Sweet sesame layer cake with raspberries

Sesame raspberry layer cake with candy decorations
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Sweet sesame layer cake with raspberries - this is a layer cake recipe flavoured with sesame butter (tahini), raspberries, and a little honey. Makes a beautiful birthday cake for adults.

I turned 35 last month and, you know what? Nothing changed. Thirty five is a big number, and I must say that in the years leading up to the big day, I had high expectations of what 35 would be, what my 30s would look like… This is one of those situations where expectations and reality don’t quite jive. The 35 year old I am is not the 35 year old I expected to be.

Cake decorating essentials - you can use candy and sweet snacks to decorate a layer cake. This is much easier than piping to decorate a cake.


At 35, I feel like I have mellowed, at least somewhat. All things seem significantly less dramatic. I went bathing suit shopping the other day, having gained a good 5 or 10 pounds since the last time I bought a swimsuit (a combination of one too many layer cakes and aging), and I couldn’t care less what I looked like tucked into a sporty bikini. The suit will do the job of covering my private bits and keeping it all together. It is what it is. To paraphrase Stacy London, I find that at the age of 35, I have fewer f**ks to give, so to speak. The highs and the lows aren’t as far apart as they used to be. I float along somewhere in the middle with a take it or leave it attitude.

Sweet sesame layer cake with raspberries - this is a layer cake recipe flavoured with sesame butter (tahini), raspberries, and a little honey. Makes a beautiful birthday cake for adults.

I say that I’ve mellowed but I also stressed over what layer cake to make to celebrate 35 because 35 is such a big, important number (or so I thought). I took an entire month to come up with a plan and make this cake. And when I was shopping for this cake, I still wasn’t entirely sure where I was going with it. 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. Truth. But even when I was shopping for the ingredients and making the components of this cake, I changed the plan a few times. I wanted sesame because I’m in love with tahina (you probably call it tahini or sesame butter). I was thinking I’d go with some citrus, maybe orange, but in the end, I opted for sesame+raspberry. It made sense in my head. In this case, again, expectations and reality didn’t quite jive, but unlike turning 35, the reality was above and beyond what I had expected. Fresh tart raspberries combined with sweet nutty sesame flavours are a match made in heaven. I piled on the raspberries with every slice of cake I ate, not because the cake didn’t taste great without them, but the cake tasted even better with them. And because I’m now most certainly an adult at the age of 35, I decided the raspberries were my vegetable for the day. Because I’m 35 and I can do whatever I want. Cake for dinner. Raspberries are vegetables. Hearts everywhere.

Sweet sesame layer cake with raspberries


And since we are celebrating, I made a video! I hope you like it!


Here are some of my favourite tools to make layer cake recipes like this one:

 Sesame layer cake with raspberries recipe

Sweet sesame layer cake with raspberries - this is a layer cake recipe flavoured with sesame butter (tahini), raspberries, and a little honey. Makes a beautiful birthday cake for adults.
4.5 from 2 votes

Sweet sesame layer cake with raspberries

This gorgeous birthday cake is flavoured with sesame and raspberries. The cake layers, filling, and frosting are made with sesame butter (tahini) for a sweet, very nutty flavour, which is the perfect pairing for tart raspberries

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 28 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 13 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Calories 653 kcal
Author Janice


Sesame cake ingredients

  • 250 grams pastry flour 2 cups
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 153 grams unsalted butter 2/3 cup
  • 60 grams sesame butter 1/4 cup, tahina
  • 250 grams granulated sugar 1 1/4 cups
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 188 mL 3.25% milk 3/4 cup

Sesame filling ingredients

  • 58 grams unsalted butter 1/4 cup, softened
  • 120 grams sesame butter 1/2 cup, tahina
  • 84 grams icing sugar 2/3 cup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Sesame buttercream ingredients

  • 100 grams granulated sugar 1/2 cup
  • 21 grams all purpose flour 1/4 cup
  • 188 mL 3.25% milk 3/4 cup
  • 63 mL honey 1/4 cup
  • 42 mL 35% whipping cream 3 tbsp
  • 173 grams unsalted butter 3/4 cup, cut into pieces
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp sesame filling
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Raspberry filling ingredients

  • 63 mL good quality raspberry jam 1/4 cup
  • 1 tbsp Chambord liqueur


  • Fresh raspberries lots
  • Macaroons
  • Meringues
  • Marshmallows
  • Sesame snacks like Sumsuma squares from <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank>Prana</a> on <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Amazon</a>
  • Candy!


To make the cake layers

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter, flour, and line with parchment three 6-inch cake pans (Wilton on Amazon)

  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. This is my favourite whisk on Amazon.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.
  5. Add the vanilla.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Let the cakes cool 10 minutes before unmolding to cool completely on a wire rack (Amazon).

To make the sesame filling

  1. 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

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and flour, then whisk in the honey, milk, and the cream.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Finish the buttercream by beating in one tablespoon of sesame filling, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.

To assemble and decorate the cake

  1. 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.
  2. Decorate with meringues, marshmallows, sesame snacks, and lots and lots of candy!

Recipe Notes

  • 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

Filling and frosting adapted from Baked Elements, which is available on Amazon.

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7 Responses to Sweet sesame layer cake with raspberries

  1. Charlotte February 10, 2017 at 8:19 am #

    I LOVE the way you decorated this cake! The different toppings look so beautiful together!

  2. Eyecandypopper February 10, 2017 at 9:16 am #

    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

  3. Fouzia Husainy February 10, 2017 at 9:49 am #

    The cake looks fabulous and yummilicious! I love the taste and flavour of sesame and I cannot wait to try it. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Marlene February 10, 2017 at 12:03 pm #

    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?!

  5. Liliana February 10, 2017 at 3:09 pm #

    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!

  6. Bernice Hill February 10, 2017 at 6:38 pm #

    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!

  7. Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) February 11, 2017 at 9:01 pm #

    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!

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