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Orange Pear and Persimmon Cake Recipe {Secret Recipe Club}

by Jeanette on November 14, 2011 · 39 Comments
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Orange Pear and Persimmon Cake

Orange Pear and Persimmon Cake

I’ve been doing a lot of gluten-free baking lately in anticipation of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Today’s Orange Pear and Persimmon Cake is another recipe I experimented with for the holiday season. You might call this a test run for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Although I have some gluten-free quick bread recipes that I know I can make over the holidays (including a Pumpkin Coffee Cake), I really haven’t made too many gluten-free cakes. I’ve been practicing so I have some recipes to work off of in the weeks ahead.

When I came across this recipe on Betcha Can’t Eat Just One, it instantly caught my attention since it was gluten-free, and it was easy. Easy is always good, right? Well, that is, until I decided to fancy it up a bit for the holidays. I used to make a fruit torte that was topped with a design of fruit on top of it before baking. So, I decided to use this orange cake as the base, and decorate it with pears and fuyu persimmon slices. Fuyu persimmons are the squat, firmer persimmons that are in season right now, not the heart shaped hachiya persimmons that are soft.

Today is “reveal day” for Group B of the Secret Recipe Club, created by Amanda of Amanda’s Cookin. So far, everything I’ve tried for the Secret Recipe Club has come out really well, and I’ve had the opportunity to delve deeper into some blogs more intimately and get to know the person behind the blog. This club has grown so rapidly that Amanda has created four different groups that have a different reveal day during each month. I am part of Group B, hosted by Tina of Moms Crazy Cooking. The idea behind the Secret Recipe Club is to give bloggers the chance to try each other’s recipes without the other bloggers knowing it until everyone posts their results.

This month I was assigned to Katie of Betcha Can’t Eat Just One, who lives on the gorgeous West Coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. She loves to bake sweet treats, and has learned everything she knows from cookbooks and the internet. A mother of three children, she also teaches preschool (although right now, she’s taking an extended maternity leave to stay at home with her kids). Katie is quite the baker (something I am not) — she even made a gorgeous Croquembouche for Christmas Eve a few years ago.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a gluten-free category on Katie’s blog. Although I decided to make Katie’s Gluten-Free Whole Orange Cake for this month’s SRC, her Gluten Free, Vegan Fruit and Nut Crisps also looked intriguing, reminding me of Eli Zabar Raisin Pecan Crisps I’ve seen at the supermarket.

I shared a piece of this cake with my girlfriend and she gave it rave reviews…and my little guy gave this recipe a thumbs up. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Thanks Katie!

5 from 1 reviews
Orange Pear and Persimmon Cake Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Adapted from Betcha Can't Eat Just One. I used more baking powder hoping it would give this cake more rise, but I don't think it did. Instead of a confectioner's sugar glaze, I opted for a design of fresh fruit on top, with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. This cake is nice and moist, and fragrant.
Serves: 8
  • 1 orange (use organic since you'll be eating the entire orange, including the peel)
  • ¾ cup organic sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1½ teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 2 pears, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 fuyu persimmon, stem removed, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon organic sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place a piece of parchment paper on bottom of spring form pan. Spray sides and bottom of pan lightly with oil.
  3. In a saucepan, add enough water to cover the orange and bring to a boil. Simmer until the orange is soft, about 30 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Chop orange into chunks, remove any seeds, and place in a food processor. Process until smooth. Add sugar, eggs, almond flour, and baking powder. Process until well combined and smooth.
  5. Pour batter into prepared spring form pan.
  6. Arranged sliced pears and persimmon on top of cake.
  7. Mix together 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of fruit.
  8. Squeeze lemon juice and sprinkle lemon zest on top of fruit.
  9. Bake 25-30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean when poked in center of cake.

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  1. How super lovely is this! I’ve been meaning to bake with persimmons at least once before they go out of season…but I just can’t stop eating them plain! I need to reserve a few for this cake. it looks too good not to make!

    • Thanks Joanne, I haven’t baked with persimmons before, but they’re so pretty that I wanted it to be in the center of this cake.

  2. I love desserts that incorporate the entirety of fruit – like the orange in this case; the peel lends so much flavour and freshness not to mention a healthful dose of vitamin C at a time when we need it the most. Brilliant. And, I haven’t even gotten to the pear, persimmon or almond flour parts yet! What a gorgeous cake Jeanette.

