Frosted Spiced Persimmon Cookies with Cranberries and Walnuts {gluten-free}


Spiced Persimmon Cookies with Cranberries and Walnuts

Spiced Persimmon Cookies

The holidays seem like the best time of the year to pull out cherished family recipes. In addition to my great grandma’s candied walnuts recipe my mom pulled out last week, she also passed her mom’s persimmon cookie recipe on to me – typos, butter stains, and all. I’m not exactly sure what my grandma meant by “add water and raisens” when she didn’t list water in the ingredients. Also, what kind of nuts, grandma?? And apparently the rest of the steps after you beat the eggs are just implied.

Since I can’t ask her, I’m imagining my grandma looking down at me, “If you can’t figure it out, you shouldn’t be making cookies.”

(Hang tight for your chance to win some hand crafted wooden kitchen tools at the bottom of this post)


Fortunately, it turns out some popular newspaper in the 50s must have printed this persimmon cookie recipe because my aunt’s mother-in-law’s recipe and just about every other “family recipe” for persimmon cookies I’ve found online has the same ratios with only slight variations. Or maybe it was the subject of a national recipe exchange chain letter and was so delicious that everyone absorbed it into their family’s core set of holiday recipes.

Persimmon Cookies with Cranberries

I’ve put my gluten-free cranberry spin on it and am passing it along to you. I hope you make it again and again, and eventually think of it as a cherished family recipe too. From my family to yours.

Hachiya Persimmons

Someone was playing a nasty trick when they invented the persimmon (or is it “persimminon,” as my grandma writes?). With their vibrant coral skin, they lure you in. As a kid, I unsuspectingly plucked one from our neighbor’s tree one afternoon and took a large juicy bite. The soft bitter flesh instantly made me pucker as I ran toward the nearest hose to rinse dry chalky taste from my tongue. And with that, I swore off persimmons for life.

Vanilla Buttercream FrostingFrosted Spiced Persimmon Cookies

Plus, Lucas thinks he’s allergic to persimmons. In the same way that I used to go around telling people I was allergic to “the bear-shaped macaroni and cheese” after I came down with the flu following a big bowl of bear mac and cheese as a kid. Definitely the bears. So, we’ve kept persimmons out of our kitchen.

Until about a month ago when Alanna picked one up from the market while we shopped for grains to mill. She showed me the difference between the sweet crispy fuyu persimmon best for snacking or salads, and the fleshy hachiya persimmons that taste bitter and chalky when under ripe and are best used for baking.

That’s when I learned I’d made a terrible mistake as a kid. I’ve been making up for lost time by keeping persimmons on hand ever since.

Cranberry Persimmon CookiesPersimmon Cookies

These persimmon cookies are my first cooking endeavor using hachiya persimmons. Even when they’re mushy, gushy, and ripe, the tannins in hachiya persimmons can still leave an unpleasant chalky aftertaste, but don’t worry, when you bake the persimmons into cookies, they don’t leave the cookie bitter at all. On the contrary, they’re sweet and cakey with crunchy walnuts and tangy cranberry pops throughout. Paired with a vanilla buttercream and a dust of cinnamon, these spiced persimmon cookies taste like the tops of a moist rustic fall muffin.

Alternative title: Spiced Persimmon Muffin Top Cookies.

Persimmon Cookies with Cranberries and WalnutsGluten-free Persimmon CookiesSpiced Persimmon Cookies with Cranberries

A wave of nostalgia for being in the kitchen with my grandma came over me as I baked and frosted this rustic family cookie recipe with the artisan wooden measuring cups and icing spreaders hand carved for me by the Polder Family. Polder’s Old World Kitchen is a family business operating off their farm in Tennessee, where they craft beautiful handmade wooden kitchen utensils carved almost exclusively from locally sourced, fallen trees. In his dream world, Lucas would join their team, carving up the old cherry tree my brother just chopped down from his yard.

Polder's Old World Kitchen

They crafted the wooden scoops and spreaders they sent me out of a light maple with intricate natural patterns on the handle. Beyond just being stunning to look at, the icing knives’ smooth texture made frosting these cookies a breeze.

Wooden Christmas Cookie Set Giveaway

Just in time for the holidays, Polder’s Old World Kitchen is giving one lucky Snixy Kitchen reader a Christmas Cookie Set (pictured below) – a $114 value that includes their world’s best cookie spatula and four icing spreaders. From their family to yours.

Polder's Old World Kitchen

Poke around all the artisan tools they offer in their shop from soup ladles to wooden stirring spoons, and support their small family business by ordering your holiday gifts.

Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below (note: your e-mail will only be used to contact the winner). This giveaway is now closed

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Frosted Spiced Persimmon Cookies with Cranberries and Walnuts {gluten-free}
Yields: 3½ dozen cookies
Spiced Persimmon Cookies
  • 1 cup gluten-free oat flour** (For non-gluten-free version, replace the oat flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca starch, and xanthan gum with 2 cups all-purpose flour)
  • ¾ cup sweet rice flour (also called glutinous rice flour)
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup persimmon pulp*
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream (or whole milk)
Spiced Persimmon Cookies
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oat flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the persimmon pulp, egg, and vanilla extract and beat until just combined.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing on medium-low speed until just combined.
  6. Add the cranberries and chopped walnuts and mix until evenly distributed.
  7. Roll a tablespoon of cookie dough into a ball, then flatten until it is ¼ to ½-inch thick. Place on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat mat or parchment paper, 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to brown, but they sink when touched. Let cool on baking sheets for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  9. Frost with vanilla buttercream and dust with cinnamon. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until completely combined.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and beat to combine.
  4. Add the heavy whipping cream and beat until smooth and creamy.
*Puree the inside pulp of 2-3 extra ripe hachiya persimmons with the juice of half a lemon until smooth
**I make my own oat flour by putting gluten-free rolled oats in the food processor or blender.

Thanks for reading Snixy Kitchen! To stay up on what’s coming out of my kitchen,  follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bloglovin‘, Pinterest, or subscribe via e-mail to get new recipes right to your inbox.

Disclosure: I was not compensated to write this post. Polder’s Old World Kitchen has generously given me the wooden kitchen tools pictured here for review and are providing the gift package for one reader. As always, the opinions expressed here are solely my own.

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  1. Jenny Sies says:

    My favorite Christmas cookie were oatmeal sandwich cookies. I don’t really have a favorite anymore, since going GF.

  2. Or maybe even…Persiminion??? Your grandma was onto something. Also, let’s never make frosted cookies again, lets just call them frosted muffin tops because YES.

  3. Love Persimmons!
    My favorite holiday cookie has to be a good chewy gingerbread man!

  4. Love these cookies!!! Spiced Persimmon “Muffin Top” Cookies. . . that’s awesome! I love persimmons and we always have some in the house during the holidays. . love this!! Fave holiday cookie: gingerbread anything!

  5. I LOVE persimmons…but also had a first similar experience! THE WORST.
    My grandmas recipe cards also look like that…so used and full of love! Can’t wait to try these! Pinned!

  6. First of all–crazy good cookie recipe. Who would have thought to about persimmon in a cookie. Gotta hand it to Grandma!!
    And absolutely in love with the Wooden Christmas set.

  7. Persimmons are my favorite! This recipe looks like a keeper for sure! The wooden set is gorgeous!

  8. Thinking of you as a child saying “I’m allergic to bear-shaped macaronis.” Cuteness overload.
    I’ve never baked with persimmons! I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a persimmon, actually. I think it’s time that changed…

    • Haha – probably more like “annoying eye roll” overload;) Yes, go out and buy yourself a few fuyu persimmons and cut them open like an apple (except no core to remove- BONUS).

  9. I’ve never heard of a persimmon cookie. This recipe sounds perfect though. Pinning!

  10. Mary Beth Elderton says:

    My favorite holiday cookie is chocolate pecan. I make cinnamon oatmeal raisin cookies every week for Hubz’ lunches.

  11. Simone Sika says:

    Can I answer ANY COOKIE? But honestly, I love a good combo of flavors that make the kitchen smell like the holidays!

  12. Sheri Nix says:

    Frosted cookies of any kind!! :) This recipe brings back fond memories of my childhood!

  13. Hmmmm. You wouldn’t think this is that hard of a question, but it IS. I think maybe Thumbprint Cookies? Since we only had them at Christmas growing up. And I LOVE them with the mint jelly centers. Ohhhhh yeaaaaaaah.

  14. Persimmons are the best but I have never tried them in a cookie before. These look gorgeous and I love how well loved your grandma’s recipe cards look :)

  15. I’m a sucker for traditional sugar cookies with cream cheese icing! I had never tried a persimmon before moving to California and didn’t know there were two types until reading this post! So thanks!

    • It’s all Alanna for that info! When she picked it up, I skeptically was like “really? you think persimmons are good?” And that’s when I learned….I’D MADE MISTAKES.

  16. These are beautiful. I love the idea of using a persimmon in your recipe.

  17. Haha! Aren’t grandmas recipes the best! It’s like a puzzle trying to figure out how to make the recipe. I absolutely love these cookies! Everything from the persimmons, cranberries, and walnuts, lovely!

  18. karen says:

    I love rugelach and churn out tons every year.

  19. We have some recipe cards from my great-grandma and they are just the same! I love the brief instructions, and how they say things like “nuts” without specifying a type. These cookies look wonderful, especially with that buttercream frosting and the dusting of cinnamon!

