persimmon spice cookies

by jenna on November 18, 2010

Friends, meet the persimmon.

He kinda looks like a funny shaped tomato and is only in season for a short time during the holidays. Ripe persimmons have incredibly soft flesh and a very distinctly mellow, sweet taste.  When ripe, you can literally pull the top off and eat the fruit with a spoon; it has an almost applesauce-like texture and flavor.

Or, you can do as I did and bake these soft, cake-like spice cookies.

Because…I don’t know about you, but I prefer to consume all fruits and vegetables in cookie form.

It just makes life so much sweeter, don’t you think?

If you think persimmon cookies sound rather gross, don’t you worry.

I thought the same thing before I baked them…really!  Maybe it’s the word “persimmon”; it kinda makes me think of an icky mushy fruit, something I definitely don’t want in my cookies.

However, that’s so not what these cookies are about!

They remind me of a cross between applesauce spice cupcakes (remember those?) and soft pumpkin cookies. They’re full of spices and chopped walnuts, and have a glorious cake-like texture.

And, like most good things, it’s kinda impossible to eat just one.

I tried that….and failed.

It’s a bold statement, I know, but I’m just going to say for the record, that these are the best cookies I’ve had in a long time. In fact, they probably even make it in my top five cookie recipes in life.

I can’t believe I just said that, but it’s true!

Please make them and report back so I know I’m not losing my mind.

Persimmon Spice Cookies

adapted from The Abundant Table (a lovely, lovely cookbook from small Christian ranch and retreat center here in Northern California)

makes about two dozen cookies

Print this recipe!

1 cup persimmon pulp (about two persimmons)

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

1 egg

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat your oven to 350.

Prepare the persimmons by washing them and removing their stems. Puree in a Vita-Mix, blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. Measure one cup of pulp out and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and salt. Mix well.

In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add the persimmon pulp and mix.

Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold together gently. Add the walnuts and mix only until combined.

Scoop large tablespoons of dough on lined baking sheets and bake for fifteen minutes, until golden brown.

**these cookies are best consumed the same day they are baked, or frozen for future persimmon cravings.

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{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica @ How Sweet It Is November 18, 2010 at 9:08 am

I have been quite skeptical of trying persimmons, but your description is the first that makes me want to run out and buy one. I think they sound fabulous.


jenna November 18, 2010 at 9:12 am

they really are! These cookies taste just like big pumpkin spice cookies and I love that the secret ingredient are persimmons!


Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin November 18, 2010 at 9:10 am

Wow those look amazing, Jenna! I actually contemplated buying a persimmon the last time I was at the grocery store because they were on sale and I’ve never had one. You make them sound and look delicious!


jenna November 18, 2010 at 9:12 am

do it!! I wish they were on sale where I live!


Heather (Heather's Dish) November 18, 2010 at 9:13 am

it’s official, i’m trying persimmon today. these are beautiful with the bow tied around them!


Hope @ onehealthyhope November 18, 2010 at 9:14 am

Wow, I’ve never tried persimmon! You make some pretty big claims bout this cookies, I’m tempted to!! Don’t think we have them readily available in New Zealand though :(


Jenny November 18, 2010 at 9:15 am

These look great! I’m wondering…would persimmon make a good loaf bread? I’m thinking banana walnut persimmon…?


jenna November 18, 2010 at 9:16 am

absolutely! I think Joy the Baker has a recipe on her site for something like that..


Carrie S. November 18, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Persimmon bread is awesome! My grandma makes it every year and it’s very dense, like a fruitcake that actually tastes good and doesn’t have freaky-colored maraschino cherries 😉


Shanna, like Banana November 18, 2010 at 2:26 pm

I just made spiced persimmon muffins from a Cooking Light recipe and they were pretty fab!


Angharad November 18, 2010 at 9:15 am

I have also not tried a persimmon before but I’m all for putting weird-sounding fruits and vegetables in baked goods so I guess these would be worth a good shot!


Moni'sMeals November 18, 2010 at 9:24 am

I LOVE PERSIMMONS!!! This I will try for sure since I have never actually baked using them. Awesome idea!


Louise November 18, 2010 at 9:25 am

I have actually never baked cookies from scratch before, but these look too delicious to pass up. By the way, I make your cinnamon toast muffins every Saturday. My husband is crazy for them.


Megan November 18, 2010 at 9:28 am

I love persimmon cookies. They just scream holiday. My mother’s boyfriend makes the best one’s I have ever had. They are not too sweet, a little spicy, and they have this awesome cake-y texture. They are so good with a latte in the afternoon.


