Gluten Free

Gluten Free Persimmon Cake with Persimmon Syrup (opt.), Mango Filling (opt.), Buttercream Frosting, and Dried Fruit (opt.)

On November 6, I posted my original Persimmon Cake with Persimmon Syrup (opt.), Mango Filling (opt.), Buttercream Frosting, and Dried Fruit (opt.). Persimmons were finally back in stores. 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. Sadly, they are available for only about 3 months in late fall/early winter. Of course, I had to use them in baking. 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 (persimmons and mangos, naturally). Of course, once I made the original version, I had to make the gluten-free version, presented here. And the vegan version will soon be ready.

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 sugar is 192 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.

This recipe was made using My Gluten Free Flour Mix. Due to the varying characteristics of gluten free flours, other gluten free flour mixes are not guaranteed to work.

Since gluten free flours do not contain gluten, refrigeration time is essential to allow flours to absorb moisture and eliminate the gritty “gluten free” texture and taste. Although the “grittiness” can be mostly eliminated after 15 minutes of refrigeration, I find longer refrigeration times continue to improve the texture, taste and rise of gluten-free baked goods.


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.

Persimmon and Mango before drying…
…and after drying.


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.

The same is also true for the persimmon soaking syrup. After the persimmons are pureed, there will be a lot of fiber. Although the fiber works very well in the cake, it is unpleasant in the soaking syrup and will not be absorbed as readily by the cake. Press the pureed persimmon that will be used in the soaking syrup through a fine mesh sieve.

Pureed persimmon before being 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 egg yolks 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” that is approximately 1″ deep, 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.


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.


“Mince the crystallized ginger.” Easier said than done. Crystallized ginger is very sticky. To make chopping the crystallized ginger easier, place a small amount of the measured flour on the cutting board and coat your knife and the crystallized ginger with the flour. You may need to repeat this several times until the ginger is very finely minced.

Crystallized Ginger
Crystallized Ginger, Minced.


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.

A food scale is very helpful for measuring how much cake batter to put in each pan. Each pan should hold about 28 ounces of cake batter.

About 28 ounces of batter in each pan, ready to bake.
And beautifully baked.


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 pudding. 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!

Such a luscious cake. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Persimmon Cake with Persimmon Syrup (opt.), Mango Filling (opt.), Buttercream Frosting, and Dried Fruit (opt.)

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By Connie Teunis Serves: 12-16

An exceptionally moist, flavorful persimmon cake that is GLUTEN FREE! Want a Showstopper? Add the persimmon soaking syrup, Mango filling, and dried fruit. Want a quick cake? Just make the Persimmon Cake and the Buttercream frosting. Either way, this cake is delicious!


  • 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:
  • 440 g./ 2 c. Persimmon Puree (approximately 4 Persimmons, peeled, seeds removed)
  • 408 g./ 2 ½ c. + 2 T. My Gluten Free Flour Mix
  • 1 t. Baking Soda
  • ½ t. Salt
  • 1 ½ t. Xanthan Gum
  • 3 T. Crystallized Ginger (about 30 grams)
  • 2 T. Orange Zest (about 2 medium Oranges), finely minced
  • 113 g./ 1 stick Unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/2 c. Canola oil
  • 1 ½ c./ 288 g. Granulated Sugar
  • 200 g./ 4 Large Eggs
  • 1 t. Vanilla
  • ¼ c. Buttermilk, shaken
  • 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.


Make the Cake:


Remove the Persimmons’ crowns, peel, and core. If there are any persimmon seeds, remove the seeds. Place in a small food processor or blender and puree 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.


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 xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, and orange zest to the flour bowl; whisk together and set aside.


In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the melted butter and oil; beat on low speed. Add the sugar; mix until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, buttermilk, and the 360 grams/ 1 ½ cups of pureed persimmon; beat until smooth. By hand, fold in the flour mixture until just combined. Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.


The Next Day


To Bake the Cake:


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


Preheat oven to 350 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.


Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans (about 28 ounces of batter per pan). Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for approximately 50-55 minutes, until a metal cake tester, when inserted into the middle of the cake, comes out clean, or an instant-read thermometer registers 115-120 degrees. 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 80 grams/ 1/3 cup of the sieved persimmon puree into 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. Remove from heat. If syrup begins to set before you are ready to use it, gently rewarm the syrup over low heat or in a microwave, covered.


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 on low speed or by hand until combined, then increase speed and 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. Remove the parchment paper. Spread the Mango Filling on top, stopping ½” from the edge of the cake. If possible, refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the mango filling to again become firm. Place the second cake layer, top-side up, on top of the Mango Filling. Wipe off any mango filling that presses out. 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.


My Gluten Free Flour Mix:

70 g./ 7 T. White Rice Flour
35 g./ 3 1/2 T. Brown Rice Flour
24 g./ 2 T. Potato Starch
15 g./ 2 T. Millet
11 g./ 1 1/2 T. Tapioca Flour

This equals 155 g. per 1 cup.

To make a large batch at once, I multiplied the above amounts by 8:

560 g./ 56 T. White Rice Flour
280 g./ 28 T. Brown Rice Flour
192 g./ 16 T. Potato Starch
120 g./ 16 T. Millet Flour
88 g./ 12 T. Tapioca

This makes 1240 g./ 8 cups of Gluten Free Flour Mix

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