An almost no bake, simple & easy black sesame cheesecake that's fluffy and lightly sweetened with a toffee-like crust. A perfect treat for afternoon tea!
Before we start, let's talk about cheesecake. This recipe is not your typical decadent New York-style cheesecake, in fact, it's the opposite - it's soft, fluffy, lightly sweetened and has crazy nutty flavors from the roasted black sesame and the toffee-like crust. I adapted this recipe from my mother-in-law's cherry cheesecake - which is to die for but that will be another recipe in the near future. 🙂
I know I always say I am not much of a baker, but there's a little baking in this but you know what? That 10 minutes of baking is SO WORTH IT. I'd barely even call that baking, it's more like toasting! There's something about browning the crust that makes it almost taste toffee-like. (Like a Skor bar!) I seriously think the crust is the best part but I'll let you be the judge.
INGREDIENTS FOR BLACK SESAME CHEESECAKE
- Sesame Seeds - Black sesame seeds may or may not be found at your local grocery store but can usually be found at an Asian supermarket or a specialty grocery store. It can also be purchased online as well here. IMPORTANT: When shopping for black sesame seeds, do not confuse black sesame seeds, with black sesame 'dessert powder'. Check the ingredients, it shouldn't contain any sugar. Black sesame dessert powder contains sugar and is meant to be used as an instant black sesame dessert. Look for the whole black sesame seeds and grind them up at home.
- Graham Cracker Crumbs - For the graham cracker crumbs, you can buy pre-ground or the actual graham cracker cookies and grind them up at home. We found it to be easier to just buy the pre-ground ones, so I used that.
- Butter - Normally, we would use unsalted butter for cooking and baking but for this recipe go with the salted butter. Yup, salted butter. The salt in the butter gives the crust a lightly salty flavor which gives it an almost toffee bar flavor and the salty and sweet combination is absolutely fantastic together. Seriously!
PRE-BAKING THE GRAHAM CRACKER COCONUT CRUST
- Melt the butter in the microwave 15 seconds at a time for approximately 45 seconds until it has melted. (Don't do 45 seconds all at once, unless you enjoy the sight of exploding butter, followed by an intense cleanup! 😛 Sadly, I found this out the hard way.)
- In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs (if you are using whole crackers, put it in the food processor to finely ground it first), the unsweetened shredded coconut, sugar and melted butter and mix well until it has the consistency of wet sand.
- Press them into a tartlet shell, starting with the sides first, then the bottoms. I found it easiest to just use your hands to do this.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F (177C) and bake them for 10 minutes.
- Once baked, remove them from the oven and let it cool before taking them out of the tartlet shells.
MAKING THE BLACK SESAME CREAM CHEESE MIX
- Measure out the black sesame seeds and grind them in a food processor until it is crumbly and fine in texture. Then add in the sugar and blitz it for 1 more minute.
- In a bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and black sesame/sugar mixture with a hand mixer, fork or spatula. (Make sure your cream cheese is soft or it will not evenly mix - you can quickly warm up the cheese in the microwave for 25 seconds to warm it up to a soft consistency or leave the cream cheese in room temperature for a few hours)
- In another large bowl, add in the heavy cream and use a hand or stand mixer and mix it until it forms a thick whipped cream. This will take about 5 minutes or so.
- When the cream is thick and holds it's shape, add in the black sesame cheese mixture into the heavy cream bowl and mix some more until it has evenly combined into a creamy mixture.
PUTTING THE CHEESECAKE TOGETHER
Put the cream cheese mixture in the fridge first to cool for a few hours so it has a thicker consistency. Once it is thicker, you can dollop the cream cheese mixture into the crust! Top it with a few black sesame seeds, toasted coconut or whipped cream. We prefer this method so we don't need to keep a large pan in the fridge - we store the crusts in a well-sealed container on the counter. Bonus: The tarts stay crisper for extra crunchy texture! 🙂
LOOKING FOR DESSERT RECIPES? TRY THESE!
- Black Sesame Chocolate Ruffled Milk Pie
- Soft and Chewy Five Spice Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Roasted Banana Banana Bread
- Mini Butter Mochi Cake
- Black Sesame Creme Brulee Recipe
DID YOU MAKE THIS BLACK SESAME CHEESECAKE?
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Black Sesame Cheesecake
Joyce's Recipe Notes
- Microwave the butter in 15 second increments, else the butter will sputter and explode in the microwave and make a mess.
- If you're pressed for time, soften the cream cheese in the microwave for 25 seconds.
Coconut Graham Cracker Crust
- 4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut
- 1 cup salted butter (melted)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Leave the cream cheese out in room temperature for a few hours until the cheese is soft. Alternatively, you can quickly warm up the cheese in the microwave for 25 seconds to warm it up to a soft consistency as well if you are in a rush.
Making the Coconut Graham Cracker Crust
- If you are making the 9x9 pan (no fuss version), use half the amount of the ingredients under the crust section. If you are making tartlet, use the full amount listed under the crust section. The cheese filling amount stays the same for both methods.
- Melt the butter in the microwave 15 seconds at a time for 45 seconds
- In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crust, shredded coconut, sugar and butter and mix well until it has the consistency of wet sand
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (177C)
- [If you're using tartlet shells] Press the graham cracker crumbs into the sides and bottoms of the shell and use your fingers to press down firm. [If you're using a 9x9 pan] Press the graham cracker crumbs onto the bottom of the pan with a fork
- Place the crust in the oven and bake for 10 minutes
- Once it is baked and browned, remove it from the oven and set aside to cool. (If you are using tartlet shells, do not remove them out of the shells until they are full cooled, or they will fall apart)
Making the Black Sesame Cream Cheese Filling
- Measure out the black sesame seeds and grind it in a food processor until it is fine and crumbly
- Add sugar into the food processor and blitz it with the seed mixture for about 1 minute
- In a large bowl, combine the black sesame seed/sugar mixture and soften cream cheese with a hand mixer, fork or spatula. (Make sure the cream cheese is soft for this step, else it will not mix with the black sesame seeds evenly)
- In another large bowl, use a hand or stand mixer and mix the heavy cream for about 5 minutes until it has formed a thick whipped cream that can hold it's shape
- Add in the black sesame mixture into the whipped cream and mix it until it is evenly mixed.
Putting the Cheesecake Together
- [9x9 pan] Once the crust has cooled, pour the cream cheese mixture into the 9x9 pan on top of the crust and put it in the fridge to cool and set. To serve, this you can cut them into squares or scoop it out messily for a more rustic dessert
- [Tartlets] Put the cream cheese mixture into the fridge to cool and solidfy for a few hours, when ready to serve it, scoop a mound of the cream cheese mixture out on top of the tarts and enjoy!
- Serve it with whipped cream, black sesame seeds, toasted coconut or have it as-is!
*Nutritional information is calculated using online tools and is an estimate*
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