  20. I love old family recipes like this! I have not seen persimmon cookies before, but they sound really interesting. I enjoy persimmons, so I think I’ll be adding these to my “to-make” list!

  21. Amanda Paa says:

    i know it’s boring, but my favorite christmas cookie is a peanut butter blossom. i always eat the peanut butter part first, then the chocolate kiss. i also used to love krumkake, a norwegian rolled cookie that my grandmother had perfected. if only i could make a gf version! i love seeing your grandmothers recipe notes.

  22. Love this ingredient list – so unusual yet sounds so good!

  23. Shelby M says:

    I look forward to gingerbread cookies every year for the holidays!

  24. I love everything about this post: your pictures {seriously gorgeous}, the butter stained recipe card and it’s implied directions, and the giveaway!

    ps my fav Christmas cookies are chocolate covered mint oreos, not gluten-free and I’m not sorry lol

  25. Min says:

    I grew up eating persimminons (how cute) as if my life depended on it so I shake my fist at that unripe hachiya that deprived you of such deliciousness all those years! I love that you have so many family recipes! I wish I had them, but Koreans are notorious for not writing down recipes (recipe = pinch of this and that). I can’t recall having persimmon cookies so now I’m dying to try. I must!

    • Aw man – if ONLY YOU HAD BEEN AROUND TO SHOW ME THE WAY as a kid. Haha that’s so funny that you say that because, as you’ll soon see in an upcoming post, we had our friends and family write “family recipes” on the back of the RSVPs to our wedding and all of our Korean friends wrote out recipes without amounts – one of them even wrote “My mom is in Korea, so I don’t know exact amounts – sorry.” hahahaha.

  26. Love that this was a family recipe! I have never eaten persimminons before. I’m thinking that needs to change. Your photos are gorgeous!

  27. Alison H. says:

    My favorite holiday cookies is the old fashioned gingerbread!

  28. Ginny McMeans says:

    What a great way to use persimmons. They look wonderful. Those wooden tools are right up my alley too. Checking them out!

  29. Madeline says:

    Snickerdoodles and sugar cookies!

  30. hi sarah! nice wooden spoons! ;) i love your grandma’s typed recipe and thanks for sharing it with everyone. love the icing on top!

    • It’s like you’ve never seen these spoons before, right;) I was so excited to open them and use them and I didn’t get a picture of the pretty packaging, but at least you got to see it. Thanks, Lisa!

  31. Alanna says:

    Oh, these cookies look sooooo gooooood!!! Jay’s mom makes persimmon cookies every year at Christmas. But they are not my favorite! (My favorites are the walnut snowballs she makes – they are seriously like crack. Toasty nuts held together with crumbly, buttery cookie and rolled several times in powdered sugar until they become icing-like on the outside. Yum!) I think cranberries, walnuts, and buttercream frosting are exactly what persimmon cookies need, and I bet the oat flour pairs beautifully with the warm spices. Love these photos! And love those wooden cups!

    • Haha I like that you waited until NOW to tell me that they aren’t your favorite;) I made half the batch with raisins as my grandma suggested, but found the cranberries added a nice tartness to boost the cookie’s flavor. Thank you so much! I’m also a HUGE fan of snowball cookies (we call them Mexican wedding cakes) and last year we made them gluten-free with some of Pamela’s pancake and baking mix (you know, because sometimes you need cookies FAST…plus the mix has almond flour in it which makes it even more perfect for those cookies). And you know what? They were even MORE crumbly and melt-in-your-mouth-y (that’s a word) than their gluten counterparts. That said, I think I know what you need to make next for your blog. I’m pre-ordering a dozen.

  32. Your gorgeous pictures are making it very hard for me to resist the urge to run out the door this instant and buy my first ever persimmon. Yes, I’ve never made anything with persimmon before, but girl, these cookies are exactly where I should start! I love the image of your grandma’s recipe card. Those battered cards are one of my most favorite things of my grandma’s. You just see the love splattered all over them. :)

    • OH and my favorite holiday cookies are good old fashioned frosted sugar cookies with lots of sprinkles. :)

      • Thank you so much, Ashlyn! I feel so sad that I didn’t know the magic of persimmons earlier, so I fully support you to pick up some persimmons! (Although I’d start with a fuyu persimmon and eat it like an apple – they’re the mildly sweet ones that won’t risk ruining your image of them with a bitter flesh).

  33. Yum! Beautiful recipe! Thanks for the giveaway too!

  34. Aren’t passed down recipes the best? I have yet to try persimmons but this sounds like a good way to start! Love the use of gf oat flour in these too!

  35. WOW, those look beautiful! Screen licking worthy! :) I love passed down recipes! Pleas sure your awesome recipes at Gluten Free Fridays, they are amazing!

