Fresh Fig and Olive Oil Cake

Studded with fresh figs, this olive oil cake tastes like summer on the French Riviera. (Adapted from Patricia Wells' Winemaker's Grape Cake in At Home in Provence)

Course Dessert
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword cake, fig cake, olive oil cake, tea cake, coffee cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8
Author Jean | Lemons + Anchovies


  • Butter and Flour for the cake pan
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch kosher salt
  • zest one lemon
  • 10 ounces chopped fresh figs (See Note)
  • powdered sugar for sprinkling (optional)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan, making sure to tap out the excess flour.  Set aside.

  2. Using a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until thick and a pale-yellow color, about 3 minutes.  Add the butter, oil, milk, vanilla extract and mix until blended.

  3. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Stir in the lemon zest with a whisk.  Spoon the mixture into the other bowl with the batter and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly blended.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix it once again.  Let the mixture rest for 1o minutes to give the flour time to absorb the liquid.

  4. Stir 3/4 of the figs into the batter then transfer to the pan.  Place the pan in the center rack of your oven and bake for 15 minutes. (See Note)

  5. After 15 minutes, arrange the rest of the figs on top of the cake and bake until the top is a deep golden brown.  This will take another 35 – 40 minutes.

  6. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Then run a knife along the sides of the pan and release.  Leave the cake on the pan base and let cool to room temperature. Dust powdered sugar on top before serving (optional)

  7. This cake will keep in the refrigerator for a few days. 

Recipe Notes

For simplicity you can use all chopped fresh figs as noted in the instructions but I think the cake is visually more appealing with sliced figs on top. Slice 1/4 of the figs and use these to top the cake after the 15-minute baking time. Whatever you choose to do won't affect the final product.