Fig Cake Recipe: Traditional Christmas Dessert

8 servings
1 hr 15 min

This fig cake recipe is made with fresh figs for a tasty, traditional Christmas dessert. Garnished with figs and mint, this moist loaf cake recipe is a must for holiday gatherings. Elevate your next party with friends and family by serving this gorgeous dessert cake.

Christmas Fig Loaf Cake

Figs are an underrated dessert flavor. If you’ve never made a homemade fig cake for the holiday season, then you are missing out! This delicious Christmas dessert recipe is sure to impress your guests with its wonderful flavor.

Figs aren’t an overly sweet fruit. So, they make a wonderful ingredient both inside your desserts as well as a garnish on top! To make this cake extra moist, I incorporated sour cream into the recipe.

I also used fresh figs to decorate this Christmas cake for extra fig flavor. In addition to the figs on top, I also added mint leaves for a pop of color. Mint pairs really well with figs as do other herbs. So, don’t be shy about using it. You can also add chopped nuts or honey to the batter for a tasty variation to make this recipe your own.

Finally, I topped off this holiday dessert with homemade cream cheese icing. This icing is mildly sweet and a little tart, so it complements the fig loaf cake beautifully. You’ll love how well the cream cheese flavor sets off the figs in this delicious dessert recipe.

Discover how to make a fresh fig loaf cake recipe as a traditional Christmas dessert for your family. This delicious holiday cake has a unique flavor that pairs well with several main dishes served during this time of year. Not only is it sweet and moist, but it also contains warm spices perfect for the seasonal festivities and parties!

What Does Sour Cream Do For a Cake?

I used sour cream instead of oil as an ingredient in this easy fig cake recipe. Sour cream is high in fat, which will give this Christmas dessert a richer taste and flavor profile. The fat also keeps the cake tender and moist.

As sour cream is slightly acidic, it breaks down the gluten strands in the flour to create light and fluffy cakes.

Fig Loaf Cake Variations

This is an easy fig cake recipe. However, it can be made with some variations. If you like to mix things up or just enjoy a highly flavorful dessert, try adding one of the following to this Christmas dessert:

  • For a fig and nut cake, add 1 cup of chopped walnuts, almonds or pecans.
  • Top with fresh mint leaves or edible flowers like lilacs, lavender buds or rose petals.
  • Make a honey and fig loaf cake by using raw honey for all or part of the sugar.
  • Give this Christmas dessert a chocolate flavor by mixing 2/3 cup cocoa powder into the batter when you add the flour. You can then top it with chocolate ganache and almonds.

Tips for Making a Fig Cake Recipe for Christmas

Everyone uses different tools and ways of baking traditional Christmas desserts. It’s why one person can make a cake that turns out fantastic, while another may struggle to get the perfect result. Therefore, I’ve provided some tips to help you as you make this fresh fig loaf cake recipe.

You can find my tips for this traditional Christmas dessert here along with more information and photos of the process.

Fig Cake Recipe: Traditional Christmas Dessert
Recipe details
  • 8  servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 1 Hours Total time: 1 hr 15 min
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Fig Cake Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup fresh figs, chopped (plus flour for dusting)
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • Fig slices
  • Mint leaves
How to Make Fresh Fig Loaf Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or 325 degrees for a glass loaf pan).
Line a loaf pan with natural parchment paper and set aside.
Chop the figs for the dessert cake and lightly toss in flour. Set aside.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and spices in a large bowl. Stir to mix.
In a medium size bowl, combine the softened butter, sour cream, vanilla extract and eggs using a hand mixer.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened.
Fold the prepared figs into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Use a spatula to smooth the surface.
Bake the loaf cake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 1 hour.
How to Make Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting
Prepare the cream cheese icing. In a medium bowl, mix the softened cream cheese, softened butter, powdered sugar and sour cream until smooth.
Spread the cream cheese icing over the fig loaf cake.
To Serve
Garnish with fresh fig slices and mint leaves.
  • For a fig and nut cake, add 1 cup of chopped walnuts, almonds or pecans to the recipe.
  • In lieu of fresh mint leaves, you can also garnish this traditional Christmas dessert with edible flowers such as lilacs, lavender buds or rose petals.
  • Make a honey and fig loaf cake by using raw honey for all or part of the sugar.
  • When adding fresh figs or nuts, they can fall to the bottom. To help prevent this, fill the loaf pan ⅓ full and then add the chopped figs or nuts to the batter. Stir gently. Then pour the cake batter into the loaf pan.
Rebecca D. Dillon
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