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Monday, August 29, 2011

Fresh Fig Cake

Once again, it's that time of year when the fig tree in my parent's backyard bears its fruits!

I remember my mom planting that tiny tree like it was yesterday and me questioning her at the age of 10 what figs were and if I would even like them.

Before I moved away from home at around 20 years old, I don't remember eating fruit off that tree. I do remember my mom getting really excited one year when she was able to get 3 figs off the tree. But she must have eaten them....

On my journeys away from home, I became more and more familiar with figs. Especially in the dried form. In Dubai and Damascus, I remember strings of them hanging in the store fronts along with dried dates and apricots. I fell in love with them.

Fast forward to this summer.... my first summer after returning to Canada, just a short ferry ride from home. And boy was I surprised this week when my mom came over with 2 huge buckets of ripe figs from the tree.

I ripped some apart immediately with my hands and ate them, with the intention of turning a lot of the remainders into jam. 

My sister, not knowing what to do with all these figs, resorted to the internet, and came up with this fantastic recipe for a fresh fig cake.

The only modification that she made was to use 1 1/2 cups of figs in the cake batter instead of the original 1 cup. And the cake was TO DIE FOR! It was so good, that I had to share it with all of you!

Fresh Fig Cake

For the Cake:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh figs

For the Filling:
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup water
2 cups chopped fresh figs
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with vegetable oil spray.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter with the sugar until fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Add flour mixture alternately with the evaporated milk. Fold in vanilla and almond extracts and chopped figs.

Divide into two prepared 8 inch round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry.

To make the filling: In a saucepan, combine 2 cups figs, brown sugar, water and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 20 minutes. Spread thinly between layers of cake and on top.


  1. I have a fig tree as well and this year I have about 4 edible figs so you can imagine how jealous I am of your mom’s tree. My figs have a purple skin and I have never seen ripe once with green skin, but these look fantastic! I don’t think I would have enough to make this cake as they will all disappear in my belly even before I can bake with them. But I will definitely try your recipe once my tree gives me more fruit.

  2. Yum! Looks very lucious. I absolutely love figs but only eat them where they are grown - preferably just yards from their tree - because they are never the same when they get to rainy old Ireland. How lovely to have your own tree.

  3. How beautiful the fruit is. I was thinking about getting a fig tree with the hopes of one day having fruit. The bounty of your mom's tree definitely gives me hope and I think I will have to go out and buy one or two trees.

  4. This is so beautiful. I adore figs and need to use them more.

  5. Such a scrumptious looking cake and those figs looks gorgeous! I've been wanting to try a recipe like this.