Vegan Fig Upside-Down Cake

by cakeduchess on September 15, 2011 · 46 comments

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Sweet and sticky figs dripping over a moist and rich cake. Hard to believe that I would use sticky and moist to describe a vegan cake. Usually I’m raving about the virtues of butter. I still love butter. A lot.

But you see, we’ve all got some allergies going on here. Not my whole family…half of us. I need to watch what I bake for my kids. They expect a fresh baked treat from me every day; as they should! So it can’t always be sweets bursting at the seams with rich butter. It’s important for me as a baking mom to practice some moderation. You also may remember I mentioned to you that my best friends/neighbors are now vegan. They expect a fresh baked sweet from me every day. I’m feeling torn between being a sweets made with butter baker and a vegan baker. I think it’s fun to experiment with the vegan recipes. Like I learned at IFBC, deprivation leads to creativity. Every recipe I’ve baked so far has been pretty rockin’.
Be prepared for some more vegan recipes from me. I will try to offer the full on butter/whole milk alternative for you. When I thought about it, most of my dinner recipes were vegan already.
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My little brother called me the other morning and surprised me with a coffee visit. I love my little brother. He’s not really little any more. He is a dad with kids. It annoys him when I call him little. He LOVED this cake. He exclaimed, “It’s AMAZING!” I kept bugging him to tell me what he really thinks. I wondered if he could tell that butter was missing. That I didn’t add any buttermilk.

I had bugged Fabrizio a few minutes before about what he really thinks about the cake. It was pretty much the same questions like, “Can you tell there isn’t any butter in it?” Fabrizio told me in between bites, “E’ buona! Veramente.” Really, it’s good. I guess I’m feeling a little insecure about my vegan baking abilities. 

Since they happily had 2nd pieces, I should’ve known it wasn’t just me that thought it was amazing. If you would like to make with butter and milk, I included that option in the recipe.
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Vegan Fig Upside Down Cake
1 1/2 pounds fresh figs, stemmed and quartered
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp Earth Balance (for non-vegan, use unsalted butter)
1 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1 Tbsp molasses
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
2  cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup rice milk (or soy milk. if you want to make non-vegan, add whole milk)
1 tsp vinegar

Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix figs and sugar in a bowl and set aside. Melt the Earth Balance (or butter) in a cast iron skillet on medium heat (I used an 8 inch cast iron skillet. You could use any oven proof skillet).  Add the figs and sauté for about 2-3 minutes.

Add the vinegar to the rice milk (or soy milk or whole milk). In a medium sized bowl, stir together the oil, vanilla, and brown sugar (the sugar I mixed with molasses) until combined. In another medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
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Mix together the wet and dry ingredients until the batter is smooth and lump-free.
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Carefully pour the batter over the figs in the skillet.

Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Run a knife along the edges of the cast iron skillet. Next, place a large plate or serving platter on top of the cast iron and, using two giant pot holders, invert quickly and carefully because the skillet weighs a ton and is burning hot. You will feel the skillet become lighter and know that it has inverted correctly. Life the cast iron and  don’t worry if any of the figs stuck to the pan. You could carefully remove them if they stuck to pan and reassemble.

Enjoy!

Hope you’re having a SUPER week! I appreciate your comments and support. Any vegans out there that are enjoying these recipes?

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Nelly Rodriguez September 15, 2011 at 2:16 pm

What a great use of figs! And of course, #cakelove :)

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Lindsay @Eat, Knit, Grow September 15, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Yum! looks delicious! LOVE the figs!

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Liz @ Southern Charm September 15, 2011 at 2:48 pm

This looks SO GOOD!!! How creative!! Love this recipe and can’t wait to make it (and share it with my dad, a fellow fig lover)

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foodwanderings September 15, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Isn’t it funny that many of our cooking is vegan already?! Love your writing, your reasoning and story telling. I am the fruit monster in tehe family but the fig territoy J carved!! Even directly from a tree!! :)

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Rachel September 15, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Your kids are so lucky, not only to get sweet treats every day but to have access to healthier versions from their gourmet mom! I’m in love with figs right now and my mom has a fig tree in her backyard. I’ll have to send her this recipe!

