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

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sesame Soba Noodle Soup

This Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sesame Soba Noodle Soup is bursting with flavor!  The combination of the roasted peppers and sesame is out of this world good!  The shiitake mushrooms add an earthy quality and all the herbs and vegetables give it a freshness and crunch.  And the soba noodles tie it all together.  It’s a fun and entertaining meal to enjoy with a few friends!
 While making this soup I started to think about the kitchen gadgets I adore and use all the time.  Seriously, I couldn’t live without my Cuisinart food processor which I use almost daily or my 600 watts All clad immersion blender.  I love my immersion blender because it is stainless steel, has turbo action with adjustable settings and did I mention it’s 600 watts?  Most are only 200 watts.  Last but not least, my beautiful 5 1/2 quart green enamel Le Creuset Dutch oven.

Then, I started to think about what would I have in my dream kitchen.  There are a few things that I would love to have but most of all, I would love a high quality 6-burner gas range.  I’m in love with so many from BlueStar, like this one or this one.  We currently have an electric range, which I don’t want to say I hate because it’s what I have now and I am grateful but come on, who doesn’t want a gas range?  I became a little spoiled at our prior house because it had a beautiful gas range.  It was almost like I had to learn to cook all over again when we moved to our current house.  Ok, I know that’s a little dramatic, but it really is totally different.  Electric stoves take so long to heat up and when you add veggies or pasta to boiling water the water stops boiling and takes the time to come back to a boil.  That doesn’t happen with a gas range so you are less likely to lose nutrients to the water while cooking.  A range with open burners is awesome because there are no hotspots on your pans which happens to me all the time and I am constantly having to turn my pans.  What would you like in your dream kitchen?

*This is not a paid advertisement and the opinions expressed here are my own.


I enjoyed this soup with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc but it would also go great with a Riesling, Pinot Gris or a nice Sake.

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sesame Soba Noodle Soup

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sesame Soba Noodle Soup
Recipe: 2 to 4 servings
  •  4 Red Bell Peppers – roasted – deseeded – destemmed – pureed
  • 1/2 White Onion
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 4 Cups Filtered Water
  • 1/2 Cup + 3 Tablespoons Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Rice Vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup Tamari Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ginger – peeled – microplaned
  • 1 – 2 Serrano Chilis – optional
Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Shallots – about 1 tablespoon – minced
  • 1 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 2 Cups Shiitake – thinly sliced
 The Rest – You can add or subtract any vegetable you want.
  • 1 Cup Basil – whole or roughly chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Cilantro – whole or roughly chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Green Onion – thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Red Cabbage – minced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper – cut into thin strips
  • Scallion Micro Sprouts – or your choice
  • Black Sesame Seeds
  • Lime Wedges
  • 1 Package Soba Noodles
 Other garnish ideas
  • Radish
  • Carrots
  • Avocado
 Roasted pepper sesame sauce
 Roast peppers on the stovetop at medium-high heat.  A gas stove is best but it will also work on electric.

Char peppers on all sides turning with tongs.  When good and charred, steam for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut so the steam won’t escape.

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.  Cut the peppers into smaller pieces and mix with toasted sesame oil, brown rice vinegar, tamari sauce, sea salt, Serrano chilis and ginger and puree with an immersion blender or a food processor. Set aside.

Add the onions to a large pot or Dutch oven with the olive oil and saute on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, add the garlic and continue cooking for 5 – 7 more minutes until the garlic starts to brown.  Add the white wine and cook until wine is reduced and syrupy.  Add the sauce to the onions and blend with an immersion blender or dump everything in batches into a food processor and puree all together.  Set aside

Broth – Mushrooms
 Wash and cut the stems off the mushrooms and set aside in a bowl.

Put the 4 cups of water and mushroom stems in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

While stem broth is cooking, thinly slice mushroom tops and set aside in a bowl.

When stem broth is done, remove from heat and strain into red pepper sauce.  Discard stems. Set aside until you start the noodles.

Next mince shallots, add to a sauté pan on medium heat, saute with 2 tablespoons of sesame oil until soft and golden.  Make sure to stir frequently.  (about 6 – 8 minutes)

Add mushrooms and sprinkle lightly with salt, stir until moisture is gone. (about 15 to 20 minutes) Make sure to stir

Add the minced garlic to the mushrooms in about 10 minutes after mushrooms are halfway cooked.


While mushrooms are cooking prep the green onions, cabbage, bell pepper, basil, cilantro.

