Fresh Fig, Walnut, and Rosemary Upside-Down Cake

By • October 2, 2009 • 23 Comments

106 Save

If you like it, save it!

Save and organize all of the stuff you love in one place.

Got it!

If you like something…

Click the heart, it's called favoriting. Favorite the stuff you like.

Got it!

Author Notes: I created this Fresh Fig, Walnut, and Rosemary Upside-Down Cake recently when I had a surplus of lush California figs. The recipe is an adaptation from my late grandmother's famous pineapple upside-down cake recipe. The sweet, ripe figs become encased in a buttery brown sugar crust, while the savory rosemary and tangy lemon balance the cake's sweetness.Food Blogga

Serves 8

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 10 fresh, ripe figs of your choice, tips removed, halved
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary, divided
  • 2-3 tablespoons walnut pieces, or as much as needed
  • 1 cup flour, sifted*
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add butter to a 9-inch-round baking pan, and place inside of a warm oven until melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the butter. Add figs, flesh side up, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the rosemary. Fill in the nooks and crannies with walnut pieces.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine sifted flour, baking powder and salt, and stir.
  4. Using a hand mixer, in a metal or glass bowl, beat egg whites at high speed until fluffy. Set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar at medium speed until creamy. Add lemon juice, zest, vanilla extract, and remaining 1 teaspoon rosemary, and beat well. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, and beat until well combined. Fold in the egg whites with a rubber spatula. Pour cake mixture evenly over the fruit, and smooth with the spatula.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes, or until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a blunt knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake. Invert carefully onto a plate. Serve warm or at room temperature. *Note: Sifting the flour creates a lighter cake.
Jump to Comments (23)

Tags: Figs, Figs, Figs, seasonal

Comments (23) Questions (1)


5 days ago Stacey Snacks

I made this cake, using dried Turkish figs......I cut down the butter to 6 tbsp and the brown sugar to 3/4 came out perfect! GORGEOUS cake! The 40 minutes was plenty of baking time. Going to freeze another for Thanksgiving.


6 days ago Stacey Snacks

I need to make this now, and I will. :)


2 months ago Elise Lufkin

Wish I'd found the comments before I began! I had the same problem with the cake being underdone when cooked for the prescribed time. Mine was very raw in the middle, but an extra half hour made an enormous difference. However, even once cooked, I didn't love it. The strong lemon flavor didn't work with the figs and it was way too sweet.


about 1 year ago Sharon

I made this yesterday with figs from my tree. It is one of the best cakes I have ever made and I have been baking for years. Omitted the rosemary, added a little more lemon zest and covered the bottom of the cast iron skillet with figs (about 15 figs halved), and baked for 60 minutes in a convection oven. Perfect!


about 1 year ago Spklmtn

Agree with halfing the amount of butter and sugar for the glaze, at the very least halfing the sugar as it was a little too sweet. Would use more rosemary next time as I found the flavour too subtle! Otherwise, fantastic cake and perfect for the end of summer.


about 1 year ago danielle

I LOVE this recipe! I subbed gluten free flour, used half the sugar, and vegan butter. It is rich and delicious, sweet and fresh! Thank you!


over 1 year ago kazfoodz

We had same experience as HalfPint... after the recipe stated cooking time, the skewer came out clean but then on turning out, the cake was not cooked and the caramelisation had not yet occurred. We now have flipped it back into the pan and have it back in the oven, hoping for some magic!


over 1 year ago kazfoodz

...despite this setback I must say the sauce is DELICIOUS!


over 1 year ago kazfoodz

Putting the whole thing back in the pan and baking for a further 30 minutes resulted in an absolutely gorgeous cake. One change we will make next time.... less figs (thinly sliced) for a more subtle topping.


over 1 year ago R S baker

Excellent cake, it make my friend with the excess figs very happy. I would try less brown sugar and may no rosemary. I am also going to try a pear/hazelnut variation


almost 2 years ago Daryl G

Made this for a Christmas Eve party. It took some time to find figs but the dish was just outstanding. Everyone just loved it!


almost 2 years ago Nanny Linn

Absolutly delicious! I followed the recipe to a "T" and was completely satisfied. It actually got better on the second and third day!


about 2 years ago HalfPint

HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

Made this last night. Assembly was a breeze, but then disaster. After 40 minutes of baking, it looked done and toothpick came out clean, so I cooled as directed for 10 mins and then inverted onto large plate. Half the sugar had not caramelized and remained stuck in the pan. There was a lot of butter that had not caramelized with the brown sugar. Cooled for 10 minutes and inverted on to large plate. After 20 minutes cooling, I tried to cut a slice and found that the batter was still raw. So back into the pan and baked for another 20 minutes. The final product was a bit ugly because of the transport back into the pan for more baking. Flavor was good, but not enough cake which I was looking forward to. I used too many figs, because my figs were on the smallish side and I covered the bottom of the pan with it, but the pan was a regular 9" metal cake pan. So I don't know why the sugar didn't totally caramelize. Additionally, I think there's too much butter and sugar used for the glaze. I think this would work with half those amounts. I'll try it again soon with these adjustments.


over 1 year ago kazfoodz

We had same experience as you!... after the recipe stated cooking time, the skewer came out clean but then on turning out, the cake was not cooked and the caramelisation had not yet occurred. We now have flipped it back into the pan and have it back in the oven, hoping for some magic!


over 2 years ago porchswing

made it tonight for guests. Absolutely delicious. The walnuts were buried too deep in the freezer, so I used raw pistachios. My fig tree produces small figs, so I used enough to cover the bottom of my cast iron skillet. Lovely as well as delicious.


about 3 years ago mpm6228

Delicious! And very beautiful. Unbelievably so even with accidental thyme for rosemary substitution.


about 3 years ago mpm6228

Mine is n the oven. Pine nuts subbed cause I had them. Interesting mistake:thyme instead of rosemary. To be conyined.


about 3 years ago mpm6228



about 4 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

And now - 9 months later, I find myself with bowls full of gorgeous strawberry figs from my mother in laws trees and Foodblogga comes through with a recipe for me yet again!


almost 5 years ago Skylor Powell

i love figs, sounds delicious!


about 5 years ago Janneke Verheij

I always have problems sticking to the recipes but yours was definitely a good inspiration. Beautiful pciture as well. If you want to see how my freestyle version came out:


about 5 years ago Oui, Chef

This looks really delicious, and will definitely have to make it into my Autumn dessert rotation. YUM!


about 5 years ago vvvanessa