Black Sesame Muffins

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Breakfast for dessert? I think yes.

I’m pretty sure that black sesame is one of–if not is–the most commonly used flavor here on F2B. I’ve baked with it here, here, and now here in the form of muffins. Ah, muffins. Does anyone remember that really weird YouTube video from 2007??? My friends were obsessed with it and I’m pretty sure could still recite the names of each muffin from memory. Sorry, ok back to black sesame. I love it and everything about it. It adds such a nutty and toasty flavor that works well with sweet or savory dishes. I love to dump tablespoonfuls of it onto salmon before it heads into the oven. Just yesterday I even added some of the leftover powdered black sesame from this recipe to a loaf of sweet bread (up on the blog soon!!!). I think I’d enjoy it on anything. Well, I guess it’d be a little weird in something like champagne, but almost anything.


I’m so excited to be sharing this post with you guys in collaboration with June from Stir & Style! She’s a lawyer, real estate agent, tv personality, oh and she’s also a fashion & food blogger on the side because none of that is demanding enough on its own. I’m pretty sure this girl is superwoman and just hasn’t revealed her secret identity to me yet… Head over to Stir & Style to check out the outfit she paired with these muffins!


June was hoping to do something denim inspired, and we came up with several ideas before settling (or rather, stumbling) on black sesame muffins. There was talk of blueberry donuts, blueberry cupcakes, cookies decorated like jeans pockets, but none of the ideas seemed to fit with that dark and muted color of denim. Something kept drawing me back to the cupcakes idea, but how do you deal when blueberries always turn things dark purple when cooked? I also wanted to stay away from food coloring as much as possible. Basically it’s really hard to get the incredibly elusive color blue to appear in baking and we were stumped.

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I was looking through Pinterest, like always, and saw a photo of the most unusual ice cream color. It was this beautiful steel bluish gray, the perfect match to dark denim. I did a little digging around and figured out that the ice cream was simply black sesame flavored, but the photos were edited to give it that gray-blue tint. Since black sesame works in virtually any dish, I figured we could make some delicious nutty and toasty muffins. Plus, I’m not the kind of person to ever say no to black sesame either 🙂


Last weekend, June came over and we whipped up these gorgeous babies in under an hour (!), which gave us plenty of time for any meticulous shooting. I even got to take my new vintage (ha, is that an oxymoron?) muffin tin for a test drive. I’ll admit that when I first tried these muffins, I thought they could be sweeter. I had to reminded myself that these are muffins, not cupcakes, but if you love a sweeter muffin, then I would just add a few tablespoons more of sugar to the crumble! But the best part about them is they’re dense and moist from the brown sugar and black sesame paste. The first time around, I had to stop myself from eating all the cupcakes but managed to scarf down three before I remembered the front desk workers in my building would probably appreciate a plate of muffins.

Black Sesame Muffins

Adapted from How Sweet It Is
*Notes: If opening a can of black sesame paste for the first time, make sure to mix the oil and paste together. Too much oil or too much paste can alter the texture of the muffin. The muffins will expand in the oven, so you’ll need to use up all of the crumble and press it into the batter as much as possible.

6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1/8 cup black sesame seed paste
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup all purpose flour
4 tbsp (1/4 cup) butter, cold and cubed
3 tbsp powdered black sesame seeds
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners. Set aside.
2. Mix the flour, butter, sesame seeds, and sugar together with a fork or pastry cutter till pea size crumbs form. Do not over mix. Cover and keep in the refrigerator till ready to use.
3. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.
4. In another bowl, cream the softened butter, black sesame seed paste, and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and beat until well combined. Add in the vanilla extract and beat for another few seconds.
5. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix together on low speed until just about combined. Slowly drizzle in the milk and continue to stir until the batter is uniform. Use an ice cream scoop to evenly distribute the batter into the muffin cups. Remove the crumble from the refrigerator and sprinkle evenly over each muffin. Use up all the crumble and make sure to press it down completely so it sticks to the batter.
6. Bake for 18-22 minutes.


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About Courtney C.

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  • What unique muffins! I ought to try baking with black sesame sometime, it sounds interesting 🙂

  • OHMYGAWD black sesame is like, one of my ultimate favorite, favorite, FAVORITE dessert ingredients. Everybody’s flipping out about matcha, but honestly, black sesame is the srar! These muffins look all sorts of incredible!!!

    • YESSSS!!! Black Sesame is like matcha’s ugly step sister, except it’s so beautiful and amazing and just wants to be loved too!

  • i love black sesame anything. in mochi, in pastries, on top of oatmeal, whatever. definitely making these once i track down black sesame paste (do you think it’d be at a chinese grocery store?).

    • Yay for black sesame lovers!! You might be able to but a japanese grocery store would have it for sure!

  • OMG SHOES. shooeee shopppingg. Have you watched the shoes one?? WOW, that is seriously a blast in the past. I think we used to drive each other nuts imitating him. haha. But those muffins sound so delicious eeE! jells

    • Yes I remember!!! I read your comment exactly how it’s said in the video and started giggling hehe too funny!

  • Ok seriously?!! These photos just get better and better—that crumble shot ooomg. Totally obsessed with the shadowy blue tones! I always find black sesame to be more profound than white. I like to pair it with miso and matcha!!

    • Agreed!! Miso, matcha & black sesame are totally this amazing trifecta of asian spices 🙂

  • These muffins look so great, Courtney! I love the nice dome tops, and the black sesame is such an interesting ingredient. I don’t think I’ve ever used it in anything before, but now I’m intrigued so I must try! I also love the collaboration with June…great photos, and she’s beautiful!

    • Thank you, Beeta!! You must definitely try out black sesame 🙂 isn’t June so fabulous!!

  • I love love love sesame so much and you put them in muffins?! For breakfast?!!!!!! Oh dear lady, you’re such a genius!!!

    • Thank you, Anne!! You’re always too sweet 😀

  • This is a total mic drop moment. Black sesame muffins might be the best thing I’ve heard of/seen this year. YEAAHHHH GURL.

    • I will bake you 1000 black sesame muffins for a slice of guava chiffon!!!

  • I’ve never tried black sesame but I’m so intrigued! These muffins look so. awesome.!

  • Those photos are just gorgeous!!!
    And black sesame muffins? So creative! I’ve never used black sesame paste before, but now I know I have to try it!!

    • It’s so super awesome–esp if you love toasted and nutty flavors 🙂

  • OMGAH these are the prettiest denim muffins in all the land!!!!! Please, teach me how to use black sesame. I think I’ve only ever made one thing with black sesame, and I still have some leftover black sesame sugar! I am definitely giving serious consideration to sprinkling it over some salmon now! But for now let me just say that you are the muffin crumble queeeen! That point about needing to press in more crumble because they expand–total lightbulb moment for me! THANK YOU <3333

    • Aw man I’m so bummed this recipe has dairy in it :< but you can def throw it on some salmon tho!!! I love baking it with mayo, furikake & black sesame! Can you please teach me to make pancakes?? My pancake repertoire consists of one recipe for single serving blueberry pancakes lol

  • This is my dream muffin right here, Courtney!!! Dense, moist, and packed with black sesame = heaven. So so lovely (and such a fun collab!)