Every time I post a fig recipe I end up wondering how many of you actually eat figs, let alone have access to them. I know they’re not exactly apples or oranges – they’re a little more exotic than that, I guess – but I love them so much that I can’t resist sharing at least one recipe that uses them every summer. I think they’re something that you have to learn to love though, so if you’re not at the stage yet, I’m begging you to give them a few more chances. Once you do I think you’ll be smitten ferrrrsurreee.
Even though I don’t bake with figs all that often, I always seem to get lucky and come up with a recipe I totally love when summer comes around and figs are in season. Last year it was those Brown Butter Hazelnut Fig Bars, which I was soooo tempted to make again if it weren’t for the fact that I’m constantly trying to come up with new recipes. Don’t ask me how an upside-down cake came to mind, but thank god it did, because this recipe?? SO good.
You might have noticed that I’ve become a bit obsessed with whole wheat pastry flour lately, and this cake officially convinced me that it’s a miracle-worker. The fact that whole-wheat flour and hazelnut meal can make an ultra-tender cake is kinda mind-blowing in the best way possible. Add to that a luscious ribbon of cinnamon-sugar swirled through the middle and that rich, sweet, juicy upside-down fig layer on top, and holy moly do you have a good little cake. Speaking of which – when I call this a cake I definitely mean it’s the kind of cake you can have for breakfast (like a coffeecake, that is), but if you’re into light and fruity desserts, this would definitely be up your alley too.Print
Fig Upside-Down Cinnamon-Swirl Cake
A light and tender whole-wheat cake layered with a ribbon of cinnamon-sugar and a sweet topping of fresh figs.
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: one 9" cake 1x
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Fig Upside-Down Cake
- 2 ounces (¼ cup) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 ⅞ ounces (¼ cup, packed) brown sugar
- about 15–20 figs, halved*
- 8 ½ ounces (2 cups, spoon and level) whole-wheat pastry flour**
- 4 ounces (1 cup) hazelnut meal **
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ⅜ ounces (⅓ cup) coconut oil, melted and briefly cooled
- 3 ½ ounces (½ cup) granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 6 ⅜ ounces (¾ cup) buttermilk (for an easy substitute, click here )
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a small bowl, whisk together the sugars and cinnamon. Set aside.
Fig Upside-Down Cake
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease a 9″ springform pan (I used a push pan ) with nonstick spray.
- Combine the melted butter with the brown sugar and whisk together until smooth. Pour into the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer to cover. Arrange halved figs in a concentric pattern on top of the sugar layer, cut-side down.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the pastry flour, hazelnut meal, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate, large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil and granulated sugar until thoroughly mixed. Beat in the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Mix in the vanilla extract.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold in just until fully incorporated. Dollop half of the batter into the pan and use an offset spatula to spread out in a flat layer to cover the fig layer completely. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar in an even layer over the batter and carefully dollop and spread out the remaining batter evenly on top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out free of batter. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan, carefully lifting bottom of pan from fig layer. Serve at room temperature.
*Any fig should work for for this recipe. I’ve used both Calimyrna figs and Brown Turkey Figs for recipe testing.
**White pastry flour and almond flour should substitute well for whole wheat pastry flour and hazelnut meal, as needed.
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