One of my favorite Autumn fruits is the American Persimmon, Diospyros virginiana. This native persimmon grows across much of the Southeast and lower Midwest, and produces small orange globes of fruit on stately trees. We have planted a few trees on our property and have access to a few mature trees, each with hundreds of ripening fruit for gleaning. We pick the ripest persimmons, mostly freshly fallen from the ground, process them into a pulp for freezing, and reserve a few cups of pulp to experiment with recipes, such as this persimmon cake.
The most well-known persimmon recipe is the classic Persimmon Pudding, a baked or steamed pudding with the consistency of a dense custard. We have made the classic steamed version of Persimmon Pudding a few times (I’ll put this recipe on my list of ones to try), and while the steamed puddings are delicious, they tend to be very dense, and heavy on spices such as clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon; We were looking for something a bit more light that highlighted the flavor of the persimmon. This moist-textured persimmon cake recipe was a winner!
Note: If you want to try this with store-bought persimmons, buy the Hachiya variety that is ripe only when the flesh is soft and gooey. The Fuyu variety is eaten when crisp like an apple, and isn’t the best choice for this recipe.
Persimmon Cake Recipe
1 Stick (8 Tbsp) Butter at room temperature
1 1/3 Cup Sugar
2 Cups Persimmon Puree (Check out this blog post for instructions on how to make persimmon puree)
1 1/2 Cup Milk
2-3 Eggs (2 if they are large, 3 if they are small!)
2 Cups Flour (We usually make a blend of 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 white, or 1/2 fresh ground buckwheat and 1/2 white)
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
To Make the Persimmon Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 F, grease and flour a 9 x 13 inch baking dish
- Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy
- Add in eggs, milk, and persimmon puree, and gently combine until smooth and creamy
- In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg)
- Gradually blend the dry mixture into the persimmon mixture
- Spoon into the prepared cake pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
- Allow to cool slightly, and serve warm or cold. For an extra treat, try it with a side of vanilla ice cream, or a dollop of whipped cream!
I hope you enjoy this delicious, lightly spiced persimmon cake recipe!
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