Spiced Persimmon Coconut Cake

Spiced Persimmon Coconut Cake
Photography by Joe Schmelzer / Recipe development and food styling by Rebecca Firth

Rebecca Firth of DisplacedHousewife shares her take on holiday cake. I’m always looking for fresh ways to use persimmons from my yard in California. This cake hints of a tropical vacation with the coconut and lime, but the persimmons and spices make it a decidedly holiday cake. Use either firm Fuyu or cinnamon persimmons for this recipe.

Spiced Persimmon Coconut Cake
 
Makes 1 (8-inch) cake
Ingredients
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (112 grams) sunflower seed or other neutral oil
  • 4 large eggs (200 grams), room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk (19 grams), room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) coconut extract
  • 3¼ cups (406 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (4 grams) Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1½ teaspoons (7.5 grams) baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons (7.5 grams) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) sea salt
  • 1 cup (240 grams) whole buttermilk, room temperature and shaken
  • 3 cups (510 grams) stemmed, peeled, and finely diced Fuyu or cinnamon persimmons, divided
  • 2 cups (200 grams) unsweetened fine flaked coconut, toasted and divided
  • Spiced Buttercream (recipe below)
  • Garnish: fresh sage leaves
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour 3 (8-inch) round cake pans.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add oil, and beat until well combined. With mixer on low speed, add eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lime zest and juice and coconut extract.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, five-spice powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Fold in three-fourths of persimmons and 1½ cups (150 grams) coconut. Divide batter among prepared pans, smoothing tops with a spatula. Gently tap pans on counter to release any air bubbles.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 24 to 27 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Spread Spiced Buttercream between layers and on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with remaining one-fourth of persimmons and remaining ½ cup (50 grams) coconut. Garnish with sage, if desired.

Spiced Buttercream
 
Makes about 4 cups
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces (225 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) all-vegetable shortening
  • 5 cups (600 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, butter, and shortening at medium speed until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar, lime zest and juice, five-spice powder, and cinnamon, beating until combined.

 

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