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.

Berry Buttermilk Cake

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Cake for breakfast. You’re welcome.

The story of making this cake begins with a mystery.

This cake is easy, light and delicious. My colleague Terra brought a lovely version of this cake to work and was nice enough to share the recipe. When I went to make it, however, I noticed that all…ALL…of my cake pans had disappeared. Poof! Gone! Now, if you were to see my small house, you would understand that there are only so many places to hide things (“so many” being four). They are just flat-out gone. I would blame the cat, but his lack of opposable thumbs rules him out. So, I relied instead on my Kings Pottery baking dish, which is apparently not 9″ as noted in the recipe. But we all make do, right?

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With the still-unsolved mystery on my mind, I adjusted this recipe to my kitchen, using whole wheat pastry flour, organic, unbleached sugar and the blackberries and raspberries I had from our Produce Box. The end result is a bit more “rustic” and browner than the original, but we all liked it very much. I tried making an artful display of berries on top, but as you can see from the photo, the batter rises up and swallows the berries anyway, so if you are not feeling “artful”, that is okay. This would be a terrific summer dessert on those nights that you serve a rich meal and just want something light. It would also be a wonderful coffee cake for breakfast or brunch.

Yes, cake for breakfast. Yum.

If you happen to find three random cake pans wandering around, send them home, please. They are missed. I still suspect the cat.

Berry Buttermilk Cake (makes one 9″ cake)

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup organic, unbleached cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 pint fresh, pesticide free berries
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado or other course sugar
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Butter and flour a 9″ cake pan (or the closest you can find!)
  3. In a small mixing bowl, blend the first four ingredients. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a mixer, combine butter and sugar and beat well, until the butter is light and fluffy.
  5. Add the vanilla and lemon zest and egg to the butter and mix 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 pie pan, spreading evenly. Top with the berries and the remaining sugar.
  8. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes more.
  10. Serve warm.
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