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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 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.
Sweet sesame layer cake with raspberries
Sesame cake ingredients
Sesame filling ingredients
Sesame buttercream ingredients
- 100 grams granulated sugar 1/2 cup
- 21 grams all purpose flour 1/4 cup
- 188 mL whole milk (3.25 % fat) 3/4 cup
- 63 mL honey 1/4 cup
- 42 mL whipping cream (35 % fat) 3 tbsp
- 173 grams unsalted butter 3/4 cup, cut into pieces
- 1 pinch Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt
- 1 tbsp sesame filling
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Raspberry filling ingredients
- 63 mL good quality raspberry jam 1/4 cup
- 1 tbsp 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!
Filling and frosting adapted from Baked Elements, which is available on Amazon.
Janice Lawandi is chemist-turned-baker, working as a recipe developer in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She studied pastry at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa and cooking at l’Académie Culinaire. She has a BSc in Biochemistry from Concordia University and a PhD in Chemistry from McGill University. Visit janicelawandi.com to see my portfolio.