Chocolate and Fig Cake


The large range of figs called for in this fig cake recipe leaves the decoration and texture of this dense and fudgy chocolate dessert up to you: 4 ounces of figs creates two small rings around the cake, while the full 12 ounces of fruit will cover the entire top with a jammy layer and require a few more minutes in the oven to fully bake.

Chocolate and Fig Cake
Photo: Photo by Caitlin Bensel / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 ounces), melted and cooled to room temperature, plus more for greasing

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour (about 3 1/4 ounces), plus more for dusting

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (about 1 5/8 ounces)

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup chopped 70% cacao bittersweet chocolate (2 1/2 ounces)

  • 4 to 12 ounces fresh figs, stemmed and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices

  • Powdered sugar, for garnish

  • Unsweetened whipped cream, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan or round cake pan with butter. If using a springform pan, line bottom with parchment paper, and grease parchment with butter. Dust pan and parchment with flour, tapping out excess. If using a round cake pan, make easy-lift handles out of parchment paper: Cut 2 strips of parchment that extend beyond the edges of the pan, and overlap them, forming an "X" shape. Place in bottom of buttered pan, top with parchment round, and grease paper with butter. Dust pan and parchment with flour, tapping out excess.

  2. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Beat granulated sugar and butter with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium-low speed until well combined, about 30 seconds. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Increase speed to medium-high, and beat until batter lightens in color and is fluffy, about 2 minutes. Fold in flour mixture by hand until all dry ingredients are incorporated. Fold in chopped chocolate.

  3. Pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth top using an offset spatula. Place 2 to 3 fig slices, slightly overlapping, in center of cake. Arrange remaining fig slices, slightly overlapping, in a circle around cake, about 1/2 inch from edge of pan. Bake cake in preheated oven until just set but still slightly jiggly in center, 34 to 38 minutes. Let cake cool completely in pan on a wire rack, about 2 hours. If using a springform pan, gently run an offset spatula around edge of pan, and carefully remove sides. If using a round cake pan, let cake cool completely before using handles to gently remove cake from pan. (Center will remain slightly soft even when cool.) Sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve with unsweetened whipped cream.

Make Ahead

Cake can be made up to 1 day ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Fig Picks

Choose Mission figs for a sweet, jammy bite or juicier, velvety Brown Turkey figs for a milder taste—or mix varieties.

Related Articles