Black Sesame Pumpkin Mochi Cake


Black Sesame Pumpkin Mochi Cake

To celebrate Halloween (aka pumpkin month) and getting the keys to our new house, I baked up two trays of this black sesame pumpkin mochi cake. Last Wednesday, we chowed on take-out and this mochi cake on folding chairs in our new (empty) house with our good friends Dane & Angi. We’ll have a new address just in time for the next batch of trick-or-treaters.

My aunt just posted this picture from Halloween 1995 to Facebook – that’s me in the middle and my cooky partner-in-crime, Kira, on the left.

Sarah Kira Halloween

You’d think Kira and I were dressed as Tweedledee and Tweedledum, right? Nope! My mom recalls that we rode our bikes to Goodwill and put these masterpieces together ourselves (can you tell?)…

Twin Female Grandpa Nerds. OBVIOUSLY. And surely we corrected people when they misidentified our too-creative-for-your-average-joe costumes. This just barely beats the year I went as Fred Flintstone. (Just putting it out there that Tim Burton’s Tweedles did wear brown trouser pants – eerily derivative of our costumes 20 years earlier…coincidence?).

Black Sesame Pumpkin Mochi CakeBlack Sesame Pumpkin Mochi Cake

Ten days until Halloween and we still don’t have clear costume plans this year. Lucas’s company is throwing a Tim Burton Halloween party, so we’re trying to fit within the theme – pregnant-belly style. Leading the list right now is James and the Giant Peach. My belly as the giant peach, embracing the rotundness of my waistline.

What are y’all dressing up as (or dressing your children up as?)?

Black Sesame Pumpkin Mochi CakeBlack Sesame Pumpkin Mochi Cake

Just in time to create your own Halloween menu, I’ve joined forced with a ton of outrageously talented bloggers for a virtual pumpkin par-tay! An onslaught of pumpkin coming atchu. I’m bringing this pumpkin mochi cake to the fest.

Gooey chewy orange cake studded with black dots – this cake is Halloween-ready. Pumpkin and black sesame make an unlikely but hard-to-resist pairing of slightly sweet and nutty. Not to mention the texture. I’m addicted to the incredibly chewy and moist mochi center with its cake-y crust on top. I easily hoarded an entire batch all to myself.

Black Sesame Pumpkin Mochi Cake

Black Sesame Pumpkin Mochi Cake
Yields: 16 mochi squares
  • 2 cups sifted sweet rice flour (256g)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons pumpkin purée
  • ¾ cup full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I use Rodelle Organics)
  • 2½ - 3 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, for dusting
  1. Butter an 8x8 baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper, folding the paper over the edges, and lightly butter the parchment paper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sweet rice flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a separate bowl with a hand mixer or hand whisk, mix together the pumpkin purée, coconut milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla until completely smooth.
  5. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and beat vigorously until completely smooth.
  6. Fold in the black sesame seeds and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake in on the middle rack of the oven for 75-80 minutes, until the top has developed a slight crust and the mochi is completely set and bounces back when touched.
  8. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before using the parchment paper to transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, at least 25 minutes. Cut into 16 squares. (It’s easiest to cut when cooled, using a knife buttered and dusted with sweet rice flour or potato starch).
  9. Dust the top of the mochi squares with powdered sugar. Store for up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature (the longer they sit, the softer the top crust will get and the powdered sugar might need to be reapplied before serving).

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Black Sesame Pumpkin Mochi Cake

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  1. This is so cool!!! And seriously creative. Love the black sesame speckles too (and that photo is spectacular –> my mom just sent me a picture of myself dressed as a punk when I’m 2 years old and I absolutely plan on sharing it on Halloween).

    • Gabrielle says:

      Yum! I made this last year around this time and it was a total hit. The amount of sweet rice powder says 9 ounces (2 cups) – should this read 1.125 cups . 2 cups = 16 ounces

      I’m getting ready to make this tonight!

  2. Oh my gosh, it seems delicious!! I should try to convert your recipe to make the cake vegan ^_^

  3. That was exactly what I was thinking, Twin Female Grandpa Nerds, you nailed it! Hahah! You definitely have my vote for James and the Giant Peach that is hysterical! I have only had mochi covered ice cream. I am so intrigued by this recipe! I’m so happy Sara organized this pumpkin bash. I had so much fun coming up with my recipe and now seeing everyone else’s!

  4. Ohhh those Halloween pictures from childhood are just GOLD, right?! I’m actually not super into Halloween, but any holiday that is centered around food/candy is a win in my book. Happy pumpkin party, this looks divine!

  5. Rachel says:

    Oh man, this looks so good! I have to honest – I have never ventured into the world of mochi, but this has gotten me super interested in trying a recipe or two. And your photos are beautiful!

