This moist, oil-free vegan persimmon bread is made with 100% whole wheat flour and no refined sugar. It’s the perfect winter dessert!
It’s persimmon time again, or at least it was, very briefly, in my parents’ yard in Louisiana. I got an email a couple of weeks ago from my dad saying that if I wanted persimmons, I’d better come get them because they were rapidly going from ripe to overripe to compost. He’d pick what was left on the trees and hold them for me, but they wouldn’t last long.
So last weekend I made a quick trip down to pick up my persimmons, along with boxes full of the citrus fruits–Meyer lemons, naval oranges, satsumas, and calamondins–that were just beginning too ripen. My kitchen now looks like a fruit stand!
Fortunately, the citrus will keep, but many of the persimmons were at the use ’em or lose ’em stage. I’ve been eating them every chance I get, but since I’m the only one in my house who likes them, I knew I had to start cooking with them. My parents mentioned that they had been substituting them for banana in banana bread, so I decided to give that a try and adapted my Cherry-Walnut Banana Bread recipe.
Before I get to the recipe, let me say a word about persimmons. As I’ve written before, most of the persimmons we get in the U.S. are of two types: the acorn-shaped Hachiya, which needs to be so ripe that it’s practically squishy when you eat it or else it will be so astringent that your mouth will pucker, and the more squatty-shaped Fuyu, which is sweet and delicious even when the fruit is still firm.
Conventional wisdom says that Hachiyas are the ones you cook with, but I’m going to tell you a secret: If you let Fuyus get ripe enough, they will get soft just like Hachiyas and you can cook with them, too. The persimmons I got from my parents are Fuyus, and they’re delciously sweet whether they’re firm and crisp or soft and mushy.
I used the soft and mushy ones for this bread, about 6 of them. They had seeds, so what I did was cut them in half and scoop out the seeds and flesh with a grapefruit spoon. I tossed the seeds into a separate bowl and didn’t even try to get off the flesh that clung to them–that’s just too much work. It’s a pretty messy job, so don’t take your cutting board and bowls into the family room and watch TV while you’re doing it, or you’ll get persimmon pulp all over the coffee table and your daughter’s homework. Not that anyone would do that, of course!
The finished bread was amazingly moist and cake-like, even though I used all whole wheat flour (the white King Arthur kind) and no refined sugar. The persimmons gave it a lovely orange color, very fall-like, and the taste was mild and lightly sweet. The whole family loved it, devouring it in one day without any margarine or spread. The next time I make it, I may add a little cinnamon and cloves to spice it up, but then, I’m the spicy type.
- 1 1/4 cups persimmon mashed pulp
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup agave nectar or other liquid sweetener
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup raisins may use up to 1/2 cup
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts optional–may use up to 1/2 cup
- Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil a loaf pan or bundt pan.
- In a small bowl, mix the persimmon, lemon juice, apple sauce, and agave nectar. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, except for raisins and walnuts. Pour the wet into the dry and mix just until all flour is moistened (do not over-mix). Fold in the raisins and walnuts, if desired.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40-50 minutes. (My bundt pan took closer to 40 minutes.) Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan. Cool completely before serving.
Nutritional info is approximate.
In the mood for bread but don’t have persimmons? Try one of my favorite quickbread recipes:
- Pumpkin Spice Bread
- Cherry-Walnut Banana Bread
- Carrot Spice Muffins
- Banana-Date-Walnut Muffins
- Or try my other persimmon bread, Fall Harvest Fruit Cake, made with persimmons and apples.
Please pin and share!
RachelNovember 17, 2009 at 1:07 am
Thanks for a great recipe…I substituted toasted almonds for the walnuts…
HannaDecember 19, 2009 at 10:23 pm
I want to try this and I love bundt cakes but I don't have a bundt pan. What kind do you recommend?
JenniferDecember 30, 2009 at 8:11 pm
i just made this today (without the raisins or walnuts) and i really loved it! i appreciated that there was no nondairy milk in this recipe. Sometimes it's nice to have a break from the basics 🙂
i added a sugar glaze to the top, even though it's not that healthy 😉
PeggyNovember 16, 2010 at 9:06 am
I just got a box of persimmons yesterday that my MIL shipped to me. Now I know what I am going to do with some. 🙂
Sylvia CastelluzzoDecember 7, 2010 at 5:24 pm
Hi! I made your persimmon bread…..I was skeptical about it being complete without the eggs, but it turned out GREAT!!!!!!! I never ate a persimmon before, and tasted them while I was cutting them, they r yummy. The bread is a winner.
You are a blessing.
SarahDecember 8, 2010 at 8:05 am
This recipe is really good- thank you! Helped me finish up the last few persimmons I had. But now I’m wishing I had more of the darn things so that I could make and freeze another loaf of this delicious bread for later.
