Black Sesame Lava Cheese Tart

Bite into this ooey gooey black sesame lava cheese tart that is creamy with a slight nuttiness. These cheese tarts are surprisingly simple to make and taste like they came straight out of a bakery!

This recipe is a variation of my taro lava cheese tart that was loved by many of you! Lava cheese tarts consist of a molten, creamy, and cheesy center that oozes out when you bite into them. They are delectable and absolutely divine. The tarts gained popularity after social media popularized a Japanese bakery called Pablo. They specialize in lava cheese tarts and have now additionally included stuffing inside of the traditional cheese tart. I personally think that the traditional cheese tart is too creamy, so adding the nuttiness from black sesame helps balance out the sweetness and creaminess.

Instead of waiting in line and spending more money on the Pablo cheese tart, why not make it at home? It’s incredibly easy and relatively cheap to make. These tarts are unique because you can get 3 different tart textures: rare, medium rare, and well-done. People have different preferences, so you can make all 3 textures from just one recipe!

Rare: Fresh out of the oven. Once you cut the tart open, the interior oozes out. Messy to eat, but is the most popular!

Medium rare: Out of the oven and placed in the fridge for 10 min. The tart becomes firmer, but still slightly gooey. I prefer this texture and it is less messy.

Well done: Placed in the fridge for at least 1 hour. The tart becomes firm like a cheesecake.

This is a recipe where you can mess up the steps and still end up with a delicious product. Some people have asked me questions about the tarts so I answered them below:

Is the lava tart safe to eat?

Yes. The ingredients in the actual tart do not consist of any eggs so the cream cheese mixture can actually be eaten raw.

The tarts look too runny after the baking time; do I still take them out?

Different ovens can result in different outcomes. The tart should be slightly jiggly and slightly firm before you take it out. I recommend 8 min. of baking at 380 F, but you may need more or less depending on your oven. Keep a close eye on them. Keep in mind that even if the tart looks too runny, the tarts will firm up slightly at room temperature before you cut them open.

What is black sesame paste?

The only ingredient in black sesame paste is black sesame seeds. It is ground-up black sesame seeds, the black sesame version of tahini. There are no added oils as sesame seeds naturally release their oils when ground up. I use store-bought black sesame paste for this recipe, but you may make your own by grinding up sesame seeds in a food processor.

Black Sesame Lava Cheese Tart

yield: 18 small tarts

total cook time: 1 hr. 30 min


  • 3 store-bought pie crusts, thawed
  • 228 g. or 1 block full-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 80 g. or 1/3 c. + 2 tbsp. black sesame paste
  • 35 g. or 2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. milk (any fat percentage)
  • 120 g. or 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 75 g. or 1/3 c. + 1 tbsp. granulated sugar (may use more if sweeter is desired)
  • 6 g. or 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 5 g. or 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 4 g. or 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. In a medium bowl, cream the full-fat cream cheese and sesame paste together using an electric beater.
  2. Add in the milk and heavy cream and use a spatula to cream the mixture together until smooth. Do not use an electric beater for this step!
  3. Add in the granulated sugar and beat on medium speed with the electric beater for 30 sec.
  4. Continue beating on medium speed while adding the cornstarch, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. The mixture should be relatively smooth now. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 1 hr.
  5. Preheat oven to 380 F.
  6. Roll out the pie doughs and use a 2-inch. cookie cutter or circular object to cut out 18 circular pieces of dough. When you run out of space on the dough to cut more pieces, simply re-roll the dough out and repeat the cutting process until you end up with 18 pieces of dough.
  7. Press the dough rounds in small pastry rings/cups OR a muffin tin and lightly poke holes on the bottom using a fork. Add a piece of parchment paper on top of each dough. Press the dough down with baking weights (or beans) and bake in the oven for 10 min. at 380 F on the middle rack.
  8. Take the pastry shells out and remove the parchment paper and baking weights. Bake the shells in the oven for an additional 5 min. and remove the shells from the oven.
  9. To assemble the tarts, add the black sesame cream cheese filling into a large pastry bag. Generously pipe the filling into the shells and bake the tarts in the oven for 8 min. at 380 F.
  10. Remove the tarts from the oven and allow them to cool for at least 5 min. For a rare cheese tart, eat immediately. For a medium rare tart, place the tart in the fridge for 10 min. For a well-done tart, place the tart in the fridge for at least 1 hour. You can reheat the tart in the microwave for 15-20 sec. to bring back the lava effect once the filling has firmed up in the fridge if desired.

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11 thoughts

        1. I haven’t tried it with white sesame seeds before. The consistency would be similar but the taste would be a bit different. Black sesame seeds are nuttier. I think it’d be pretty good though!

          1. Got all the ingredients, but just made cheesecake, so as soon as it is gone, I’ll try this and blog it if it turns out okay! 😉 In either case, I’ll let you know

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