Soft Persimmon Cookies are made with fresh persimmon pulp, warming spices, dried cranberries, and topped with orange glaze. Take advantage of fresh persimmons while they’re in season this fall and winter!
Making this Persimmon Cookie Recipe
Persimmons deserve so much more love than they get in the US. Their honey-like, subtly spiced flavor is perfect for any number of cakes, cookies, and quick breads!
If you’re unsure what to do with those persimmons you bought at the grocery store on a whim, this persimmon cookie recipe is an easy dessert to start with.
It’s a simple recipe that’s been passed down to me from my mom, who learned it from my grandma. My mom used to make these persimmon cookies every year to gift alongside other favorites like pumpkin cookies, gingerbread cookies, and sugar cookies.
The persimmon cookies are so soft they’re almost cake-like in texture. The sweet persimmons paired with fragrant spices like nutmeg and cinnamon make for the most incredible cookie imaginable.
The recipe itself is so quick and easy to prepare, but I know buying persimmons can be confusing if you’ve never worked with them before.
That’s why I’m going to first walk you through everything you need to know about identifying and buying persimmons at the grocery store before diving into the recipe.
Add these persimmon pulp cookies to your holiday baking list this year, you won’t regret it!
What Are Persimmons?
Believe it or not, persimmons are actually a type of berry! There are many varieties of persimmons, all of which look slightly different.
In general, persimmons resemble waxy tomatoes, with the most common varieties found in US grocery stores ranging in color from yellow to burnt red-orange.
The largest producers of persimmons are China, Japan, and Korea and as a result they’re incredibly popular in these countries.
I’ll go into more detail about the differences between these two varieties later in this post.
When Are Persimmons in Season?
Persimmons ripen from mid-September to October and can be found in grocery stores from October through December.
They’re a truly seasonal fruit that isn’t sold year-round, so make as many persimmon desserts as you can while the crop lasts!
Fuyu vs. Hachiya Persimmons
Fuyu and Hachiya are the two most common persimmon varieties sold in US supermarkets.
- Fuyu: Are the preferred eating persimmon. They’re non-astringent, which means they’re delicious when they’re still slightly firm. You can bite into them like an apple (the skin is safe to eat!) or slice them to use in pies, cobblers, and more. They’re rounder than Hachiya persimmons and their color ranges from yellow to dark orange.
- Hachiya: Are the preferred baking persimmon. They’re astringent, meaning you must wait days or even weeks for them to ripen on your countertop before eating or baking. If you bite into an unripe Hachiya persimmon, you’ll discover that they are very sour and tannic. You’ll know your Hachiya persimmons are ripe when their skin becomes nearly transparent and it feels like the flesh has turned to jelly. Don’t bite into these, but rather cut them in half and scoop out the soft flesh.
What Do Persimmons Taste Like?
The exact flavor of the persimmon will depend on what variety it is.
Fuyu persimmons are more honey-forward in flavor, with a subtle natural spiciness to them.
Hachiya persimmons are incredibly sweet — but only when they’re ripened fully until soft. If you bite into an unripe Hachiya, your mouth will pucker from how sour it is!
What Are the Best Persimmons for Baking?
If you plan on making a pie, crisp or cobbler, or a similar recipe where the persimmon needs to retain its shape, you’ll want to use Fuyu persimmons.
For any recipes that call for persimmon pulp — like this cookie recipe, or puddings, jams, or compotes — you’ll want to use Hachiya persimmons.
Simply scoop the soft flesh out of the skin; that’s the persimmon pulp that most recipes are talking about.
Tip: If you only have Fuyu or other eating persimmons on hand, you can peel them and then cook them down to create homemade persimmon pulp. I generally avoid doing this because it’s one extra step and I only have so much free time on my hands to bake!
Tools Needed to Make Persimmon Cookies
I can guarantee you that my grandma used to make this recipe without any special kitchen equipment whatsoever, so consider the suggested kitchen tools below just that: suggestions.
However, if you have the following on hand, they’ll make preparing the persimmon cookies even easier:
- Measuring Cups and Spoons — Essential for any baking recipe.
- Food Processor or Blender — For preparing the persimmon pulp.
- Stand Mixer — Cuts down the time it takes to make homemade cookie dough.
- Spatula — A regular rubber spatula is perfect.
- Whisk — Comes in handy for all kinds of recipes.
- Baking Sheet — Take care to line it with parchment paper so the cookies don’t get stuck.
