Being November, it’s all about pie. I’m not quite sure why the requisite Thanksgiving dessert is pie, but it is. Even deviating from the standard choices of pumpkin or pecan feels like selling out on the roots of the holiday.
I’ll confess we do make a pumpkin pie each year but have a family tradition of making a Grasshopper Pie too. The latter is prompted by my kids who absolutely love it. In case you haven’t enjoyed one, it has a chocolate cookie crumb crust and a creamy Crème de Menthe filling that is frozen so tastes like an ice cream pie. It’s very easy to make gluten-free as well.
Though I do love pie, I’m more apt to make cake. At this time of year I love deep, soulful spices and using seasonal ingredients for cake that’s perfect eaten wrapped up in a blanket by a warm fire.
A favorite (of ours and yours from the kind emails I’ve received) is Pumpkin Spice Buttermilk Bundt Cake with Dark Salted Caramel Glaze. It had beautiful warm flavors and lots of goodies sprinkled on top for a captivating look and taste.
I’m really loving persimmons right now. After mixing them in margaritas, adoring their flame-orange flesh in a puree, I wanted to give them a cake of their own. And a cake which would stand rightly at the holiday table with no shame about not being a pie.
Persimmon Winter Bundt Cake features the sweet, ripe flesh of Hachiya persimmons and warming spices of ginger, cinnamon and allspice. I reprised a recipe from my Grandmother’s recipe box a few years ago for Persimmon Pudding, which is a baked dish, not what most think of as pudding these days. It’s topped with a boozy Hard Sauce that seemed a wonderful option thinned to a glaze for this cake. If you aren’t familiar with Hard Sauce, it’s a luscious topping made of butter, sugar and usually brandy or run.
The cake tastes like the indoor warmth of the winter months to me. The joy of the fireplace after cold noses and toes have spent more time outside than they should have. It’s wonderful with a cup of coffee and a chat with a friend.
This bundt cake is full of winter spices and is a wonderful way to use fully ripe persimmons. My pick is ripened Hachiya persissons which give it a light, sweet flavore.
Though this cake is gluten free it was adapted from a gluten cake. For those preferring to use gluten all-purpose flour merely substitute it for the full flour amount (2 1/4 cups) or for the gluten-free all-purpose flour and still add the oat flour.
In my experience gluten-free cakes have the most structural integrity if they are allowed to cool fully. I prefer not to use gums in my baking, being able to tell they have been used in the taste and texture. There are no gums in this cake either so letting the cake fully cool is important.
- 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for greasing Bundt pan
- 11/4 cups all-purpose gluten free flour (I use King Arthur)
- 1 cup gluten-free Oat Flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon Xanthan Gum (if making the cake gluten-free; omit if in the gluten-free flour blend used)
- 1 teaspoon ground Allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground Ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups Persimmon Puree* (instructions in Notes below; uses 1-2 ripe Hachiya persimmons)
- 3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups Confectioner’s Sugar, sifted
- 3 tablespoons melted Unsalted Butter
- 3 tablespoons Bourbon
- ½ teaspoon Orange Extract
- 3 tablespoons Milk or Cream
- Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare the Bundt pan: using a paper towel with softened butter (start with around a half tablespoon), generously wipe the butter fully over the internal cavity of the Bundt pan, including the middle cone. Remove any excess butter. Generously dust flour into the buttered pan, rotate it tapping the outside to spread butter over the butter. Turn upside down and tap out excess flour; tapping the pan while upside down on a firm surface.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum (if making the cake gluten-free), allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt; whisk to fully combine.
- In a second medium size mixing bowl, combine the persimmon puree, buttermilk and vanilla extract; whisk together until smooth.
- On medium-high speed, beat together with a mixer the 1 ½ sticks butter and granulated sugar for 3 minutes until light colored and fluffy. Add eggs, allowing each to blend in before adding the next; beating to fully incorporate into the butter-sugar mixture.
- Reduce mixer speed to low. Starting and ending with the dry ingredient mixture, alternate adding the dry ingredient mixture and the persimmon mixture. Beat only to combine; do not over mix.
- Spoon the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan and smooth the top. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack. TIP: place a cooling rack on top of the cake pan with the top surface facing the top of the cake and invert. Allow to cool completely.
- In the bowl of a mixer combine the sifted confectioner’s sugar and the melted butter. Beat on low speed to combine. Add the remaining ingredients (bourbon, orange extract and milk/cream) beating on medium speed until smooth.
- Place the cooling rack with the cake on a baking sheet with sides. Pour the glaze over the cake evenly (I use a liquid measuring cup and pour from the inside to the outside and back). Allow glaze to set before serving (about 10 minutes).
*To make Persimmon Puree scoop the flesh from inside 1-2 fully ripe persimmons (I use Hachiya persimmons). Add the flesh to a blender and blend just until pureed.
More cake you’ll love (click the photo for recipe):