Traditional recipes

Walnut and fresh fig cake recipe

Walnut and fresh fig cake recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Nut and seed cakes
  • Walnut cake

This is an Italian walnut cake that's topped with fresh figs. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or cold with coffee.

5 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 1 28cm cake

  • 1 egg
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 200g caster sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum flavouring
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 150g butter, melted
  • 125g walnuts, chopped
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 8g baking powder
  • 6 fresh figs, washed and sliced in 1cm rings
  • 50g demerara sugar

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:40min ›Ready in:1hr

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 C / Gas 3. Grease and flour a 28cm springform cake tin.
  2. In a large bowl, whip the egg, the yolks, 150g caster sugar, vanilla extract, rum flavouring and lemon zest with an electric beater until fluffy and pale. Melt the butter; add to the mixture and beat briefly to mix in.
  3. In a blender, process remaining 50g caster sugar, walnuts, flour, cream of tartar, salt and baking powder into the bowl of a blender; pulse until fine. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, in 2 or 3 batches, mixing well to achieve a lump-free mixture. Pour in the prepared tin and spread evenly. Place the fig rings on top, one in the middle and the others all around in a circle. Sprinkle with demerara sugar.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean and dry.
  5. Remove from the oven; allow to cool slightly and serve warm or cool completely and dust with icing sugar.


Instead of greasing and flouring the tin, you can wet a piece of parchment paper, squeeze any excess water out and use this to line the tin. I have found this method pretty good.

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Walnut and fig cake

Created by the first ever winner of The Great British Bake Off – Edd Kimber – this walnut and fig cake recipe is really easy to follow, but creates a delicious treat that’s easy on the eye thanks to the use of gorgeous fresh figs and California walnuts.

Find the recipe below, and have a go at creating your own. We’d love to see your bakes over on our Baking Heaven Facebook page!

Fig sponge cake

This indulgent seasonal dessert, layered with fresh fruit, is ripe for the picking.


  • 125 gram butter
  • 150 gram light raw sugar
  • 10 figs, stems removed, skin on, halved
  • 225 gram butter, softened
  • 225 gram caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoon milk
  • 100 gram lsa (linseed, sunflower and almond)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 50 gram walnut pieces, crushed
  • 150 gram plain flour
  • vanilla ice cream, for serving



Let it be said that this fig cake is one of my favourites of all time. My wife makes it each year when the figs are ripe, and it has reached legendary status in our neighbourhood. LSA is a blend of ground linseed, sunflower and almonds and it is a fantastic source of energy in this cake. Figs are among the richest plant sources of calcium and fibre, making this an (almost) guilt-free treat. - Mike Van de Elzen

Fig and Walnut Coffee Cake Topped with Caramelized Figs

Fig and Walnut Coffee Cake Topped with Caramelized Fresh Figs. That’s mouthful literally and figuratively. This is part of the Blogger Recipe Challenge sponsored by Steviva.

Disclaimer I received products to use in this post. The views expressed here are entirely my own. Read my Disclosure Policy here.

As a baker, I’m always on the hunt for ways to have my cake and eat it too. I love my over the top and decadent treats but for health’s sake, I have to cut back. We often equate indulging in desserts as part of our holiday traditions and adding a couple of “better for you’ treats I can balance it out. This Fig and Walnut Coffee Cake Topped with Fresh Figs is one way I intend to do it.


It's an early Saturday morning and my friend Vicky and I are to embark on The Tram Ride of Shame an event all too familiar to young Melburnians who own no form personal transportation and choose to crash at a friend's house after a party or a big night out.

In our case, it was after our friend Ramona's 1920s themed 20th birthday. Needless to say we were hungover and looking, well, less than dashing.

Anyway, whilst waiting for said tram, Vicky mentions that her parents had given her a bag of figs in the last week and she had no clue what to do with them. This following recipe idea sprung to mind.

The resulting cake, whilst highly experimental, turned out wonderfully. The figs were overripe and stained the mixture a brilliant crimson. There's no raising agents in this recipe (Vicky failed to have anything of the sort in her apartment) but the denseness of this cake only compliments the rich/fresh contrast of the ingredients.

Fig and Walnut Cake

What I love about the foodie community is when you ask for suggestions, you get excellent ones! I found some fresh figs on my most recent trip to Trader Joe's this last week. I posted in my AR group on Facebook that I had fresh figs and asked if anyone had recommendations as to what I could do with them.

My foodie friend known as [email protected] (My Kitchen Adventures) along with several others made suggestions.
Renee's was the perfect one for me however because I was in a baking and sharing mood. Yes, this cake went to my office with me on Friday. Renee had linked me up to Joy's blog (Joy the Baker) and her recipes for Fresh Fig and Almond Breakfast Cake.

