Tag Archives: Cake

Hoosier Dessert Delight: Persimmon Pudding – Indiana

The persimmon is one of nature’s most fragile fruits. It has a long ripening period and a thin skin, like a tomato, that easily splits. The trees grow wild over much of southeastern Indiana. While wide

Persimmon Pudding - Indiana

commercial cultivation has not been successful, family farms and homeowners grow the trees for Indiana residents who worship the fruit for its heavenly flavor, often described as a cross between an apricot, a guava, and an avocado. Nutritionally, persimmons are a great source of dietary fiber, as well as vitamin A and vitamin C.

Mitchell, Indiana, hosts a Persimmon Festival each year with a persimmon pudding contest. We tried our hand at this British-inspired dessert and loved the fall-like flavor of the cake, a little reminiscent of pumpkin.

Visit Fort Vallonia Days, October 17-18, 2015, in Vallonia, IN, with trail rides, a baby contest, music, and more.

Persimmon Pudding

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 2 cups persimmon pulp (about 5-7 persimmons)
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Salt, pinch
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Whipped cream


Remove stems from the persimmons then slice into eighths. Remove any seeds. Working in 2 or 3 batches, place persimmon sections in the bowl of a Foley food mill. Process until 2 cups of pulp is extracted and only the skin remains.

To the pulp, add sugar, eggs, and milk. Mix well. In another bowl, add flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt until combined. Slowly add to persimmon mixture until combined. Add vanilla and melted butter and stir until just combined.

Add batter to a 9×13 pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool, then serve with whipped cream.





Vote for Cake: Hartford Election Cake – Connecticut

While driving through Connecticut, with its scenic towns and quaint villages, you can almost squint and go back in time to 1788 when this colony became a state. It may be one of the smallest states in the nation, but it’s rich in history, and Hartford Election Cake is part of

Hartford Election Cake

its lore. Back in colonial times, Election Day was almost like a holiday. Historians are not sure if this cake was baked in celebration of the right to vote, or just to feed weary travelers who traveled long distances to get to polling places. No matter, Democrats and Republicans alike can stand behind this very old recipe, based on a traditional fruitcake but lighter since it contains yeast. This cake is full of nuts, raisins and spices, including cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg — appropriate for the Nutmeg State. It rises twice for a total of two and a half hours, so allow a bit of time when you are preparing it. Great with a cuppa joe in the morning or with tea in the afternoon as a pick-me-up.

If you want to get your history fix, check out the Connecticut Historical Society Museum and Library in Hartford. And if you need voter info for the November 4th election, check out the handy voter information tool below the recipe.

Hartford Election Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Adapted from Rare Bits: Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes, by Patricia Bunning Stevens, www.ohioswallow.com, used with permission.


For cake:

  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled)
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (divided in two parts: 1 1/2 cups, then 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup chopped raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs

For glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons milk


Dissolve yeast in water. Stir in milk. Add 1 1/2 cups flour gradually, until mixture is smooth. Cover and let rise in warm place until very light and bubbly, 30 to 45 minutes.

Mix together 1 3/4 cups flour, salt and spices and set aside. Chop raisins, mix with nuts and set aside. Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. By hand, blend in yeast mixture. Gradually add dry ingredients, beating until smooth after each addition Add raisin-pecan mixture and mix well.

Grease and flour a 9-inch tube pan or large Bundt pan. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until dough almost reaches the top, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake cake until golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan, then loosen cake from edges with a knife. Turn out onto a cake rack and cool completely.

For glaze: In a mixing bowl, whisk confectioners sugar, vanilla and milk until desired spreading consistency. Glaze should cover top of cake and drizzle down the sides.

Huckleberry Hounds – Montana

Northwest Montana is home to the edible purple orb known as the huckleberry. A close cousin to the blueberry, this delectable fruit grows best between elevations of 3,500 and 7,000 feet, in forests with about 50 percent tree cover. Wild huckleberries are so treasured in the state that in 2007, Montana passed legislation that made it a misdemeanor to label a product “huckleberry” if it contains any other fruit.

Huckleberry Tea Cake

The huckleberry has never been successfully grown commercially so if you want a taste of these sweet jewels, you’ll have to get thee out to Montana and get to picking. The North Fork and Big Mountain Continue reading Huckleberry Hounds – Montana

Kookoo For Kuchen – South Dakota

South Dakota’s official state dessert is kuchen. Sprichst du auch Deutsch? If you do speak German, you know that “kuchen” means cake. Germans make up the largest ancestry group in the state and they brought their formidable Teutonic culinary skill with them from the old country. You can find literally dozens of variations of this

Peach and Blueberry Kuchen - South Dakota

recipe. Some use yeast for the crust, but we’ve gone with more of a pastry crust. Folks also like to disagree about which fruit is best for kuchen — plum, apple, strawberry, cherry and rhubarb are all good bets. We went with peach as they are in season right now, and added a bit of blueberry preserves for color contrast. We finished our kuchen off with a cream filling topped with streusel. Have a slice for dessert (or even breakfast!) with a cup of coffee or tea.

Continue reading Kookoo For Kuchen – South Dakota

We Were Told There Would be Cake: Smith Island Cake – Maryland

When we think of Maryland, we think of water. From the stunning Eastern Shore beaches, to Baltimore Harbor, to capital of Annapolis (hello, Navy), the ocean plays a major role in the culture and pleasure of residents. With good reason too; the Chesapeake Bay nearly bisects the state and most of the waterways in the state are part of the bay watershed.


Smack in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay sits Smith Island, accessible only by ferry. This small community of only a few villages boasts big about its most famous export, Smith Island Cake. This scrumptious confection consists of eight to 10 ultra-thin layers of yellow cake with chocolate fudge frosting between each and was declared the state dessert of Maryland in 2008.

Continue reading We Were Told There Would be Cake: Smith Island Cake – Maryland