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whole fig cake on a white plate with a few slices cut into it
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Upside Down Fig Cake with Vanilla Glaze

Upside down fig cake is a great way to use up a bounty of fresh figs. Halved figs and pecans mixed with butter and brown sugar adorn the top of a light and fluffy cake drizzled with vanilla glaze.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling Time 10 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 192kcal
Author Lisa B.


For the cake:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups small fresh or frozen figs stems removed and cut in half (I used Celeste figs)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 large eggs room temperature, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup spiced rum
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the vanilla glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons warm water


For the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 375° F.
  • Melt butter in a 9- or 10-in. ovenproof skillet or cake pan.
  • Add brown sugar; mix well until sugar is melted.
  • Arrange fig halves in a concentric circle over the sugar and butter; sprinkle pecans over the figs; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Blend in vanilla and rum.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Gradually add to batter and mix well.
  • In a small bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Spoon into skillet.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes (cover loosely with foil if cake browns too quickly). Let stand 10 minutes before inverting onto serving plate.

For the vanilla glaze:

  • Mix all the glaze ingredients until the glaze is thin enough to drizzle.
  • If the glaze is too thick, add additional water, one tablespoon at a time.
  • Allow the cake to cool slightly before drizzling the glaze over the top.


Storage:  Wrap any leftover cake in plastic wrap or an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Freezing:  Wrap leftover cake in a layer of plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil before placing it in the freezer. Be sure not to store anything heavy on top of the cake that could crush it. Cake will keep in the freezer for three months. Allow the cake the thaw at room temperature for a couple of hours before serving.
Reheating: If you want your upside down fig cake warm, I recommend reheating it in the microwave for 30 seconds or so. Reheating it for too long could melt the glaze.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 26.4g | Protein: 4.8g | Fat: 8.3g | Saturated Fat: 1.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.2g | Cholesterol: 40.7mg | Sodium: 15.9mg | Potassium: 154.8mg | Fiber: 1.9g | Sugar: 12g