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Persimmon Cake with Persimmon Syrup, Mango Filling, Buttercream Frosting, and Dried Fruit

As I type this, it is early November and Persimmons have been back in stores for about a month. YEA! I never had a persimmon until about a year ago, and I immediately wished I had learned about them sooner. Once fully ripe, they became one of my favorite fruits. A fully ripe persimmon is a gift from nature. Of course, I had to use it in baking, too. And once I started baking with persimmons, I found I love the combination of persimmons and mangoes. Result? Persimmon Cake with Persimmon Syrup, Mango Filling, Buttercream Frosting, and Dried Fruit

By the way, in a hurry? Didn’t have time to plan ahead? Skip the Persimmon Soaking Syrup, Mango Filling, and Dried Fruit- it’s still an awesome cake!


When both volumetric and weight measures are provided, the volumetric measures should be considered approximations. The standard measure for a cup of flour is 120 grams. By volume, this measure will typically be less than 1 cup. When baking, it is always best to use a food scale to measure dry ingredients, especially flour. However, if you don’t have a food scale, sift the flour three times, then spoon the flour into a measuring cup and use the flat edge of a knife to level it off. This should result in a cup of flour that weighs about 120 grams.


Mango pudding is used as the filling in this cake. However, to keep it from dripping off the side of the cake, it needs to be very cold and completely set. Therefore, the filling should be made the day before the cake so it can set and become fairly firm.

To make the filling, peel and puree fully ripened YELLOW mangoes (not green mangoes). Mangoes have a lot of fiber, and while that could be included, the fiber makes an unpleasant texture in the pudding filling. To remove the fiber, press the pureed mango through a very fine mesh sieve. This can also be done by lining a colander with several layers of cheesecloth and pressing the puree through this, but you are likely to lose more of the mango to the cheesecloth. Measure the mango puree after it has been sieved.

You will also want to puree and sieve the persimmon that will be used in the soaking syrup. The pureed persimmons used in the cake do not need to be sieved.

Pureed persimmon about to be sieved….
… and after being sieved.

A whisk is essential when making the mango pudding to ensure an even, non-lumpy texture. The sugar, cornstarch, and salt will be whisked together in a medium saucepan to ensure that the ingredients, especially the cornstarch, which is the thickener, are evenly distributed. The orange juice and pureed, sieved mangoes are slowly added while whisking constantly to avoid clumps. Once the mango/sugar mix has cooked and thickened, the eggs yolks are gradually introduced to the pudding by slowly streaming, while whisking constantly, the filling into the whisked eggs, and then whisking while streaming the filling/egg mix back into the saucepan. This constant whisking while adding the egg yolks is essential so that the eggs do not curdle. (Egg whites are typically not used in pudding.)

Once the mixture has cooked and the butter has been added, be sure to cover the pudding with waxed paper so a skin does not form on the pudding. Cool the pudding to room temperature before refrigerating so that the pudding doesn’t “sweat.” An ice water bath can speed this process.

To make an ice water bath, place a couple inches of ice cubes in a bowl that is large enough to hold the saucepan. Add enough cold water to create a “bath”, then carefully lower the saucepan into the ice water. Be careful that water does not get into the pudding. Typically, the pudding will chill within 10 minutes. Wipe off the bottom and sides of the saucepan so that water does not get into the pudding, then refrigerate until ready to use.


For convenience, dry the fruit the day before you bake the cake. The fruit will take about 2-3 hours to become partially dried in an oven, or overnight in a dehydrator. Commercially prepared soft dried mango can also be used and does not need to be dried any further. If the commercial dried mango is completely dried and hard, soak in warm water until it is soft enough to be chopped, then air dry.


This is a very moist cake and tends to stick to the cake pans. To prevent this, line the bottoms of the cake pans with parchment paper. To do so, place the cake pans on the parchment paper. Use a permanent marker to trace around the bottom of the cake pans. Cut out the circles by cutting inside the pens marks. Spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray and then place the parchment paper on the bottom of the cake pan.

Parchment paper lining the bottom of the cake pans.


This is a high-rising cake, which is fine for cupcakes, but is difficult for layer cakes. To prevent excess doming, soak 2 cake wraps, if available, in ice water for at least 15 minutes, then squeeze out the excess water and wrap around the cake pans. The cold cake wraps prevent the edges of the cake layers from baking before the centers of the cake layers, thus producing a more level cake. Of course, if you don’t have cake wraps, you’ll just have to cut off the excess dome with a cake leveler or cake knife so that the layers can be stacked. The cut off part of the cake becomes the baker’s treat- Enjoy!