  3. I only discovered persimmons a few years ago, and I can tell this would be fantastic.

  4. Thank you for all of the kind words! Your cake looks gorgeous, I love the addition of the fruit on top and will be giving it a try the next time I bake this cake! I always look at persimmons in the store but am never quite sure what to bake with them!!

  5. I’ve never worked with persimmon but this looks too good to resist!

  6. That looks really delicious! I never cook with persimmons but I may just have to start. Yum! Great SRC entry.
    Check out my entry…. http://permanentposies.com/2011/11/creamy-banana-nut-cake-with-vanilla-bean-frosting/

  7. wow this doesn’t even look gluten free! love the combination of fruits you used here – persimmons are just delicious! i’m still very self conscious when it comes to giving GF baked goods to my friends unless its mochi cake, so i know what u mean about practicing and trying out some new recipes :). will u be having a GF thanksgiving dinner too?

    • Junia – I think there’s a misconception that gluten-free baked goods don’t taste good, probably because of the first products that came to market that were gluten-free. Earlier gluten-free products tended to be (and some still do) very dry and hard texture-wise. This cake is so moist and tender, it’s really an almond cake, so although it is gluten-free, it’s a far cry from some of the products on supermarket shelves that give gluten-free baked goods a bad rap. I would definitely serve this to all my friends and guests without hesitation.

  8. That looks so good! Oranges, pears, and persimmons are some of my favorite Fall fruits. I have to try this!

  9. Double Yum! This looks fabulous! It looks like a tart, but easier to make than having to make a crust!

  10. Hi Jeanette,
    Your Orange Pear and Persimmon Cake looks so special. It is a great recipe that we would really enjoy. This is a great pick for the SRC! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week.
    Miz Helen

  11. this looks delicious – I bet it tastes wonderfully fresh!

  12. Beautiful cake!

  13. That is one good looking cake! The texture looks so appetizing (not always true for other gluten free stuff I’ve seen!) I’ll add my name to the list of those who stare at but never buy persimmons.

  14. wow so pretty and great way to use persimmon

  15. Gorgeous! Great post

  16. A beautiful and delicious looking cake.

    If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my group ‘A’ SRC recipe this month: Pork Belly Soup with Collard Greens.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  17. Looks fantastic — I’ve never had persimmon, I’ll have to look for it at the grocery store. So fun to be in SRC with you!

  18. This looks really good. I’ve never used persimmons before, but I do have almond flour in the freezer. I play with GF baking when I have the chance to do so for a couple of my friends. I’m saving this recipe. Thanks!

  19. Beautiful way to showcase the bounty of nature. Looks great!

  20. Okay, why have I not seen Persimmons near me lately?! I need to make this!

  21. So glad you all are liking the persimmon on top. Although I’m not a big fan of the softer heart shaped hachiya persimmons, I do like fuyu persimmons – they are sweet and firm, making them good for eating out of hand and for baking.

  22. I’ve never had a persimmon before, but your cake looks beautiful!

    If you haven’t already, I’d love it if you’d check out my SRC recipe for Crockpot Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal.

  23. I know you already know this but I’ll say it anyway because everyone likes a compliment! Freakin’ beautiful!!! so lovely Jeanette! And you got one of my home girls from the Island. No I don’t know her but heck she’s closer to me than most food bloggers so it’s always fun to find a neighbor!

  24. What an unusual cake. It looks so delicious and tasty! I wish persimmons were easier to find over here.

  25. Oh my goodness. How absolutely beautiful that cake is! I have quite a few persimmons on my counter right now because they keep showing up in my Bountiful Baskets. I have made muffins, bread, and pudding with them. Sort of hit a wall on the creativity after that. Now this cake is beautiful. You did an amazing job with Katie’s recipe. This may be a good answer to what I will do with the last few that are on my counter! 😉

  26. What a glorious cake! I love how you fancied it up with the sliced fruits. Sounds wonderful with all of those flavors.

  27. it’s so beautiful and I’m sure DELICIOUS. Save me a piece :)

  28. I’ve always wondered what I would do with a persimmon. I’m sure I’ve found the answer! Beautiful!!
    Great SRC pick!

  29. What a beautiful fruit cake! I don’t think I’ve ever had a persimmon. I’m always intrigued by them at the store!

    • Thanks Aggie. I do like fuyu persimmons – I usually just eat them raw, but I thought they would look pretty on top of this cake because of its deep orange color.

  30. That looks so delicious! It would be great for Thanksgiving…but I’d better make a “practice” one first! Yumm!!!

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