SusanDecember 24, 2010 at 12:06 pm
hmm Can i use a no calorie sugar instead of the agave nectar??
SusanVDecember 24, 2010 at 1:51 pm
If it’s one that substitutes 1 to1 for sugar, you can try. You just need to use the same amount as the agave in the recipe.
phoebeJune 10, 2011 at 4:04 pm
this is the coolest idea of using persimmons :O
i just have a question:
can i replace the agave nectar with honey?
btw..have you tried to make cake/bread with papaya? it is amazing;)
SusanVJune 10, 2011 at 4:06 pm
You can use any liquid sweetener (sugar) instead of the agave. I haven’t baked with papaya, but it sounds good!
LynneOctober 30, 2011 at 11:49 am
Made some persimmon bread from your recipe with a little bit of substitutions. Came out very tasty but a bit too moist.
Do you have any suggestions on how to convert a sweet bread recipe (like the persimmon bread) into one that would work to make muffins?
M. ToyNovember 19, 2011 at 10:42 am
Will fuyu persimmons bread or cake freeze?
Susan VoisinNovember 19, 2011 at 10:45 am
Yes, the bread should freeze just fine.
JulieJanuary 2, 2012 at 2:54 pm
This is pretty good for no oil,butter,milk or eggs. I had extra persimmon puree so skipped the oil/applesauce. For the sweetener I used half agave and half date syrup/paste. I was a little concerned whether or not it would hold together so I did add 1 tsp xanthan gum. Turned out plenty sweet enough and extra moist (almost gooey). Persimmon is a very mild flavor so the bread tasted faintly nutmegy with no real persimmon taste. All in all, a decent alternative to the standard banana bread. It doubled well.
stephNovember 30, 2012 at 11:36 am
how does one get the persimmon pulp? Peeling?
Susan VoisinNovember 30, 2012 at 12:09 pm
Steph, I go into detail about that in the post. Basically it involves scooping the pulp out of the halved persimmons.
sepetersDecember 28, 2012 at 9:42 pm
I have wanted to make this but cannot stop eating the persimmons and never have enough. I cannot eat the hachiya kind, so I always end up digging into the fuyus before they are even soft and don’t ever have enough for this or the sorbet! I’ll keep dreaming.
TaziaJanuary 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm
Just made this recipe and was in love at first bite. I think I used too large of a buddy pan though so I will use a smaller one next time so I can get the beautiful shape. I just cut the tops off my persimmons and sliced them in quarters, threw them in the magic bullet and voila!
JenDecember 22, 2019 at 3:21 am
Can I use almond flour instead?
Susan VoisinDecember 22, 2019 at 8:44 am
I’m afraid that almond flour would give bad results in this recipe. It’s not absorbent enough, and the cake would be more like pudding.
TracyDecember 1, 2013 at 11:02 pm
I just tried this recipe, I used oil instead of applesauce and coconut sugar (1:1 as regular sugar) instead of agave nectar , as was recommended. However, the batter was very dry and crumbly. I added a bit more of persimmon to moisten it up, but after baking it came out dry and like a biscuit. I believe that the sugar +2tbsps of water is not enough liquid to replace the agave nectar. Very sad about the results, besides the oil, I just wasted very good quality ingredients.
Anna CordovaOctober 22, 2014 at 11:59 am
I just made this bread today, except I subbed 2 cups brown rice flour for the whole wheat flour to make it gluten free, and omitted the oil completely. I just added a but more persimmon and it worked great!!!
Chen FungNovember 18, 2014 at 2:41 pm
About how many fuyu persimmons would make 1 1/4 cup mashed? i can’t wait to make this! i ♡ persimmons.
Susan VoisinNovember 18, 2014 at 2:42 pm
Probably about 6, depending on their size. Be sure to let them get very soft first. Hope you enjoy!
Jeannice?!October 14, 2015 at 9:42 am
I just tried it, replacing the whole wheat flour with 1 1/2 cup buckwheat and 1/2 cup chestnut flour. Tho their flavours are really strong, this recipe is a hit 🙂 It’s a bit high in nutmeg to my taste, and i added a bit of cinammon. But it really is a great recipe ! thanks a lot 🙂
SylwiaNovember 23, 2015 at 6:25 pm
I made this today, it is aaahh-mazing!! I had to stop myself when I was halfway the loaf, otherwise I could totally eat it all in one sitting! Thank you for the recipe! <3
OliviaNovember 20, 2016 at 3:38 am
I plan on baking your bread recipe but want to make it savory. Would that work or would it turn out bitter? Don’t know if persimmons are sweet, bitter or ?? Sylvia (commentor) says they’re yummy, does that mean sweet?