This cake did not work with cold, softened butter. But it worked wonderfully well with melted butter. However, that meant that the buttermilk, oil, persimmon puree and eggs needed to be room temperature so that the butter didn’t harden into chunks.

Another reason eggs need to be room temperature: Warm eggs hold more air than cold eggs, which means a lighter cake. Cold eggs, on the other hand, can result in a lumpy batter and heavy texture. To quickly bring eggs to room temperature before cracking, place eggs in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for 10 minutes.

Crack eggs into a small bowl before adding to the batter. That way, it is easy to remove any bits of eggshell or bloody eggs.

Once the flour mix is added to the butter and persimmon mix, GENTLY fold together until just combined. Do not stir the wet and dry ingredients together as this will cause the cake to deflate.

25 ounces of cake batter in prepared cake pans with cake wraps, ready to bake.

A food scale is very helpful for measuring how much cake batter to put in each pan. Each pan should hold about 25 ounces of cake batter.

And after the cake bakes.


While the cake bakes, make the persimmon soaking syrup. Persimmons have a very delicate taste when baked into a cake; the persimmon soaking syrup greatly enhances the persimmon flavor. Keep the soaking syrup warm until the cake is fully baked but still in the cake pans. This will enable the soaking syrup to better soak into the cake. Use a metal skewer to poke holes in each layer so the soaking syrup soaks into the cake.


Once the cake layers are ready to assemble, place one layer on the serving plate and spread the mango filling to within about 1/2″ of the edge of the cake. If any of the mango pudding gets on the side of the cake, remove it thoroughly with a clean knife- frosting will not stick well if the side of the cake is slick from the mango budding. If possible, refrigerate this bottom layer and the pudding filling for about 1 hour, to allow the pudding time to become firm before topping with the second layer.

Once the cake is topped with the second layer, an easy way to seal in any crumbs and the mango filling is to add a “crumb coat.” This is a very thin layer of frosting that is used to cover the cake before applying the rest of the frosting. If you choose to apply a crumb coat, refrigerate the cake for about 30 minutes after applying the crumb coat, until the frosting is firm, then finish by adding the rest of the frosting.

Cake is baked, filling in the middle, frosting on the outside, now just press on the dried fruit and you have an AMAZING cake that tastes even better than it looks!


Persimmon Cake with Persimmon Syrup, Mango Filling, and Buttercream Frosting

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
By Connie Teunis Serves: 12-16

Want a Showstopper cake? This is it! This is an exceptionally moist cake made from Persimmons and flavor-boosted with a Persimmon Soaking Syrup, filled with a Mango Pudding, topped with a Buttercream Frosting and finished with soft-dried Persimmons and Mangoes! In a hurry? Didn't have time to plan ahead? Skip the Persimmon Soaking Syrup, Mango Filling, and Dried Fruit- it's still an awesome cake!


  • For the Mango Filling:
  • 1 c. Peeled and Pitted Fresh Yellow Mango, or Frozen and Thawed Mango, pureed and pressed through a fine mesh sieve (about 2 ½ Yellow Mangoes)
  • ½ c. Orange Juice
  • 96 g./ ½ c. Granulated Sugar
  • 24 g./ 3 T. Cornstarch
  • 1/8 t. Salt
  • 2 Large Egg Yolks
  • 28 g./ 2 T. Unsalted Butter
  • For the Dried Fruit
  • 2 Fresh Yellow Mangoes, peeled, pitted, and chopped into ¼” pieces
  • OR Packaged Soft-Dried Mango, chopped into ¼” pieces
  • 3 Large Non-Astringent Persimmons (e.g., Fuyu), peeled, cored, and chopped into ¼” pieces
  • For the Cake:
  • 360 mg./ 3 c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 t. Baking Soda
  • ½ t. Salt
  • 20 g./ 2 T. Crystallized Ginger, finely minced
  • Orange Zest from 2 Oranges, finely minced (about 6 grams/ 2 T)
  • 113 g./ 1 stick Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • ½ c. Canola Oil or other unflavored oil
  • 288 g./ 1 ½ c. Granulated Sugar
  • 150 g./ 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 t. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 T. Buttermilk, shaken
  • 440 g./ 2 c. Persimmon Puree (approximately 5 non-astringent Persimmons), peeled, seeds removed
  • For the Persimmon Syrup
  • 80 g./ 1/3 c. Persimmon Puree, pressed through a fine mesh sieve
  • 48 g./ ¼ c. Granulated Sugar
  • 1/3 c. Water
  • For the Buttercream Frosting:
  • 170 g./ 1 ½ Sticks Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 144 g./ ¾ c. Shortening
  • 420 g./ 3 ½ c. Powdered Sugar
  • 1 t. Vanilla Extract



