Fruit: A Savor the South Cookbook

Nancie’s Persimmon Pound Cake

Makes 1 pound cake or bundt cake


3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

4 large eggs

1 cup persimmon puree

½ cup buttermilk


Generously grease a 10-inch tube pan or bundt pan, using butter, shortening, or vegetable oil. Heat the oven to 350°.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking soda, and salt. Using a whisk or a fork, stir to mix everything together evenly and well. Combine the buttermilk and vanilla extract in a small bowl and stir well. Set these two mixtures aside while you prepare the butter.

Using an electric mixer, beat the softened butter at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the granulated sugar and the brown sugar and beat at high speed, stopping often to scrape the bowl and combine the ingredients evenly and well. Add the eggs, one by one, beating well after each addition. Add the persimmon puree and beat at low speed to incorporate the persimmon puree into the butter mixture.

Add half the flour mixture to the persimmon batter, and use a large spoon or whisk to incorporate the flour. Stop as soon as most of the flour disappears into the moist batter. Add half the buttermilk and stir well. Then repeat with the remaining flour and then the remaining buttermilk, stirring and scraping gently, just enough to bring everything together into a smooth, evenly combined, thick autumnal-orange colored batter. Don’t overmix the batter.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and place it in the 350 degree oven. Bake until the cake rises, becomes firm and dry, and just begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, 50 – 60 minutes. The caked should feel springy to the touch, and a knife blade or skewer inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean.

Place the cake on a wire cooling rack or a folded kitchen towel, and let cool to room temperature. Pour on Quick Caramel Glaze if using. Serve at room temperature, accompanied if you wish by vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.



Quick Caramel Glaze


¼ cup butter, cut iinto 4 pieces

½ cup light brown sugar

¼ cup half-and-half or evaporated milk

1 ½ cups sifted confectioner’s sugar

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Combine butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until butter melts, using a whisk or a large spoon, mixing it with the sugar to make a smooth sauce.

Add the half-and-half, and let the glaze come to a gentle boil. Stir well to make a smooth sauce. Remove from heat.

Stir in the confectioner’s sugar and the vanilla and beat well with a whisk, spoon or fork, until the glaze thickens a little and loses its shine. Use at once, while warm.

Makes enough to glaze one bundt cake or pound cake. Double or triple for more, to cover a cake.



If glaze hardens before you use it, stir in a spoonful or two of half-and-half to soften it.


This recipe comes from “Fruit: A Savor the South Cookbook” by Nancie McDermott. Copyright 2017. Published by UNC Press. All rights reserved. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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