Totoro Black Sesame Chiffon Cake Recipe

June 18, 2015

My Neighbour Totoro (1988) is a film well loved by many internationally. Whether or not it is seen as a harmless anime or perceived as a film with a conspiracy theory, the character Totoro is undeniably cute.

Totoro is like a bunny/rat magical creature  and spirit of the forest, who was born out of Miyazaki's imagination. It is cuddly and lovable, and whether or not there's a dark side to it like the conspiracists claim, I LOVE HOW CUTE IT IS. 

I was in the mood to make a black sesame dessert (me and my weird cravings), thus I decided to bake a black sesame Totoro chiffon cake. 

What a therapeutic baking session creating such a cute dessert. I had a great time decorating this cake. It's simple and only requires a bit of patience. Highly recommended for all Studio Ghibli fans. Furthermore, the cake is not too sweet and is good even for those who dislike sweet treats.

I've created a step by step video on how to bake this Totoro chiffon cake, which you can watch below. Hope you enjoy baking this as much as I did!

[For Chiffon Cake]
4 Egg yolks
45g of Caster sugar
1g of Salt
53g of Black sesame paste
43g of Hot water

4 Egg whites
6g of Lemon juice
45g of Caster sugar

72g of Cake flour
1.5 tsp of Baking powder

[For Decoration]

50g of Heavy cream
4g of Caster sugar
A dash of liquor *Optional
Chocolate chips for eyes
Melted chocolate

[For Chiffon Cake]
1. Beat egg yolks, caster sugar, and salt over a water bath until the sugar and salt have completely dissolved, and the egg yolks are creamy.
2. Mix the black sesame paste with hot water and add them to the egg yolk mixture.
3. Make the meringue: Beat the egg whites with a mixer on low speed until they become white and frothy. Gradually add the sugar in intervals, allowing the sugar to dissolve before each addition. Just before stiff peaks start to form, add the lemon juice. Stop beating when stiff peaks have formed.
4. Add 1/3 of the meringue to the egg yolk mixture and mix well.
5. Sift in the cake flour and baking powder and mix to combine.
6. Fold in the rest of the meringue.
7. Transfer to a chiffon cake mould and run a pair of chopsticks through the batter. Knock against the table to allow air bubbles to escape.
8. Pour some batter into a small baking pan as the extra cake for the ears.
9. Bake in a preheated oven at 220C for 20-25 minutes. (The extra cake only needs to bake for around 10-15 min)

[For Decoration]
1. Beat the heavy cream and sugar until soft peaks form. Optional: You can add a dash of your favourite liquor.
2. Transfer the cream to a piping bag and pipe on Totoro's belly and eyes. 
3. Place chocolate chips for the pupils.
4. Pipe on its nose, whiskers, and details on its stomach. 
5. Cut out the ears from the extra cake. Make small incisions on the side of the cake for its ears. Pipe in some chocolate as 'glue' and attach the ears. 

And you're done! Enjoy! If you're interested in ordering this cake, please email me at  

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  1. What black sesame paste did you use for this recipe? Is it the instant powder?


    1. Hello! I used nerigoma paste, which has a thick texture. You can find it in Japanese supermarkets :) I purchased mine from J-Mart.

  2. So cute! Is no oil required?

    1. Hi Tania, no oil is required as the black sesame paste itself contains a bit of oil :)

    2. Perfect, thank you!
      And how large of a cake does his make?

    3. The cake was about 15cm in diameter :)

    4. Such a cute cake! Can I double the recipe for my bigger 10in (25cm) pan?

    5. Yes you can. I've doubled the recipe before and turned out fine :)

    6. Thank you! Can't wait to try it out! =)

  3. Hi, can u confirm it is 1.5 tablespoon of baking powder and not 1.5 teaspoons? Look like a lot of baking powder

    1. Hi! Thanks for pointing it out. It's 1.5 teaspoon :)

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  5. Hi, if I don't have a chiffon cake pan, can I use a regular one? Will the amount work? Because there isn't a hole in the middle. Thanks.

    1. Hi! Yes you can, though the baking time will differ. I still prefer using a chiffon cake pan for chiffon cakes for more even bakes.