I Day Before:


Make the Mango Filling:


If using fresh mangoes, peel off the skin and cut the flesh away from the pit. Puree the mango and orange juice in a blender or food processor until smooth, then press the puree through a fine-mesh sieve, or several layers of cheesecloth, into a bowl to remove any fibers. Set aside.


Place the egg yolks in a medium-small bowl; whisk.


In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt; gradually whisk in the orange juice and mango puree. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 2 more minutes. Whisking constantly, stream about 1 cup of the mango sauce into the beaten eggs, then whisking constantly, stream the mango-egg sauce back into the saucepan with the remaining mango sauce. Return saucepan to the heat and cook on medium-low heat until filling comes to a gentle boil. Cook, whisking constantly, for an additional 2 minutes.


Remove from heat. Stir in the butter until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Cover mango pudding with a piece of waxed paper; waxed paper should make contact with the filling to prevent a skin from forming on the surface of the filling.


Cool to room temperature (an ice-water bath will cool this quickly), then refrigerate until filling is set.


Make the Partially Dried Fruit:


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. (If a convection oven is available, use the convection setting.) Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.


Peel, core, and chop the fresh mangoes and persimmons into ¼” pieces. Spread the fruit on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 2-3 hours, turning 2-3 times while drying. Fruit should feel dry but still be soft. This can also be done in a food dehydrator.


If using prepackaged soft-dried mango, chop the fruit into ¼” pieces, and set aside. DO NOT DRY IN THE OVEN.


If the partially dried fruit is sticky, toss with 2-3 tablespoons of powdered sugar. Refrigerate until ready to use.


The Next Day:


Make the Cake:


If you have cake pan strips, soak the strips in cold water for 15+ minutes, until completely soaked.


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray two 9” cake pans with non-stick cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper. Remove the cake strips from the water, squeeze out the excess water, and wrap the cake strips around the cake pans and pin in place; set aside.


Measure out the flour and place in a small bowl. Place 1 tablespoon of this flour on a cutting board and mince the crystallized ginger. Add the crystallized ginger and any remaining flour, the baking soda, salt and orange zest to the flour bowl; whisk together and set aside.


In a small food processor, puree peeled and cored persimmons until smooth. Measure 360 grams/ 1 ½ cups of the persimmon puree into a small bowl; set the remaining puree aside for the soaking syrup.


In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the slightly cooled melted butter, oil, and sugar; mix until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, buttermilk, and the 360 grams/ 1 ½ cups of pureed persimmon; beat until smooth.


By hand, gently fold in the flour mixture until just combined.


Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans (about 25 ounces of batter per pan). Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes, until a cake tester, when inserted into the middle of the cake, comes out clean. Place the cake pans on cooling racks.


Make the Persimmon Soaking Syrup:


While the cake bakes, press the remaining persimmon puree through a fine mesh sieve to remove any fibers. Pour the sieved persimmon puree in a medium saucepan. Add the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Boil for approximately 5 minutes, until sugar is dissolved, and syrup just begins to reduce. Turn heat to lowest setting to keep soaking syrup warm.


Use a metal skewer (toothpicks are too small) to poke holes into the baked cake. Slowly spoon the soaking syrup over each cake layer, allowing time for the syrup to soak into the cake. Cool cake layers completely.


Make the Frosting:


In a medium bowl, cream together the softened butter and shortening. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract; beat until smooth. Note: The frosting can be made in advance and refrigerated until ready to use. Simply bring the frosting to room temperature to make it spreadable.


To Assemble:


Place one cake layer, top-side down, on a cake plate. Spread the Mango Filling on top, stopping ½” from the edge of the cake. Place the second layer, top-side up, on top of the Mango Filling. Wipe off any spills. If desired, frost the cake with a very thin layer of frosting called a Crumb Coat. Refrigerate the cake for about 30 minutes until the Crumb Coat sets. Frost the cake with the remaining frosting. Gently press the dried fruit along the bottom of the cake and the top edge of the cake.




Store the cake in the refrigerator. If the cake has been cut, cover loosely with plastic wrap.


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