Hachiya persimmons can be culinary head scratchers.  They’re mild in flavor, a regional specialty, and have the most delicate texture.  Imagine a water-balloon filled with chocolate pudding that will burst if you so much as sneeze in its direction, that is a ripe hachiya persimmon.  Gorgeous to look at, persimmons were meant for still-lifes.  Even the trees possess drama, with waxy large leaves that turn a rich auburn as the season shifts toward winter. But like many things this beautiful, they seem otherwise useless. You don’t just bite into a gooey hachiya persimmon, and even the crunchy fuyu persimmon can be uninspiring on its own. What to do…

Fuyus are wonderful sliced up in a salad or on a cheese board paired with something sweet and mild (imagine burrata or goat cheese), and the more I thought about the squishy hachiya, the more it reminded me of one of my favorite baking ingredients: applesauce.  Unassuming but subtly delicious, applesauce adds moisture and sweetness to baked goods and is a staple in vegan cakes and pastries. I took applesauce cake as a jumping off point, and created a spiced persimmon cake.  Dense and rich, it’s perfect served with a hot cup of coffee on a fall afternoon. Finally, my persimmon conundrum resolved!




2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups persimmon pulp

1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped (plus more for garnish)


Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter an 8- or 9-inch square cake pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.

Beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in persimmon pulp. At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just combined, then stir in walnuts.

Spread batter evenly in pan and bake until golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, then invert onto a cooling rack and cool completely.


3/4 cups unsalted butter, softened

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1 cup powdered sugar


Cream the cream cheese in an electric mixer until light and a little fluffy, add the butter, beating for 1-2 minutes, or until combined. Add the brown sugar, pinch of salt and vanilla extract, and beat until combined. Turn the mixer to low and add the powdered sugar. Turn the mixer on a low speed so it doesn’t blow out everywhere. Spread on the cake and coat the edges with chopped walnuts. Top with cinnamon.


    1. TheKitchyKitchen Post author

      Hey Alex, I’m sorry to hear that that the cake didn’t turn out, but I’m glad that the frosting was at least tasty. Can I ask what your process was for the cake? If I can update or tweak any of the directions to make for better results, I’d love to do that. Sifting the flour first, etc. come to mind as tips I should include. Let me know!

    2. Marcus

      If it was dense there are a few things you could have done to have that happen. If you don’t bake often it is very common to over mix, not measure flour correctly, as well as any other dry ingredients. Over cooked a minute or two. Just remember to check everything is accurate if you approach the recipe again. Baking is a science, not just cooking.

  1. Joe B

    I made this cake and it was awesome! I made a couple of substitutions: whole wheat flour vice all purpose, didn’t have any cardamom & substituted allspice, used 1/2 c powdered sugar & 1/2 cup honey vice 1 c light brown sugar, and 2 c persimmon vice 1-1/2 c (had 2 cups pulp ready). In the icing I used coconut palm sugar instead of light brown sugar. Unfortunately didn’t have as many walnuts but it still turned out great!

    I can’t wait until I can use cardamom, found some and sure it’ll add more than the allspice did.

  2. Mariam

    As autumn arrive, I make this cake+ it frosting for 4 or 5 times, everyone who has tasted has asked me to bake again! It’s an awesome recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Leanne

    I’m going to try this if I end up with any fruit from my tree (we have deer in our area.) We bought our home last November and just realized that the tree was producing persimmons! From what I can tell it is a Fuyu. With your recipe, would Fuyus work if cooked down and pureed?

  4. Sheryl

    I just finished baking the cake. Very good. Super moist. My husband is diabetic so instead of the brown sugar i added diabetic brown sugar. The breakdown is a half of cup for the s/f brown sugar. I lightly fill a half cup and then took out a teaspoon. It keeps the sweet taste without the after taste that can sometimes occur. And we had whipping cream instead of the frosting. I did bake it about 5/6 minutes less. Great cake!!


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