Susan VoisinNovember 20, 2016 at 8:46 am
Persimmons are extremely sweet, so I can’t imagine a savory version being very good. Sorry!
JennDecember 4, 2016 at 2:32 pm
Looks like you have been plagiarized: http://missioncommunitymarket.org/2010/10/vegan-persimmon-bread
EileenDecember 16, 2016 at 6:30 pm
I made the recipe as written except for the walnuts, which I didn’t add. I used ripe hachiya persimmon pulp. The resulting ‘batter’ was very dry and not ‘pourable’ as the recipe states. I patted the batter into a bread pan. The bread came out too wet even though I baked for 60 mins. The taste was okay, although I would add cinnamon. My thought is perhap the other type of persimmon works better in this recipe.
JessicaDecember 29, 2017 at 12:32 pm
Had the same experience with the Hachiya persimmons–bread was too wet and needed cinnamon. I wish I had heeded your advice!
TiffanyApril 22, 2017 at 3:59 pm
I made this recipe today. I changed a few things: Used spelt flour because thats what I had on hand, replaced the apple sauce with coconut oil, added 1/2t of cinnamon, used maple syrup in place of agave, and I had extra persimmon pulp so I reduced the amount of maple syrup.
The bread turned out lovely. It was very moist – in some spots it was pudding like,, likely because of the increased persimmon pulp. Its not too sweet because I only used 1/4c of maple syrup.
Stacey WalkerDecember 1, 2017 at 8:57 pm
This was really good. I subbed maple syrup for the agave and I dried pineapple tidbits for raisins.
JessicaDecember 29, 2017 at 12:29 pm
Heed this warning, this recipe doesn’t work well with the Hachiya persimmons (those you usually would want to bake bread with). I followed the recipe exactly and ended up with a bread loaf so wet no amount of baking was going to save it. (Some reviewers referred to it as pudding-like). My guess is that the structure of the two kinds of persimmons is different. Also, if you are using ground nutmeg (not fresh), you should use 1/4-1/2 as the flavor is stronger. Overall waste of ingredients.
StansDecember 12, 2018 at 1:50 pm
I LOVE Hachiya persimmons and use them when they’re pretty much mush, as that’s when they are superbly sweet and flavorful. I wash them well, then let them ripen, which can take weeks, sometimes. I’ve not found that placing them in a paper bag really speeds things up a lot. When I have too many ripe Hachiya persimmons at once (what a delight!), I freeze them intact. They thaw and are almost indistinguishable from fresh ones. I doubt this would work for Fuyus, as the texture would probably be affected. A great way to preserve the bounty!
kasieOctober 17, 2019 at 8:51 am
Sorry but this was horrible. No matter how long I cooked it, it was still gooey in the middle. If yall like fruit cake, then make it, Bleh. Very very disappointing considering the time it took to take this and all my persimmons are gone now.
KarenNovember 24, 2019 at 5:13 pm
Turned out well in a bundt pan. Subbed more persimmon instead of agave. Didn’t want it very sweet. Probably making again next weekend.
Kathryn A GormanMarch 29, 2020 at 4:22 pm
These muffins turned out so delicious! I only had about 3/4 cup of persimmons, so did the remaining 1/2 cup with applesauce. I also only used about 1/3 cup honey. Texture and flavor is amazing.
KitlynNovember 13, 2020 at 8:01 am
Thanks for the recipe purchased a bunch of Fuju at Costco that were overripe. Used cinnamon flavored applesauce and dark agave and Bob’s stone ground wheat added the raisins. Not enough dough for Bundt pan so used a loaf didn’t have any nutmeg when with Trader Joe’s pumpkin spices. Delicious 😃💕
Laurel BrighamNovember 24, 2020 at 2:57 pm
Great recipe. Instead of agave and applesauce I used 1/4 c molasses and 1/4 c + 2 tbsp of coconut cream. Could probably also do 1/4 c coconut oil and 1 flax egg. I added the full 1/2 c of raisins and added some more spices. A truly lovely fall quick bread,
LindsayDecember 11, 2020 at 11:50 pm
Kinda gooey, gummy, dense & too sweet for my taste. I didn’t put it in my bundt pan as the consistency was too thick. I feel like I should have gone with my gut and added egg and 1/2 the agave. Good way to use up persimmons since every year I end up with a pile of them from friends and have no idea what to do with them.
DanielleOctober 9, 2021 at 10:42 am
Hi! Looks delish!
Do you think oat flour would work instead?
SApril 16, 2023 at 5:27 pm
This recipe is amazing! We always look forward to making it during persimmon time. Thank you so much!