Fig + Lemon Cornmeal Cake

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Fig season. We have been waiting all year for this and its finally here! We have been trying to hold back from adding figs to everything- drinks, pizza, oatmeal, nut butter, pasta – the possibilities are only bounded by our quantity of figs.

We planted a small fig tree a few years ago and named him Ferdinand. While Ferdinand is quite healthy, he only produced a few figs this year and still has awhile to grow.  Fortunately, our neighbors down the street have two very large fig trees with perfectly sweet black mission figs. I find the black figs to have a more concentrated flavor and are perfect for baking with.

After pouring through countless recipes and variations (roasted figs with goat cheese and endive, anyone?) we landed on this bright, lemony, barely sweet cake. I really struggle here, as it is nothing like a cake, but really more similar to a dense cornbread. Its rich flavor and texture are balanced by the lightness of the lemon and rosemary. This treat would be equally as good for breakfast as for dessert.  What will you do with your figs this year?



Fig + Lemon Cornmeal Cake

A light and flavorful cornmeal based cake that has a hint of sweetness. Perfect with yogurt or ricotta for breakfast or as a light dessert! 

Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine NW Seasonal
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 people


  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp chipped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup agave or honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 + cup nut milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 6 fresh figs , sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter an 8" cake pan, or line with flour dusted parchment paper.
  2. Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and rosemary in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Combine butter, sugar and agave, using a mixer, cream together until smooth. Add eggs, olive oil, nut milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla.
  4. Gently stir dry ingredients into wet. The batter should be fairly thick, yet still pourable. Pour into cake pan, top with fresh figs and bake for 40-50min or until firm and knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Serve warm with fresh figs and yogurt or fresh ricotta.

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