Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

Black Sesame Cupcakes (Vegan)[Try the Gray Stuff It’s Delicious]

……don’t believe me, ask the dishes! They can sing, they can….okay somebody stop me before I sing the whole song.

I don’t expect a lot of you guys to know this, but black sesame is sort of a fad right now. I’ve tried to keep my curiosity at bay for a while, but I finally had to try it and see what all of the hype was about because I just didn’t get it.

I get it now, black sesame is the bomb you guys! I mean, you’d think it’s going to taste weird or gross, but then it doesn’t. It gives this depth of nutty-ishness (my new word of the day) that is so intriguing at first and then it just gets better and leaves you craving more. I may have started something dangerous by discovering it for myself.

The only drawback to using black sesame that I can think of at the moment is that it took me forever to grind the seeds, but that’s because my poor food processor is very well used and the blade’s getting dull. It took forever too, and you have to keep scraping it off the sides every five seconds. But trust me, it’s worth it. I’ve seen many recipes that call for blending it into a completely smooth paste but the closest I got personally was a grainy puree akin to wet sand. Hey, it worked and I actually kind of liked the graininess in the frosting.

What didn’t work though, was my genius plan to do a makeshift mini cupcake pan. I have a bunch of these awesome silicone molds and pans that are perfectly oven safe and I love them. I use them all the time, like everyday, and there was this star shaped one that I’ve had for a while but never used in the oven. Well, apparently it isn’t silicone……or rather, it wasn’t silicone. Nope, I’m pretty sure it was rubber. Regardless of what material, I totally melted it in the oven into what is now an unrecognizable blob. Ooops. The funny thing is that I wasn’t actually baking anything in it, I was just using it to prop up something else. I’d try to explain but it wouldn’t make sense unless you had seen it. Moral of this story, I clearly need to find myself an actual mini cupcake pan.

Anyway, yeah black sesame cupcakes. You have to try them because they’re amazing. I was trying to describe them to my little brothers and the first thing that popped in my head to tell them was that they are the cupcakes that anime characters would eat, assuming anime characters like cupcakes. I guess my head is in Japan this week or something. First the sushi on Tuesday, and now these lovelies. I think I’m just gonna go with it.

Black Sesame Cupcakes (Vegan)[Try the Gray Stuff It's Delicious]

These cupcakes are inspired by the classic tale as old as time and will be sure to surprise everyone by their unique flavors.

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 12 - 14 cupcakes


Black Sesame Paste:

  • 1/2 cup black sesame seeds
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons water


  • 1/2 cup 1 stick vegan "butter"
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream *see note
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup black sesame paste


  • 1/2 cup 1 stick vegan "butter"
  • 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • remaining black sesame paste about 3 tablespoons


Black Sesame Paste:

  1. Place the sesame seeds in a blender or food processor and blend for about 1 minute then scrape down the sides. Repeat last step, adding as much water as necessary to achieve a smooth-ish paste. (Mine was like wet sand when I got fed up and called it good.)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and beat sugar and "butter" together in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in coconut cream and milk until combined, then add baking powder, salt, vanilla, and 1/4 cup of your sesame paste. Mix in flour until batter is smooth.
  2. Divide batter into greased or paper lined cupcake pans and fill each cup all of the way full. Bake for 22 to 26 minutes (if using a mini pan cut the bake time in half) until toothpick comes out clean. Remove and cool completely before frosting.


  1. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, cream butter with 1 cup powdered sugar. Add sesame paste, vanilla, milk, and salt and mix until smooth. Add remaining powdered sugar a little at a time until incorporated. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute until light and fluffy.

Recipe Notes

If you have trouble finding coconut cream at your local grocery store it's completely fine to use full-fat coconut milk and scrape the cream off of the top. Just be sure that it's cold enough to separate.



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