  36. My fav holiday cookies are the thumbprint cookies I found in the back of a Boxcar Children holiday book when I was in 4th grade. So good!

    Also, have you tried freezing persimmons before you eat them? My favorite way to eat them is to chuck them in the freezer for a few hours (or days) until they are frozen solid, then running them under lukewarm water in the sink. For some reason this makes the flesh super super super soft – you can basically bite into the fruit and suck out the insides like pudding.

    • Haha – I love where you got your recipe. I just e-mailed my mom the other day to have her find a recipe from a REALLY OLD kid’s cookbook that I once remember making.

      YES! I Actually was told that if you freeze them, they release the tannins, so I’ve got a few in the freezer working their magic right now. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  37. Erin R. says:

    Oh, my favorite changes daily, but since I made shortbread last night my current favorite is shortbread!

  38. Milo says:

    My favorite holiday cookies are plain old M&M cookies with the holiday red and green ones. Something about those colors make them taste better!

  39. My neighbor has a persimmon tree, and just dropped off a whole bag of persimmons for me. This must be fate! Can’t wait to make these cookies, they look perfect!

  40. Your cookies look absolutely divine. I just love the cranberry flavor in them as well. Wonderful recipe

  41. TC says:

    It’s not a holiday cookie per se, but I love making rosemary butter cookies this time of year.

  42. Brittany Koelmel says:

    I love sugar cookies with sprinkles!

  43. Fave holiday cookie? Well, I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like so…. all of them? Hahaha, I guess I’m a classic at heart… there’s nothing more satisfying than a perfect chocolate chip cookie fresh from the oven.

    And I’m totally like you. I tried a persimminon… persimino…. perssimmin…. persimmon once and thought elllghhhhhh! Looks like I need to give them another try!

    • Cookie monster!

      Yes! Go pick up a crispy firm fuyu persimmon and eat it sliced up like an apple. And then put half of it in a salad with some mixed greens, balsamic, moroccan spiced pepitas and a bit of goat cheese. You’re welcome.

  44. These cookies are fantastic Sarah! My sister LOVES to bake with persimmons and I love to help her eat whatever she makes ;) Pinned and I totally entered…my favorite cookie at Christmas would have to be ginger cookies!

    • Thank you Trish! What else does she make with persimmons – I love to hear some new creative recipes:) I’ll cross my fingers for you! (Also – ginger cookies are definitely top 3 on my list too!)

  45. I love persimmons! I just started eating persimmons when I moved to California and now they are one of my favorite winter produce! These cookies look so good. Frosted Muffin tops FTW!

  46. Christie says:

    Yum! These sound so yummy! I’ve never tried a persimmon, but I want to now. After baking your maple walnut bars, I know these will be amazing too. We’ve never had a special Christmas cookie in my family. Fudge? Does fudge count? This may be it.


    • Fudge totally counts! Yay! I hope you make these and love them as much as the maple walnut bars (even though those are a tough one to compete with…I maybe ate a whole batch to myself over Thanksgiving….)

  47. Wow, I love that this is your grandma’s recipe!! You did an amazing job gussy-ing it up, it looks phenomenal. Love that icing! Pinned :)

  48. How can Lucas be allergic to persimmons?! Your cookies look sooo good! I’d ask you send me some, but I figure frosted cookies probably don’t ship well. ;)

    • That was my reasoning too – so I pawned them off on all my neighbors. WHO, in return, brought me a plate of homemade enchiladas for dinner the next night. Talk about a fair trade!

  49. I have all of my grandmothers handwritten recipe books, and they are So much the same, missing middle parts, instructions and measurements in some – but man could she bake
    and I am all about the frosted muffin top :)

  50. lindsey says:

    Those cookies look delicious! I have a box of persimmons in the kitchen right now…

  51. How in the world do I always forget about persimmons?? It’s like pumpkin and peppermint and gingerbread take over this time of year, and… The actual healthy thing misses out. That needs to change! Especially if it means these incredible cookies. ;) Pinned!

    • Right?! Peppermint and gingerbread are deliciously popular…but they brag about it. Meanwhile the humble persimmon is over here like “what about me, guys?” Thanks for sharing it, Amy!

  52. These look incredible! Never had persimmon cookie before. I’m so intrigued! Can’t wait to try them out!

  53. Lori S H says:

    I love cranberry oatmeal cookies with white chocolate chips!

  54. Nicole says:

    Mm! I love cakey cookies. But I think good old gingersnaps are my holiday fav–or thick shortbread with candied ginger in it. :)

  55. Carol says:

    I think the Green Tea Cookies are going to be my new favorite!

  56. Annette says:

    My favorite holiday cookie is a snickerdoodle.

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