Persimmon Spice Cake {with orange glaze}

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I already mentioned that I picked up my first Bountiful Basket this past Saturday and I loved it! The only thing from the box that had me stumped were the fuyu persimmons! I know one can simply eat these as is, but I really wanted an excuse to bake something sweet, so to Google I went…and found nothing. I searched and searched for some kind of bread or cake that I could make but everything told me I had the wrong persimmons for baking!

Persimmon Spice Cake with Orange Glaze

Persimmon Spice Cake with Orange Glaze

Apparently hachiya persimmons are the fruits that normally go into cookies and cakes, but I still searched! I knew someone, somewhere had to have used fuyu persimmons in a cake. Then I found this recipe and I thought I can make this better! And that is exactly what I did! I kept the same methods, but exchanged some of the ingredients to incorporate the orange into the cake. I also used coconut palm sugar in place of the normal refined sugar and there isn’t one person in this world who would know the difference! Oh, and I used half whole wheat flour/half white flour just because I ran out of white flour, but that isn’t necessary. Just know that it works if you want to do that!

Take a look at that texture! Diced persimmons, chopped walnuts, and raisins. Delicious.

Take a look at that texture! Diced persimmons, chopped walnuts, and raisins. Delicious.

Persimmon Spice Cake

2 teaspoons baking soda

3 cups (about 6 persimmons) peeled, diced fuyu persimmon (or puree if you prefer to not have fruit chunks)

1/2 cup softened butter

1 2/3 cups coconut palm sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

zest from half an orange

2 cups unbleached, unbromated flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup rasins 

Orange Glaze

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

zest from half an orange

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a bundt pan.

Mix baking soda and persimmons in a small bowl and set aside. Beat sugar and butter together until mixed, then add eggs, orange juice, vanilla, & zest and beat until fluffy, about 2 – 3 minutes on high.  Fold persimmon mixture into egg mixture. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cloves, cinnamon, & nutmeg. Mix into egg mixture just until combined, then fold in walnuts and raisins.

Pour mixture into bundt pan and smooth out with a spoon.  Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. Meanwhile, whisk confectioner’s sugar, orange juice, and zest together in a small bowl.

When the cake is done, cool in the pan for 10 minutes or so, then turn out onto a platter and pour glaze all over.

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This is a great fall cake! Next time I end up with persimmons, I am going to puree them to see how that works.

Persimmon Spice Cake with Orange Glaze

Persimmon Spice Cake with Orange Glaze

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(Much) Better-For-You Carrot Cake

I have been craving something sweet since I left Kentucky.  You see, Sam and I do not keep sweet stuff in the house for our own protection.  We eat fruits and, for very special occasions maybe craisins or spoonfuls of peanut butter, for dessert.  Sometimes I may sneak a bowl of (yard mulch) cereal in the middle of the night. Other than those few things and the container of sugar I have in my pantry, no sweets in this house! So I decided to take my favorite dessert (carrot cake) and find a recipe that used better-for-you ingredients.  Lemme tell you that there were tons of “healthy” carrot cake recipes, and I spend a whole day searching for the perfect one.  The recipe that I found only used 3/4 cups of sugar while most used the same amount, so I don’t know how they could call their recipes “healthy”. This recipe uses grated apples and raisins to add some sweetness, and holy cow, it is so good.

You will need:

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup of vegetable oil

4 eggs

2 cups of whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups grated carrots

1 1/2 cups grated, peeled apples

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup walnuts

The apples and raisins provide most of the sweetness in this cake. I read that you could also use pineapple instead of apples.

1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease pan of your choosing. I used to 9 inch round pans, but you could use a bunt pan, cupcake pan, whatever…

2. Mix sugar, eggs, and vegetable oil together until mixture has thickened slightly (about 2 or 3 minutes of medium speed).

3. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add flour mixture to egg mixture a little at a time using a low speed setting.

4. Add carrots, apples, raisins and walnuts to the mixture. Just kind of fold them in until everything looks evenly mixed.

The mixture will be pretty thick. Just spread it evenly in the pan with at spoonula or scraper. Try not to eat any yet, it has raw eggs in it!

5. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until done (insert toothpick in center and see if it comes out clean!)

I had to cook one cake at a time. My Japanese oven only fits one 9 inch pan. =(

Now, you can’t have carrot cake without cream cheese icing, right? So I had to give in and get the regular Philadelphia cream cheese (whipped). However, I did not used 4 or 5 cups of powdered sugar for the icing. Instead I used honey.

Icing:

8oz whipped cream cheese

about 1/4-1/2 cup honey. You can taste after adding 1/4 cup and if it’s not sweet enough, add more.

1 teaspoon vanilla.

Mix together and chill until ready to ice the cake.

I added more walnuts..what can I say, I love nuts. (eh, Sarah?)

This cake turned out to be so yummy! I loved all of the fruits and carrots throughout the cake. It made for a really nice texture. The Honey-cream cheese icing went perfect, couldn’t even tell it wasn’t the normal cream cheese icing.

Well, I need to start dinner soon. Sam and I are having chicken enchiladas, cilantro-lime rice, and margaritas.  After dinner,  we are playing guitar hero and watching Dinner for Schmucks. It’s going to be a lovely night!