Breakfast · Good Food · Muffins · Sweet Treats

David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Persimmon Muffins (My GLUTEN FREE adaptation)

End of Week 1 – First recipe

Autumn is in full swing.  Still warm during the day, but the colours are changing in the gardens, and the days are rapidly becoming shorter.  There is a nip in the morning air, and at night a light jacket is needed. The birds have left to migrate south, and the crickets are merrily chirping away at night. The change in temperatures has also brought about the change in fruits and vegetables available at the market.  Persimmons, oranges, pomegranates and sweet potatoes, and pumpkins are now in season.

The first recipe I have attempted is one by David Lebovitz.  This is not one of his new recipes. In fact, it was posted in 2010!  However, I had a few very over ripe persimmons that need eating, and I thought that the jam texture would be good in either a sweet bread or a muffin. What attracted me to this recipe, is that the first ingredient listed, is gluten free! Buckwheat flour.  
(Although the name does have ‘wheat’ in it, in fact, buckwheat is not related to the wheat family, and is gluten free).

David’s recipe includes chocolate.  Say no more!  I didn’t even need to read the full list of ingredients to know that this was one recipe that I needed to try.  Although he includes buckwheat as one of the ingredients, it is not actually a gluten free recipe, and so I have adapted it to be both egg free and gluten free.  I also use a lot less sugar in my recipes than I see in recipes online, so I’ve also made changes. 
You can view David’s recipe here:

Strangely enough, years ago, when I had a persimmon tree in my garden, I didn’t know what to do with it (other than admire it for being unusual and pretty), or the soft, messy bright orange fruit that hung heavily from its branches, being constantly pecked at by the birds and then mercilessly thrown to the ground to rot under the tree.  This in turn would attract all sorts of bugs which scurried around, picking at the rotting fruit.  If I had realised then that there was more to persimmons, I would have probably made my fortune (or is that wishful thinking?!) Anyway, that was years ago, and now that I’ve tried persimmons raw, cooked, green and dried, I appreciate these pretty little tomato look-alikes a lot more. Especially since I don’t have to clean up the mess under the tree!

Whilst these muffins are not the prettiest looking, they are certainly flavourful. As you bite into them, there is a delicious moist, sweetness from the persimmons, which off sets the bitterness of the dark chocolate beautifully.  I was pleasantly surprised that the persimmons do not overpower, but rather add a delicate fruity taste.  If you are looking for a breakfast muffin, these are perhaps a little too indulgent.  Unless of course you are also a chocoholic?! then they are perfectly fine to eat with your morning coffee (or tea).

I hope that you too will enjoy my gluten free adaptation of David’s Chocolate Persimmon Muffins. If you try them, I’d love to know what your thoughts are.

Dark Chocolate Persimmon Muffins (Egg free, Gluten Free, No xanthan gum)
Oven temperature: 180C / 355F
Baking time: 25 minutes
ingredients persimmonmuffins
  • 1 cup of buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup of gluten free flour *(my blend)
  • 4 Tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 Tablespoons of oil (I used sunflower)
  • 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of plain yoghurt
  • 1 flax egg (1 Tablespoon of ground flax + 2 Tablespoons of filtered water)
  • 1 cup of pureed persimmons (2 persimmons)
  • 1/4 cup of filtered water
  • 90-100g of dark (73%) chocolate pieces

step1 whiskoilsugar

Step1: whisk sugar and oil

Step2: Add the yoghurt
Step2: Add the yoghurt
Step3: add the puree
Step3: add the puree
Step 4: add flour mixture
Step 4: add flour mixture
Step5: add the cocoa
Step5: add the cocoa
Step 6: add the flax egg last
Step 6: add the flax egg last
Step 7: mix in chocolate
Step 7: mix in chocolate
12 mini muffins and 6 large muffins
12 mini muffins and 6 large muffins


  1. Preheat oven to 180C/355F
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt
  3. Whisk the sugar and oil together in a separate bowl
  4. Add the yoghurt and puree
  5. Stir in the flour mixture
  6. Add the cocoa
  7. Add the flax egg and stir briefly until combined
  8. Add the 1/4 cup of water should the batter be too dry and crumbly
  9. Now fold in the chocolate pieces
  10. Scoop into a muffin pan
  11. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C/355F for 25 minutes
  12. Cool for a few minutes in the pan and then place onto a cooling rack

*My blend: coconut milk, sorghum flour, black rice flour and tapioca starch

 Note: These muffins freeze well. I baked 12 mini muffins and 6 large muffins.

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