Upside Down Fig Cake

I am always looking for new ideas to use my beloved fresh figs.

How about an upside down cake? You can eat this right side up if you like.

Easy to put together, however, a big pain to remove from the pan in one piece.
Good luck with that.

I adapted a few recipes and came out with this winner.
Serve with a scoop of your favorite ice cream.

Upside Fresh Fig Cake: (loosely adapted from

1 stick butter, plus 4 tbsp butter for the figs (12 tbsp total)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
8 fresh figs, stems removed, cut in half
1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 small lemon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk

I used a 9" cast iron skillet and it worked out well, but you can also bake this in a 9" parchment lined cake pan. Just cook the sugar/butter/fig mixture first on the stove, then pour into the lined cake pan for easy lift out.

Place half stick of butter in the cast iron skillet w/ the 1/2 cup of brown sugar and melt together, adding the fresh figs (flesh side down) to the pan. Let the figs caramelize for 2 minutes in the bubbling sugar/butter mixture, without disturbing them.

Make the batter by mixing together the rest of the ingredients and pouring on top of the figs.

Spread carefully and bake in a 350F oven for 35-40 minutes, until the top is cracking and pulling away from the sides.

Let rest on a cooling rack (be careful when you remove the cast iron from the oven, it will be HOT!) for about 20 minutes.

Carefully invert onto a serving platter. If some of the figs stick to the pan, not to worry, just place them back on top of the cake, no one will notice.

The top will harden and be sticky & sweet. I liked this cake best warm.

Serve with ice cream or plain.



Stacey, you are THE fig queen. Your cake is beautiful. I'm always afraid of getting upside down cakes out of the pan. Guess when that happens, you just have to channel your inner Julia and make the best of it.
Ciao Chow Linda said…
I love upside-down cakes of all kinds, particularly sticky, gooey ones like this. You are a real fig-a-holic lady. How many more fig dishes can you come up with?
Joanne said…
I've started baking upside-down cakes in springform pans cause they make getting them out infinitely easier.

I love this recipe. Figs are some of the best things on earth.
Eileen said…
Looks delicious! I love figs! So glad to finally be finding fresh figs at Whole Foods.
This is a wonderful cake. I haven't had an upside down cake in probably a year. I think it is time to make one.

I invite you to link this to Bake with Bizzy.
The JR said…
I'll have to see if I can scrape up 8 figs....the birds know where they are now and I can't get to them fast enough.
Sorry, family here from Florida again just catching up on all my Stacey posts! Great idea for figs here.
I'm getting adventurous, today I'm making a fig paste with orange and rosemary and using it for panini with leftover pork loin, wanna come for lunch? Hope it turns out so I can blog it!
oui, Chef said…
Mmmm...upside down pineapple cake is one of my faves...I bet this is even better! I can taste it with a nice spiced creme fraiche dollop.
Allyson said…
Just made this tonight with the last of my neighbor's figs for the season. Very nice. Glad to have stumbled upon your blog.
Anonymous said…
I had to increase the recipe 1 1/2x to fill up my 12" iron skillet. This was delicious.I had guests over and everyone kept sneaking in the kitchen for another "little" piece. So almost no leftovers. Even the non-figgers liked it too.
Thanks for posting