I thought walnuts sounded like a perfect match for the figs and I had plenty of them on hand. I made other changes such as addition of pure maple syrup, soured almond milk instead of buttermilk and added some cinnamon while leaving out the almond extract.

This cake had the most gorgeous crumb! I was afraid that my 10' pan wasn't big enough after pouring the batter in because I still had to top it with the fig and walnuts, but I said what the heck and did it anyway. Turned out beautifully, baked through perfectly and was nice and super tall. I was a happy camper his also would be great with other fruits like peaches, plums, pears, cherries, and even strawberries!

Spice it up

I love fresh figs they are one of my favourite fruits. The second I see them in stores I end up buying a tonne and then wondering what on earth to do with them.

They are delicious for breakfast, served with a cheese platter, on an open sandwich, roasted low in the oven, or even turned into a chutney or jam! They are also delicious in a cake. What takes them to the next level in this particular cake is that they are combined with walnuts and warming spices.

I raided the cupboard for this recipe, adding all spice, nutmeg and cinnamon to the batter. For a true taste of autumn you have to have some spice. Although the cake is served cold you can count on the spices to warm you up on a cold day.

Step 2: Add the Fresh Figs

Now that our batter is made and in the pan, it's time to add the figs. I use black mission figs, which you can find in just about any supermarket. If figs are hard to come by, you could also use sliced apples or pears. You can't go wrong with any of those choices!

Fig and Walnut Sourdough

This robust, crusty sourdough is studded with rich figs and crunchy walnuts. It's a terrific partner for any artisanal cheese. If you don't have figs, dried cranberries are a tasty and colorful substitute.


  • 1 1/4 cups (283g) ripe (fed) sourdough starter
  • 1 cup (227g) water
  • 3 cups (361g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (9g) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast, optional
  • 1/2 cup (85g) diced dried figs or cranberries
  • 3/4 cup (85g) walnuts, roughly chopped


Weigh your flour or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Combine the starter, water, and flour in the bowl of your mixer just until smooth. Cover the bowl and let the mixture sit (autolyse) for 1 hour.

After an hour, add the salt and yeast, and knead the dough with your mixer's dough hook on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes. Just before the kneading is done, mix in the figs or cranberries.

Stop the mixer and add the walnuts, using a dough scraper to fold them gently into the dough. Cover the bowl again and let the dough rise at room temperature for 40 to 60 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface (it will be fairly wet and possibly a bit sticky).

Perfect your technique

Fig and Walnut Sourdough

Scoop up the edge of the dough with your dough scraper and bring it to the center, pressing down. Give the circle of dough a quarter turn counterclockwise, and repeat three or four more times. You're stretching the dough a bit and rounding it at the same time. For two smaller loaves, divide the dough in half and round each.

Flour the banneton(s) you want to use, or a tea towel placed inside a bowl with a shape you find pleasing. Place the rounded dough into the banneton or bowl, bottom side up, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, preheat the oven to 450°F with a baking stone in the lower third. Put 1" of water into a small skillet that can go into the oven. Take your breads out of the refrigerator. They may not have risen a lot that's OK.

Bring the water in the skillet to a simmer and place it in the bottom of the oven. Place a piece of parchment on a baker's peel or the back of a baking sheet.

Turn the loaves out of their bannetons onto the parchment. Slash the top(s) of the loaves, and slide the bread(s), paper and all, onto the stone in the oven. Spray the inside of the oven generously with water from a spray bottle and set a timer for 5 minutes. Spray once more when the timer goes off, and bake for another 35 minutes, until the center of the loaf reads 200°F when measured with a digital thermometer. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack before slicing.

Tips from our Bakers

Don’t have any starter? Here’s a recipe for homemade sourdough starter. If you're making it from scratch, you'll need to feed it for 5 to 7 days before it’s ready for baking. Want a head start? Purchase our classic fresh sourdough starter – it’ll be ready for baking soon after it arrives at your door. Looking for tips, techniques, and all kinds of great information about sourdough baking? Find what you need in our sourdough baking guide.

Recipe Summary

  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for pan
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (10 ounces) dried figs, stemmed and coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom (or a cake pan lined with parchment paper) with oil set aside.

In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together oil, milk, and egg set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt add milk mixture, and stir with a rubber spatula just until smooth (do not overmix). Gently fold in figs and lemon zest.

Spread batter in prepared pan set pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.

Cool in pan 15 minutes before unmolding cake onto a wire rack to cool completely. To serve, cut into wedges.