For the last couple months, we’ve been living with a fig tree in our back yard. It took me a couple weeks to even figure it out as its tucked in this little pocket of the backyard. At first, we were only getting 1-2 figs every other week, but now there’s a couple every day. Some are far up in the tree, so I make Craig climb up with a ladder to fetch as I stand below guiding the way. Sometimes we get to a ripe and juicy one after a neighborhood rat or bird has taken a nibble, which is heartbreaking.
After a couple days of harvesting, we finally had enough for a proper dessert.
Craig asked for fig newtons, but I learned that the best newton recipes are made with dried figs, and I wanted to capture the juicy fresh fig taste and texture. I also had a large bag of lemons, a rosemary bush, a new supply of Kerrygold Irish butter from Costco and a delicious jar of honey from the farmers market. I guess you could say with those ingredients, this recipe pretty much wrote itself from there.
I titled this as a vanilla cake recipe because you can easily take out the figs, lemon and rosemary and do whatever suits your fancy with a vanilla cake. It would make an amazing layered birthday cake with some chocolate or vanilla frosting. I chose to make a large recipe which made 2 x 9 inch rounds that were about 2 inches thick plus a small loaf pan. If you are going to make a layered cake, you will definitely want to make the whole recipe, but if you just want something small for 4-6 people, you can cut in half.
8 large eggs
1 1/4 cup butter, ghee or coconut oil, melted
1 cup honey
1 cup almond or coconut milk
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 full droppers liquid stevia
1 pound (16 oz package) almond meal, roughly 4 cups
1 cup coconut flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
To make it a lemon rosemary cake, as pictured:
Add to the cake batter:
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons lemon zest
Top with fresh figs, whipped cream or coconut cream, and garnish with rosemary and lemon zest.
As an added touch, I also blended 1/2 cup each honey and melted butter with 2 tablespoons lemon juice and drizzled over the top of the figs.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat eggs, honey, butter/ghee/coconut oil, milk, lemon, vanilla and stevia until combined. In a separate bowl, combine almond meal, coconut flour, baking powder, and salt and add to wet ingredients. Add lemon and rosemary and combine, blending just until all of the lumps have been removed.
Line cake or loaf pans with parchment paper (for the prettiest shape, trace bottom of pan over paper, cut out and place on the bottom of the pan) and grease with butter or coconut oil. For this recipe, I used 2 x 9 inch cake pans and a loaf pan, but you could easily do 3 for a triple layer cake.
Divide batter among pans and bake until firm in the center, between 30-45 minutes*. Time varies based on pans and oven variations. I always first check my cakes when I can smell them and they are generally close to done.
*As a side note, I’d be very weary of a recipe that tells you exact cooking times. Many a young chef have either burnt their recipes or taken then out prematurely trusting the recipe over their best judgement.
Once cooled, run a knife along the sides of the pan and flip over. With the parchment paper bottom, it should be easy to pop out. Frost of fill with your desired fillings/toppings, making sure cake is completely cooled before doing so.