This persimmon cake recipe is so moist and rich, and uses both hachiya persimmon pulp and chunks of fuyu persimmon (optional) for added texture. The persimmon flavor is complemented with lots of brown sugar and cinnamon. A luxurious blanket of cinnamon cream cheese frosting adds the perfect finishing touch!
Note: this post was originally published in 2019 and updated in 2020 and 2023 with improved photos and instructions.
Have you started seeing these beautiful orange fruits appear in the grocery store yet? Available from around October through February (at least here in the US), persimmons are a delicious fall and winter treat that you should definitely try if you haven't yet!
My favorite way to enjoy persimmons is baked up into this delectably moist persimmon cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. This persimmon cake recipe is moist and rich, with almost a banana bread vibe to it. And, it's a little unusual because it uses two kinds of persimmons, fuyu and hachiya.
Usually, only the softer, more jelly-like flesh of the hachiya is used in baking. But, I like to add chunks of the firmer fuyu persimmon to add some texture to the soft cake. (That being said, the fuyu is optional, I give substitution ideas down below!)
And, the cinnamon cream cheese frosting really takes this persimmon cake to new heights! The creaminess and slight savory flavor of the cream cheese adds such a nice complement to the sweet fruit and brown sugar notes in the cake.
- Hachiya persimmons: these are the persimmons that are teardrop shaped. They need to be very ripe before using in the cake. I give a couple more persimmon tips in the Persimmon tips and tricks section below!
- Fuyu persimmons: these are the persimmons that are flatter in shape. If you can't find fuyu persimmons, you can still make the cake; check the additions and substitutions section below for some substitution ideas.
- Brown sugar: the recipe calls for dark brown sugar because the extra bit of caramel flavor goes so well with the other flavors in the cake. But, if you only have light brown sugar, that will work too!
- Cream cheese: make sure you use block cream cheese, not the spreadable kind in the tub.
Step by step photos
Here's how to make this persimmon cake recipe with cream cheese frosting. For a brief slideshow of these steps, check out my persimmon cake web story here!
1. The first step is to make the hachiya persimmon pulp. Scoop out the very ripe hachiya persimmon flesh with a spoon, and chop it up until it's pulpy.
Or, you can place the scooped persimmon into a tall-sided container and use a stick blender to break it down. With either method, I prefer to leave a little texture, so not completely smooth!
2. While you have the cutting board out, prep the fuyu persimmons too. Use a vegetable peeler to cut the skin off, and cut the fuyus into chunks. Set aside.
3. Mix up the wet ingredients for the persimmon cake in a large bowl using a whisk.
4. Next, mix up the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet, and whisk until evenly combined.
5. Stir in the fuyu persimmon chunks (if using), then pour the batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan and bake!
6. While the cake is baking, make the cinnamon cream cheese frosting. First, whip the softened butter and cream cheese together. Then add the vanilla and powdered sugar in gradually, beat until fluffy.
7. When the persimmon cake is done baking, it will be firm in the middle and a toothpick inserted in the middle will come out clean.
8. Then, when the cake is cool go ahead and frost with the prepared frosting and enjoy!
Persimmon tips and tricks
Difference between fuyu and hachiya persimmons
As I mentioned earlier, in the US there are two commonly available types of persimmons - fuyu and hachiya. Fuyu persimmons remind me a little bit of a small beefsteak tomato - a bit round and flattened in shape. The hachiya persimmon is usually larger and has a more elongated teardrop shape.
In my experience, I've had an easier time finding the hachiya persimmon in a regular grocery store (when it's in season of course!). The fuyu is a little bit more rare, at least where I live. I have been able to find it at my local Costco and in Asian grocery stores.
For more info, check out this article on different types of persimmon varieties!
How to tell when a persimmon is ripe
There is a huge difference between the fuyu and hachiya in terms of ripeness. The fuyu is delicious when still firm, but will be a bit sweeter when the flesh has a slight amount of give. Any softer than that and it's heading towards being a little overripe.
The hachiya, on the other hand, is a whole different animal. This persimmon must be completely soft before you can eat it. I'm talking so squishy it feels like a water balloon filled with jelly when you poke it! It should offer no resistance when you cut into it, and the flesh inside should look almost translucent.
If you try to eat a hachiya before then, the fruit is so astringent it will feel like all the moisture on your tongue has been sucked out. So, make sure your hachiyas are nice and ripe before making this cake!
Other tips and tricks
- As I mentioned above, for the best taste it's very important to make sure the hachiya persimmons are very ripe before making the pulp for the persimmon cake.
- When measuring the flour for the persimmon cake, use the spoon and level method (I talk more about this in my cinnamon muffins recipe!). Or, use the weight measurement given in the recipe card.
- Because this cake uses oil and not butter, there is no risk of the butter curdling from adding cold ingredients. So, you don't have to bring the eggs to room temperature before making the cake.
- However, the cream cheese and butter for the frosting need to be at room temperature before making the frosting. I just pull them both out of the fridge first thing to sit on the counter while I make the cake batter.
- If the butter and cream cheese are still too firm when you go to make the frosting, you can unwrap them and microwave them in a microwave-safe bowl at 30% power in 15 second increments, until soft.
- In my opinion, this cake tastes the best on the day it's made. But, you can keep the leftovers covered, for up to 4 days in the fridge. (The cake needs to be refrigerated due to the cream cheese frosting.)
