I love black sesame. Black sesame, taro, and coconut are my top three Asian dessert flavors whether it be a cake, bread, or drink. If you find me at an Asian bakery, you’ll most likely find at least one of those three flavors on my tray. What can I say, I can never resist these temptations! My cravings struck again today but this time it was all for black sesame. Instead of heading to the bakery, I decided to make my own black sesame rolls. The results? Let’s just say it’s a good thing this recipe makes 16 rolls because these are about to be put on the menu for breakfast, snack, and dessert.

black sesame rolls

black sesame rolls

black sesame rolls


Black Sesame Rolls

3 hrTotal Time

Yields 16 rolls

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  • 1 cup milk, warm (100-110 degrees F)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream, warm (100-110 degrees F)
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    Black sesame paste
  • ½ cup black sesame seeds
  • ½ cup honey
    Egg wash
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp water


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm milk, warm heavy cream, yeast, and sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes or until the yeast has been activated and the mixture is foamy.
  2. Add the egg, salt, and all-purpose flour. Mix until a shaggy dough forms. Knead for 8-10 minutes or until a smooth dough forms. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the black sesame paste. In a food processor, puree the black sesame seeds until the oils have been released the seeds become a paste. Add the honey and puree until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Punch down the dough. Lightly dust a clean work counter with flour and divide the dough into 16 balls. Roll out each ball into a 8x6-inch rectangle. Spread 1-2 tbsp of the black sesame paste in an even layer. Roll into a thin log and cut the log in half lengthwise, leaving one end in tact. Tie the two ends into a knot, then tie the two remaining ends into another knot. Place in a 9x13-inch baking dish and repeat with the remaining dough.
  5. Cover the black sesame rolls with plastic wrap and let rise for another hour or until doubled in size.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the egg with water. Brush on the egg wash on the rolls and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat and serve warm.


**Helpful tips and common mistakes

If you’ve been following along, the bread for these black sesame rolls is the same as the ones for my strawberry poppy seed cinnamon rolls. The dough was so soft and pillow, I just had to recycle the recipe. Find more tips on how to make the dough for the rolls in that link.

black sesame paste

While the dough is proofing, make the black sesame paste. If you ever made any nut butter, the process is the same except with black sesame seeds. Use a food processor and puree the seeds until it becomes a paste, about 7-8 minutes. Add the honey and continue to puree until smooth. The black sesame paste will be thick and full of black sesame flavor. You can also find black sesame paste at many Asian markets, but by making it yourself, you can choose how sweet you want your dessert. Adjust the amount of honey needed according to your preference.

roll out the dough

Once the dough has doubled in size, divide it to 16 even balls. Roll each ball out into an 8×6 inch rectangle. Don’t worry about getting it into a perfect rectangle, have some fun with it! Spread about 1 tbsp black sesame paste in the center of each rectangle and roll it into a cigar. Cut that cigar in half, leaving one end intact. Tie those two ends into a knot, then tie the other remaining ends together. Repeat with the remaining balls. These directions may sound confusing but long story short, tie all the loose ends together. The great thing about these black sesame rolls is that each ends up having their own shape, making them even more beautiful.

making the rolls

Make sure to leave space in between the rolls to allow them to rise. Also if the pan is overcrowded, this will prevent the rolls from baking evenly in the oven. After about one hour, the rolls filled up the entire pan!

proof the rolls

Brush egg wash onto the black sesame rolls and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. I did separate the 16 rolls into 2 pans of 8; however, if you fit all 16 into one large pan, you may need to increase the baking time.

Let the rolls cool slightly and serve with a piping cup of hot coffee. These black sesame rolls were the perfect amount of sweet and buttery. The rolls were soft and tender that I couldn’t stop tearing away the rolls from the pan. Like I said, thank goodness the recipe makes 16 rolls!

black sesame rolls



Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.


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