Fresh Fig Cake

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Fresh Fig Cake

  • 2¾ cups sifted all-purpose flour

  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter

  • 1¼ cups raw sugar

  • 3 extra-large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1½ cups coarsely chopped pecans

  • ½ pound firm-ripe figs, washed, stemmed, and coarsely chopped

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F. Coat a 10-inch (12-cup) Bundt pan with nonstick oil-and-flour baking spray and set aside.

  • Sift the flour, baking powder, soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, and salt onto a large piece of wax paper and set aside also.

  • Cream the butter in an electric mixer at low speed for 5 minutes or until silvery and light. Add the sugar and cream at low speed for 3 minutes. Beat the eggs in one by one, then beat in the vanilla.

  • With the mixer still at low speed, add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry. To avoid overbeating the batter, I add the dries in three batches, the buttermilk in two. By hand, fold in the pecans and figs.

  • Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, spreading to the edge. Also rap the pan sharply on the counter two or three times to level the batter.

  • Bake the cake in the lower third of the oven for about 1 hour or until it begins to pull from the sides of the pan, is nicely browned, and a cake tester inserted halfway between the rim and the center tube comes out clean.

  • Cool the cake in the upright pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes; loosen around the edge with a small, thin-blade spatula; then invert on the rack and cool to room temperature.

  • Cut into wedges and serve as is or top each portion with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a drift of whipped cream.