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anneliesz September 15, 2011 at 6:33 pm

You had me at the word fig. And I hear you on the vegan baking need for affirmation especially if you’re still honing those vegan baking skills. The question that comes to mind, “will it be moist enough” seems put to rest with that gooey, sticky fig topping. It also makes me a want a cold glass of milk. :D

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Margaret Murphy Tripp September 15, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Great looking cake, vegan or not!!!

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Joanne September 15, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Anyone, given any diet would eat that cake. It looks so good.

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Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having September 15, 2011 at 7:51 pm

That cake looks amazing! My image of vegan desserts has been completely changed by your photos!

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Emily Malloy September 15, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Oh I am a droolin’ fool!

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Michelle September 15, 2011 at 8:01 pm

OH. MY. GOODNESS. ohmygoodness, I actually just drooled on my computer. I’m making this tonight. Done deal.

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Marina September 15, 2011 at 8:01 pm

If I had an iron skillet I would make this today — looks amazing.

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Melanie Flinn September 15, 2011 at 8:01 pm

I tried going vegan for a week just for an experiment. It wasn’t as difficult as I imagined and made me more creative in the kitchen. This looks fabulous.

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Noelle September 15, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Wow, this sounds and looks fab!!! YUM!

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The Vanilla Bean Baker September 15, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Seriously, why would you have any doubts about your vegan baking abilities! If this cake tastes as good as it looks (and I’ll take your brother’s and husband’s words for it) then you should (bold italic) be starting an entire vegan section on your blog.

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kita September 15, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Rock out with your vegan-ness! I can imagine its hard coming up with vegan recipes for your kids – but this looks like an amazing cake! I would have been bugging people too, but I am starting to learn that if they like it, they eat it, if they don’t … well, you know ;)

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chefpandita.com September 15, 2011 at 11:43 pm

This cake looks delicious! Great use of figs :)

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Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. September 15, 2011 at 11:57 pm

This cake looks so moist and yummy! I like that used the figs!

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Happy When Not Hungry September 16, 2011 at 12:39 am

This looks so delicious and healthy too! Great idea to bake some vegan desserts for the family :-)

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Sandra September 16, 2011 at 3:58 am

I love figs and this is amazing idea, Lora! Love your photos too! wishing you great night, enjoy!!!

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Carolyn September 16, 2011 at 11:18 am

That looks nothing short of amazing, Lora!

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Mari September 16, 2011 at 2:50 pm

It does look rich and moist!! It is mouthwatering, Lora. I would love to taste this cake. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

Hugs

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Sandi G September 16, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Fresh figs are usually so underrated. Thanks for making them standout so well ;) BUZZEEDD!

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Gina September 17, 2011 at 5:09 am

I have yet to try vegan baking, but it does interest me. That cake does too, I have so many figs at the moment, I can’t eat them fast enough. Hoping you are well and that you have a great weekend.
-Gina-

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chiko September 17, 2011 at 12:49 pm

my mom and I are soooo fig addict.
We have figs all the time at our kitchen.

super delicious!!!:)

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Boulder Locavore September 18, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Hi Lora! We cannot eat gluten (and for awhile it was dairy too) so I fully understand your plight with working around food allergies (assuming those are the allergies you mentioned). Once you have the hang of it substituting is not too difficult. Everything on my blog is gluten free or adaptable to be. And it does not cost the flavor of the dish. You sound like you really have this in hand! Fortunately there are so many options to swap in to make something vegan your confections will be just as delish as they always have been I’m sure!

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Janine September 18, 2011 at 1:02 pm

It’s a pity I don’t get figs around here, because your cake looks absolutely delicious! I’m embarking on a vegan journey of sorts, so recipes like these are definitely very useful when I’m at a loss as to what to bake!

