BEST Upside Down Fig Cake w/ Walnuts & Rosemary

You must be sick of me and my stupid upside down cakes by now.
Sorry, not sorry.

I have the formula down pat by now, and I can basically add any fruit and it just works and the cakes look so beautiful.
Anytime a new fruit comes to town, I have to bake an upside down cake showcasing the season's best and ripest.

Well folks, they are here.

Beautiful, ripe figs from my little tree.

We have a potted fig tree that we bring inside in the winter.
We keep it in the basement stairwell under Bilco doors. No light, no water.
Darkness. Dormancy.

My husband pruned it back last winter and I was quite upset, I thought he hacked it.

Instead, I have the largest bounty of figs on this little tree! Over 60!

So let's bake a cake!

I have a few upside down fig cakes, but this is the one.

I have perfected the recipe from some others I have posted over the years, but trust me when I say, this is the BEST one.

It is moist and delicious and I almost ate the whole cake in one day.
It's so good, every time I walked by it, I cut myself a slice.

Ok, enough talking about the damn cake, let's bake it.

BEST Upside Down Fig Cake.....ever:

For the topping:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
about 10-12 fresh, ripe or dried figs (you may need a couple more or less, depending on their size)
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped, divided
2-3 tablespoons walnuts, roughly chopped

For the cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
4 tbsp melted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
zest of a large lemon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk or sour cream

The topping is your basic caramel for upside down cakes that I make all the time.
The formula is pretty much always the same.

I used a Nordicware stainless 9" round cake pan for this one. You can also bake this in a cast iron skillet (even an all-clad stainless). Do NOT use nonstick cookware for this, or you will not get a nice caramel hard topping.

I greased the sides of the cake pan with extra butter, to insure easy flipping.

Melt the butter and brown sugar directly in the cake pan on the stove for a minute or 2 (if your cake pan is not flame resistant, then heat the sugar/butter in the oven in the pan instead). Using a silicone spatula, swirl this mixture around to coat the bottom of the cake pan. Turn off the heat. You should have a layer of brown syrup in the pan.

Lay your sliced figs, flesh side down, in a nice pattern in the caramel. Fill in the gaps with the chopped walnuts and rosemary, working quickly before the caramel hardens.

Now you are ready to make your batter.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Wet ingredients in another. Combine the both, adding in the buttermilk last.

Once you have a nice yellow batter, pour this over the figs, walnuts and rosemary caramel in the cake pan.

Bake exactly 40 minutes.

Let rest exactly 10 minutes, no more.

Run a knife around the edges and carefully invert onto a cooling rack.
I promise it won't stick to the pan.

If any fruit comes loose, just put it back on the cake.

What else can I say about this pretty thing, except enjoy.


Bebe said…
Figs are not big sellers here. But that method of melting the butter in the pan and dissolving the brown sugar in it (I do mine in the over - doesn’t take long - works like a charm. Easy peasy. A school friend taught me that decades ago.

I like upside down cakes because they are so simple, yet have a lot of yumminess… and they are good at any time. Often best eaten over the sink late at night or for breakfast. I am always amused when people talk about freezing leftovers. Huh? What leftovers?

Anonymous said…
Another upside down cake! Great! I love them! Look great and usually moist and delicious. Keep em comin!
Joey Merritt said…
I love, love, love figs. They are in season here in central california. Unfortunately I have purchased flat a week for 3 weeks. I’ve canned, eaten, canned and eaten as many as I could. Now I can make upside down fig cakes! Wow. It’s in the oven as I type.