Maple Persimmon Upside-Down Cake with Maple Cream

By • November 10, 2010 • 42 Comments

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Author Notes: When I decided to make a persimmon upside-down cake, I didn't think that using a standard pineapple upside-down cake recipe would fly, so I went for a sturdier, denser cake, reinforced with extra egg yolk and ground nuts. I also liked the idea of caramelization via maple syrup, which, it turns out, is great with the fruit. The flavors will mellow and meld overnight, but the cake will stay very moist, so it's a great bake-ahead dessert, though ideally it should be served warm. I love using the traditional cast iron pan, but if you don't have one, be sure to use a minimum 10-inch cake pan-- there's a good amount of batter. Most important, though, is to use fuyu persimmons, which have the right texture for the recipe (as opposed to hachiyas, which are too soft). Cut them in slices parallel to the equator to get the sweet little star pattern. - vvvanessavvvanessa

Food52 Review: WHO: vvvanessa is a recreational baker who lives in California.
WHAT: A new go-to dessert you'll be dreaming about long after the persimmons are gone.
HOW: Mixing a batter and layering persimmons all pays off the moment you get to flip this baby upside down.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This cake is like your favorite spice cake meets the caramelized fruit goodness of a tarte tatin. We'd stop there, but then, there's the faintly sweet Maple Cream. You have direct orders not to skip the latter.
The Editors

Serves 8-10

Persimmon Upside-Down Cake

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons real maple syrup (grade B if you can get it, but grade A is fine as long as it's the real thing)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped roasted pecans
  • 2-3 ripe fuyu persimmons, cut into slices parallel to the equator, about 1/4-inch thick

Maple Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, well-chilled
  • 2 tablespoons real maple syrup, well-chilled
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Over low heat on the stovetop, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup in a 10-inch cast iron skillet. It should not get hot or bubbly, just melted. Remove the pan from the heat.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter and 1 cup of maple syrup over medium-low until they are thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl, add in the egg and egg yolk, and beat for another minute.
  5. Add in half of the flour mixture and beat for 10 seconds. Add in the buttermilk and beat for 10 seconds more. Add in the rest of the flour mixture, beat for 10 seconds, scrape down the bowl, and beat for 20 seconds more.
  6. Stir in the pecans, scraping down the bowl in the process.
  7. Take the cast iron pan, and swirl the butter-syrup mixture to make sure the sides and bottom of the pan are thoroughly coated, taking care if the pan is still hot. Set one slice of persimmon in the middle of the pan, then layer the persimmons in outward-moving concentric circles, overlapping them as necessary to cover the bottom of the pan completely.
  8. Pour the batter over the fruit, and smooth out the surface.
  9. Bake on the center rack for 45-50 minutes, rotating the pan about 20 minutes into baking. The cake will brown slightly and is done when it tests clean in the middle.
  10. Remove the pan from the oven. Allow it to cool until it can be handled safely without oven mitts (anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour or more). Using a thin butter knife or an icing spatula, gently loosen the sides of the cake. Place a large serving plate inverted on top of the pan. Bracing the plate against the pan with one hand, flip the cake over and out of the pan and onto the plate. If there is another set of hands to help with the heavy pan, all the better.
  11. Allow the cake to finish cooling on the plate. While the cake is cooling, make the maple cream. Whip the cream, maple syrup, and cinnamon together to form soft peaks. Keep refrigerated until the cake is ready to serve.
  12. Serve slices of cake warm with a big dollop of the maple cream.
Jump to Comments (42)

Tags: cake, fall, fall, Maple syrup, persimmon, upside down cake

Comments (42) Questions (0)

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11 months ago Rebecca Cherry

A big hit at the party! There's enough maple syrup in the cake to disguise "the blah" persimmon. It is a very moist cake - almost English pudding style - that tastes of maple pecan finished with orange. Oh, then more maple, please - in the whip cream!

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11 months ago vvvanessa

So glad to hear it was a hit! Thanks for letting me know!

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12 months ago Kathleen

My Aunt in California sends us (in Michigan) persimmons from her tree. For Thanksgiving, I am making this cake. Looks delicious!

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11 months ago vvvanessa

I hope it turned out! Hooray for aunties with persimmon trees!

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almost 2 years ago Kukla

Congratulations Vanessa! This is a great recipe and a beautiful Cake!

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almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Congratulations Vanessa! My mouth is watering just looking at this. Our grocery store isn't getting any more persimmons for the season, but next year I am making this the moment I spot one!

Karen_and_amy

almost 2 years ago My Pantry Shelf

Beautiful Vanessa! I love persimmons. I have long since used all mine up for the year, but I am saving the recipe for next year. Congrats on being a finalist!

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almost 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Wow, this looks just amazing Vanessa! Many congrats on being in the finalist circle. Fabulous!!

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almost 2 years ago EatSimplyEatWell

Wow! Looks incredible. I'd nearly given up on finding a way to eat persimmons in anything but their raw form. I'll need to get myself a new bagful and try this.

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almost 2 years ago vvvanessa

Thanks! I hope it works out for you!

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Holy cow. Yum. Congrats vvv!

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almost 2 years ago vvvanessa

Many thanks, mrslarkin!

Stringio

almost 2 years ago jeaninoakland

Eli loves persimmons. This may replace the kale chips as his favorite.

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almost 2 years ago vvvanessa

The first cake next season will be for him!

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almost 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Congratulations, triplev! This is a beauty, and on my list for next time I have persimmons.

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almost 2 years ago vvvanessa

Thank you!

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almost 2 years ago creamtea

Beautiful! Congratulations!

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almost 2 years ago vvvanessa

Thanks, creamtea!

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almost 2 years ago Midge

Dying to try this. Congrats Vanessa!

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almost 2 years ago vvvanessa

Thanks so much, Midge!

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almost 2 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

yum. congratulations!

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almost 2 years ago vvvanessa

Thank you, drbabs!

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almost 2 years ago kate

Congrats Vanessa! Looks awesome!

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almost 2 years ago vvvanessa

Thanks, Kate!

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almost 2 years ago savorthis

Beautiful. Congrats!

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almost 2 years ago vvvanessa

Thank you, savorthis!

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almost 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Absolutely fabulous cake, congratulations on being a finalist. I just love upside down cakes and using persimmons was genius.

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almost 2 years ago vvvanessa

Cake is my favorite food, and caramelized fruit makes it that much more exciting. Thanks, sdebrango!

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almost 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

This is a gorgeous cake!

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almost 2 years ago vvvanessa

Thanks!

Mrs._larkin_370

about 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Sounds delicious! I'm afraid i would eat the maple cream by the spoonful!

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about 4 years ago vvvanessa

well, that definitely qualifies as a "non-pie thanksgiving dessert"!

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about 4 years ago vvvanessa

thank you! i was focused on persimmons because i was given a giant bag of them and took it as a challenge to find out how to bake them away!

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about 4 years ago vvvanessa

whoops. that comment was aimed at lizthechef!

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about 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

What a beautiful cake!

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about 4 years ago vvvanessa

thank you!