Persimmon Pudding Cake

DessertFavorite FallBakingPersimmon

Rich and wonderful persimmon pudding cake, made with hachiya persimmon pulp, eggs, butter, milk, vanilla, flour, sugar, spices, and chopped nuts.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Hachiya persimmons can bake up into a delicious, moist cake that is almost pudding-like.

Because of the natural sweetness of the pulp from ripe hachiya persimmons, this recipes uses only half a cup of added sugar!

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Hachiya Persimmons

Acorn-shaped 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. Fuyu persimmons are short and squat, looking a bit like tomatoes; they are meant to be peeled, sliced, and eaten like apples.

Hachiya (those pictured are Hachiya) are larger than the Fuyu and are acorn shaped. They need to ripen completely before you eat them. An unripe hachiya? Eating one is ann experience you’ll never forget, or do again, they are so mouth puckering astringent.

Squeezing a ripe hachiya persimmon

When a 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.

Hachiya persimmon pulp

Persimmon Pudding Cake Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8

Ingredients

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

Method

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

2 In a separate bowl vigorously whisk together the flour, 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 an 8-inch square glass pan, buttered, at 400°F until done (about 50 minutes).

Top with a dollop of whipped cream.

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Links:

All about Fuyu and Hachiya persimmons, here on Simply Recipes

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

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

46 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. k trimble

    I grew up in Indiana, with Persimmon Pudding made with native fruit served at every major holiday meal. Puddings using California persimmons in this (or other family) recipes) always lack the deep rich flavor that the native persimmon pulp gives a pudding. Native persimmons also seem to stand up to the winter spices, instead of being overwhelmed by them, as was mentioned in several of the comments here.. I was wondering whether anyone who grew up with native persimmon pudding has found ways to adapt recipes using Californian persimmons to come close to the original taste. I have experimented with molasses and honey, but still haven’t gotten it right. Other thoughts?

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  2. Kathy

    I made this cake and it came out like a spice cake. It was good but really didn’t taste like persimmons. I would put less of all the spices to taste more of the persimmons

  3. Alina

    Hello, I am getting ready to make this recipe but I have either a glass 9×13 or a metal square 9×9 pan. Both are fairly shallow. How do I adjust the baking times and temps for either? Is there one you recommend more? Thank you!

    Show Replies (1)
  4. RRD

    Fantastic. I used a 9 in springform pan and baked it for 35-40 mins. Did a preThankgiving test and I was floored by how good it is. Not too sweet and the persimmon shines through. I added some chocolate chips on top and chopped pecans. Likes others have said, this does rise quiet a bit. But overall, just lovely. Thank you for the recipe.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. ROBERT

    Thanks! – – I’m about to make it using native persimmons, but without any of the Thanksgiving / holiday spices, because I want it to taste like persimmons. I’m sure it will be just swell this way. Unfortunately, just about every recipe involving persimmons on line suggests those spices, and whatever I make year after year, I always skip the spices with perfectly good (OK, better to me) results. Please try it sometime without any of those spices and see if you can enjoy something more unique than the typical experience. Thanks again!

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