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Fresh Fig Almond Cake and a Revelation

September 8, 2011

Who knew? I didn’t. And I’m embarrassed to say this, since I like to think I’m very aware of seasonality. I know rhubarb is shooting up in the spring and green beans really don’t belong on a Thanksgiving table, but I never new about figs! I’ve always associated them with winter, dried, chopped up and thrown into all sorts of baked goods along with that dreaded candied peel. But then someone showed up at the bakery this week with bagfuls of fresh figs, just giving them away they were so plentiful! I suppose if I’d grown up with a fig tree in my back yard I would have been very aware of when they ripened, but I didn’t even eat my first fresh fig until last year. So they were never in my consciousness. I have been enlightened!

I have a confession to make. Figs aren’t really my thing. I want to like them. I really do– I feel like I should– but I don’t. They’re fleshy, riddled with seeds, sort of bland. But I know y’all love them, and there they were in my kitchen, and I had to give them a chance.

This cake is divine. Heavily almond-scented, moist and delicate, the figs leaving pockets of pink juice that seep into the crumb– the best part. As for the figs themselves, well, they’re there, and if you’re a fig lover you’ll gobble them up gladly. If you’re not a fig fan, well, they’re hardly bothersome, and you may even enjoy them all tucked into this heavenly cake. I was nearly converted myself.

Fresh Fig Almond Cake

© Copyright 2011 Carly Sullivan, Tart to Heart

Serves: 8-10


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3-4 large fresh figs, cut in quarters or eighths


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9-inch round cake tin.
  2. In your mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the honey and beat to combine. Then add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, and the almond extract. Don’t worry if the mixture looks a bit curdled.
  3. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl combine the flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk alternately to the butter mixture. Mix until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl so everything is combine.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin. Arrange the figs in concentric circles over the top of the cake.
  6. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 35-45 minutes. If the top gets too brown, tent with foil and continue to bake until set in the center. Let cool at least 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Slice into wedges and enjoy!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 9, 2011 6:38 am

    Fresh figs are divine. Glad you got to try them. We have trees and trees down here. Unfortunately, not in our yard! This cake looks fantastic.

  2. September 16, 2011 1:45 pm

    Those are definitely the prettiest figs I’ve ever seen.

  3. September 18, 2011 6:57 am

    This looks superb and as I am a fig lover I’d be more than happy to gobble a piece of this. I’ve never yet bought a fresh fig I’ve liked, but eating them straight off the tree is wonderful.

  4. April 18, 2013 10:16 pm

    Tried it and loved it. I’m sharing the recipe with a link to your blog. Thank you 🙂


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