Noodles and Serving
 Heat up the red pepper broth on medium heat and cook the soba noodle according to package instructions.  Place the noodles into 4 bowls top with veggies of your choice and with the red pepper broth.
Serve with cilantro, basil, sesame seeds and a lime wedge.
Health Benefits:

Red Bell Peppers are matured green bell peppers and have more nutrition as they mature.  They are super high in vitamin A which helps to support healthy eyesight, especially night vision and are extremely high in vitamin C, so much so they have twice as much as an orange which makes it really good for the skin.  Red peppers are one of the highest veggies in lycopene, and have been successfully tested in the prevention of many cancers.  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 also a good source of fiber, folate, vitamin K, molybdenum and manganese.

Veggie Ribbon Salad with Sesame Tangerine Vinaigrette

This salad has it all, flavor, crispy, crunchy, refreshing and full of sesame goodness.


 I love a salad with a good sesame dressing and this one is great for so many reasons.  It is great on its own but if you make the whole vinaigrette recipe you can add this salad to a plate of mixed greens, kale that has been massaged with a little oil, top it on some wild or steamed rice and whatever else sounds good.


 I enjoyed it with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc but it would also be good with a crisp cold sake or even a Riesling.  And if you’re into reds try a nice Beaujolais.  For a beer I like a Asahi Super Dry.


Recipe: 2 – 4 Servings

  • 1/2 Recipe Sesame Tangerine Vinaigrette ( I like to make the whole recipe incase I add this salad to anything else)
  • 2 Cucumbers
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 Cup Radishes (about 8 – 12 depending on how big they are)
  • 1/2 Cup Purple Cabbage – minced
  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro Leaves
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Basil – minced
  • 1 Avocado
  • Black Sesame Seeds to taste
  • Roasted Almonds (optional)


Start by making the vinaigrette. (you can do this the day before if you want)

Cut off the ends off the cucumbers and then with a peeler or a mandoline slice the cucumbers  length wise into thin strips. (you can cut them however you want really)

Put the cucumber slices on a piece of paper towel and to remove excess water.

Slice the carrots like the cucumber and add to a large bowl.

Wash the radishes then slice them fairly thin and then stack them on each other and cut them into thin match sticks and add to the carrots.

Mince the cabbage, cilantro and basil then measure and add to bowl.

Add the cucumbers.

Slice the avocado into bite size piece and mix everything in a bowl and add the desired amount of dressing.

Sprinkle each plate with the sesame seeds.

*A great addition is roasted almonds – bake for 18 minutes on the middle shelf on 350 degrees.

Health Benefits:

Cucumber are a good source of A and B vitamins that gives you energy and the skin benefits from the really high content of vitamin C which ironically is primarily in the skin of the cucumber. They help eliminate toxins and keep you hydrated with the water content, which is 95% and the dietary fiber aids the digestion and helps with heartburn.  They are known to dissolve kidney stones by lowering uric acid levels.  There is research in connection with reducing the risk of several cancers due to 3 lignin’s it contains. The juice is beneficial to diabetics due to a hormone it contains that help the cells of the pancreas produce insulin. Cucumbers help reduce cholesterol levels and regulating blood pressure so its great for both low blood pressure and high blood pressure.  It is an excellent source of silica, magnesium, and potassium that help promotes joint health by strengthening the connective tissues and is great for you skin, hair and nails.

Carrots contain beta-carotene that is then converted into vitamin A in your liver and helps restore vision. They lower the risk of coronary heart disease and are high in antioxidants that help in cancer prevention. They may also help with blood sugar regulation, delay the effects of aging, and improve the immune system.

Tangerines are a type of mandarin orange. They are a valuable source of flavonoid anti-oxidants that are several times higher than oranges, but have even more vitamin A and iron. The vitamin A in them helps with immune function, vision and reproductive health. As with all citrus they are still very rich in vitamin C that stimulates the production of collagen and helps keeps your skin supple as well as stimulating cell generation in the body. Antioxidants are found in high concentrations in the rind of tangerines, which fighting off free radicals keeping the body’s cells healthy while purifying the blood and remove toxins.  They contain natural soluble and insoluble fiber that improves digestion and restrict the absorption of cholesterol in the gut, which helps cut the risk of obesity and reduce inflammation. Tangerine fruit has been used effectively against skin diseases and arthritis. They also help to absorb iron from food in to the body and contain a good amount of Folate and Potassium.