Thursday, December 20, 2012

Fig Fruit Cake (Arkansas Fig Fruit Cake)

Fruit cakes have a bad reputation in this country for reasons I don't understand. I have asked several people why they don't like them. Answer invariably comes down to, too many fruit cakes this time of the year and everybody seems to giving those as gifts.

Thick batter!

I for one would have loved to get fruit cakes for gifts. The only kind I am not fond of are the really boozy kind which leaves an after taste.

The Washington Post Food Section from a couple of weeks ago had at least 7 recipes for fruit cakes. I picked this one because I had most of the ingredients on hand and they were not many. It seemed like it would lend itself to variations easily as far the nuts and dried fruits went.

Ready for the oven

The recipe called for mixing of the batter with hand which is new for a cake recipe for me anyway. The other interesting thing there is no fat - oil or butter. Nope!

If you do not have figs I think a combination of dates and dried cherries would work beautifully. I am not used to adding cloves and cinnamon for sweet things so skipped them but of course as per your preference go ahead and add them. It is one of those very easy to make cakes with no whipping and fluffing so even for baking challenged like me it was easy.

It is a shame that these fruit cakes are made only during Christmas. These are a great after school or a lunch box snack.

Arkansas Fig Fruit Cake Ingredients
  1. 2 cups all purpose flour, I used 2 cups of white whole wheat flour
  2. 10oz dried figs
  3. 1 Golden Delicious apple peeled, cored and finely diced
  4. 1/2 cup dried raisins
  5. 3/4 cup dried currants
  6. 1 cup pecans roughly chopped (skip for nut free version and substitute with a cup of chocolate chips perhaps or coconut flakes)
  7. 1 cup sugar + 3 tbsp more
  8. 2 cups of water + 2 tbsp more if neeeded
  9. 1/4 tsp salt
  10. 2 tsp baking soda
  11. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon + 1/2 tsp ground cloves (optional, I did not add them)
  1. In a saucepan add the figs, 3 tbsp of sugar and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil, lower the heat to just below medium and cook for about 30 minutes till the figs are soft. Let cool and using a hand blender make a puree.
  2. Preheat the oven to 300F.
  3. To the fig puree add the raisins, currants, pecans and apples.
  4. In a mixing bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients take the flour, sugar, salt,baking soda, spices if using and mix them together.
  5. To the flour add the fig puree and mix it together. It would be hard at this point to mix with a spatula so hands work best. Add a couple of tbsp of water if it is too dry.
  6. Grease a 9inch cake pan (with butter or spray) and transfer the batter and smooth the top with a spatula.
  7. Bake for 50 -60 minutes or till a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 30 minutes.


A tube pan would make it festive. Loaf pan works too.

Reduce the amount of sugar by a quarter cup if you are using dates and do not add teh sugar while cooking it.


  1. the cake look beautiful!

  2. I love the dense textureof the cake... what a fabulous recipe... have to give this a try soon.

  3. Great fruit cake recipe Indo. I especially love the fact that there is no booze to be added. I am sure the fruits would make it moist even without butter or oil.
    I think you mistakenly omitted flour measurement in your ingredient list.
    Can you please add how much flour to add?

    1. Deepa do give it a try. Sorry about that and thanks for letting me know. I have updated it now.

  4. How unusual, and just my kind of cake, no beating, creaming, etc. Might try it some day!

  5. Very rich looking cake. Loving that dense texture.

  6. will it taste not so good if i add a little bit of butter?

  7. will it taste not so good if i add a little bit of butter?

    1. Butter will not do any harm I am thinking. How much may be less than a tbsp or so?


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