A moist and rich persimmon cake that uses both hachiya persimmon pulp and chunks of fuyu persimmon 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 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 snap up when you see them! My favorite way to enjoy this cold weather fruit is baked up into this delectable persimmon cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
This cake 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.
And this 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 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 FAQ 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.
Looking for another sheet cake recipe? Try this one for Key Lime Poke Cake!
Step by step photos
1. 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 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, 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 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!
Tips and tricks
Difference between fuyu and hachiya persimmons
As I mentioned, there are two commonly available types of persimmons, fuyu and hachiya. Fuyu persimmons remind me a little bit of a 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 some further reading on persimmons, including other interesting varieties, check out this article from Serious Eats: Beyond Fuyus: The World 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 or with a slight amount of give. Any softer than that and it's heading towards being a little bit 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!
If you can't find fuyu persimmons in the store, you can still make this persimmon cake! You can either just leave out the fuyu persimmons, or substitute something else. Chunks of apple would give a similar effect to the fuyus. You could also try chopped nuts or even raisins (golden raisins would be very nice!).
In my opinion, this cake tastes the best on the day it's made. But, you can keep the leftovers for up to 4 days in the fridge. 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.
As mentioned, I recommend enjoying the cake the day it's baked for the best taste and texture. However, if you wish you can freeze the cake, but you must freeze it before adding the cream cheese frosting.
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 cake, allow it to thaw completely before frosting (and you need to make the frosting fresh of course!).
Need some more delicious cakes? Here are some of my favorites!
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This tender and moist cake uses two kinds of persimmons and is topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 ½ cups hachiya persimmon pulp (from about 2 - 3 very ripe hachiya persimmons, see notes)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 cups peeled and chopped fuyu persimmons, about ½ inch pieces (from about 3 fuyu persimmons)
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan, set aside.
3. Add the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, vanilla and hachiya persimmon pulp 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 chopped fuyu persimmon.
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 3).
- To make hachiya persimmon pulp, cut each ripe hachiya persimmon in half horizontally. Using a large spoon, scoop out the persimmon flesh onto a cutting board and chop up until pulpy. Alternatively, you can place the scooped persimmon into a tall container and pulse with a stick blender until pulpy.
- 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!
- 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!)
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