Fig and Sour Cream Cake


A friend of mine has recently enjoyed a surfeit of fresh fruit. Apparently, the birds in his suburb aren’t quite as fat as those in my suburb (hello, denuded plum and pear trees) and he spent a weekend preserving fruit. The upshot of this was that I received a jar of fig jam as well as a big container full of figs.

I duly ate a ton of fresh figs, tried to share them with Master 4 (he refused, although I suspect that his curiosity would eventually have got the better of him) and then needed to think up a way to use up some more in a rather more bulk fashion. I also had some sour cream kicking around in the fridge that needed using up (we had planned to make some avocado cream to go with some quesadillas but lost interest) so I figured that a fig and sour cream cake would use up both figs and sour cream.

A quick recce of the internet didn’t turn up the ideal recipe but I figured I have enough cake baking experience to borrow a few ideas here and there and then wing it.

The result was excellent – not massively figgy (I was being a bit cautious as the extra moisture in fresh fruit can cause problems) but the cake had good flavour and has kept exceptionally well. Straight out of the oven it was very fragile and crumbly but by day 2 it had firmed up. It is beautifully moist and the mix of vanilla and fig flavours is just delicious.

Fig and Sour Cream Cake


  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste (I used Heilala - that stuff is pretty good!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g sour cream
  • 4-6 figs, finely chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 160°C fan (180°C conventional). Grease and base line a 20cm springform tin.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla paste. Combine the flour and baking powder and then add to the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time then beat through the sour cream.
  3. Finally, lightly beat through the chopped figs.
  4. It is a relatively loose mixture.
  5. Tip into the prepared cake tin nad bake for 40-45 minutes (45 minutes in my oven) - until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool a little in the pan before cooling on a rack. The cake will sink but will sink EVENLY (if it collapses in the middle, it's underdone!).
  7. This cake doesn't need icing but you could serve with yoghurt or cream.