- Wire Rack — I prefer letting the cookies cool on a wire rack rather than the baking sheet.
Ingredients in this Recipe for Persimmon Cookies
Exact measurements are provided in the recipe card at the end of this post, but here’s an overview of what you’ll need to make this recipe for persimmon cookies:
- All-purpose flour
- Spices (ground cinnamon, salt, cloves, nutmeg)
- Baking soda and baking powder
- Persimmon pulp
- Granulated sugar
- Brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Orange zest and juice
- Chopped pecans
- Dried cranberries
- Powdered sugar
For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions to make this recipe for persimmon cookies, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.
How to Make Persimmon Cookies
If you’ve never worked with persimmons before, trust me when I say this cookie recipe is easy.
The only key thing to remember is that you MUST wait for your Hachiya persimmons to ripen fully and soften enough so you can scoop the flesh out of the skins.
Otherwise, it’s a straightforward recipe. Here’s an overview of the baking process:
Making Persimmon Cookie Dough
- Combine the dry ingredients: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.
- Prepare the persimmon pulp: Scoop the soft persimmon pulp out of the skins. (The skins can be discarded.) Transfer the persimmon pulp to a food processor and puree until smooth. Add the baking soda and stir until combined.
- Combine the wet ingredients: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the softened butter until creamy. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, followed by the persimmon mixture and the orange zest.
- Finish the cookie dough: Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients half a cup at a time, stirring in between each addition. After all of the dry ingredients have been added, stir in the chopped walnuts and dried cranberries.
- Chill the dough: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator. Chill for an hour before baking.
- Bake: Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake until the cookies spring back when gently pressed in the center and are golden brown on the bottoms and edges.
Glazing Persimmon Cookies with Orange Glaze
- Make the glaze: Combine the powdered sugar, orange juice, vanilla extract in a small mixing bowl. Whisk with a small wire whisk until smooth. Stir in the orange zest.
- Glaze the cookies: Once the cookies have cooled completely, drizzle with glaze. Let the glaze harden before biting into the cookies.
The above is simply a quick summary of this persimmon cookie recipe. Check out the full recipe in the free printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.
Tips for Making Cookies with Persimmons
- Freeze extra persimmon pulp! Do this if you have too much persimmon pulp for your cookie recipe and want to save extra for another batch later, if your persimmons ripen too quickly, or if you want to stock up during persimmon season so you can bake with them out of season. Persimmon pulp freezes like a dream and can be thawed overnight in the fridge when ready to use.
- Soften the butter before starting the recipe: The butter must be brought to room temperature so that it can be whipped until light and fluffy with the sugars. If you forgot to soften the butter beforehand, here’s how I like to soften butter quickly to room temperature.
- Bring the eggs to room temp: Likewise, your egg must be at room temperature. Cold eggs don’t incorporate evenly into cookie dough. Here’s how to bring eggs to room temperature in about 5 minutes.
How to Adapt this Persimmon Cookie Recipe
- Switch up the dried fruit mix-ins: Instead of dried cranberries, you can also use raisins, golden raisins, dried currants, or another dried fruit.
- Switch up the nuts: I used pecans because that’s what Grandma always used, but walnuts or another chopped nut will work.
- Omit the nuts, if needed: Out of nuts? Have an allergy in your family? Leave the nuts out if that’s what is best for your family.
Persimmon Cookies Recipe FAQs
Got questions about how to make these holiday cookies with persimmons? Here are the answers to a few commonly asked questions. Feel free to leave any other questions in the comments on this post and I’ll respond with answers.
What type of persimmons should I use in this cookie recipe?
You’ll want to use Hachiya persimmons that are fully ripe. You should be able to slice them in half and scoop out the flesh easily with a spoon. Discard the seeds and skin!
Can I prepare the cookies using eating persimmons?
Yes, you can use eating (Fuyu) persimmons to make this recipe if that’s all you have.
However, you’d need to peel and cook the persimmons to create a homemade persimmon pulp. Then, that persimmon pulp can be used to make the cookies.
So while this method will work, I prefer using Hachiya persimmons that have been left to ripen fully because there’s no prep work – simply scoop the ultra soft flesh out of the skin and use as persimmon pulp.
How do you know when persimmons are ripe enough to bake with?
You can tell when Hachiya persimmons are fully ripe when they’re completely soft and very squishy. The insides will feel like a thick jelly consistency when you press the persimmon with your thumb.
