Ever since I was a child, I have loved fruits. If I don’t have at least two fruits a day, I feel unhealthy. Almost every fruit is delicious in its own way but persimmons rank very high on my list along with figs. It was only recently that I noticed persimmons do not receive enough love. There are very few desserts that utilize this fruit so I am going to change that by sharing this upside down persimmon cake. This cake is the perfect coffee cake with lovely notes of cinnamon and served with a tangy labneh whipped cream. Never had a persimmon before? What are you waiting for?

upside down persimmon cake

upside down persimmon cake


Upside Down Persimmon Cake

1 hr, 45 Total Time

Yields 1 10-inch cake

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    Upside down persimmon cake
  • 4-5 fuyu persimmons, ripe
  • ¾ cup butter, softened, divided
  • ½ cup brown sugar, divided
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon, divided
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cloves, ground
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup hachiya persimmon pulp, ripe
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup greek yogurt
  • Labne whipped cream
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup labneh
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Peel and thinly slice 3 persimmons about 1/8 inch thick. Peel and cut enough persimmons into small chunks to make 1 cup.
  3. Melt ¼ cup butter in a cast iron pan over medium-low heat. Add ½ cup brown sugar and simmer until bubbly, stirring frequently, about 4-5 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and stir in ½ tsp ground cinnamon.
  4. Lay the sliced persimmons in the pan on the melted butter and sugar, slightly overlapping the persimmons. Set aside while you make the batter.
  5. Cream together ½ cup softened butter with the remaining ¼ cup brown sugar and ½ cup granulated sugar for about 3 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time while the mixer is running until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically. Add 1 tsp vanilla and mix to combine.
  6. Combine 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour with 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, the remaining 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp nutmeg, ½ tsp cloves and ½ tsp salt in a medium bowl.
  7. Scoop the pulp from the hachiya persimmon and blend together with ¼ cup milk and ¼ cup Greek yogurt until smooth.
  8. Add ½ of the flour mix into the batter and stir until incorporated. Add the blended persimmon and milk mixture followed by the remaining flour mix. Stir in the 1 cup chopped persimmons until well combined.
  9. Spoon the batter in the cast iron pan with the persimmons. Bake the upside down persimmon cake for 55 minutes – 1 hour 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, make the labneh whipped cream. Whip 2/3 cup heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold in the ½ cup labneh with 1 tbsp powdered sugar just until combined.
  11. Place a plate on top of the cake and carefully flip the pan over to invert the cake onto the plate. Serve warm or at room temperature with the labneh whipped cream.


**Helpful tips and common mistakes

Upside down cakes are generally very sweet but this upside down persimmon cake is more subtle. Persimmons aren’t particularly too sweet which helps make this cake more balanced. Not as sweet means it’s healthy, right?

Before we make the cake, let’s take a step back and talk about persimmons. There are two main types of persimmons, fuyu and hachiya. Fuyus are wider and almost doughnut-shaped while hachiyas are elongated and look more like acorns. Besides the shape, the biggest difference is the texture. You can eat fuyus slightly firm but hachiyas must be fully ripe before being consumed.

The first time I had a hachiya, I wasn’t aware of this fact and took a big bite of a semi-ripe persimmon. I immediately spat it out. The fruit was so starchy it left my mouth feeling waxy. It was disgusting. However, don’t let this fool you from thinking that when they are ripe or even over-ripe, they are sweet and juicy.

comparing persimmons

For this recipe, we’re going to utilize both types of persimmons to get as much persimmon flavor as possible. Use fuyu persimmons for the top layer and hachiya for the puree. You can use slightly firm fuyu persimmons but just make sure to slice them thin for the top layer.

cake batter

Caramelize the sliced persimmons with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon and spoon the cake batter on top. When laying the persimmons in the pan, make sure to slightly overlap them. Spread the persimmons too far apart and they will spread even further once baked.

If you don’t have a cast iron pan you can use a round cake pan instead.

upside down persimmon cake

Once the cake is baked, let it cool slightly before inverting it otherwise the caramel can ooze out and you can burn yourself! While it’s resting, make the labneh whipped cream. Labneh is essentially strained yogurt with more of a tang. The labneh whipped cream will offset the sweetness of the upside down persimmon cake and add some creaminess to the dessert.

When you’re ready to invert the cake, carefully place a plate over the pan and flip it over. Serve the cake warm with a dollop of labneh whipped cream. This cake is the definition of a winter dessert with cinnamon, nutmeg, and delicious persimmon all wrapped into one. In fact, I served this on Thanksgiving and it was a hit!

upside down persimmon cake



Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.


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