Fig & walnut cream cake

Fig & walnut cream cake

A decadent cake perfect for afternoon tea.


  • Unsalted butter, for greasing
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 140 g (5 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
  • 250 g (9 oz/1²/3 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100 g (3½ oz) Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1–2 drops natural vanilla extract
  • 250 g (9 oz) dried figs, soaked in hot or cold jasmine tea for 15 minutes, drained and roughly chopped
  • 115 g (4 oz/1 cup) walnut kernels, roughly chopped

  • Icing
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) thin (pouring/whipping) cream
  • 150 g (5½ oz) icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted
  • 1–2 drops natural vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Line the base of a 20 cm (8 inch) round cake tin with lightly buttered baking paper.

Place the eggs, caster sugar and olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer, and beat until pale and fluffy. Sift in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Fold through the yoghurt, then the vanilla, figs and walnuts.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and cook on the middle shelf of the oven for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Run a knife inside the edge of the tin and carefully turn the cake onto a wire rack and stand until cooled completely.

To make the icing, using an electric mixer, beat the cream, icing sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.

When the cake has cooled, spread the icing on top of the cake.

NOTES: If you want to lift the richness of the fig and walnut cake, replace the cream with whipped mascarpone. It’s totally over the top and lush. Additionally, a nice spicy cinnamon syrup would work well here.

First published in Neil’s cookbook Easy Weekends. Photography by Earl Carter.

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