upside down persimmon cake

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For the bottom of the cake:

  • Butter for greasing cake pan
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter (4 tablespoons), melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ripe fuyu persimmons, into 1/4 inch rounds with a very sharp knife *

For the cake batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter (4 tablespoons), melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature


  1. Prep the cake’s bottom: Butter one 8-inch round cake pan. Cover the bottom of with a parchment round (buttering the pan first helps the paper stick to the bottom).
  2. Mix together the melted butter, brown sugar, and salt, and pour it over the parchment-covered cake pan. Use your fingers to spread the brown sugar out evenly over the bottom until it’s completely covered.
  3. Arrange the persimmon slices over the buttery brown sugar. **
  4. Bake the cake: Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  5. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium-large mixing bowl.
  6. Beat the eggs and butter together until they are very well incorporated. Then add the sugar and buttermilk and beat to combine well.
  7. Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture, and stir together just until everything is combined. It won’t be completely smooth, and there might be some tiny lumps; this is completely fine! Do not risk over-mixing!
  8. Carefully pour the batter over the persimmons, smooth out the top a little bit with a spatula, and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. It’s done once you can insert a toothpick into the center and batter doesn’t stick to it.
  9. Let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes in the cake pan. Then trace around the edge with a butter knife to make sure it’s loosened from the pan. Place a plate upside-down over the cake. Put on your grippiest oven mitts, and hold the plate and cake together so that your thumbs are underneath the cake pan. Carefully and quickly rotate it away from yourself and give it a quick up-and-down shake to release the cake from the pan. Remove the pan, slice, and serve.


* For the prettiest effect, set the persimmon on its side and slice off rounds, rather than slicing from stem to end. Start by slicing off a little bit of skin from the end, and then continue slicing big circles, until you get to the stem. Discard the stem end, and discard the little bit of the end. Arrange the littlest remaining piece so that the smaller side faces the cake batter

** Start with one in the middle, and then make a ring around it, or if you accidentally sliced them thinner than 1/4 inch, make 2 slightly overlapping rings with one slice in the center.