Chocolate Persimmon Cake
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Chocolate persimmon cake is a deliciously moist dessert. This easy recipe is a great way to use fresh persimmons.
Over the years I’ve learned that not everyone is familiar with persimmons. If that’s you, add it to your must-try list now!
I love eating persimmons raw, but they’re also excellent when added to baked goods.
This chocolate cake is one of my favorite ways to use ripe persimmons. The fruit makes it rich and sweet, but not overpoweringly so.
Top it with powdered sugar or whipped cream and you have a wonderful winter dessert!
What are 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 tropical fruit section, along with starfruit and guava and kumquat.
But these orange beauties are actually grown in many parts of the US, from California to Connecticut.
Persimmons are mildly sweet with a honeylike flavor. They get sweeter as they ripen, and their insides get jammy.
There are two main kinds of persimmon: hachiya and fuyu.
Hachiya are shaped more like an apple, and have paler orange skin. Hachiya persimmons are also astringent with high levels of tannins, so you need to wait until they are very soft before eating.
Fuyu persimmons are brighter orange with a squat shape. They can be sliced and eaten while still firm, or while soft.
You’ll most likely find fuyu persimmons at major supermarkets. Either variety can be used for this recipe.
Ingredients for chocolate persimmon cake
Aside from the persimmons, you probably have everything else you need for this cake already!
Persimmon pulp – You can use very soft hachiya persimmons, or puree fuyu persimmons in a food processor. The skins are edible, but I recommend removing them for a smoother texture.
Brown sugar – The subtle molasses flavor of brown sugar is great against the fruit.
Vegetable oil – You can swap in applesauce if you prefer. It can be used in equal proportions.
Eggs – Standard large eggs
Vanilla – As always, I recommend pure vanilla extract!
Flour – This recipe now calls for all-purpose flour. A previous version of this recipe used whole wheat pastry flour, but it’s not always easy to find. Feel free to substitute if you have it!
Cocoa powder – Make sure to use unsweetened cocoa powder. I use Dutch-processed cocoa powder.
Baking powder – For lift
Cardamom – I love using ground cardamom in cakes and other baked goods like cardamom tea loaf. You can swap in cinnamon if you prefer.
Salt – Salt boosts the flavors in recipes, so don’t neglect to add it in baked goods!
Milk chocolate – This is optional, but I like to add a bit of chopped chocolate to the batter.
You can also use chocolate chips instead of chopped chocolate. Mini chocolate chips are great because they disperse evenly throughout the cake!
How to make chocolate persimmon cake
First, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. You can also use a 9-inch square pan or mini bundt (cakelet) pan.
If needed, slice and puree your persimmons in a food processor or blender. You’ll need 3-4 persimmons to get ¾ cup of pulp.
In a large bowl, mix together the persimmon puree, brown sugar, and vegetable oil until blended.
Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until smooth.
In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cardamom, and salt.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until smooth.
If using the additional chocolate, fold it into the batter.
Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan and smooth the top.
Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. A cake tester inserted into the center should come out clean.
If you want a somewhat fudgy texture, bake for 20 minutes.
Let cool in the pan 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Serve with powdered sugar or whipped cream.
Chocolate persimmon cake can be stored at room temperature for 3 days.
Make sure to place it in an airtight container, on a covered cake plate, or covered with plastic wrap.
For longer storage, place in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
To freeze, let the cake cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap and foil, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Defrost cake in the refrigerator overnight.
More persimmon recipes
Looking for more ways to enjoy persimmons? Try these recipes:
Persimmon chocolate cake is not too sweet, not too rich. It’s just right for an afternoon coffee break or even with breakfast. Give it a try!
Chocolate Persimmon Cake
- 3/4 cup persimmon puree, from 3-4 persimmons, depending on size
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup chopped milk chocolate
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9-inch cake pan.
- In a large bowl, mix together persimmon puree, brown sugar, and oil. Whisk in eggs and vanilla.
- In another bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cardamom, and salt. Stir into wet ingredients until just incorporated. Fold in chopped chocolate.
- Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake for 25 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.
My parents have a persimmon tree and it does take weeks to soften! I like adding them to my morning smoothie with mangos.
@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.
Love this idea! I have a couple of persimmons in my kitchen, this recipe looks like a good way to use them.
What can I use instead of pastry flour
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.