Fresh-Fig Cake With Honey Cream-Cheese Frosting

Fresh-Fig Cake With Honey Cream-Cheese Frosting

This dense and deeply figgy cake, adapted from Eli's Table in Manhattan, gets its complex flavor from a combination of fresh figs and fig jam, seasoned generously with cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. It’s then filled and topped with cream cheese frosting that is sweetened with a combination of confectioners’ sugar for lightness and honey for richness. Over all, it’s a bit like carrot cake, except softer and sweeter. You can make the cake two to three days ahead and store it, well wrapped or under a cake dome, in the refrigerator. It gets even moister as it sits. If you can’t get fresh figs, chopped peeled apple works nicely as a substitute.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 12 persons



  1. Step 1

    Make the cake: Heat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-inch cake pan (or two 9-inch pans), and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Step 2

    In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, baking soda and salt.
  3. Step 3

    Using an electric mixer, whisk to combine sugar and eggs until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Whisk in oil and buttermilk or yogurt to combine.
  4. Step 4

    Using a rubber spatula, gently fold dry ingredients into egg mixture just until combined. Fold in figs, jam and pecans.
  5. Step 5

    Scrape into prepared cake pan and bake until browned and springy to the touch, about 65 to 75 minutes (or 35 to 45 minutes for the 9-inch pans). If the top gets too dark before the cake is finished baking, cover it with foil. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  6. Step 6

    While cake is cooling, make the frosting: Using an electric mixer, beat butter, cream cheese and salt on low speed until smooth. Beat in honey and vanilla, then beat in confectioners’ sugar.
  7. Step 7

    To assemble the cake, remove cooled cake from pan and peel off parchment paper. Slice cake in half horizontally, so you end up with 2 layers. (You don’t need to do this for the 9-inch cakes.) Spread half the frosting between the layers, sandwiching it. Dollop remaining frosting in a thick layer on top of the cake, leaving a 1-inch border on the top of the cake, the sides, bare. Chill until ready to serve. Just before serving, top with sliced figs.