  6. I LOVE how dense and gooey these look!!!

  7. Happy Pumpkin Party, girl!! I LOVE the James and the Giant Peach idea for your Halloween costume! Hope to see pictures post-Halloween :D

  8. This mochi cake sounds and looks incredible!!!! I’m loving the Twin Female Grandpa Nerds, hysterical!!

  9. Omg YES! This cake is everything I hoped and dreamed it might be when I first read its name, Sarah. The Twin Female Grandpa Nerds are just a happy bonus. I cannot wait to try this!

  10. I’m so fascinated with mochi cake and still have never tried it. It looks really delicious, and possibly addictive? James and the Giant Peach is a super cute costume idea! I’m not at all creative when it comes to Halloween (we keep on saying that we’ll start trying once we have kids) but I love seeing what other people come up with. Definitely hoping you post a picture of you guys this Halloween! xo

  11. This is like some kind of trick or treat magic! You brilliant beautiful thing! Loving everything about this cake! Happy pumpkin party day!

  12. suki says:

    i do love mochi so much, but i’ve never even tried to make it myself. this looks delish!

  13. Katrina says:

    Such a neat idea! This sounds awesome!

  14. Erica says:

    Haha those costumes are fantastic! And this mochi cake, oh my gosh. I’ve been trying to put squash in a mochi cake and it was such a major fail, but now I’ve got some guidelines with your recipe! It looks soooo good.
    Your blog is beautiful! I’m so happy that Sara hosted this, I get to meet great blogs and bloggers!

  15. cynthia says:

    I love this, Sarah! It looks so perfectly chewy, dense, and full of pumpkin and black sesame flavor — pretty much heaven.

  16. This cake looks CRAZY delicious! I can tell just from the photos that I would love the texture. I must make this :) Happy Pumpkin Day!!

  17. Edlyn says:

    So happy to have come across this post and your amazing Goodwill Twin Grandpa Nerds costume. Lol

    I really did “lol”.

    I’ve been clicking on pumpkin posts from today based on what sounds the best. Yours definitely is tops. I’ve never made mochi so I’m stoked to have this handy recipe for when the time comes. Love the photos too.

  18. Tieghan says:

    Lovin these!! So creative and delish! :)

  19. Oh my god that old Halloween pic is priceless! Pretty sure I went as something similar one year in middle school. I’ve never had mochi but this cake sounds sooo cool! And I love your photos, too. Thanks for joining in on this pumpkin cray-crayness!

  20. First off, that photos from 1995 is amazing! Second, this mochi cake also sounds amazing!

  21. Sarah these are beautiful!! Such an interesting slice/cake (actually on first view I thought it might be passionfruit with the yellow/orange and black seeds, but pumpkin with black sesame is more seasonal!). Gorgeous photos and I love that you used coconut milk in them too :)

  22. What a cool cake! The mochi texture looks interesting, I’d love to try a bite of this :) And of course I’m game for pumpkin anything :D

  23. Twin Female Grandpa Nerds! Of course!! That is hilarious. What fun to have a new batch of trick-or-treaters this year!

    I have never had any type of mochi cake but this looks totally addictive. And gorgeous!!

  24. Cindy says:

    Those costumes are hilarious! I am so intrigued by the contrasting textures in this cake and I love black sesame things! We are dressing Casper as Totoro, his costume is enormous but I figure he can wear it for a while. One of his first words was Totoro (Toto) so it seemed fitting.

  25. Alanna says:

    Can I marry this mochi cake?! It is seriously SOOO good and the pics are just stunning. <3

  26. Lucky, lucky lady. I am so jealous that you moved into your new home. The Mr. and I are still in limbo, living in temporary housing waiting for the developer to complete our supposedly new house. It’s a historical building so they are waaaaaaay behind schedule with no end in site.

    But enough about my housing woes. . .How insanely gorgeous is this mocha cake? It looks so divinely gooey. . .and those black polka dots (ala sesame seeds) are smashing.

  27. Dori says:

    Wow, these black sesame pumpkin mochi cakes looks amazing. Such a fresh new take on mochi. Your costumes are adorable. Brings back memories of all those crazy Halloween costumes I use to come up with too.

  28. Ambar says:

    Sweet & Nutty? count me in! I am totally going to be french fries this year lol. Weird i know.

  29. Carla says:

    I’m going to make a really pretty little box that says CARLA on it and then I’m going to leave it in your house and then you can just leave me bites of everything you cook, ok? That sounds good to you too, right?

  30. Ah, I literally LOL’d at your description of your old Halloween costume–too good! And man, this cake looks amazing. I am obsessed with mochi and pumpkin so I am all over this!

  31. isabelle says:

    Best cake ever. I love mochi since we visted Japan 2 years ago. My husband wasn´t a big fan of the mochi texture. But this cake is crunchy outside and chewey inside…. We felt both in love for this cake. My husband said: “Why did we ever aet something else!?”
    Thank you.

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