A sweet and delicious fig cake with an annual celebration!
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Our family loves to vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Ocracoke Island is at the southern end of the Banks and fig trees are abundant there. It was such a pleasure to learn about their beloved fig cake and to create a fig cake recipe of my own!
(If you have lots figs on hand, you should try these Fig & Prosciutto Bites but save some figs for this cake, of course!)
In July of 2012 the first ever Ocracoke Fig Cake Bake-Off was held, and continues today. Entrants can create cakes for the Traditional or Innovative categories. The cakes are judged on presentation, taste and “figginess”. (To learn more about the festival, which happens in during the month of August, click here!)
Ocracoke Island Fig Cake a delicious spice cake with a lovely, warm flavor thanks to the nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. Chewy bits of fig throughout make this cake very moist.
Traditional Fig Cake recipes call for fig preserves. In this recipe instead of using jarred figs I give dried figs a quick simmer in simple syrup, like a quicky preserves.
The traditional fig cake recipe also calls for chopped walnuts, which I have listed as optional in my recipe below: in our house we have no walnut fans!
What a heavenly scent the baking of this cake imparts to one’s kitchen and house! It is a welcome and tasty breakfast or brunch treat.
Ocracoke Island Fig Cake
- 1-1/2 cups finely chopped dried figs, pitted & stems removed
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 2 slices of lemon
- 2/3 cup water
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1-1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Place the chopped figs in a medium-sized saucepan and stir together with 1/2 cup of the sugar, the lemon slices and the 2/3 cup of water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer the mixture for about 10 minutes until it is thickened, stirring often to prevent the figs from sticking to the bottom. Remove the pan from heat and discard the lemon slices. Pour the contents into a heatproof bowl and allow it to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 10″ tube or Bundt pan.
- In a stand mixer, beat the eggs until frothy and light yellow. Add in the remaining 1 cup of sugar and the oil. Mix until combined.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, salt, black pepper and baking soda. Alternating with the buttermilk, add the dry mix to the batter in two or three additions. Mix together until just combined.
- With the mixer running on low speed, mix in the simmered figs and their liquid. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and distribute evenly.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes until a tester inserted in the cake comes out clean. Remove pan to a cooling rack for 15 minutes.
- While the cake bakes, prepare the glaze: in a medium-sized saucepan combine the buttermilk, sugar, butter, corn starch and baking soda. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Once it boils immediately remove from heat and keep stirring (it will be foamy and will escape the pan if not stirred!) Stir in the vanilla and then let sit to wait for the cake.
- Have a serving platter ready for the cake: the platter should have enough room and high-enough edges to hold the glaze once poured.
- After the cake has cooled for 15 minutes, run a knife around the edges to loosen it from the pan. Invert the pan onto the serving platter and gently remove the pan from the cake.
- Pour the warm glaze evenly over the top of the still warm cake.
- Allow the cake to finish cooling. Slice and serve.
- Makes 10 generous slices
Be creative, curious and festive with food!
If you like this recipe, leave me a comment or give your rating: look for the stars at the top of the recipe!
This post was originally published in April of 2013.