Spelt, Persimmon & Walnut Tea Cake

Mother’s Day and cake are inseparable in most households I’d imagine. No different out here on the hill. I love making cakes. Thing is, what sits on a plate when I say cake, and what comes out of the oven when my Mum says cake, are two really quite different creatures. If I tell you that the cake I made for Mum on Sunday happily shared the table with a teapot yet had no dairy, eggs, refined sugar, refined flour or icing, you can probably take a guess at what you’d have at my Mum’s place. Not much spelt to be found in my Mum’s pantry.

Here’s where my Mum totally wins points though. She has never, ever refused to try any of the offerings I’ve baked for her over the years, and I have to say, my teenage baking churned out some pretty gnarly takes on cake. Unconditional love.

This cake was far from the most ‘wholegrain’ I’ve made but it still arrived at the table a spelt based, nut filled, vegan get together, with persimmon puree. “Oooh you made cake!” my Mum said, ‘and I love the icing sugar, it always looks so pretty.”

“Oh that’s coconut flour,” I replied, trying not to sound like a particularly precocious version of myself.

“That’s an interesting idea. Yes, I s’pose you don’t use icing sugar either do you?”

My poor Mum. Thank God she loved the cake. She really, truly deserves good cake after living with a “Don’t you know how bad X is for you?” daughter all those years.

Cake and tea never fail to build that bridge though right? Before the tea cups had been filled we were talking about how kind it is to have donations of homegrown persimmon (thanks Katherine) and walnuts (thanks Ben) to inspire cake baking. When you sit down for afternoon tea with your Mum, kindness comes with cake, no matter what.  If you can refrain from talking about the dairy industry. Which we did. Phew.

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Spelt, Persimmon & Walnut Tea Cake

makes 1 25cm x 10cm loaf


370g organic spelt flour

180g organic panela sugar

pinch Himalayan salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 cups organic, just cracked walnuts

1/4 tsp organic ground cloves

1 tsp organic ground cinnamon


6 organic non-astringent persimmon

300g organic almond milk (or milk of your choice)

100g organic coconut oil, melted

2 tbsp ground flax seed, mixed with 6 tbsp water


Organic coconut flour, for dusting, optional


Pre heat the oven to 180C and prepare the loaf tin.

Mix all of the dry ingredients together, keeping 1 cup of walnuts back to put on the top of the cake batter.

In a separate bowl, let the water and flaxseed soak until you have a thickish paste, about 3 – 5 minutes will do it. Measure all of the liquid ingredients in grams and add to the bowl.

To make the persimmon puree, simply remove the calyx from each fruit and then push them through a wire sieve with the back of a spoon. You should end up with about 3/4 cup of puree.

Add 1/2 cup of puree to the wet ingredients and stir through.

Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and stir with a spoon until completely mixed through.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and sprinkle the remaining walnuts on top. Add an extra dusting of cloves and cinnamon too if you like.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until cooked through when tested with a cake skewer.

Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

Dust with coconut flour (optional) and drizzle with the extra 1/4 cup of persimmon puree. To the table with tea!

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