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Easy Thanksgiving Dessert: Persimmon Cake

Now is the season for persimmons. They're beautiful on the trees in our neighborhood. Most of the leaves have fallen from the trees, leaving the bright orange fruits hanging, usually just beyond my reach (which isn't hard, as I'm height challenged). Nonetheless, even the markets have persimmons at this time of year. Get the persimmons fast before they're gone. Then put the persimmons aside until they become soft and slightly squishy. That's what you want--spoonable pulp when you cut the persimmons in half. Take that super-sweet pulp and, after tasting a little of it, turn the rest into one of the best cakes in creation. Persimmon cake is sweet, moist, and flavored with warm spices. To add to its appeal, the cake is topped with a buttery-sweet walnut streusel. The cake is just right with a cup of coffee or tea after your Thanksgiving (or other fall) dinner. Try it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for an awe-inspiring finish to your meal.

Easy Thanksgiving Dessert:  Persimmon Cake

Persimmon Cake -- Serves 8+

1 cup of mashed persimmon (2-4 persimmons)

1/2 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of dark brown sugar

2 eggs

1/3 cup of canola oil

2/3 cup of low-fat buttermilk

1 cup of white whole-wheat flour

1 cup of all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon each of ginger, allspice, and nutmeg

1 teaspoon of vanilla


3 tablespoons of butter, softened

1/4 cup of dark brown sugar

1/4 cup of flour

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

3/4 cup of chopped or broken walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a 9-inch spring-form pan with non-stick cooking spray or line the pan with parchment and spritz the parchment with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together the persimmon, sugars, eggs, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Stir together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, mixing just until all the ingredients are combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. For the topping, add the butter, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon to your now empty mixing bowl and, with a fork, mash the butter into the sugars and other ingredients until small clumps form. Add the walnuts and keep stirring/mashing until the walnuts are incorporated and you have some small and some pea-size streusel pieces. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top of the batter. Bake the cake for about an hour. A pick inserted in the center of the cake should come out clean or with only a few crumbs attached. Let the cake cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing the sides of the pan.

Easy Thanksgiving Dessert:  Persimmon Cake

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