Lemon-Fig Cake

lemon-fig cake
Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins

Olive oil has a subtle fruitiness that works surprisingly well in desserts, especially in our Lemon-Fig Cake. You can substitute vegetable oil in this recipe, but the flavor will not be the same.


  • ½ cup olive oil, plus more for pan

  • ½ cup milk

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 package (10 ounces) dried figs, stemmed and coarsely chopped (about 1 ½ cups)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom (or a cake pan lined with parchment paper) with oil; set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together oil, milk, and egg; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk mixture, and stir with a rubber spatula just until smooth (do not overmix). Gently fold in figs and lemon zest.

  3. Spread batter in prepared pan; set pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.

  4. Cool in pan 15 minutes before unmolding cake onto a wire rack to cool completely. To serve, cut into wedges.

Cook's Notes

Dried figs: Using a sharp paring knife, remove any tough stems before chopping the fruit.


You can substitute other dried fruit, such as raisins, cherries, cranberries, or chopped prunes.

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