How do you get persimmons to ripen quickly?
Put them in a paper bag with bananas or apples, both of which emit ethylene gas and speeds up the ripening process.
Should persimmons be peeled before baking?
If using Hachiya persimmons to make this recipe as recommended, you’ll simply slice them in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Discard the skins and any seeds and use the flesh as is.
If using Fuyu persimmons (not recommended), you’ll have to peel them before cooking them to create a pulp.
Why is baking soda added to the persimmon puree?
Hachiya persimmons contain lots of tannins, which are acidic.
Baking soda is an alkali; it reacts with the acidic tannins to render them inactive. This in turn makes the persimmon pulp almost gel-like in texture and create softer cookies.
Storing Persimmon Cookies
How Long Do Persimmon Cookies Last?
Glazed cookies will last up to 5 days on the counter. Store them in an airtight container to keep fresh.
Can the Persimmon Cookies Be Frozen?
Yes! It’s best to freeze them without the glaze (which can change texture in the freezer). Frozen persimmon pulp cookies will last up to 3 months.
I recommend freezing them first on a parchment paper-lined baking tray in a single layer until hard (1 hour) and then transferring to a zip-top bag so that they don’t get squished.
When ready to eat, thaw for an hour or so on the counter.
Can I Freeze Persimmon Cookie Dough?
Yes! Freeze the raw cookie dough to bake the cookies later.
You can bake the cookie dough from frozen if you want, no need to thaw first. Just add 1 to 3 minutes to the total bake time.
Where Can I Buy Persimmons?
If your grocery store doesn’t stock persimmons, you can buy them online at:
I Can’t Find Persimmons, What Can I Substitute?
Try This recipe for Persimmon Cookies!
Next time you’re looking for recipes to make with persimmons, give these persimmon cookies a try!
Did you think they were easy to prepare? Leave a comment below and give it a review for others to see what you thought.
On Instagram? Share your photo and tag me with @goodlifeeats and #goodlifeeatsrecipes. I’d love to see your photo of persimmon cookies!
More Holiday Cookie Recipes:
These Almond Butter Cookies are the tastiest I’ve tried and make a great addition to your regular cooking baking. They’re the perfect alternative if you have a peanut allergy!
These Pecan Thumbprint Cookies have a spiced cookie base that’s topped with a pecan half, caramel sauce, and then drizzled with melted chocolate.
These chewy Coconut Sugar Cookies are ultra chewy and packed with shredded coconut. Best of all, they’re gluten-free!
Packed with white chocolate chips, shelled pistachios, and dried apricot pieces, these White Chocolate Pistachio Cookies are perfect for cookie exchanges and holiday gifting!
These Orange Pistachio Christmas Cookies are a unique take on traditional Swedish crescent cookies. You need just 7 basic ingredients for this easy cookie recipe!
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For the Persimmon Cookie Recipe
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup very ripe persimmon pulp
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces, 1 stick) butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup chopped dried cranberries
For the Persimmon Cookie Glaze
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
Making the Persimmon Cookie Dough
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk using a wire whisk until well combined. Set aside.
- Scoop the soft persimmon pulp out of the skins. Discard the skins and any seeds.
- Transfer the persimmon pulp to a food processor or blender and puree until completely smooth. Add the baking soda and stir until combined. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the softened butter until creamy. Scrape the sides down with a spatula.
- Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Continue to beat until light and fluffy, scraping the sides down as needed.
- Then, add the egg and vanilla. Beat until well combined. Stir in the persimmon mixture and the orange zest.
- Next, add the flour mixture a half a cup at a time, stirring in between each addition. Do not beat. After all of the dry ingredients have been added, stir in the chopped walnuts and dried cranberries.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator. Chill for an hour before baking.
Baking the Persimmon Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough on the prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each cookie.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Cookies are done when they spring back when gently pressed in the center and are golden brown on the bottoms and edges.
- Transfer the baked cookies to a cooling rack while preparing the glaze.
Making the Persimmon Cookie Glaze
- Combine powdered sugar, orange juice, vanilla extract in a small mixing bowl. Whisk with a small wire whisk until smooth.
- Stir in the persimmon puree and orange zest.
Glazing the Persimmon Cookies
- Transfer the glaze to a piping bag with a small round tip or a small plastic squeeze bottle.
- Drizzle over cooled cookies. Let the glaze harden before eating.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 169Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 115mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 2gSugar: 24gProtein: 2g
GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy. This provided information is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.