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whole loaf with slices on little plate and a cup of coffee

Persimmon Bread

adapted from a James Beard recipe
This is a boozy, moist bread with deep luscious fall color and flavors. This recipe makes enough for yourself and a gift for someone special.
4.5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Course bread
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
Calories 550 kcal


  • 3 ½ cups all purpose flour I used 2 cups white whole wheat flour and 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (fresh or jarred)
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • zest from one medium orange
  • 2 cups sugar I used 2 cups with a 1/2 tablespoon of orange zest rubbed into it
  • 1 cup melted unsalted butter cooled to room temperature or 3/4 cup of olive oil
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup Cognac bourbon or whiskey could work as well
  • 2 cups persimmon puree from about 8 squishy-soft Hachiya persimmons**
  • 1.5 cups walnuts or pecans toasted and chopped
  • 1 cup raisins or a mixture of diced dried fruits (such as apricots, cranberries, or dates) - I used raisins soaked in orange juice and cinnamon


  • Extract the pulp from the hachiya persimmons: Wash them, cut them in half through the equator, and just scoop out the pulp with a spoon. You can puree the pulp in a blender or food processor - I like it a bit chunky so I just used a hand potato masher.
  • If you need to toast your nuts, start that process now as well as macerating the raisins if you plan to add this step. If you macerate the raisins - just add enough orange juice to immerse them and about a teaspoon of cinnamon - pour out most of the juice before you use them.
  • Butter or spray 2 loaf pans. Line the bottoms with a piece of parchment paper or dust with flour and tap out any excess. (I used one loaf pan and one 8 compartment mini-loaf pan).
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Sift the first 4 dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Add the orange-zested sugar and combine.
  • Make a well in the center then stir in the butter, eggs, liquor, persimmon puree then the nuts and raisins.
  • Bake 50 - 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (the mini loaves took 30 minutes and the large loaf took 50 minutes)
  • Storage: Will keep for about a week, if well-wrapped, at room temperature. The persimmon breads freeze well too.


**I removed the pulp from 17 persimmons which yielded 4 cups of pulp - I froze the other 2 cups in one cup containers for later use.
  • This recipe works really well if you sub in some whole wheat flour. But I don’t recommend all whole wheat as you probably will need extra liquid if you do. I used 2 cups of white whole wheat flour and 1 ½ cups of unbleached flour.
  • All nutmeg is fine but using some of the warming spices in pumpkin spice like allspice and cinnamon and a bit of cardamom adds extra nuance to the loaf.
  • I was out of regular sugar the first time I made this and used coconut palm sugar and organic regular and it worked out just fine.
  • Soaking (macerating) the raisins in some warm orange juice and cinnamon before adding to the mix is a nice touch but not mandatory.
  • You could back off on the cognac to ½ cup from 2/3 to make it a little more friendly for the young crowd (not that they didn’t eat and enjoy it anyhow). The alcohol does cook away.


Calories: 550kcalCarbohydrates: 78gProtein: 7gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 380mgPotassium: 355mgFiber: 2gSugar: 31gVitamin A: 420IUVitamin C: 20.7mgCalcium: 42mgIron: 3.1mg
Keyword James Beard, persimmon bread, quick bread
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