Persimmon Bars with Brown Butter Orange Frosting
Persimmon Bars are tender persimmon cake with the warm flavor of cinnamon and topped with a luscious brown butter orange frosting. These bars are perfect for dessert or enjoyed with tea!
*This post was originally published November 2014. I’ve updated the photographs and recipe, but the text remains the same.
How did the holiday weekend treat you? I hope you had a wonderful time filled with food and fun…and bargains? 🙂 Thanksgiving got so hectic for me that I ended up pretty much taking the week off from the blog. I never intended to, but it became clear to me that I needed to let something go if I wanted to keep my sanity.
I did just that, and focused on my turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potato casserole, cranberries, salad, and 3 pies (key lime, banana cream, and pumpkin).
It was exhausting but Thanksgiving turned out great, and I had a nice relaxing time with my family this weekend. I definitely can’t complain. 🙂
Some time back I posted a picture on Instagram of the persimmons I’d bought. Maybe you saw it? I scooped up plenty of fuyu and hachiya persimmons, and blew through them in no time. In fact, I’ve been buying both varieties like crazy ever since.
If you’re a persimmon fan, you know they’re not cheap, but when you love something enough, you’ll pay any price for them. Even a hefty price tag of $2.50 each (wince!).
I did that once, and luckily found them cheaper or that addiction would have come to an abrupt halt. 🙂
A halt would’ve been terrible, because my family and I have become so addicted to these Sweet Persimmon Bars with Brown Butter Orange Frosting!
I’ve made these bars in one form or another 4 times in the past month. Yes — four.
Once in a loaf pan with no frosting. Once in bar form with no frosting. Then 2 more times in bar form with frosting just to make sure they were up to snuff for you.
I know without a shadow of a doubt they’re up to snuff because even after all of that, I could make another batch right here, right now.
These bars are amazing. 🙂
In case persimmons are new to you, I’m going to give you a little background. There’s a big difference between fuyu and hachiya persimmons.
Fuyu persimmons are tomato shaped. They can be eaten raw even when they’re firm, peeled or unpeeled.
How to serve persimmons:
- Persimmon salad
- Persimmon salsa
- Persimmon pudding by Simply Recipes
- Include persimmons on a cheese board
- Add chopped fruit to oatmeal
- Top desserts with sliced fruit
They’re crisp with a mild crunch, and so deliciously sweet. You just have to try them yourself to understand.
When they’re super soft, they may also be used in these Sweet Persimmon Bars with Brown Butter Orange Frosting!
Hachiya persimmons are much different. This variety must be completely ripe before using because they’re so astringent — even when they’re even slightly underripe.
I accidentally tried one when it was underripe years ago, and my mouth dried out instantly. Make sure they’re nice and squishy — the squishier the better!
How to make persimmon purée:
- Simply cut off the top, scoop out the flesh, and place it in the bowl of a food processor or blender.
- Pulse until smooth.
Is this puree gorgeous or what?
It’s now ready to be used in your baking, and produces baked goods similar to pumpkin.
Why not just use pumpkin if they’re so similar? The noticeable difference is that persimmons are much sweeter than pumpkin and adds a lot more flavor to your baked goods.
If you add raisins or other dried fruit these bars are reminiscent of carrot cake. I love topping them with chopped pecans, and coconut would also be delicious!
This recipe is part cake and part quick bread. In fact, I’ve adapted this recipe from my Banana Nut Bread.
If you’re trying to eat healthier, you can make this persimmon cake with no frosting at all and they’re still delicious. I figured since they’re lighter, we have some room for a little frosting. 🙂
The brown butter orange frosting takes these bars over the top. The flavors are a match made in heaven with the sweet persimmon…I just cannot say enough about this combination.
The brown butter adds a nice, nutty flavor that results in a frosting that’s not super sweet.
One of the best parts about these persimmon bars is that they’re so versatile — they’re great for breakfast, as a snack or for dessert.
You’ve got to get out there and scoop up some persimmons quick as the season just isn’t long enough. Just make sure they’re nice and squishy!
You’re just going to love these bars. 🙂
For the bars:
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ¾ cup coconut sugar (you may substitute this with granulated or brown sugar)
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- ¾ cup skim milk (or your choice of non-dairy)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup persimmon puree (from very soft hachiya or fuyu persimmons)
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1¾ cups whole wheat white flour (or you can use 1 cup all purpose with ¾ cup whole wheat flour)
- 1/2 cup raisins or chopped dates (optional)
- 1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces, for garnish (optional)
For the frosting:
- 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 3 tablespoons milk or cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Prepare the bars:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8” square baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and oil vigorously until frothy, about 30 seconds.
- Whisk in the milk, vanilla, and persimmon puree until well combined.
- Whisk in the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt until incorporated.
- Stir in the flour until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Stir in dried fruit if using.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread evenly. Top the batter with the walnuts and press in slightly.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out fairly clean with moist crumbs. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Prepare the frosting:
- While the bars cook, brown the butter. Place the butter in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the butter melts. Increase the heat to medium, and cook until the butter has browned and has a nutty aroma, about 5-10 minutes. Pour the butter into a medium bowl and allow to solidify to the consistency of softened butter before preparing the frosting.
- Add the powdered sugar, orange, zest, orange juice, milk or cream, and vanilla to the browned butter and beat on medium speed with a hand mixer until smooth.
- When the bars have cooled, spread the frosting evenly over the bars and top with the pecans, if using. Cut into 16 squares and serve!
- Total time above includes 30 minutes for the bars to cool before frosting.
- *Granulated or brown sugar may be substituted for the coconut sugar.
- Store leftover bars in an air tight container and refrigerate. For best results, serve at room temperature.
- Brown butter may be made in advance. Allow to soften at room temperature before use.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 309Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 158mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 4gSugar: 25gProtein: 6g