Matcha Black Sesame Tart (Paleo, Vegan, Grain/Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

Matcha Black Sesame_2

I remember the first time I tried matcha green tea ice cream. At the age of 10, it was my first time visiting Japan (my dad was working there at the time) and my family had bought a pint of green tea ice cream from the market. It was a strangely mossy green color and I assumed it must taste like vegetables because, well, green. I cautiously took my first bite and once the ice cream hit my tongue, I thought: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The creamy ice cream coated my mouth to create a swirl of sweet, earthy goodness and it was pretty much the best thing I had ever tasted. I'm pretty sure we polished off the whole pint in one sitting.

Since then, I always opted for green tea ice cream whenever given the option. That is, until I stumbled upon another ice cream flavor just as unassuming yet magically delicious: black sesame. Back when my husband and I lived in the Netherlands, we frequently dined out at an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant in Rotterdam because we were students and poor quality sushi in high quantities was considered fancy. At the end of the meal, we even got complimentary ice cream and one of the flavors was black sesame. The first time we went, I opted for green tea while my husband chose black sesame. Sucker, I thought, since green tea always reigns supreme! But once I tried a bite of his black sesame ice cream, my husband and I locked eyes and we knew that he had won because OH. MY. GOD, BEST ICE CREAM EVER.

Black sesame is not a super common dessert flavor in the U.S., which I think is a shame because its wonderfully nutty flavor is so versatile and uniquely delicious. This Matcha Black Sesame Tart is my small contribution towards showcasing these underrated flavors. The black sesame shortbread crust is crisp, nutty, and subtly sweet. It is so delicious and easy that I'm tempted to just make it into shortbread cookies next time. The raw matcha mousse on top is creamy and earthy with a slightly tangy finish. These flavors combined create an explosion of unique flavors that will surprise and delight your taste buds. Best of all, it is so much easier than it looks so it's a great dessert to impress your guests! Enjoy!

Matcha Black Sesame_1

Matcha Black Sesame Tart (Paleo, Vegan, Grain/Gluten-Free, Dairy Free)

Servings: 10

Time: 1 hr 40 mins

Difficulty: Easy


Black Sesame Crust:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup black sesame powder [see note below]
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Matcha Green Tea Mousse:

  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked 4-6 hours)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp matcha green tea
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of black sesame seeds [optional]


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In the bowl, whisk together the almond flour, black sesame powder, arrowroot, and sea salt. Add in maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract and mix with a spatula until a dough forms. Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour to firm up.
  3. Unwrap the dough and place on a large piece of parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment paper on top of the dough. Roll out the dough into a 1/8-inch round. If using a 9-inch tart pan, gently flip the dough over the tart pan and peel off the parchment paper carefully. If using smaller tart pans (I used four 4-inch tart pans), set the pans close together, flip the dough over the pans, and peel off the parchment paper. Use your fingers to press the dough into the pans, using the excess to fill any cracks.
  4. Bake 22-24 minutes for a 9-inch tart or 18-20 minutes for smaller tarts. Let cool on a wire rack.
  5. For the matcha mousse, drain the cashews and place all of the ingredients in a high speed blender (I used a Vitamix). Blend on high speed until the mousse is super silky and slightly thick.
  6. Once the crust has cooled, pour the matcha mousse into the crust. Top with black sesame seeds, if using. Place in the freezer for 2-3 hours until the mousse has firmed up. Remove from freezer about 20 minutes prior to serving. Enjoy!

NOTE: I found the black sesame powder at a Asian grocery store. If you can't find it, simply pulse black sesame seeds in a food processor or in a spice grinder until finely ground.