Samantha @ The Life Abundant November 18, 2010 at 9:34 am

I like persimmon cookies, but have never made my own. My friends family farms them in our area–I may have to get some from them and whip these up. Thanks!


Melissa November 18, 2010 at 9:36 am

Yesterday, I just received 4 persimmons in my organic veggie/fruit box. My grandma use to force them on me and her persimmon cake. Needless to say I’m not a big fan. However, I’m taking this post as a sign that I should try something new with them. Thanks, perfect timing!


Dorry November 18, 2010 at 9:41 am

I remember eating a persimmon in elementary school when a boy in my class brought them in for show & tell! His family had a persimmon tree in their backyard. It’s been way too long since I’ve had one.


Estela @ Weekly Bite November 18, 2010 at 9:43 am

I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never tasted one before. Your description makes me want one for lunch :)


Krystina (Basil & Wine) November 18, 2010 at 9:46 am

The fact that these are $1.99 EACH at our Whole Foods makes me look at them in utter disgust. I mean, I totally want them, but $2.00 each?! No thank you.


Susan November 18, 2010 at 8:46 pm

I get mine at the farmers market for $1.50 or $2 each, depending on the type. I like them so much and the season is short, so I’m willing to spend the money. I know someone with a tree, too, so when I’m lucky, I get some from her. :)


Kim Trick November 18, 2010 at 9:46 am

1) I’m putting that cookbook straight to the top of my “must get this” list. Christian + ranch = my dream life (or just current obsessions?)

2) I’m always unsure of how to eat a persimmon, but I’m overcoming my fear of messing up in the kitchen. And these sound amaaaazing.

p.s. I blog about food and wellness stuff for my family and friends, and I would LOVE to be able to capture the light that you do. Really beautiful.


Susan November 18, 2010 at 8:32 pm

I love to just eat them as is. I either eat them like an apple or cut them up. I normally get fuyus, but at the Farmers Market last Saturday, a farmer gave me a different kind to try. I can’t remember the name, but it began with an “A” and they tasted almost like a mango. Can’t wait to get some more this weekend.


Clare @ Fitting It All In November 18, 2010 at 9:55 am

Thank you for posting a persimmon recipe! I’ve never known what to do with them but always want to buy them at the store.


Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) November 18, 2010 at 10:00 am

I had planned to read this post quickly, with my cup of coffee… rushing, bc I need to get moving, but couldn’t help but click over from reader and say that this post was really wonderful Jenna. :)

I really love permsimmons and am excited to have a recipe that I can use them in ! Normally I just slice ’em and eat.


chelsey @ clean eating chelsey November 18, 2010 at 10:04 am

I have never had a permsimmons before! What do they taste like?


Jessica @ The Process of Healing November 18, 2010 at 10:05 am

I would NEVER have thought of putting a fruit like that in cookies.. they sound incredible though!


Lauren @ KeepItSweet November 18, 2010 at 10:06 am

i never would have conisdered persimmons for baking. these cookies look great!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat November 18, 2010 at 10:07 am

Wow, I would have never expected to see persimmons in a cookie! I just tried one for the first time last week and was so amazed (yes, fruit amazes me) at how it’s literally like jelly in an orange skin. These sound lovely!


megan @ whatmegansmaking November 18, 2010 at 10:12 am

you’ve convinced me to try them! Now I just have to find persimmons :)


Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) November 18, 2010 at 10:20 am

This is one of those foods I’ve yet to try, but have been meaning to forever!


Alexia @ DimpleSnatcher November 18, 2010 at 10:21 am

How I love persimmons! They mean something more than simply tasting good because last year I told the first love I loved that his face resembled a persimmon. One day we were at a fruit stand in NYC’s Chinatown and he pointed to a fruit he thought was a persimmon. I pointed to another fruit and said, “No, that’s a persimmon.” And he was like, “Oh? Ummm?”
I meant his face was sweet.


Alexia @ DimpleSnatcher November 18, 2010 at 10:23 am

grrrr! i need to proof read. i meant: “the first boy I loved”


Victoria (District Chocoholic) November 18, 2010 at 10:26 am

So freaking creative. Pureed! In cookies! I’m totally making these, and subbing in dark chocolate chunks for the nuts because…well…because you can’t stop me.


betty November 18, 2010 at 10:29 am

Hi Jenna,

Did you take the skins off the persimmon before pureeing? I’m guessing yes, by the consistency in the picture, but just wanted to double check.

