It all started with my Mama's gumbo recipe!

Fig Cake

Fig Cake

I started making fig cakes when I had an oversupply of preserves in my pantry. The jewel filled jars of figs came mostly from visits with Mama. It seems we couldn’t leave empty handed. Then I remembered a spicy, moist cake from my childhood.

Fig cake on lace doily and fig leaves with fresh figs.

 

I rediscovered how this cake fits the bill when needing a sweet something. The fig cake can be quickly whipped up to take to church, bring to a friend, or baked ahead for some weekend company. It can be made into a simple bundt style or baked in layers and frosted. It’s one of those cakes that stays moist and gets better with time. Adding fruit does that to most baked goods.

Round fig cake layers sliced into halves.

I’ll never forget the first time I served this cake to some of my Arkansas friends. They refused to eat it and in fact, grimaced when I told them it was baked with figs. Eventually, they decided to give it a try and after one bite they witnessed it’s goodness.

I’m still amazed at how many people aren’t familiar with the fig so here are some interesting facts I’ve discovered about this sweet southern fruit.

Fig Facts

  • The little seeds found inside the fig were once hundreds of blossoms when the fig first formed. 
  • Figs are pollinated by a tiny wasp a couple of millimeters long. God made the wasp just for that purpose. Therefore the fig and the wasp need each other for survival. Amazing!
  • Fig puree can be substituted for fat in recipes.
  • The Fig Newton Cookie made its intro in 1891.
  • The early Olympic athletes received fig laurels as medals.
  • A cup of figs contains the same amount of calcium as a cup of milk.
  • Because of their high fiber content they can be helpful in weight management. (You like that one, I know. Me too!)
  • The potassium contained in figs can help control high blood pressure.
  • The fig leaves are edible and full of healthy benefits, themselves.

 

Bowl of fresh figs for fig cake.

 

Fig Cake Recipe

You can bake this cake in a simple bundt pan and dress it up with a glaze or bake it in layers to fill with a creamy frosting. My older grandchildren are finally at the age where they are showing interest in helping in the kitchen. Here is Kathryn. While experimenting with this cake, she was learning how to measure. It’s a fun teaching tool for them, and I like their company.  

 

Little girl pouring buttermilk into a mixing bowl.
Her father does the same thing when he’s concentrating.

 

Print

Fig Cake

Fig cake on lace doily and fig leaves with fresh figs.

A traditional southern cake made with fig preserves whose flavor and moistness intensifies days after it’s baked. Bake it in a bundt pan or in layers topped with the Cinnamon Whipped Cream and the Praline Glaze.

  • Author: Louisiana Woman
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 16 slices

Ingredients

The Cake

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground clove

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup fig preserves

1 cup chopped pecans

Cinnamon Whipped Cream

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Praline Glaze

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup milk

Instructions

For Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan or 2-9 inch cake pans.
  • In a large bowl cream sugar and eggs with a mixer.
  • In a separate bowl mix flour, salt, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove with a whisk.
  • Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately into creamed mixture mixing well.
  • Blend in oil until it is incorporated well into the batter.
  • Stir in preserves and pecans.
  • Pour into the prepared bundt pan and bake for 1 hour or equal amounts of batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Take cake out of the oven when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes then remove cake from pan and cool on cake racks.

For Cinnamon Whipped Cream

  • Place cream in a mixing bowl and begin whipping then slowly add powdered sugar then cinnamon.
  • Beat until peaks form being careful not to over beat.
  • Keep whipped cream refrigerated until ready to use.
  • When cake is completely cooled place first cake layer on cake plate, and frost top with whipped cream then stack and repeat with next two layers.
  • Keep cake cool in the refrigerator until glaze is ready to drizzle over cake.

For Praline Glaze

  • Combine in saucepan and bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes. 
  • Let cool to lukewarm then drizzle on top of the cake, sprinkle with chopped pecans, and return cake to the refrigerator.

Notes

For best filling place mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for a minutes before making whipping cream.

Silver bowl of whipped cream and cinnamon for fig cake.
Cinnamon Whipped Cream
Silver spoon stirring praline glaze cooking in a pot for fig cake.
Praline Glaze

The taste of the spicy cake together with the cream spiked with cinnamon, the praline glaze, and the crunch of pecans make a great combination. It’s so good! Next, more preserves and ways to enjoy them.

Four layers of fig cake on red toil cake plate.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Dr. Seuss

My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.         Colossians 2:6-7 The Message



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