Recipes: Black Sesame & Orange Cake

Happy Solstice & Happy Holidays! I’m writing you from a room filled with aromas of molasses, orange and almond paste. We’ve been baking all day, a variety of holiday cookies…and this orange black sesame cake! Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Vince Guaraldi Trio and the Vienna boys choir have been our soundtrack in the kitchen. Though it’s been a challenging year for all, these simple moments with loved ones remind me how sweet life truly is.

As we wind down the year, I want to say thank you. If you’re reading this post, thank you. Thank you for spending a bit of time here on this little blog. If you’re cooking from my new book right now, thank you. This site has been a labor of true love through the years, a joyful place to share words and recipes, and bit of Ayurveda here and there. The book was a culmination of that rolled into one space. I am so happy to share both with you, and from my heart, I am truly grateful for you all of your support and readership through the years. Here’s to more in the new year ahead!

Now, this recipe for moist olive oil cake is one that was originally meant for Living Ayurveda’s winter recipe section. But in the final push to meet our word count, we had to cut a few recipes from the book—this being one of them. Yet no less worthy of your attention! This cake is light and crumbly, making this a great treat alongside a hot cup of tea on a cold day. It uses oat flour as the base for a gluten-free option, and coconut sugar for a low glycemic sweetener. (Note: Oat flour can easily be made at home by grinding rolled oats in a food processor or high-speed blender.) Orange zest gives it a vibrant flavor punch. And the black sesame not only a garnish for the eye, but a nutrient-packed seed great for blood-building and healthy hair. Here’s to sharing a little sweetness together at the end of a long year….



2 cups oat flour
1 cup coconut sugar
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 eggs (or 3 tablespoons ground flax in ½ cup water)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch springform cake pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix together with your hands or a whisk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Fold the wet into the dry and mix until well combined. Pour batter into the prepared cake pan. Place in the oven and cook for 30–35 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and pulling away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven. Brush cake with the marmalade glaze as the cake cools. Let glaze cool and set before serving. Serve warm with your favorite tea.

Marmalade Glaze
⅓ cup organic orange marmalade
1 teaspoon water

Stir marmalade and 1 teaspoon of water in small saucepan on medium heat until marmalade melts. Brush hot mixture over top of cake.


Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

Pitta: Reduce cinnamon to ¼ teaspoon
Kapha: Use flax meal instead of eggs


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3 responses to “Recipes: Black Sesame & Orange Cake”

  1. Shanti says:

    This cake is amazing! I’ve made it so many times already. I’ve been able to find organic blood orange marmalade for the glaze, and I’ve also made it with an organic mandarine marmalade, wonderful! So easy as well!

  2. Sajini Thomas says:

    I am allergic to oats as it is in the ragweed family, How could I make this with organic pastry flour or spelt> How would I adjust other quantities when the oats is substituted. I just had a recipe fail when I did this and wanted to verify, It looks so yummy,

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