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GardenSMART :: Moist, Spicy Cake Is Cool Weather Favorite

Moist, Spicy Cake Is Cool Weather Favorite

By Tommy C. Simmons, an enthusiastic cook
Photograph by Tommy C. Simmons

Louisiana cookbook author Corinne Cook says she has fond memories of the spicy fig cakes Cajun cooks would make when the weather cooled. A slice of still-warm cake with a glass of milk was a much appreciated treat after school, she recalled.

Since moving to north Georgia, I haven’t had luck with growing figs. Too cold, I guess. However, I did find a mail order source of Fig Preserves made in Louisiana. The Whole Fig Preserves are available from Pleasant Acres Jams & Jellies in Pineville, LA and can be ordered from their Web site at or calling (318) 253-5109.

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My recipe is from a yellowed clipping from a July, 1979 issue of Southern Living magazine. The recipe was included in a fig-focused piece headed “Pick a Fig Favorite.” The cake’s recipe had been sent in by Mrs. Linda Barnett of Birmingham, AL.

Wherever you are Mrs. Barnett, thank you for sharing your Fig Preserve Cake recipe back in 1979, and I hope you are still growing and harvesting fresh figs every year, making fig preserves and your delicious Fig Preserve Cake.

Home kitchen-tested recipe

Fig Preserve Cake

Makes 1 (10-inch) cake. Recipe is from Mrs. Linda Barnett in the July, 1979 issue of Southern Living magazine.

1 ½ cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground allspice
½ tsp. ground cloves
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbl. vanilla extract
1 cup fig preserves, chopped
½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Buttermilk Glaze

  1. Combine sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and cloves in a large mixing bowl; add oil, beating well.
  2. Add eggs, and beat well. Add buttermilk and vanilla, mixing thoroughly.
  3. Stir in preserves and pecans.
  4. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes and remove from pan.
  5. Pour warm Buttermilk Glaze over warm cake. Serve warm or cooled. Cover to store.

Buttermilk Glaze:

Makes enough glaze for 1 (10-inch) cake.

¼ cup buttermilk
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsps. cornstarch
¼ cup butter
1½ tsps. vanilla extract

  1. Combine buttermilk, sugar, baking soda, cornstarch and butter in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to prevent sticking.
  2. Remove from heat. Cool slightly and stir in vanilla. Pour over cake while glaze is still warm.


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