Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Martyr's Crown :: A Cake for the Feast of St. Thomas Becket

"Remember the sufferings of Christ, the storms that were weathered...the crown that came from those sufferings which gave new radiance to the faith...All saints give testimony to the truth that without real effort, no one ever wins the crown." 
~ St. Thomas Becket

In addition to being an excellent choice for the various feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and many other saints who were kings or queens here on Earth, the crown also symbolizes the martyrs, who have been victorious over sin and death and have been crowned saints in heaven.   

For today's feast of St. Thomas Becket, a (middle) name-day for two of our sons, I decided to bake a cake in a "crown" shape pan to celebrate.  The following recipe for Easy Persimmon Cake is my mom's recipe and has been a favorite of mine since childhood.   Persimmons are rare in our area, and my grandparents, who would always send a big box of persimmons to my mom each year, have both passed away, but I was so excited to find some persimmons at Costco this past week!  I'll be making some persimmon cookies soon...  

A Martyr's Crown Cake for St. Thomas Becket
Easy Persimmon Cake

  • 1 pkg Yellow Cake Mix
  • 2 Eggs
  • Water
  • 3/4 cup Persimmon Pulp
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Cloves
  • 3/4 cup Walnuts, chopped

Place cake mix in a large mixing bowl;  add eggs and 1/3 cup LESS water than called for on package of cake mix.   Add spices and persimmon and mix as directed on package.  Stir in nuts.  

Pour into a greased 2 qt ring mold or tube pan. (I used my Fleur de lis Bundt Pan, though I would love to buy this Cathedral Pan for next year... It would be perfect for St. Thomas Becket!) Bake at 350˚F for 45-55 minutes.  Cool.  Dust with powdered sugar.

Note:  You may also use a 9"x13" pan; bake at 350˚F for 35 to 40 min; or two 9" round pans for 25-30 min. 

"Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life."
~  Revelation 2:10

St. Thomas Becket, Pray for us! 

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  1. I made one for the feast of st. Sebastian today but it fell apart when I tried to take it out of the pan. Any tips?

    1. I've been making this cake for years, and have never had it fall apart. What type of cake pan did you make it in, and was it prepared? Did you make any other alterations to the recipe?

    2. Also, this recipe is for a standard yellow cake mix - the one pictured in this post was made with a Betty Crocker yellow cake mix. I sometimes use Duncan Heins. The recipe in this post is not for a gluten free cake.

      I experimented with a Gluten Free Spice Cake mix on my birthday (modifying a pumpkin cake recipe: I added 3 eggs, 3/4 cup water, 1 cup persimmon pulp, and 1/2 cup or so of chopped pecans to the GF Spice Cake Mix and baked it at 350 for about 50 minutes or so) which turned out well, but was overly moist though still delicious.

  2. I used the cathedral pan you linked to on amazon. I substituted with a gluten free Betty Crocker mix. I have celiac's, so I had to, but I don't think that was the problem. I was in a hurry and I don't think I let it cool enough. Also next time I will grease and flour the pan, I only greased it this time. We have a potluck on Saturday. Since it is the feast of Polycarp I might try again. The cake tasted great and my son was happy with it :)