This layered fig cake is made with an Earl Grey based cake, frosted with honey cream cheese and topped with fresh figs and toasted pistachios.
I once believed figs were chewy cookies. As a kid, if you told me that figs were fruits, I’d laugh in your face.
To me, figs were cookies that came in a yellow box.
(The company that makes those cookies I speak of just recently removed “fig” from their name to dispel any confusion because they now make cookies with all sorts of fruit fillings.)
Fast forward to my early teens and I was finally introduced to this lovely fruit. I recall my dad eating some one Saturday morning.
I noticed the beautiful interior of the fruit. Curious, I asked him what it was.
My dad, who doesn’t like to explain things unless it’s about math or chemistry, just handed me one and said to try it.
BAM. No explanation needed. I immediately fell in love with this sweet and delicate fruit.
Earl Grey Cake with Fresh Figs and Honey
Last year I made this fig tart with pistachios and honey. I made it over and over again until figs were no longer in season.
Now that figs are back, it’s only natural I try to make a fig cake.
This honey Earl Grey fig cake is the perfect ending to a cocktail party, picnic lunch, Sunday brunch, pretty much any random or special day.
Asides from figs, I absolutely Earl Grey tea.
If it’s on the menu, you bet I’m ordering it- especially if it’s an Earl Grey based dessert.
How to infuse Earl Grey flavor:
I used the cake base from my strawberry vanilla cake recipe.
There are two ways to infuse tea flavors into baked goods:
- Simply grind up the tea leaves and add into the batter.
- Steep Early Grey tea in whole milk until the liquid is super concentrated. (I prefer the latter!)
Yes, you need to use whole milk. (Or even better, heavy cream!)
Why? Because flavor is transported through fat.
This recipe makes two 6-inch cake layers.
Use 6-inch round pans that are at least 2-inches tall.
It may also make two thinner 8-inch cake layers.
Keep in mind, dark metal pans versus lighter colored pans heat up differently.
Darker colored pans tend to absorb and radiate more heat.
I suggest light pans for cakes. Light colored pans will bake evenly and prevent the bottom of the cake from browning.
Darker pans are better suited for foods that benefit from more heat, such as vegetables and meats.
Honey and Fig Combo
Figs and honey are such a great combo (so is Earl Grey and honey!).
The cream cheese frosting works well to enhance to the orange notes of the Earl Grey.
If you’d like to make a proper frosted cake, don’t worry. There is plenty of frosting to coat the sides of the cake.
Because it’s summer (and I like less work), I left the sides of the cake exposed.
Lastly, because I feel all desserts need a little crunch, I sprinkled some pistachios on top.
Interested in more fig dessert recipes
- Fig Banana Bread takes classic banana bread to the next level!
- Caramelized Fig and Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream features a vanilla ice cream base swirled with figs and chocolate.
- Caramel Fig Chocolate Cake is a simple yet elegant chocolate cake sandwiched with fig jam and frosted with caramel buttercream.
Honey Earl Grey Fig Cake
Earl Grey Cake:
- ½ cup (113 g) whole milk
- 2 earl grey tea bags (about 2 ½ teaspoons loose tea)
- 1 ½ cups (180 g) cake flour
- ½ Tablespoon ( 1 ½ teaspoons) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 large egg whites room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
- 6 Tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter softened
- ¾ cup (149 g) granulated sugar
Honey Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 oz (226 g) cream cheese* room temperature
- 2 oz (56 g) unsalted butter softened
- 2 cups (230 g) confectioners' sugar*
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
Earl Grey Cake:
- Microwave milk for 90 seconds to 2 minutes until very hot. Steep tea bags for 20 minutes. Squeeze out as much liquid from tea bags. Remove tea bags. Stir in egg whites and vanilla paste. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease and flour two 6-inch cake pans. Line with parchment paper and set aside.
- Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together softened butter and sugar. Add ⅓ of dry flour mixture. Mix on low speed. Add ½ of liquid mixture. Continue to mix on low speed and add another ⅓ of dry flour mixture. Add remaining liquid mixture. Mix on low and add remaining ⅓ of dry flour mixture. Scrape down bowl as needed to ensure thorough mixing. Batter should be smooth.
- Divide batter between two prepared cake pans. Level batter using the back of a spoon or a mini offset spatula. Bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating once halfway through baking. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes before unmolding. Place cake on wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature
Honey Cream Cheese Frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Scrape down bowl as needed. Add confectioners’ sugar, honey, and salt. Mix until frosting is smooth and thoroughly combine.
- Level cooled cake as needed. Place one cake layer on a cake stand or cake plate. Spread a generous amount of honey cream cheese frosting into an even layer over cake.
- Place another cake layer on top. Top with frosting. Place sliced figs on top of cake. Sprinkle pistachios on top. Drizzle honey as desired.
- Keep cake stored in the fridge until ready to serve. Let cake sit at room temperature for 20 minutes to allow cake to soften. Drizzle additional honey, as desired, before serving.
- Be sure to use block American cream cheese. Do not use light cream cheese or whipped cream cheese.
- Do not use mascarpone, Neufchâtel, or creme fraiche in place of American cream cheese.
- Add up to 1 ½ cups additional confectioners’ sugar to thicken frosting to your desired consistency.
- Recipe uses two 6-inch round cake pans (at least 2-inch deep)
- Two 8-round cake pans may also be used. Reduce baking time by 5 to 8 minutes for larger pan.