Upside-down fig cake with sticky toffee sauce

November 27, 2019 (Last Updated: November 13, 2019)
Upside-down fig cake with sticky toffee sauce

This cake is figgin delicious!

Recipe and styling by Nomvuselelo Mncube

Photograph by Dylan Swart

Upside-down fig cake with sticky toffee sauce

Serves: 6 - 8
Total Time: 1 hr 40 mins



  • 50g salted butter
  • 60g caramel sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 80ml (⅓ cup) fresh cream

  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 60g brown sugar
  • 200g dried figs, chopped and soaked in boiling water for 20 mins
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g cake flour
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp vanilla essence
  • 100g salted butter, melted
  • 100g plain double-cream/Greek yoghurt
  • 8 fresh figs, halved + extra quarters, to garnish



Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line an 18cm springform cake tin with baking paper. Set aside.


For the toffee sauce, combine the 50g salted butter, caramel sugar and salt in a medium saucepan placed over medium-high heat. Stir continuously until the butter has melted. Add the fresh cream and cook until the mixture has thickened, about 4 – 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside until completely cooled.


For the cake batter, place the eggs and brown sugar in the bowl of a hand-held/stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Add the soaked figs, bicarbonate of soda, cake flour, ground cloves, vanilla essence, 100g melted butter and plain double-cream/Greek yoghurt. Beat until well combined. Set aside until needed.


Arrange the fresh fig halves cut side down in the base of the prepared cake tin. Pour ¾ of the toffee sauce over the fig halves. Pour the batter into the tin and use a spatula to smooth the surface. Bake in the preheated oven until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and set aside to cool in the tin.


Once cool, remove the cake from the tin and transfer to a cake stand. Pour the remaining ¼ of the toffee sauce over the top. Garnish with the fresh fig quarters.

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