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Fig Layer Cake

Yields12 ServingsPrep Time45 minsCook Time35 minsTotal Time1 hr 20 mins

I found this Fig Layer Cake recipe in my father's journal, but I don't remember him ever making it when our family had our bakery. It's full of flavor and the figs are moist and just a bit chewy. I've frosted it with a cream cheese buttercream, but I think it would be just as good if topped with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream that had a touch of Meyers Rum. To insure that the cake is moist, it is important to use soft moist figs that have been soaked in rum, or if you prefer, orange juice. The moister they are they less they will draw moister from the cake batter during baking.

fig cake

For the Cake
 7 oz dried figs (198g)
 3 tbsp Meyers Rum (or orange juice) (45g)
 ½ cup unsalted butter (114g)
 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
 ½ cup dark brown sugar (100g)
 1 cup vegetable oil (237ml)
 1 tsp vanilla extract (4.3g)
 3 Grade A large eggs
 ½ tsp orange extract (2.1g)
 1 tbsp orange zest (6g)
 2 ½ cups King Arthur all purpose flour (300g)
 2 tsp ground cinnamon (4.6g)
 ½ tsp ground nutmeg (1.2g)
 2 tsp baking powder (8g)
 1 tsp salt (6g)
Basic Cream Cheese Frosting
 ¾ cup unsalted room temperature butter (171g)
 12 oz cream cheese (1 & 1/2 bricks) (340g)
 4 cups powdered sugar (480g)
 1 tbsp orange zest (6g)
 1 tsp vanilla extract (4.3g)
 ½ tsp orange extract (2.2g)

Use the softest dried figs you can find, and Mission figs as opposed to Turkish figs will be better for this particular recipe. Cut the figs into small pieces, place in a bowl and add the rum or orange juice. Stir to coat the pieces and set aside to allow the pieces to absorb the liquid.


Line two 8" cake tins with parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 325° for Convection and 350° for Standard


Place both the white and brown sugar, along with the room temperature butter and orange zest in the bowl of your mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the vegetable oil and continue to beat at medium speed for about one minute. Add the room temperature eggs, one at a time, completely absorbing each before adding the next. Switch to high speed and beat for another 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is once again light and airy.


Use a fine mesh strainer of sifter and sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Scoop the sifted mixture into the cake batter and mix at low speed for half a minute. Now add the chopped figs, along with any of the liquid that has collected in the bowl. Mix at low speed for another half minute. Stop and using a rubber spatula scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl to make sure all ingredients have been combined. Turn the mixer back on, once again to low speed for another 30 seconds.


Divide the batter equally between your two 8" prepared cake pans, and bake on the center rack of your preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes. When baked the cake should be a rich golden brown and when gently pressed in the center should spring back.


Allow the layers to cool for 20 minutes, then run a knife along the outer rim to loosen the cake from he sides and invert the layers on to a cooling rack. Cook completely before frosting.

The Basic Cream Cheese Frosting

Place the room temperature butter and room temperature cream cheese in the bowl of your mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix at high speed until the ingredients are completely combined. Add the vanilla and orange extracts along with the pinch of salt.


Sift the powdered sugar to remove any lumps. Sprinkle the orange zest over the powdered sugar, and stir a bit with a fork to help evenly distribute the zest.


Scoop the powdered sugar/orange zest mixture into the bowl of butter/cream cheese. Turn the mixer on low speed until the sugar is mixed in, then turn on to high speed for 1 to 2 minutes until the frosting is light, smooth and creamy.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 slice

Servings 0

Copyright ©2021 Marjorie Perotti-Brewster. All Rights Reserved.