Persimmon Pudding Cake

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.

persimmons.jpg persimmons-1.jpg
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 18 Comments

  • Jeanine

    Made this today–it came out very well! I only had 3 ripe persimmons, but I used a supplemental bit of applesauce to make up the 2 cups. Nice and light, with a little bit of crispness on the edges. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Tammy

    Oh goodness. To be back in California for the fall…. My best friend, growing up in No. Cal., had a persimmon tree in her Dad’s front yard. He would make persimmon pancakes (!!!) with the pulp as long as they had ripe fruit. Needless to say, I spent a LOT of autumn nights at their place, just so I could wake up to persimmon pancakes.

    Unfortunately, persimmons are pretty rare in Ohio. Thanks for the post – that cake looks divine!!

  • Beverly

    I just had to let you know that my Armenian grandmother made this every year and she brought the recipe from her homeland… Armenia. My dad loves it so much that he planted a persimmon tree 30 years ago and I learned to make it, too. The only difference is that we have always served it with a lemon curd type of syrup, which makes it absolutely OVER THE TOP! Here’s a hint to check for ripeness: when the persimmon has black spots on the outside and feels just a bit squishy then it’s just right!

  • AMM

    What about the seeds? How do you get them off?

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