Persimmon is my absolute FAVORITE fruit :)

And to Krystina – if you have one nearby, check Trader Joes. They have them for $0.69. (Or sometimes Costco sells a 5lb box.) Much more affordable!


Krystina (Basil & Wine) November 18, 2010 at 10:53 am

Hi Betty! My Trader Joe’s unfortunately lacks persimmons, or else I would buy them by the bagful. I’ll be stalking it to see if they get ’em in, though.


Susan November 18, 2010 at 8:33 pm

I pureed mine with the skin on. I have a Vitamix and the skin isn’t a problem.


Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes November 18, 2010 at 10:30 am

I’ve never tried persimmon before. They have always looked so strange to me.


Steph@stephsbitebybite November 18, 2010 at 10:37 am

I just ate my first persimmon the other day and fell in love! I was a bit nervous because it looked like a tomato and I hate tomatoes, but I was happily proved wrong. So yummy, and now I have a reason to go buy more. Hopefully the cashier will charge me again for a tomato and not a persimmon (much cheaper:) )


Nicole November 18, 2010 at 11:08 am

There is just something about this fruit that turns me off! But I’m always up for trying new food:)


Sarah November 18, 2010 at 11:14 am

My friend Tracey’s mother used to make persimmon cookies for Christmas and I’ve been looking for a recipe for these forever. Now it’s off to find persimmons. Thanks!


Jen November 18, 2010 at 11:28 am

Never tried the persimmon – what does it taste like? It looks like citrus fruit or a small pumpkin or tomato. Okay, that makes no sense 😉

What do you mean by “adapted” from a cookbook? Does that mean it’s where it came from, but you didn’t follow the exact recipe?

Also, I love your photography, but have you considered maybe showing more pictures of the final end products versus the ingredients? Thanks.


Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman November 18, 2010 at 11:29 am

I think everything is appropriate in cookie form. OK, maybe not onions. I’ve never had a persimmon, but these do sound good. How else would you eat them (aside from as a cookie or with a spoon)? They look like tomatoes–do they taste similar to that plain?


Pearl Lee November 18, 2010 at 11:42 am

looks delicious! i love snacking on persimmons.


Katharine November 18, 2010 at 11:47 am

I’m SO excited you posted this recipe – I bought a bunch of really ripe persimmons last week at my local farmer’s market and the vendor told me the pulp would be great spread on toast…well, I can’t stand the slimy texture on my toast, so now I have a bunch of persimmon pulp in my fridge. I know what I’m doing this weekend!!

Thanks! :)


Rika November 18, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I think you forgot flour in your recipe! Unless they’re magical cookies, because, you know, persimmons have magical properties 😀 You should also warn your readers that there are two types of persimmons and the ones you used are inedible unless mush! Or else, theyre extremely bitter and horrifying that they might turn readers away the next day they make them 😀


Lizz @ Leading the Good Life November 18, 2010 at 12:04 pm

I just tried persimmons for the first time. I actually found them quite…tasteless. Maybe they were underripe? They reminded me of tomatoes in feel, but also had a grainy-ness to them…kind of like pears. And they were sweet, but I couldn’t get a distinct flavor from them. Guess I will have to try again!


Leah @ Why Deprive? November 18, 2010 at 12:05 pm

I’ve never tried persimmons before – I think you’re right – the name totally turned me off.


Cathy B. @ Bright Bakes November 18, 2010 at 12:19 pm

well, it looks as though I’m not alone, but persimmons have always kinda scared me…thanks for making them seem a little friendlier! This post makes me kinda want to try ’em!
Cathy b. @ brightbakes


Jordan November 18, 2010 at 12:24 pm

I’m a fan of persimmons, but only if they are still green! I love the instantaneous bite and how they just clear the saliva right out of your mouth in a heartbeat. But by the time they’re actually usable (and edible) they’re just a big pile of mush!


Tab - Just Weighing In November 18, 2010 at 1:12 pm

I have to confess that I’ve never tried persimmons before but your recipe looks really good so I just might have to try them. :)


Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather November 18, 2010 at 1:50 pm

I actually just tried persimmons for the first time this week. I got 2 with my produce delivery and was pretty scared to try them. Once I broke in and sliced it up I loved every bite. I bet these cookies are as delicious as you say!


Amy November 18, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Ooh, I never knew what to do with persimmons! My great aunt has a big persimmon tree in her front yard. She always has tons on her tree. Actually, she lives in Santa Rosa even! If you’re interested, I’m sure I could hook you up with a bunch if you’re willing to pick them! :)


Food & Other Things November 18, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I’ve never tried persimmons before but your description of these cookies makes me want to try them! I’m all about spice cookies!


