tongs.  When good and charred, steam them for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut to hold in the steam.

Take a paper towel and rub off the char.  It’s ok to leave a little of the char.  Slice in half and remove the seeds and stems.

 Place the potatoes chunks into a large bowl filled with water.  Set aside

Add the red pepper, jalapeno and fresh cut corn to a covered bowl and refrigerate.

In another covered bowl, add the cilantro, green onions and jalapeno and refrigerate.


 Add the onions to a saute pan with olive oil and saute on medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno then continue cooking for an additional 5 – 7 minutes or until the garlic starts to become golden.  Stir in the red pepper, poblano and corn.  Cook for a couple additional minutes and take off the heat.  Set aside.

Put the potatoes in a 5 quart pot covered with water, and add the vinegar.  Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium low and continue to cook for about 8 minutes.  You want them to be soft but still a little firm.  Strain.  In a large skillet add the olive oil and turn the heat to medium high heat.  When the oil becomes hot, add the potatoes.  Let them brown a little before stirring.  Add the ancho powder, paprika and salt; then continue to stir and cook until they are golden brown.  Add the onion mix, stir well and continue to cook for a couple minutes until the entire mixture is hot.

Serve with a wedge of lime, tomatoes, avocado and the cilantro mix.


Health benefits:

Yellow Potatoes – Yukon gold’s content of potassium is higher than many foods and can help reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke. They have twice the amount of vitamin C as a Russet, which helps protects your cells from free-radical damage. Yukon’s are rich in B6 and antioxidant properties. It has a bit of Iron but the C helps the body absorb it. They contain fiber that helps reduces cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar, helps prevent constipation and aids in weight loss.

Bell Peppers are extremely high in vitamin A, which helps to support healthy eyesight especially night vision.  It is also very high in vitamin C, which is really important for the skin.  They have a good source of the antioxidant mineral manganese and B-complex and vitamin E.  They help reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol, helps controls diabetes and helps reduce pain.  They are a good source of fiber, folate, vitamin K, molybdenum and manganese.  Red peppers are one of the veggies highest in lycopene and have been successfully tested in the prevention of many cancers.  Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant, giving many fruits and vegetables their color, especially tomatoes, that are great for the prevention of cancers in the bladder, prostate, cervix and pancreas.

Poblano Peppers are extremely high in vitamin C; just one pepper has 95% of your daily value.  They are great for your immune system and help to reduce inflammation like in arthritis and asthma.  They are also helpful with the increase of oxygen helping the body to burn more calories 20 minutes after eating peppers.  They are full of vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium.