Desserts,  Recipes

Persimmon Cranberry Bread

Sometimes chefs (and former chefs) make mistakes. Sometimes we don’t bother to read the recipe, so confident we are in our kitchen skills. And sometimes that confidence comes back and bites us in the ass.

I’ve made this Persimmon bread for what feels like forever. As long as I’ve lived in my house, I’ve had a tree which bears these strange special fruits once a year and I’ve made this bread. I even gave the recipe to my grandfather and before he passed away, it was his favorite thing to make with the persimmons from his tree. My point is that it’s good, and I’ve been making it for so long I should be able to do it in my sleep, right?

Yeah, right.

I must have been sleeping when I made it for the first time this year because not only did I leave out the baking soda, but the baking powder as well. I have no idea why, except that the recipe I originally wrote for myself (no, not the one below) included the leavening agents in the ingredients but not in the instructions. And clearly, I wasn’t paying attention. It just goes to prove how valuable a concise, clearly written recipe is, even if you’ve made something a dozen times. Out of the oven came two heavy bricks better suited for door stops than for snacking.

This bread exemplifies sweet Fall flavors for me and makes a wonderful dessert with a scoop of ice cream. It’s also pretty damn fine by itself with a cup of coffee. It can be baked ahead for a family breakfast on the day after Thanksgiving or in smaller loaves for holiday gifts.

What kind of recipe reading mishaps have you had? Let me know…

Persimmon Cranberry Bread

This bread this the best of sweet fall flavors of persimmons and cranberries.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Bread, Cranberry, Persimmon
Servings: 2 9" Loaves


  • 2.5 cups ripe persimmon pulp
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 4 each whole eggs
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease and flour two 9" loaf pans.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices together and set aside.
  • In another large mixing bowl (or in your standing mixer), mix the eggs and the sugar until completely blended. Mix in the oil, 2 cups of the ripe persimmon (reserve 1/2 cup), and the dried cranberries.
  • Slowly add in the flour mixture, 1 cup at a time until it is all combined. Pour in equal amounts into the two prepared loaf pans. Make a small well down the center of the loaf and spoon the remaining persimmon into it as decoration.
  • Bake on the middle shelf of the oven at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, or until a wooden skewer comes out clean.


Persimmons: There are two kinds, Fuyu and Hachiya. My tree is Fuyu which means the persimmons can be eaten while still firm, or when fully ripe. Hachiya can only be eaten when totally ripe, otherwise they are too astringent. Since this recipe calls for ripe persimmons you can use either. If you have Fuyu, you can mix in some firmer pieces for texture within the bread. If you have a persimmon tree or excess fruit, I've found that the pulp freezes very well in tupperware.
Dried Cranberries can be replaced with raisins or dried cherries or other dried fruit. You can also can add other things, like nuts.
Baking Pans: This recipe calls for two 9" loaf pans but also works well in smaller "gift size" loaf pans, just adjust the baking time. I've also made it before in muffin tins.
Mixing: I usually do this in a large mixing bowl, but the last time I made it (not in these photos) I used my Kitchen Aid and it was way easier both to mix and to pour the batter into the pans using the kitchen aid bowl with the handle.




  • Kristi Rimkus

    I can name many a time I’ve left a key ingredient out of a recipe and not realized it until it was too late. Sometimes it’s comical as I try to figure out what a did wrong. 🙂

    Wonderful recipe. I think this would be a perfect holiday breakfast treat with a great cup of coffee.

  • Charles G Thompson

    Persimmons really do invoke fall to me. There’s a tree in my mother’s neighbor’s yard that always bears fruit this time of year. Now a recipe to send to her! My constant error with recipes is not reading ahead! I complete the next listed task before knowing what follows it, and I get myself into trouble all the time. Must – slow – down.

    • formerchef

      Charles, me too! I usually try to get all my mise en place ready before I start, but I guess I was just too impatient this time.

  • Ida Shen

    I can’t even begin to count the many times something has gone missing in a recipe due to my hubris in the kitchen or from being distracted by little people running around my feet. Some were actually good, some were just tossed out.

    Love love love the photos…. just stunning!

  • Kian

    I love persimmons. I’ve always eaten them fresh, ripened, soft and juicy. I’ve not used them in cooking. Making bread sounds like a wonderful idea.

  • HK

    Would you have any suggestions for a beginner cook without a Kitchen Aid mixer or food processor to easily turn ripe fuyu persimmons into pulp? Thanks!

    • formerchef

      Hi- You don’t need anything special except patience to let the persimmons get as ripe as possible. They should be soft enough to pull apart with your fingers and squeeze the insides away from the skin. No tools needed! 🙂

    • formerchef

      I’m sure it will work, although my experience in making breads with gluten free flours has not always yielded the best results. On the other hand, I’ve never tried it with a sweet/quick bread like this. Do let me know how it comes out and which flours you use for substitution.
      As for fresh cranberries, I’ve never made it with those. If you do, you might want to consider the amount of moisture they are going to add to it when they get hot and possibly explode within the bread while baking. The dried ones actually absorb a fair amount of moisture during the baking process and are quite soft when done.

    • formerchef

      You can use olive oil, but it may change the flavor, depending on how strong the flavor of the oil is. That’s why I recommend a neutral flavored oil.

  • Jane

    Made this bread yesterday with a few Hachiya persimmons-it was phenomenal! I added in a bit of extra pulp because the batter seemed too stiff, and in addition to cranberries, I added finely chopped dried apricots and dates. Once I get my hand on more persimmons, I’ll be making this right away!

  • Jane

    Oh, and olive oil worked just fine (I used Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil), it did not interfere with the taste at all-thanks! 🙂

  • Xochitl

    Great recipe! My next door neighbors give me bags full of Fuyu persimmos every year. I do cut them up and freeze them to use in shakes in the morning or baking trough out the year. Thank you for a delicious receipe!

  • Cynthia Brown

    Looking forward to trying this. I moved into an old rock house in central Texas that had a large persimmon tree. A mostly orange fruit had fallen to the ground. I decided the only way to find out if it was astringent or not was to taste it. I couldn’t talk for an hour. I planted two more types and the squirrels showed me that one was not astrigent by eating all the immature fruits. Thanks for the pictures and explanation. This year I carefully checked each huge astringent persimmon until perfectly ripe and put it in the freezer. I then put them in a pot with a little water to cook them down for persimmon butter, intending to pull out the crown ends as I sieved. Ruined the whole pot. There was enough astringency left in the stem ends to make my processing short cut into a disaster. Lesson learned the hard way; cut the pulp off! Cynthia in Boerne, Texas

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