Gluten-Free Fresh Fig and Almond Cake

published Sep 9, 2021
summer
Gluten-Free Fresh Fig and Almond Cake Recipe

This light and tender cake is naturally gluten-free, thanks to almond flour. It's the perfect treat to celebrate sweet fresh figs when they're in season.

Serves8 to 10

Prep20 minutes to 25 minutes

Cook25 minutes to 30 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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fig almond cake in pie tin with a slice out
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Ben Weiner

As much as I love stone fruit and summer berries, nothing gets me more excited this time of year than fresh figs. Their season is so fleeting that as soon as they come around, I obsessively toss them into just about everything, from smoothies and yogurt bowls to pasta and chicken.

This year, it’s this ultra-tender, lighter-than-air cake that has me swooning. The fresh figs become extra jammy when baked atop the cake, and almond flour ensures it’s not only ridiculously moist but also naturally gluten-free. A wisp of cinnamon lends just a touch of warmth, hinting at the fall days ahead.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Ben Weiner

What Are the Best Figs for Fig Cake?

I’m lucky enough to live in a place where fig trees are abundant, although I know that’s not the case for everyone. If you happen to have access to a fig tree, or your farmers market sells figs, grab the ripest ones you can find. Perfectly ripe figs are practically overripe: They should be heavy and almost starting to split on the bottom. Any variety of figs — brown, black, or green — can be used here.

If the grocery store is the only place you can obtain fresh figs, that’s OK. They’re never quite as jammy and luscious because they’d be too delicate to ship at peak ripeness, but baking them helps draw out their rich, honeyed flavor.

Gluten-Free Fresh Fig and Almond Cake Recipe

This light and tender cake is naturally gluten-free, thanks to almond flour. It's the perfect treat to celebrate sweet fresh figs when they're in season.

Prep time 20 minutes to 25 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes to 30 minutes

Serves 8 to 10

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • Butter or cooking spray

  • 10 to 12

    medium fresh, ripe figs

  • 4

    large eggs

  • 1/2 cup

    plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, divided

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla or almond extract

  • 1 1/2 cups

    almond flour (not almond meal)

  • 1 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • Serving options: Plain Greek yogurt, honey

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Coat the paper and sides of the pan well with butter or cooking spray.

  2. Trim the stems from 10 to 12 fresh figs and cut in half lengthwise. Separate 4 large eggs, placing the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer (or medium bowl if using an electric hand mixer or sturdy whisk) and the yolks in a large bowl.

  3. Add 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract to the egg yolks and stir with a wooden spoon or sturdy rubber spatula until well-combined and no streaks of yolk remain. Add 1 1/2 cups almond flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir until the almond flour is moistened and the mixture is just combined (some lumps are fine).

  4. Beat the egg whites on medium-high speed with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes (about 5 minutes by hand). Transfer 1/3 of the egg whites to the batter and stir to lighten it. Add the remaining egg whites and gently fold until just combined, evenly moistened, and with no streaks of egg whites. The batter will not be completely smooth; do not overmix. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and gently spread out to an even layer.

  5. Arrange the fig halves cut-side up in a single layer on top of the batter. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

  6. Bake until the edges of the cake have begun to pull away from the sides of the pan, the top is golden-brown, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes.

  7. To serve, run a knife around the cake to loosen it, then release the sides of the pan. Serve slices warm or at room temperature, with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored well-wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.