Fig, Blackberry & Tahini Cake From Benjamina Ebuehi

July 30, 2020
7 Ratings
Photo by Holly Wulff Petersen
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

"This cake reminds me of the transitional period in between the end of summer and the arrival of autumn where the air gets cooler, evenings become shorter and I crave something a little more earthy. Both figs with their gooey innards and plump blackberries are at their best around this time, at least in the U.K., and gently usher us into the new season while being just sweet enough to balance the nutty tahini."

Reprinted with permission from The New Way to Cake by Benjamina Ebuehi, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo credit: Holly Wulff Petersen —Food52

What You'll Need
  • For the Cake
  • 1 3/4 cups (225g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (8g) baking powder
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (200g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (200g) light brown sugar, packed tightly
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons (60g) tahini
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons (50ml) milk
  • For the Topping
  • 3/4 cup (160g) mascarpone
  • 2/3 cup (80g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons (50ml) heavy cream
  • 4 figs, quartered (plus more as needed)
  • 1 handful blackberries
  • 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds, toasted lightly
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a round 9-inch (23-cm) cake pan and line with parchment paper.
  2. To make the cake, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl and set aside. Using a stand mixer or electric whisk, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla for 5 minutes, or until pale and creamy. Add the tahini and beat for 1 minute, or until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl every so often. With the mixer on low speed, pour in half of the flour, followed by the milk. Pour in the remainder of the flour and beat gently until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake is a deep golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool before removing from the pan.
  3. To make the topping, add the mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar to a small bowl and mix by hand with a spatula or spoon until smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract and heavy cream to loosen it up before using an offset spatula to spread the mascarpone evenly on top of the cake.
  4. To decorate, arrange the figs and blackberries in a crescent shape along one side of the cake. Finish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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    Jonathan Michaud
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3 Reviews

Anusha J. March 1, 2021
This is an amazing cake! I skipped this frosting and went with a simple chocolate sauce (chocolate chips and milk in a 2:1 ratio, heated in a double boiler) and topped with lots of fresh blackberries (no figs in PNW yet). It was our V-day desert and boy it was good! I split it into two small 6-inch cakes and baked for about 25 mins and my husband ate an entire 6-inch cake by himself after eating the first piece. So yum!
Jonathan M. August 18, 2020
Amazing cake, but the baking time is way more than 35 minutes.... it took me about 50 minutes to an hour... But, its soooo good!
Erica L. August 2, 2021
Not sure about the comment that says theirs took 50 minutes to bake - mine was almost too done after 30 minutes. Definitely make sure you check it early!