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Persimmon Cupcakes – How to Bake with Persimmons

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Persimmons are the goths.

Persimmons don’t hold to a traditional standard of beauty.  When you think that your persimmons have gone bad – when they are ugly and smooshy and make people turn away in disgust – that’s the perfect time to eat them.  In fact, if you eat a persimmon when it’s still “pretty”, it can cause a weird numbing reaction in your mouth.

Persimmons are elusive.  You have to be in the store during the correct couple of weeks of the year (now) or be lucky enough to know someone with a persimmon tree.  Once you find persimmons, you’re never quite sure what to do with them.  While there are millions of pumpkin recipes, the goth vegetable is almost exclusively used for persimmon pudding – a dark and heavy dessert.

Pumpkins are the cool kids.

Everyone wants pumpkins.  People love them so much that they keep some just for decoration and don’t even eat them!  They’re easy to find.  They are the vegetables that are featured in the front of the store.  They are the ones that people want to pose their children with.

I couldn’t help but throw in a cute photo of our son!

News Flash

If you are looking for a unique flavor, don’t look to the cool veggie on the block.  Pick up some persimmons now – while you can – and use them in place of pumpkin in any pumpkin recipe.  You can make persimmon pie, persimmon cake, persimmon cookies, persimmon ice cream, and of course persimmon cupcakes!  Don’t put persimmons in a persimmon pudding corner!

Persimmon Cupcake Recipe

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Persimmon Cupcakes – How to Bake with Persimmons

Servings 12 cupcakes


Cupcake Ingredients

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup persimmon pulp the insides of 1 to 2 seeded over-ripe persimmons
  • ½ cup orange juice

Persimmon Frosting Ingredients*

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 large eggs
  • cups persimmon pulp the inside of 2 to 3 over-ripe seeded persimmons
  • 12 oz evaporated milk


Cupcake Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice and baking soda.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar, then mix in eggs, persimmon pulp and orange juice until thoroughly combined.
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until fully incorporated.
  5. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full with batter.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and removed clean.

Persimmon Frosting Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir continuously until the mixture comes to a boil.
  3. Allow to boil for approximately 1 minute.
  4. Remove from heat and allow mixture to come to room temperature.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  6. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes using a pastry bag with a star tip.

Recipe Notes

*This frosting recipe can also be used to make persimmon pie: simply mix all of the ingredients and bake in a pie crust as you would pumpkin pie.


Special Thanks

Special thanks to freelance writer Matt Sorrell. He was working on an article about persimmons for one of St. Louis’s food magazines, Feast, and wanted to feature a persimmon cupcake.  I checked my archives twice, but I found no persimmon cupcakes.  I wrote Matt back and told him that I didn’t have a persimmon cupcake, but that I would surely rectify the situation in time for his article to go to print. Here is the online version of the article in Feast.

Special thanks also to Chef Josh Galliano of Monarch Restaurant for giving me persimmon pulp from the fruit of his family’s persimmon tree to use in these cupcakes.


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