Totoro Black Sesame Chiffon Cake

Totoro Black Sesame Chiffon Cake

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Southeast Asia
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting the cake in the oven: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 20 cm chiffon cake pan
Author: Marvellina
Nutty roasted black sesame seeds are infused all over this spongy, light and fluffy chiffon cake that resembles the adorable troll in popular Japanese anime character known as Totoro
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Thick batter:

  • 4 tbsp roasted black sesame seeds process into fine powder
  • 1/2 tsp activated charcoal powder optional
  • 100 gr cake flour sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 20 gr sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 egg yolks from large eggs beaten
  • 3 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 100 ml coconut milk


  • 5 egg whites from large eggs room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 60 gr of sugar

Homemade whipped cream:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 30 gr confectioner's sugar

To decorate the cake into totoro:


Making whipped cream (can be done one day ahead):

  • Place the whipping cream and sugar in a mixer bowl and whip on high speed until the cream is stiff. Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to be used

Mixing the thick batter:

  • Place the black sesame seeds in food processor and process into fine powder
  • I suggest separating the yolks and whites a bit earlier (about 30 mins or so)so that the egg whites have time to come to room temperature. It whips better at room temperature
  • In a mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt, black sesame seeds and activated charcoal. Stir to mix. In a separate mixing bowl, mix the beaten eggs with oil and coconut milk. Whisk until combined. Gradually add in the flour mixture into the egg mixture and stir until combined. The batter will be somewhat thick and gray or dark gray in color

Whipping the meringue:

  • Preheat your oven to 330 F. Place the rack at the lowest level
  • Place the egg whites in a clean bowl. You will have trouble whipping your meringue if there's trace of grease in your utensils or bowls. Beat the egg whites on medium speed, add in the cream of tartar and gradually add in the sugar as you beat. I beat them for around 8-10 minutes to get to the firm peak. You will know you get to the firm peak when you hold your mixer up and your meringue will not drip anymore
  • Gently fold in 1/4 of the meringue into the thick batter and then fold to mix and then continue on with second batch and fold again to mix. Continue to do this until you are done with the meringue and the batter and meringue are nicely mixed
  • DO NOT grease your chiffon pan. The cake needs to cling to the pan to rise. Give the pan a strong tap on the side for a few times before pouring in the batter to remove any air bubbles. Smooth the batter with rubber spatula. Pop into the oven and let it bake at 330 F for 30 minutes and then turn the oven down to 300 F and bake for another 30 minutes . DO NOT open your oven door at least for the first 30 minutes or you will deflate the cake
  • Don't be alarm if you cake has some cracks on top. What you are looking at will become the bottom of your cake. I find that baking at this temperature in my oven prevents the cake from cracking
  • Once out of the oven, carefully invert the pan upside down. Your chiffon pan may have the little stands for you to invert, but I find it not high enough. I use a glass jar and set the inverted pan on top of the jar and let it cool down completely. Please don't be tempted to remove from the pan if it's still warm. It takes about one hour to cool down completely
  • Once it's cool down completely, use a spatula knife to run through the edge of the cake to help release the cake. Gently push the base of the pan down. Use the knife again to run through the top of the cake to help release it from the base of the pan. There you have it !!!

Decorating the cake:

  • I cut out two small triangles for Totoro ears from the bottom of the cake. Place the cake on a cake stand or wherever you want to. Use a sharp knife to make a small slit where the ears suppose to go. Dab a little bit of whipped cream on the base of the ears and then gently push the ears into the slit
  • Use a medium size offset spatula to spread the whipped cream over the lower half of the chiffon cake, both on top and the sides. The crumbs of the cake will show. This is the crumb layer. If you don't want any crumb to show, pop the cake in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Clean your offset spatula to make sure there's no crumb. Spread more whipped cream on that crumb layer and it will cover the crumbs now. You don't have to do this though. You can use a piping bag to draw the eyes and then use the melted chocolate or black icing writer to draw the black eyeballs and the details on the body. Sprinkle some black sesame seeds over the white part if you like. Simple as that :)


If you are using black icing writer, draw the black details only when you are ready to serve them, otherwise, the black icing will "bleed". You can frost the cake with whipped cream one day ahead though.