- If you want to enjoy the cake after it's been stored in the fridge, I recommend letting it come to room temperature before eating, it will enhance the taste and texture.
- If you would like, you can freeze the cake BUT you must freeze it before adding the cream cheese frosting (cream cheese does not freeze very well!).
- To freeze the unfrosted cake, wait for it to cool completely and double-wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. It may be easier to cut it into smaller sections before wrapping.
- When you're ready to eat the frozen persimmon cake, allow it to thaw completely before frosting with freshly-made cream cheese frosting.
Additions and substitutions
- If you don't have fuyu persimmons, you can still make this persimmon cake! Feel free to leave them out, or substitute them with an equal amount of apple chunks or drained pineapple chunks.
- In addition to or instead of the chunks of fruit, you can also add 1 - 1 ½ cup(s) of other mix-ins. Try mixing in a handful of white or milk chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or raisins (golden raisins would be great here!).
- This persimmon cake is flavored with cinnamon and vanilla. You can also experiment with adding a small amount of other warm spices you enjoy, such as cloves, ground ginger, and/or nutmeg.
Hachiya persimmons are usually used for baking. These are the elongated persimmons that are very pulpy inside. However, fuyu persimmons, which are firmer, can also be added to baking recipes in chunks (much like how apple chunks may be added to muffins!).
Rather than peeling, the juicy, soft flesh of the hachiya persimmon is scooped out of the peel to create the persimmon pulp typically used in baking. So, the peel will be left behind, but they cannot actually be peeled with a knife or peeler because they are so incredibly soft when ripe. (And, they must be fully ripe to consume, otherwise they are very astringent).
Fuyu persimmons are firmer, even when ripe. So, they can be peeled with a paring knife or vegetable peeler before the flesh is cut into chunks or slices for cooking or eating. However, the peel is edible, so peeling the fuyu is optional.
Hachiya persimmons become incredibly soft to the touch when they are fully ripe. If you poke it, it should feel like a balloon filled with jelly!
Fuyu persimmons can be eaten when they are firm, but will be more sweet when they have a slight amount of give when touched (sort of like a ripe avocado!).
For more info, see the Persimmon tips and tricks section above.
Need some more delicious fall baking recipes? Here are some of my favorites!
If you’ve tried this recipe, please leave a star rating and/or review in the comments section below, I would love to hear from you! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And sign up for my weekly newsletter to get recipes delivered straight to you!Print
This tender and moist persimmon cake uses hachiya persimmon pulp and chunks of fuyu persimmons (optional), and is topped with a delicious cinnamon cream cheese frosting!
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 16 servings 1x
- Category: dessert
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: American
- 1 ½ cups hachiya persimmon pulp (from about 2 - 3 very ripe hachiya persimmons, see notes 1 - 2)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (225 g) packed dark brown sugar
- 1 cup (237 ml) vegetable or canola oil, plus more to oil the pan
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 cups (390 g) all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled, or use weight measurement)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 cups peeled fuyu persimmons, cut into small chunks (from about 3 fuyu persimmons) (optional, see note 3)
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 4 ounces (113 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups (227 g) powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
2. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan, set aside.
3. Add the hachiya persimmon pulp, eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla into a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
4. In a separate medium bowl, add the all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Whisk or stir with a fork to combine.
5. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk until evenly combined. Stir in the (optional) fuyu persimmon chunks (or other mix-ins, see notes).
6. Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake for 45 - 50 minutes, or until the top of the cake is firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
7. While the cake is baking, make the cinnamon cream cheese frosting: Add the butter and cream cheese into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Using hand beaters or the stand mixer, beat until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar, cinnamon and vanilla in small amounts, beating in between each addition, until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
8. Once the cake is completely cooled, frost the top with the cinnamon cream cheese frosting and serve. Store any leftovers in the fridge, covered, for up to 4 days (see note 4).
(1) To make hachiya persimmon pulp, cut each ripe hachiya persimmon in half. Using a large spoon, scoop out the persimmon flesh onto a cutting board and chop it up until pulpy. Alternatively, you can place the scooped persimmon flesh into a tall container and pulse with a stick blender until pulpy (not completely smooth).
(2) You need very ripe hachiya persimmons for the best flavor. Hachiya persimmons are ready to use when they are incredibly soft to the touch, almost like a water balloon!
(3) The fuyu persimmon chunks are optional. Feel free to leave them out, or, substitute with an equal amount of chopped apples or drained pineapple chunks. Or, add 1 - 1 ½ cup(s) of raisins, chopped nuts, or chocolate chips in addition to or instead of the chopped fruit.
(4) The cake tastes best the day it's made. However, you can store it in the fridge, covered, for up to four days. Or, you can freeze the unfrosted cake to enjoy later. To freeze the cake, allow the cake to cool completely, then wrap in a double layer of plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 3 months. After cake has thawed completely, frost as directed in recipe. (You will need to make the frosting fresh!)
The nutrition information below is an estimate only; the nutrition counts of your dish will vary based on the brands and exact amounts of ingredients used. This information was provided by an online nutrition calculator, and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical, health, or nutritional advice. See our full nutrition disclosure policy.
- Serving Size: 1/16 recipe
- Calories: 445
- Sugar: 40.3 g
- Sodium: 186 mg
- Fat: 19.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 5 g
- Carbohydrates: 65.7 g
- Fiber: 2.8 g
- Protein: 4.7 g
- Cholesterol: 48 mg
Keywords: persimmon cake, persimmon cake recipes