Persimmon Pudding Cake

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Hachiya persimmons can bake up into a delicious, moist cake that is almost a pudding. This recipe takes only a half cup of added sugar and uses the sweetness of the persimmon pulp.

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Left: unripe Hachiya persimmons; Right: ripe Hachiya persimmons

Persimmons are a fruit of fall, displaying their bright orange orbs right around the time a chill sets in and trees begin to lose their leaves. They come in two varieties – Fuyu and Hachiya – with very different properties. The Fuyu persimmons are short and squat, looking a little like tomatoes; they are meant to be peeled, sliced, and eaten like apples. Hachiya (those pictured are Hachiya) are larger than the Fuyu and somewhat acorn shaped. They need to ripen completely.

When the Hachiya persimmon behaves like a seriously overripe tomato (completely soft to the touch all around) and its insides are a slurry, that’s when they can be opened, and the sweet pulp spooned out and eaten. One makes baked goods with the pulp from Hachiya persimmons. For convenience the pulp can be frozen in one or two cup batches.

Persimmon Pudding Cake Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 8.


  • 2 cups of Hachiya persimmon pulp
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon all spice
  • 1 cup chopped nuts - pecans or walnuts
  • Whipping cream


1 Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, mix the persimmon pulp, eggs, butter, milk and vanilla.

2 In a separate bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.

3 Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, a third at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Add the chopped nuts.

4 Bake in a square glass pan, buttered, at 400°F until done (about 50 minutes).

Top with a dollop of whipped cream.

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Harold McGee on why persimmon pudding turns brown - article in the New York Times, it has to do with the alkaline environment encouraging browning reactions
Harold's recipe for 2-toned persimmon pudding
Persimmon Cookies

Showing 4 of 17 Comments

  • Jacqueline Elliott

    This is the best Persimmon Pudding Cake recipe I’ve ever used. I have my Grandmother’s recipe that requires steaming and is a hassle. I LOVE this. It is just the right balance of moist that is not like cake and not totally pudding either. Perfect! I made it exactly to the recipe and I highly recommend doing that.

  • KerryAnn May

    I tried this recipe tonite. did not come out right. it was liquid in the middle and burnt on top and on the sides. inedible. not sure what i did wrong. i used an 8 x 8 square pan. our oven runs pretty close to the degree we set it at.


    Um…. Maybe this shows how green I am as a cook, but I didn’t realize that this cake was going to rise… and I poured it into a pan that was not exactly square, and when I checked back… there was exploded cake batter all over the bottom of my oven.

    Okay, it was more like a runoff, but it wasn’t cool. At least some of that runoff tasted good!

  • Kim

    Made it today (Nov 18, 2011) and it was quite a hit. I didn’t have all spice and nuts (peacan or walnut), so I just used a cup of raisins instead and I guess it is sweeter that way. Next time I will make sure I have either walnuts or pecans! I also used half cup of dark brown sugar and half of white. I used 3 frozen hachiya persimmons, I wish I had 4. My next item will be persimmons cookie. :)

    To AMM: what kind of persimmon are you using? Hachiya kind normally doesn’t have any seed.

  • Kathi

    FYI…I’ve had pureed persimmon in freezer bags last 3 yrs with no ill affect & it doesn’t discolor. I’ve been making my Grandma’s persimmon cookie recipe for years, but have been looking for a persimmon pudding recipe.

    I’m giving this one a try for a charity potluck tomorrow. Can’t wait for the ladies’ comments!

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