Figs are a seasonal favorite of mine.
So when I got a basket of them in my Specialty Produce Farmer’s Market Box (FMB) a few weeks ago, I just knew I had to come up with a fresh, new recipe with figs as the main focus. In particular, Fig Cakes with Vanilla Glaze. Flavored with cinnamon, almond and vanilla, these cakelettes are studded with purple-hued bits of earthy, sweet fig. A simple vanilla glaze is added to echo flavors inside the cake, and toasted almonds are sprinkled on top for crunch and contrast. I enjoyed these cakes with vanilla ice cream for dessert, and with coffee for breakfast. Continue reading for the recipe.
I’ve been getting a Specialty Produce FMB for a while now, and I love how each box contains some tasty standards plus one or two specialty items. These figs are a good example. Or like the pluots here, the multi-colored peppers here, and the artichokes here. The more standard items like lettuce, kale, chard, onions and tomatoes are perfect for simple salads, soups or sautees. While the specialty items really help to get my creativity flowing. There’s a good balance in each box.
Figs are in season right now!! So be sure to get them while you can. Ripe figs should be soft (not mushy) and fragrant, and when you cut into them, the flesh should be juicy and vibrant.
In this recipe, I use a cakelette pan from Williams-Sonoma (similar to this one) to make individual-sized cakes. If you don’t have a pan like this (and you don’t want to go out and buy one!), simply prepare this cake in a 10-inch round cake pan, and bake for 20 – 25 minutes at 375°F.
Fig Cakes with Vanilla Glaze
For the cakes:
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, (I like to use Nielsen-Massey)
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 8 fat, ripe figs, stems removed and chopped (use a couple more if your figs are smaller)
For the glaze:
- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon buttermilk, plus more as needed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the topping:
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped
Preheat an oven to 350°F, and place a rack in the middle of the oven. Grease a mini cake pan with non-stick cooking spray, and set aside.*
Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon and sugar to a large bowl, whisking to combine. Add buttermilk, eggs, butter, vanilla extract and almond extract to a small bowl, whisking to combine.
Pour the buttermilk mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients, and stir just until combined. Stir in the chopped figs. Divide the batter between the 6 wells of the mini cake pan (2 batches needed here), and bake until the tops of the cakes are lightly golden, and a toothpick inserted into the center of one cake comes out clean (18 - 22 minutes).
Transfer the pan to a wire rack, and let cook for 10 minutes. Gently tap the pan on the counter to release the cakes. Turn the cakes out on to the cooling rack (so the flat side is down), and let cool completely before glazing. Wipe pan clean, and repeat with a second batch.
To make the glaze, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, buttermilk and vanilla until smooth and pourable, Add a little more buttermilk if the mixture seems to thick (but add sparingly).
Once the cakes are cool, drizzle each cake with vanilla glaze. Start in the middle, and let the glaze run down the sides. Then sprinkle each cake with chopped toasted almonds. Cakes are best enjoyed immediately, but if you want to enjoy them later, store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, and glaze right before serving.
*If you don’t have a mini cake pan, simply prepare this cake in a 10-inch round cake pan, and bake for 20 – 25 minutes at 375°F.
I partnered with Specialty Produce on this article. All thoughts, opinions and recipes shared in this article are my own. If you live in the San Diego area, and you’d like to sign up for a Specialty Produce Farmer’s Market Box, get details here!11