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C&C Cakery September 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Vegan and figs? Yes please! There’s a lot of vegan cakes that come out just as moist (or even more so!) than their butter and egg counterparts. Hope you experiment more with vegan treats – especially if you post more yumminess like this!

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C&C Cakery September 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Vegan and figs? Yes please! There’s a lot of vegan cakes that come out just as moist (or even more so!) than their butter and egg counterparts. Hope you experiment more with vegan treats – especially if you post more yumminess like this!

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C&C Cakery September 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Vegan and figs? Yes please! There’s a lot of vegan cakes that come out just as moist (or even more so!) than their butter and egg counterparts. Hope you experiment more with vegan treats – especially if you post more yumminess like this!

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C&C Cakery September 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Vegan and figs? Yes please! There’s a lot of vegan cakes that come out just as moist (or even more so!) than their butter and egg counterparts. Hope you experiment more with vegan treats – especially if you post more yumminess like this!

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mellissina2 September 18, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Milyen csodás,fügés,sajnos itt nem lehet kapni ilyen csodálatos fügét!!de ha egyszer mégis,akkor okvetlen megsütöm!!!!

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Matt September 18, 2011 at 11:05 pm

This looks delicious! Its coming to the end of fig season for me so I’ll have to bake this cake soon!

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Alex September 18, 2011 at 11:40 pm

looks awesome, I think I have some Vegan friends who would love this!

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Baking Serendipity September 19, 2011 at 3:53 am

I’m loving the sprinkling of vegan recipes here :) I’m not vegan, but feel pretty awesome about myself when my husband digs into a vegan dessert and doesn’t question whether there is or isn’t butter. This is an awesome upside down cake :)

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Monet September 20, 2011 at 3:55 am

I’m trying to serve more vegan treats too, Lora! Great minds think alike. And like you, I was a bit worried when I started to put those sticks of butter away! But this, my dear, looks delicious (as always!) Thank you for sharing it with me. I’m looking forward to more!

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Aggie September 25, 2011 at 8:46 pm

I love figs. Dried, fresh, all kinds. And I just want to say that I wish I was party of any group that expects a balked good from you ever day ;)

Looks delicious!!!

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Give me money January 29, 2012 at 12:05 pm

amazing look

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Sara July 12, 2012 at 12:06 am

Something is wrong with this recipe. The brown sugar is listed as going both in with the figs and with the batter. I used it in the figs and now my batter has no sugar, is too dry and there is not enough of it.

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Cake Duchess July 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Hi Sara-The granulated sugar is for the figs. The brown sugar I made with another portion of granulated sugar and molasses is for the batter. There is sugar for the fig topping and also for the batter:)

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Sara July 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Thanks! I made it again last night for a crowd and it came out quite differently. Surprisingly, when I made it before with all the sugar in with the figs, it still worked and was quite yummy.

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Lara August 13, 2012 at 8:38 pm

This looks delicious! Is the cast-iron skillet non-negotiable?

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Cake Duchess August 13, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Hi Lara-I mention you can use any oven proof skillet or you could follow first part of recipe and then transfer the figs to a prepared 9-inch cake pan and pour the batter of it and bake as directions say;)

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Unknown September 4, 2012 at 6:38 pm

In the image with the figs cooking in the castiron pot, I swear it looks like there are banana slices in there. Am I right or am I crazy? And could I mix some bananas in there because figs are so expensive it couldn’t hurt to add a banana or two and use less figs right?

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Cake Duchess September 4, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Yes! I did add one lonely ripe banana I had on my counter. Please do add mix it fig with banana as it was absolutely lovely with the figs:)

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susanti August 16, 2013 at 12:47 am

I received a gift of fresh figs and was trying to figure out a way to make a vegan cake with them. So happy I found your recipe! Easy and turned out delish. Served it with vegan honey ice cream. Yum. Thank you!

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