Persimmon fruits from Busby Farm. Photo: Nadia Navarrete-Tindall

Persimmon Cake with Rice Flour

Nadia in a field with yellow flowers blooming

By Nadia Navarrete-Tindall

Nadia does Outreach and Education at Lincoln University and owns Native Plants and More, a consultation business. She lives in Columbia, MO and is originally from El Salvador.


Medium sized tree, from 30 to 60 feet tall. Open crown and branched in deep soil conditions. Adapted to dry and low nutrient soils. It has pretty white flowers that look like waxy bells and are visited by native bees and other pollinators. Trees are dioecious (male and female flowers in different trees).

Persimmon can be easily reproduced from seed or cuttings. Once established, the taproot is long which makes it difficult to transplant. It is a slow- growing tree but reaches maturity three to five years after planting. It produces root suckers that can be mowed or pruned.

Fruit is edible and matures in the fall. A good rule of thumb is to gather persimmons that have fallen to the ground to be sure they are ripe. Immature fruits are not at all pleasant. It can be eaten fresh or used for jams, in baked goodies and for wine.

Dehydrated persimmons are a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fiber, iron, calcium, vitamin A and protein. To dehydrate persimmons, cut them in half and dry them in a dehydrator overnight at 130-140 degrees F. 

For more persimmon tree growing information, visit the Grow Native! Native Plant Database.


A basket of American plum by Nadia
Cake covered in white icing and decorated with green leaves

Photos by Nadia Navarrete-Tindall. 

 Cake Ingredients
3/4 cup raisins
Enough milk to cover raisins
2 cups rice flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
11⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
11⁄2 cups pure cane sugar unbleached
3/4 cup melted butter (can substitute with Greek style yogurt)
3 eggs
11⁄4 cups persimmon pulp
2 teaspoons vanilla
11⁄2 cups non-hybrid Missouri pecans

Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon fresh Meyer lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Mix all ingredients together and spread it onto the Persimmon Cake. Prepare one or two hours before serving.

1. Preheat oven to 350oF
2. In small saucepan over medium heat, bring raisins and milk to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool.
3. In a medium bowl, mix melted butter, persimmon pulp, eggs, and vanilla. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients. Add persimmon blend and gently stir. Fold in raisins with milk and the pecans.
5. Pour batter into a greased 10 inch diameter cake pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the cake out comes clean.
6. Remove from the oven. Let cool and flip over onto a plate. Cake can be frozen for a few months.
7. Top with Cream Cheese icing.
Number of Servings: 12
Nadia and MPF’s Grow Native! program recommend purchasing native edible plants from Grow Native! professional members and planting and gathering native edibles from your own personal property. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider if you have concerns about consuming any native edibles. Native edible recipes provided by MPF or MPF’s Grow Native! program are for informational purposes only.
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