Fig Upside-Down Cinnamon-Swirl Cake

Fig Upside-Down Cinnamon Swirl Cake - a soft and tender whole wheat cake with a ribbon of cinnamon sugar and a sweet fig layer on top.|

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



Cinnamon Swirl

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Fig Upside-Down Cake

  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 7/8 ounces (1/4 cup, packed) brown sugar
  • about 1520 figs, halved*
  • 8 1/2 ounces (2 cups, spoon and level) whole-wheat pastry flour**
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) hazelnut meal **
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 3/8 ounces (1/3 cup) coconut oil, melted and briefly cooled
  • 3 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 3/8 ounces (3/4 cup) buttermilk (for an easy substitute, click here )
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Cinnamon Swirl

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugars and cinnamon. Set aside.

Fig Upside-Down Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease a 9″ springform pan (I used a push pan ) with nonstick spray.
  2. 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.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pastry flour, hazelnut meal, baking soda, and salt.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.