Persimmon Chocolate Cake

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Stumped by persimmons? Try this easy, whole grain persimmon chocolate cake.

Persimmon Chocolate Cake is a sweet treat made with whole wheat.

If there’s anything that eating local foods has taught me over the past few years, it’s the glory of otherwise ignored fruits and vegetables. While we might not have taken a shine to all of them (I’m looking at you kohlrabi), there are some we’ve delighted over. Swiss chard, creamer peas, and persimmons, to name a few. Oh, persimmons.

Persimmons are one of those fruits your eyes probably roam right over when at the grocery store. They’re often tucked away in the “exotic” fruit section, along with starfruit and guava and kumquat. But these stout orange beauties are actually available in many parts of the US, including right here in Texas.

Perhaps my favorite thing to do with persimmons is this persimmon salsa — it’s sweet and spicy and ideal for pork chops or just tortilla chips — but baking with them runs a close second.

You see, when you buy persimmons, they tend to be like orange rocks. Really hard and not at all giving a hint of what’s inside. But if you’re patient and let them soften up (like, really patient; it might take weeks), they become juicy and ridiculous and perfect for adding to baked goods.

Persimmon Chocolate Cake - Stumped by persimmons? Try this easy, whole grain persimmon chocolate cake.

In autumn, of course the natural pairing is pumpkin, like in this pumpkin persimmon walnut bread. But we’ve been there. So let’s head on down over to the chocolate path, because what isn’t delicious with chocolate?

Persimmon chocolate cake is not too sweet, not too rich. It’s just right for an afternoon coffee break or even with breakfast. I used whole wheat pastry flour to give it a denser crumb, but you can use all-purpose flour if you prefer.

Some unsweetened cocoa powder plus chopped chocolate, and a bit of ground cardamom for spice. (Cardamom is quickly becoming my preferred spice over cinnamon. I am burnt out on cinnamon.)

Persimmon chocolate cake is not too sweet, not too rich.

When buying your persimmons, make sure to get the kind that gets soft — not all do. Hachiya is a popular kind, and here in Texas we also have the Eureka variety.

This recipe makes 1 standard bundt cake or about 12 mini bundts.

Persimmon Chocolate Cake

Persimmon Chocolate Cake

Yield: 12 servings

Stumped by persimmons? Try this easy, whole grain persimmon chocolate cake.



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together persimmon puree, brown sugar, and applesauce. Whisk in eggs and vanilla.
  3. In another bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cardamom, and salt. Stir into wet ingredients until just incorporated. Fold in chopped chocolate.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.


If using mini bundt molds, reduce cooking time to 20 minutes.

Adapted from Pastry Affair.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 276Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 213mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 7gSugar: 26gProtein: 7g

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    1. @Linda Oh, how great it would be to have a persimmon tree! In a smoothie sounds really good. And now I’m thinking about milkshakes too… mmm.

  1. This recipe was a disappointment. I followed the recipe exactly, and the cake didn’t rise much. My standard bundt cake pan was way too big. The cake tested done at 35 minutes, but wasn’t completely baked.

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