Stephanie Hua is the founder and chief confectioner of Mellows, award-winning, gourmet, cannabis-infused marshmallows, handcrafted in San Francisco. In addition to making tasty edibles, Stephanie has been a food writer and recipe developer for more than twelve years. She is also the author of the best-selling cookbook, EDIBLES: Small Bites for the Modern Cannabis Kitchen.
For Lunar New Year, Stephanie adapted her black sesame and raspberry cupcakes from her cookbook, where she pays homage to the traditional tang yuan.
Stephanie says, “I love the surprise factor of these striking cupcakes. At first glance, most people expect them to be chocolate, but one taste and their eyes widen and murmurs of “Oooooh sesame!” escape their lips. The second surprise comes when you bite into the cupcake and discover a hidden raspberry treasure tucked inside!
This may not be a traditional Lunar New Year treat, but the sweet black sesame flavor pays homage to tang yuan, mochi-like balls made of sweet glutinous rice flour and stuffed with fillings like black sesame, red bean, and peanut paste. Growing up, we always had black sesame ones, served in a bowl of syrupy ginger soup.
This Chinese dessert is traditionally eaten during the Lantern Festival (yuan xiao), the last day of the 15-day Lunar New Year celebration. Yuan xiao translates to “first evening,” as this is the first full moon after the new year.
The round, smooth shape of the tang yuan represents the new moon, a symbol of harmony in Chinese culture. The pronunciation of tang yuan also sounds like the Chinese phrase for “togetherness,” fitting for this celebration as this is a rare time when people are able to make the journey home to reunite with their families. By eating this dessert together, it brings good luck to families and wishes for more happy reunions in the coming year.
This year in particular, when so many of us can’t be with our families, I can’t think of a better intention to put into the universe. We’ll be celebrating the first full moon with our own special twist on black sesame treats, and wishing you and yours harmony, abundance, and joyful reunions in the new year! Gong hay fat choy!” – Stephanie Hua
Black Sesame & Raspberry Cupcakes Ingredients
Time Needed: 1 hr (plus infusion time)
Makes: 24 mini cupcakes
Dosage: 5 mg THC/cupcake
Cannabutter Infusion Ingredients
- .6 g cannabis flower at 20% potency
- 2 ½ Tbsp | 35 g unsalted butter
Black Sesame Cupcakes Ingredients
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp | 88 g black sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup | 70 g cake flour (See Note)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of baking soda
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 2 ½ Tbsp | 35 g Canna Butter, room temperature (See Infusion Notes)
- 1/4 cup | 50 g granulated sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup | 75 g full-fat sour cream
- 1/4 cup | 60 g whole milk
- 24 whole raspberries, about 1/2 pint
Raspberry Coulis Ingredients
- 2 cups | 250 g raspberries, about 1 pint
Black Sesame Buttercream Ingredients
- 1 cup | 227 g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups | 226 g powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Special Equipment You’ll Need
- 24-cup mini muffin pan
- Coffee or spice grinder
- Ardent FX
Cannabis-Infused Black Sesame & Raspberry Cupcake Recipe
This recipe serves 4.
Directions For Infused Butter
- If you start with 20% flower, your decarbed material will yield a potency of 200 mg per gram. Our recipe calls for a total of 120 mg THC so you will only need 0.6 g of that flower. * To customize your dosage follow our guidelines on How to Measure THC Content.
- Activate/Decarboxylate your flower using the Ardent FX on the A1 setting.
- Place the decarbed flower into an uncovered glass jar containing 35 g unsalted butter
- Put the jar back into the Ardent FX and run it on the Infuse setting.
- When the process is complete, strain the plant material from the butter.
- Cool completely in the refrigerator. Bring to softened room temperature before using.
Directions For Black Sesame Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F [177°C]. Coat a mini muffin pan with nonstick baking spray and set aside.
- In a dry skillet, spread the sesame seeds and cook over medium heat until fragrant and toasted, about 5 minutes. Using a coffee or spice grinder, grind the seeds to the texture of sand. Work in batches so as not to overfill the grinder. Set aside 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp [50 g] ground sesame seeds for the buttercream frosting.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining ground sesame seeds, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the canna butter on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed until the mixture is creamed together light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Pause to scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the egg whites and vanilla extract, and beat on medium-high speed until well combined. Beat in the sour cream. Scrape down the bowl again. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. With the mixer still running on low, slowly pour in the milk and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. Scrape the bowl down, making sure there are no lumps at the bottom of the bowl.
- Evenly distribute the batter between the 24 cups of the prepared mini muffin pan. Each cup should get filled 2/3 of the way full, about 1 heaping Tbsp. If you have a scale that can fit the pan on top, weighing out the servings will give you the most accurate dosage (divide the total weight of the batter by 24 to determine the target weight per serving). Push a whole raspberry, with the opening facing down, into each cup so that it is submerged in the batter. The tip of the raspberry should just hit the surface.
- Bake until firm, spongy, and slightly golden at the edges, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 11 to 13 minutes, turning the tray halfway through the baking time. Let cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
- Meanwhile, make the raspberry coulis and sesame frosting.
Directions For Raspberry Coulis
- Throw the raspberries into a blender and blend until very smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed.
- Strain the raspberry puree through a fine mesh strainer to get a smooth, seedless sauce.
- Transfer to a condiment squeeze bottle or glass jar. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use, or up to 1 week.
Directions For Buttercream Frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the buttercream ingredients, including the ground sesame seeds you had set aside. Using the paddle attachment, stir on low until the powdered sugar is incorporated. Then increase to medium-high speed, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times, until the buttercream is fluffy and evenly mixed, 1 to 2 minutes.
- If you prefer piping the frosting out to decorate the cupcakes, transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip (we’re fans of the Wilton 1M tip for this), or zipper-lock bag with the bottom corner cut off. Alternately, you can use an offset spatula or butter knife to spread on the frosting.
- Decorate each cupcake with the sesame frosting and top with a drizzle of raspberry coulis. Enjoy immediately!
Chef’s Tip: The cupcakes can be made and kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.
The frosting can be made and kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If leaving butter out at room temp gives you the willies, you can refrigerate it, but be sure to allow time for it to come back to room temperature before you attempt to pipe it out. You may need to paddle it in the mixer again to soften it to an easily spreadable texture.
The raspberry coulis can be made and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. If transporting the cupcakes, reserve the raspberry coulis and drizzle right before serving.
Chef’s Note: If you don’t have cake flour you can make your own. To make 1 cup of cake flour, measure out 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Remove 2 Tbsp and replace with 2 Tbsp cornstarch. Sift together the flour and cornstarch 3 to 4 times to incorporate and aerate it.