Honey Persimmon Gingerbread Cake

Honey Persimmon Gingerbread Cake

How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?
Dr. Seuss

How is it December already? December arrived before I could catch up on my holiday baking! Gingerbread cake is one of my favourite holiday treats. A slice enjoyed with a cup of hot tea warms you up from the inside. This recipe is adapted from a French version of the gingerbread, pain d’epices, meaning “spice bread”. Pain d’Epices usually contains rye flour, and is made with honey. The blend of spices is a bit different from the common North American version we know, it actually doesn’t contain ginger, but has aniseed, clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon. I added ginger, persimmons, and lightly soaked it with orange juice for freshness. Persimmon is a type of Asian fruit in season during fall and winter, it looks like an orange tomato but has a very mild flavour and soft texture, blending well with the cake. Not your average holiday dessert, this Honey Persimmon Gingerbread Cake is surprisingly delicious.

Honey Gingerbread with Persimmons

Serving Size: 2 pound cake, baked in a 10-cup fluted cake pan.


  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp / 125 g whole rye flour
  • 1 cup / 125 g all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp / 15 g baking powder
  • 2 tsp fine salt
  • 125 ml / 125 g whole milk
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 cloves
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • a 3 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2/3 cup / 250 g honey (I used a light tasting one)
  • 1/4 cup / 55 g butter
  • 1/2 cup / 100 g sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp freshly ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp / 25 g candied ginger, minced
  • 1 large fuyu persimmon, cut into 1 cm dice
  • Finishing + Garnish
  • Juice and zest from half of a large orange
  • Candied ginger strips
  • Fresh fuyu persimmons, cubed


  1. Preheat oven to 340 F / 170 C. Butter and flour and 10 cup fluted cake pan.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat milk and the dried spices until it is simmering. Turn off heat, let it steep for 15 minutes.
  3. In a stand mixer bowl, mix together the rye flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Re-heat the spiced milk, add in the butter and honey until it turns into a liquid, don't boil. Take out the spices and discard.
  5. Pour the warm mixture into the flour, mix on medium speed with a paddle attachment until the liquid has been absorbed. Add the sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, freshly ground ginger, minced candied ginger and mix in to a cohesive batter, careful not to over-mix.
  6. Lastly fold in diced persimmons using a silicone spatula. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until golden and a wooden skewer inserted and comes out clean. Cool cake for about 5 minutes before reverting it onto a cooling rack. Gently brush the top of the cake with the orange juice and sprinkle the zest all over the top. Let cool.
  8. Garnish with candied ginger strips and persimmon cubes before serving.

Honey Persimmon Gingerbread Cake

This cake tastes quite mild, because the spices are infused and honey is used instead of molasses. I used a light-tasting honey, but you can choose to use a darker honey if you want a stronger taste. Since the recipe has a large portion of honey, the type of honey you use will make a difference, for example using buckwheat honey will result in a more robust flavour. In fact, a darker honey may go even better with the heartiness of the rye and spices. I love the addition of seasonal persimmons, it adds a nice fresh taste and texture. Orange and ginger is classic combination, it brightens and brings together all the nice flavours. Its moist crumb is another highlight of this recipe.

Honey Persimmon Gingerbread Cake

I am loving this new bundt cake pan, it came out beautifully and easily. Sometimes simple recipes are the best recipes, just easy and delicious. Hope you will enjoy it as much as I do. Happy holiday baking!

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