Cakes, Food, fruit, Recipes

Figs and Almonds Cake

Figs and Almonds Cake Ronit PensoAnyone who tried fresh figs in any Mediterranean country is likely to be a bit disappointed with American figs. I’m not sure why exactly, but they never taste the same. Since I’m a big fig fan, this is not to say I’ve stopped trying. Whenever I see reasonable looking figs, which is not very often, I buy them and hope this time it’s going to be different.
Unfortunately, once I try them, I start thinking about ways to improve their taste. This time was no different – they were ripe, but still were not as luscious and enjoyable to eat on their own, as with the Mediterranean ones.
As I already was in Mediterranean mode, I’ve decided to add the figs to a cake with other Mediterranean ingredients and flavors. So, soon items like orange blossom honey, olive oil, almonds, anise and fennel seeds, found their way into the cake batter.
The result was very pleasing. The cake was aromatic and light, and the baking processes definitely improved the figs’ flavor. I will definitely make this cake again, with figs or with other Mediterranean fruits.  I’m sure you will too, once you’ll try it.

* As I aimed at rustic texture, I used whole almond meal and spelt flour. If you prefer a more delicate texture, you can use blanched almond meal and substitute the spelt with white flour.
* I find the cake to be sweet enough, but if you prefer a sweeter cake, you can increase the amount of sugar to 1 cup, and/or increase the amount of drizzled honey to ½ cup.
* If fennel and anise seeds are not your favorite flavors, you can use cinnamon instead.

Makes: 15
Prep time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes

2 XL eggs
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup sugar
¼ cup honey (preferable orange blossom)
1/3 cup olive oil
½ cup fine semolina
½ cup flour
2/3 cup whole spelt flour
½ cup whole almond meal
1 Tbs baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp anise seeds
For the topping:
½ cup sliced almonds
15 halves small mission figs
For drizzling over the baked cake:
¼ cup honey

1. Preheat the oven to 360F (180C). Line an 8”x11” ((20x 28cm) baking pan with baking paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, applesauce and sugar. Add the honey and olive oil and whisk well. Add semolina, flour, spelt flour, almond meal, baking powder, salt, fennel seeds and anise seeds, and whisk to a fairly thick batter.
Figs and Almonds Cake Ronit PensoFigs and Almonds Cake Ronit Penso Figs and Almonds Cake Ronit PensoFigs and Almonds Cake Ronit Penso
3. Pour the batter into the lined pan and scatter the slices almonds over. Arrange the fig halves on top and press them lightly into the batter.
Figs and Almonds Cake Ronit PensoFigs and Almonds Cake Ronit PensoFigs and Almonds Cake Ronit PensoFigs and Almonds Cake Ronit Penso
4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cakes is golden brown and when inserting a toothpick into the center it comes out clean.
5. Let the cake stand in the pan for 5 minutes before drizzling the ¼ cup honey all over. Holding the baking paper, transfer the cake to a rack, to cool to room temperature before cutting.
Figs and Almonds Cake Ronit PensoFigs and Almonds Cake Ronit Penso Figs and Almonds Cake Ronit PensoFigs and Almonds Cake Ronit Penso Figs and Almonds Cake Ronit Penso

79 thoughts on “Figs and Almonds Cake”

    1. Figs in the med. and parts of Cali. Are pollinized by the FIG WASP….

      I lived of them (and some ” Lechem shachor” bread )below Samuel Hanbi for 3 days, could have gone longer…they were that good of a green fig.

      I raise some figs now in Florida, waiting for some nice trees to turn 3 years old…look up JH adriatic, Emerald Strawberry, Malta Black, Rdb, Galicia Negra, etc. On the forum section of “”.

      And for your Neshama, please find a tachlif (substatute) for fobbiden foods…there really is a substitute for every non kosher item…
      People in the gluten free world manage to make quinoa pizza batter in a blender! And yes it tastes kosher is even easier, and it will honor Hashem and your Andalusian ancestors. ( em Mamleket Istanbuli BTW 😉 ).


    1. Thank you Carol, I’m glad you too like this combination. All these ingredients go so well together.

      I sometimes find good tomatoes in the farm stand, but in general you’re so right. They’re not as good. That’s why many times I prefer cherry tomatoes, at leas they have some flavor! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Kathryn, I’m glad you liked the cake despite of not being a fig fan. 🙂

      I think you’re right, it’s probably because you’ve only tasted American figs. Maybe it’s better in states like California, where the weather is more similar to the Mediterranean, but it’s such a seasonal and perishable fruit, that I never had a chance to try it when I was visiting the West coast.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ronit, this is lovely. I have just returned to Ireland from France, having just missed the fig season in Bordeaux by about a month. The trees in the garden of the house in which we were staying were laden with big fig fruits. I would love to try this with some of those figs. Delicious.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Conor, I’m very glad you liked the recipe.
      What you’ve described is the type of figs I’m talking about. I would love to prepare this cake with them, though I’d probably eat them as is, so not sure they would end up in the cake. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a sight for sore eyes Ronit! Love all the ingredients, as I scrolled through the ingredients list, I was getting more and more excited. What great use of spices to enhance this cake. I once made an upside down fig cake, so I might just use your spices you’ve added to yours. I love how the figs are slightly embedded in the overall appearance, so beautiful!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Loretta, I’m glad you liked the cake and flavors.
      I too love upside down cakes and usually add some spices to either the batter or the fruit layer. I’m sure your cake will be very tasty with such additions. Looking forward to seeing it. 🙂


  3. So true about the figs…and the tomatoes…and the cheese… Every thing tastes better in the Mediterranean area, Lol. It’s just not fair!

    However, this cake… I believe you! Something that looks this good, must be delicious, Ronit! Looks like you had the magic touch to transform those figs into something fabulous!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The cake looks delightful. I seldom eat figs (You may be right that the ones in the U.S. generally aren’t as tasty as those in Europe), but I may have to buy some and give this a try 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Looks nice, Ronit. Our figs in Oz are nice, but I’ve got nothing to compare them with. I imagine that cooked in a cake the will be delicious. You’ve pulled the rabbit out of the hat again.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. There’s something about almond in baked goods that I just love. It starts when I get that first whiff of something tasty in the oven. Love, love, love. Pairing it with figs sounds delicious, Ronit. What a great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you John, I’m glad you liked this “mix and match” cake. I too love baked almonds, and here their smell was combined with that of the honey, fennel, anise seeds and roasted figs… Now that I describe it, I want to make it again. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. See my comment on pollinized figs that somehow showed up by the august 14 replies…looking up the fig wasp will help one to understand why figs taste better in the med.


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