Fig and Almond Buttermilk Cake

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I’ll be the first to admit that the photos of this cake do not do it justice. I’m still working on my food photography skills and this one just didn’t work out. I’m hoping to make it again and hopefully get some better photos up. For now, you’ll have to trust me that this simple, one layer cake is freakin’ amazing. I used our buttermilk cake recipe from HERE and adapted it for a combination of figs and almonds. The resulting cake was incredibly moist, but light. The figs baked into the cake and almost melted. Wanting to try cake for breakfast? This is a good choice!

This cake used whole wheat pastry flour and coconut sugar, making it much darker in color than it would be with all purpose flour and white cane sugar. If you haven’t tried coconut sugar yet, this would be a great recipe with which to start. Coconut sugar is a minimally processed sugar that is sustainably harvested from the sap of coconut trees. Unlike cane sugar or even brown sugar, coconut sugar is a low glycemic food (glycemic index of 35) that has 36 times the amount of iron as brown sugar and 16 amino acids. It is also high in potassium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B6. It is considered safe to use for diabetics and can be used as a replacement for cane sugar in 1:1 ratio. Because it is very dark in color, your baking will also take on a rich, dark brown color, so keep that in mind. I don’t particularly care, but if you are baking a white cake, you’ll want to know that in advance.

I dare you to open a bag of coconut sugar, take a deep inhale, and NOT fall in love. I. Dare. You.

Enjoy the figs of late summer! I hope to make this cake a few more times before fig season is officially over. And maybe–well probably–have it for breakfast 🙂

Fig and Almond Buttermilk Cake (makes one 9″ round cake)

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted, organic butter, softened
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 large farm egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 pint fresh, organic figs, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour a 9″ round cake pan. Set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, blend the first four ingredients. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the softened butter and the sugar and beat well for about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the vanilla, almond extract and egg to the butter mixture and beat until blended.
  6. With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour and buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until just blended.
  7. Add the batter to the pan, spreading evenly. Top with the fig halves and almond slices.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove cake to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  10. Serve slightly warm.

Fig and Goat Cheese Pizza

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Seeing figs at the farmer’s market is a bittersweet thing. On the one hand, I love figs, and I’m almost out of Sticky Fig Jam, so I’m ready to get moving to make some more. On the other hand, the arrival of figs means the end of summer, which is always a sad time for me. Recipes like this Fig and Goat Cheese Pizza give me a reason to smile, though! This pizza is incredibly simple and very, very tasty. The way the end of summer should be, right?

For this pizza, I used fresh, local goat cheese and onions and figs from our farmer’s market. The onions in this recipe are caramelized quickly using a “cheat” of vinegar and sugar, but you can skip the sugar if you want–it gives the onions the flavor of caramelization without the long cooking time, but you can do what works for you. Don’t skimp on the balsamic vinegar though–the pairing of the vinegar with the onions and the cheese is pretty spectacular. We used coconut sugar in our recipe, mostly because we have it handy and I am totally in love with it. It is sustainably produced and has a flavor almost like brown sugar, but is minimally processed and closer to a natural state. I wouldn’t buy it just for this pizza, but it’s worth trying in all kinds of baked dishes.

Fig and Goat Cheese Pizza (Serves 2)

  • 1 recipe whole wheat pizza crust (see below or use your own)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large, sweet organic onion, cleaned and sliced thin
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (or organic, unbleached cane sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 6 ounces goat cheese
  • 10-12 fresh organic figs, trimmed and cut lengthwise into thirds
  • 1 cup grated, fresh Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prepare pizza dough and let rise according to recipe directions.
  3. In a medium size skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until translucent and soft. Sprinkle with salt to help the onion release its juices (this will help keep it from browning too fast). Reduce heat if onion starts to brown or burn.
  4. Add balsamic vinegar and sugar to the onion, reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir frequently and make sure onion does not burn.
  5. Stretch and shape the pizza dough into your desired shape onto a baking sheet or pizza stone (our pizzas are almost never really round, and we are okay with that!).
  6. Mash the goat cheese and distribute evenly over the pizza dough surface.
  7. Top the goat cheese with the caramelized onions.
  8. Arrange the fig slices on top of the goat cheese. Top the pizza with the Parmesan cheese.
  9. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until the crust is cooked and the cheese is bubbly and melted.
  10. Serve immediately.
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