“To eat figs off the tree in the very early morning, when they have been barely touched by the sun, is one of the exquisite pleasures of the Mediterranean.” ― Elizabeth David
This post was sponsored by Green Valley Creamery but all words, opinions, and love of figs is my own.
We have entered fig season and it is glorious. This initial or breba season usually occurs in early or mid June and then in late summer figs resurface with a flourish. Often, in a fortunate year, I can find figs in the market from June until October. It’s one of my favorite fruit seasons. Biting into one makes me think of warm and hazy summer afternoons. There is something seductive and otherworldly about the fig. Sweet, sticky, like a honeyed berry—its flavor and texture is intoxicating, unlike any other fruit I’ve ever tasted.
This makes sense when you bear in mind that figs are in fact flowers; each “fruit” an enclosed blossom encasing a world of miniature blooms and seeds. A fresh fig is something to be marveled over. The first time I tried one, I was in my twenties (terrible, I know). It was given to me by a beautiful French woman—which sounds like the beginning of some artsy independent film. It was, in reality, at a work training (a skincare event from another life) and one of the brand reps gasped when I admitted I had never tried a fig, except in cookie form. Before I could say another word she scolded my neglect, placed one in my mouth, and my love of figs was born. How had I gone so long without this revelation in my life?
This recipe is a celebration of the fig, both fresh and cooked. A rich but delicate cake infused with Green Valley Creamery’s lactose free whole milk yogurt, along with olive oil, sage, and a hint of brown sugar. The result is a moist and subtly sweet cake, layered with juicy ripe figs. A recipe that I argue is breakfast friendly. Think of it as a giant muffin and feel zero guilt about consuming it at daybreak. The cake is delicious as is, right out of the oven, but I like it even more with some lightly whipped yogurt infused with honey and lemon. And as delicious as they are baked—I think fresh figs win where flavor is concerned. Which is why I’d recommend…no…insist you serve this with plenty!
When testing this recipe, I knew I wanted something light and moist with layers of flavor. I love using yogurt in baked goods. Using Green Valley Creamery’s yogurt ensured that even those with lactose sensitivities or intolerances could enjoy the recipe. It’s also why I chose to incorporate some good quality olive oil making this cake entirely lactose free. I am so happy to have partnered with Green Valley Creamery (formerly Green Valley Organics), as they launch their new name and label design. They are known for their quality lactose free dairy products along with their care and dedication to organic farming. While I don’t have a lactose sensitivity myself, I know many people that do and have to be mindful about the ingredients they consume and cook with.
Every bite was full of flavor. Tangy yogurt, mild olive oil, the almost syrupy ripes figs. I love adding herbs to sweet dishes and the sage here is fragrant but subtle, giving a slight earthiness without overwhelming the cake or figs. The brightness from the lemon zest and a sprinkling of nutmeg round out the flavors in this recipe. This cake didn’t last two days around here. It’s perfect for leisurely mornings spent sipping coffee or tea. It’s also indulgent and satisfying enough to be served as dessert—you could even go crazy and whip up a yogurt frosting if you have an intense craving for sweets. But no matter when or how you decide to enjoy this cake, you must include some fresh figs as well. The combination of figs both raw and cooked is part of the whole experience!
Are there any other fig aficionados out there? What is your favorite way to enjoy them? Leave a comment below.
Fig, Yogurt, & Olive Oil Breakfast Cake
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 heaping tsp. lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp. minced sage
- ½ cup Green Valley Creamery Whole Milk Yogurt
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- 8-10 oz. figs, cut into fourths or sixths
- 1 cup Green Valley Creamery Whole Milk Yogurt
- 3 Tbsp. honey
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- Fresh sliced figs
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease a springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and lightly dust with flour.
Beat eggs in an electric stand mixer until light and frothy, 1-2 minutes.
Whisk in sugars until combined.
Add in vanilla, olive oil, lemon zest, sage, and yogurt and mix until combined.
Sift dry ingredients into a separate bowl and add to the wet ingredients in 2-3 additions, mixing until just incorporated.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and top with sliced figs in any pattern you’d like.
Bake for 30 minutes, cover with foil*, and cook another 15-20 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. *This is just to prevent the cake from getting too brown while it finishes baking.
While the cake is baking mix yogurt, honey, and lemon juice in a small bowl until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Allow cake to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before removing the outer ring. Cool another 10 minutes before transferring to a cake stand or platter.
Serve immediately with whipped yogurt and fresh figs.
Cake can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 2-3 days. But it is best enjoyed right away before the figs get soggy!