In this honey fig cake, three layers of vanilla honey cake are stuffed with fig butter and frosted with a sweet and slightly tangy goat cheese frosting.
I finally got my hands on some figs this weekend and I was so excited about it that I got right to work on a cake! It took me about two decades to discover figs for the first time and I feel like I missed out for so long. But I think that this is actually a pretty common experience and in fact, some of my taste testers for this honey fig cake had still never eaten a fresh fig before.
If you also happen to fall into that category, then I’m so excited to introduce you to this lovely fruit! It can be a little difficult to find figs in most parts of the United States, and their season passes quite quickly, so you have to act fast. But keep your eye out for them towards the end of summer/beginning of fall and grab them whenever you have the chance.
Figs have so many wonderful uses (they aren’t just for fig Newtons!) and if you follow me on Pinterest, you will start to notice that I am always pinning delicious looking fig recipes. I think figs are just gorgeous, but they taste wonderful as well, and especially when they’re paired with another of my favorite foods: cheese!
To give you an idea, here are some of my favorite ways to eat figs:
- If you want to put them on display, they make a beautiful addition to a cheeseboard.
- They are perfect on a grilled cheese sandwich with either brie or goat cheese and a drizzle of honey (if I’m feeling extra fancy, I will also caramelize the figs with some onions and raisins).
- For dessert, I love using them to top a goat cheese tart.
- And finally, I hope you’ll agree, I think these figs look great on top of this cake! It has a deliciously creamy goat cheese frosting.
So, obviously inspired by my love for the pairing of goat cheese, figs, and honey, this honey fig cake starts with three layers of a vanilla honey cake. The recipe is slightly adapted from the vanilla cake in my cherry crisp layer cake, and the layers are golden and moist with a lovely honey flavor.
In addition to a garnish of fresh figs, I wanted to add a little more of the fig flavor within the cake itself. The solution? Fig butter! Not to be confused with actual butter, fruit butters (like apple butter) are spreads similar to jelly, but they use a different cooking process. In this cake, fig jam or fig preserves would also work great, whatever you prefer. I loved that this filling added a little extra fig flavor in each bite. Kind of looks like a giant fig Newton, doesn’t it?!
But we can’t forget about the goat cheese frosting! I’ve been obsessed with this frosting ever since I first had it. If you haven’t already figured it out, there are few foods I love more than goat cheese, and it makes this frosting slightly tangy (but still sweet), rich, and creamy. It’s similar to cream cheese frosting, and this recipe contains cream cheese in addition to the goat cheese. However, rather than a plain cream cheese frosting, I find the flavor to have a little more depth, and it’s not quite as sugary sweet.
So what are you waiting for? Head out and get some figs while you still can! If you make this honey fig cake, share your pics and tag @flourcoveredapron on Instagram.
Honey Fig Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting
Vanilla Honey Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 large egg white, room temperature
- 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
Goat Cheese Frosting
- 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 ounces goat cheese, softened
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1.5 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- fresh figs
- fig butter/jam/preserves (about one 1/2 cup)
For the Vanilla Honey Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare three six-inch cake pans by lining the bottoms with parchment paper. Then, grease and flour the bottom and sides of each pan.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar (about 3 minutes).
Add honey and beat until combined.
With the mixer on low speed, add eggs then egg white one at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition and scraping down the sides as necessary. Batter may look slightly curdled.
Add vanilla and mix just until combined.
Alternate adding one third of the flour mixture and one half of the milk, starting and ending with the flour, and mix until incorporated after each addition. You will have three additions of flour and two additions of milk.
Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared pans and smooth the tops with a spatula. Tap pans lightly on the counter to remove excess air bubbles.
Bake in preheated oven for 24-27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.
Remove from oven and let cool in pans for 15 minutes. Then, turn each cake out onto a wire cooling rack and let cool completely.
Goat Cheese Frosting
With a hand mixer, or using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
Add goat cheese and cream cheese, beating until well incorporated.
With the mixer on low speed, add powdered sugar one cup at a time, beating until combined after each addition and scraping down the sides as necessary.
Add a pinch of salt and the vanilla, then beat on high for a few minutes until frosting is well combined and smooth.
Chill frosting for 15 - 20 minutes, or as needed to help it firm up just slightly.
Assembling the Cake
Once the cakes are cool, level each layer by using a sharp serrated knife to cut off the rounded domes.
Place the first cake layer on a cake board, using a small amount of frosting to help it stick.
Fit a piping bag with a large, round piping tip and fill with goat cheese frosting. Pipe a dam of frosting around the edge of the cake layer (to keep the filling from oozing out).
Spoon a few tablespoons of fig butter/jam into the center of the frosting dam and spread evenly with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula.
Top with the second cake layer. Repeat previous two steps: piping a dam of frosting and spreading the fig butter.
Top with third cake layer (upside down so that the bottom of the layer forms the top of the cake).
Using an offset spatula, frost the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of frosting (the crumb coat).
Chill cake for at least 20 minutes to let crumb coat set.
Finish frosting the cake with the rest of the goat cheese frosting.
Chill the cake until almost ready to serve. Top cake with fresh figs as desired, just before serving.
Can I leave the honey out of the recipe
Hmmm… I have not tried that, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It would definitely affect the texture and the taste. You could try substituting it with something else, perhaps, depending on what your needs are. My cherry crisp layer cake is a similar recipe that uses sugar instead of honey, but if you’re looking for a sweetener-free cake, you may want to try something different!
I am totally with you about discovering figs so late… Your cake looks so delicious xx. if you’re also a big fan of figs, feel free to check out my newest recipe on my food blog – http://koalifiedbaking.wordpress.com ! I hope you’ll like it 🙂
Thanks, Charlotte! Glad there are other fig fans out there! 🙂
Hi! How do you recommend that I modify this recipe (both cake and frosting) for an 8 or 9 inch cake?