Natalia - a side of simple November 18, 2010 at 2:43 pm

The pictures from this post are beautiful!. I love the cookies tied up with the ribbon!


laura (Starloz) November 18, 2010 at 2:57 pm

i dont think we get persimmon here, i’m outraged


Alyssa November 18, 2010 at 3:03 pm

When I was little my grandma and I had a neighbor who was like… I don’t know, 110 years old. Anyways, he’d lived on his property for FOREVER and had these huge pomegranate, persimmon and walnut trees that he was no longer able to harvest himself because he was nearly blind. So he’d let my grandma and I go over and pick as much as we wanted. Every fall we’d make TONS of persimmon cookies with golden raisins in them. We’d always take him a batch. My husband is highly skeptical of persimmons. I should make this recipe for him!


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) November 18, 2010 at 3:19 pm

I had never even had a persimmons until I moved to CA 7-8 yrs ago. Til then, had never tried them…partly b/c i had no idea what they even were but also b/c they are expensive and super hard to source aside from a few weeks a year as you mentioned….

But Boy, am i GLAD i tried them finally. And yes, they are such a lovely fruit!

And i bet your recipe is delish!!! :)


Camille November 18, 2010 at 3:40 pm

I have never tried persimmons but I really want to! They are definitely on my “to eat” list!


Lindsey November 18, 2010 at 3:45 pm

I LOVE persimmon cookies! My mom has made them for us ever since we were little. We always had to force our friends to eat them, but once they did they were HOOKED! They freeze beautifully; they’re seriously just as good as when they’re fresh. My favorite way to eat them is with chocolate chips. :) If only Dallas had persimmons…man, I’m missing living in California right now!


Maria November 18, 2010 at 3:51 pm

You had me at kind of like a pumpkin cookie. Anything pumpkin like..mmmmm…


Cara Craves... November 18, 2010 at 4:01 pm

You need to pop on over to Korea; the streets are exploding with persimmons right now! Every little street vendor has bushels of them for sale. So cheap and so delish!
I love cooking them in with my oatmeal.


Dee November 18, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Ahh, thanks to this post I am now in the mood for dessert. *dives for the last bit of Nutella in jar* :)


Marie-Journey to Body Zen November 18, 2010 at 7:15 pm

I’m pretty sure I’ve only every had persimmon wine. And it was good. I’m dying to make these cookies!


The Skinny Chronicles November 18, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Ooh. I love these…make a similar recipe every year. Thanks for the reminder that I need to hop to it!

Have you seen the recipe for persimmon mojitos?!?!?

Can’t go wrong!


Salah@myhealthiestlifestyle November 18, 2010 at 8:26 pm

I’ve never had a persimmon before but cookies are always yummy :-)


Liana @ femme fraiche November 19, 2010 at 2:29 am

This is the first time I’ve seen a persimmon recipe on a blog! (okay, so what if I’m new) These look fabulous and if I could live off fruit I would. I’m anxious to try them! Nothing like cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves to get me in the spirit…they are quintessential Christmas smells for me:)


Miranda November 19, 2010 at 6:57 am

I am going to have to make these, our grocery store never actually sells persimmons, but they grow on trees all over around here, and I have never ate one. Sad truth. Many around here believe that the shape of the inside predicts what kind of winter we will have, ie a spoon shaped seed means lots of shoveling snow. (That is the shape of the seeds this year according to my neighbor.) Thanks for the great recipe!


valen November 19, 2010 at 11:46 am

I love all fruits except the persimmon. My mom loves them, and keeps making me try them. Every time I try the things I can’t stand it, like spit out bad. They don’t have much in flavor unlike a mango, and I think thats what gets me. Like I can’t stand red delicious apples because they don’t have a real flavor that says “kapow!” I will tell my mom about these cookies!


Shirley Brown November 24, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Made the cookies and they are amazing. I have been eating persimmons for the last couple of weeks, and bought a couple more….even though I’m leaving. This was the perfect use for them! COOKIES!..
next time I might add chocolate… cause everything is pretty darn good with chocolate!
thanks for sharing


Kay Heritage November 30, 2010 at 8:36 am

Love persimmons! These beauties are the crowned fall fruit in Korea. :) Great post, Jenna!


Emily December 1, 2011 at 7:41 pm

I just adapted this recipe into a spice bread by adding another 1/2c flour and a full T baking powder, and it was perrrrfect. It was just the right amount of batter for an 8.5×4.5 loaf pan, and it turned out great. Thanks, Jenna!


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