These spiced mini bundt cakes are enhanced with ripe persimmon fruitand really deliver the taste of the season. With traditional spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and clove, these cakes are tasty little bites of holiday yumminess.
Two things happened recently that led to the creation of these tasty little spiced persimmon mini bundt cakes. Firstly, after much searching around in local shops, I discovered this adorable mini bundt cake pan! So cute.
With bundt cake pan in hand, the second thing was that all of the sudden, persimmons began appearing in local produce stalls all over town. And I absolutely LOVE persimmons! ‘Tis the season for persimmons here… from October to February, and they come in several varieties.
It has taken me a bit of time to get the hang of buying them, because one variety, the heart shaped ones (below left) are extremely astringent and you really can’t eat them until they are fully ripened. Believe me, I’ve been impatient and tried that and aack! your mouth feels like you chewed on a scrub brush and it doesn’t go away for at least 15 minute… aaaand once you cut a persimmon open, it won’t ripen, so it’s a waste of a potentially great piece of fruit. Lesson learned on that one!
The flat bottomed “tomato shaped” persimmons (below right) however, are yummy when they are hard (kind of like an apple) and can also be eaten when ripe.
So, lots of persimmon love going on around here these days. ? On top of which, persimmons are amazing for health, so much so that I wrote an entire article about the health benefits of persimmons. Take a look, if you are interested… persimmons are good for so many issues. From aiding in weight loss to boosting the immune system to being heart healthy, persimmons are incredible!
As much as I enjoy eating persimmons in their various stages of ripeness, it was inevitable that I would end up cooking them into something yummy at some point and with the arrival of the bundt pan, well, the rest is happy history.
Let’s Make Some Spiced Persimmon Mini Bundt Cakes
This easy recipe is for a small batch of mini bundts and makes about 12 cakes. The most important point to note is a curiosity that I discovered when cooking persimmons… you have to cook with only the flat bottomed variety that is never astringent.
During my experiments with cooking persimmons I discovered that as soon as you heat the persimmon pulp of ripened Hachiya persimmons (which I tried in the first go-round of making these cakes) a chemical reaction takes place with heat that actually reverses the process that rendered the fruit sweet. It becomes astringent again! So disappointing! And totally useless for cooking with at all. I’ve seen references to this online since, so it’s not just a fluke, but apparently it is “what happens.”
Therefore. Be sure that you use any variety of Fuyu, Jiru, or Hyakume (sweet, never astringent, flat-bottomed) persimmons and then your spice persimmon mini bundt cakes will be sweet as can be. You can wait until the persimmons are fully ripe, in which case, the pulp will be soft and dark brownish, or you can peel and cut up the crisp fruit that will cook into a nice soft jam-like pulp. That’s what I did; I used these Hyakume or “cinnamon persimmons.” They look like this when they are crisp:
So, first you will peel your persimmons and cut into small pieces, as if you were preparing to make jam. Normally, persimmons don’t need to be peeled when eating, but for cooking, I didn’t want the peel in there… much like you would peel apples for apple pie.
Over medium heat, you’ll add about ¼ cup of brown sugar to the persimmon pulp and about ¼ cup of water and boil the mixture until the fruit softens and becomes jam-like, reduced in volume by about half. Remove from heat and set aside.
Then you’ll proceed to make the cake batter, which is a simple spice cake.
You’ll mix the sugar and the wet ingredients together and then add in the persimmon fruit mixture. Then the dry ingredients. I did all of this by hand and used a whisk to thoroughly mix the ingredients into a smooth batter.
Lightly grease your bundt pan and fill no more than a bit less than halfway… the batter really rises and you don’t want it to rise over the edge of each bundt. My pan is non-stick, but I found that I had to rinse out and dry and re-grease in between batches; that’s probably normal, but this is my first bundt pan, so I thought I’d mention it.
Bake the bundts and then let them sit for about 1 minute before removing from the pan. Mine didn’t fall out; I had to slightly pinch them and then they came out easily.
With a light dusting of powdered sugar, these little bite-sized cakes are so pretty! I also had some plum jam on hand and that little bundt-top looked like it might want filling, so I added jam on top of some and it was really good too! You could also use a powdered sugar glaze if you wanted, for more sweet and another pretty look.
So, if you can find some persimmons this season, do give these little mini bundts a try! They’re spicy, tasty and they’re cute! ?
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Spiced Persimmon Mini Bundt Cakes
For the Persimmon Puree:
- 1 cup chopped fresh sweet persimmons (use flat-bottomed Fuyu, Jiru,or Hyakume varieties only)
- 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest optional
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup water
For the Batter:
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup butter, melted, or oil
- ¼ cup plain yogurt or sour cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1¼ cup flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground clove powder
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1 TBSP powdered sugar for garnish optional, as needed
For the Persimmon Puree:
- Chop persimmon in small pieces and place with other puree ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to boil and reduce to medium high heat, stirring often to keep fruit from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- When fruit has softened and has reduced to about half, remove from heat and stir (mash) to desired consistency. Lumps are ok!
- Set puree aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350°
For the Batter:
- Lightly grease your mini bundt (or mini muffin) tin.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix sugar and wet ingredients, using a whisk to ensure that there are no lumps. Add persimmon puree and whisk to incorporate.
- In another bowl, mix dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet, about ½ cup at a time. Mix thoroughly.
- Fill your mini bundt indents from ⅓ to a bit less than ½ full. Don't overfill! These little cakes will rise and you don't want them too puffy.
- Cook for 12- 20 minutes (depending on your oven and how full you filled the indents.
- Let cakes cool for about 1 minute and then gently remove from pan. If you are re-using the same pan, wash out any crumbs that stuck to the indents, dry and re-grease before baking the second batch.
- When cakes have cooled completely, garnish with a light sprinkling of powdered sugar, a dollop of jam, or the icing drizzle of your choice.