This Gluten-Free Vegan Fig Upside Down Cake is the best way to celebrate the fleeting phenomenon that is fresh fig season!
There's something so exciting about fig season in the way that other fruit and veg seasons just aren't...anyone with me on that? I mean, who really gets excited about carrot season? But, fig season is almost like cherry blossom season in Japan - it's short and sweet and its beauty is somehow enhanced by its brevity.
And, other than just eating them raw with copious amounts of coconut yogurt, I've come to realise that figs almost taste even better when used in baked goods. The oven transforms them into a gloriously sticky nectar-like flavour sensation.
So, what better way to showcase the wonderful seasonal figs than in an upside down cake? I used my go-to vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar free sponge recipe for the base. I love this sponge cake recipe as it's incredibly versatile and easy to make, requiring just one bowl and simple ingredients.
An upside down cake is so easy to make because all you need to do is slice up your fruit and lay it out on the bottom of a baking tin, then cover with your batter and just bake! Although the fruit is generally covered in a caramel glaze or sprinkled with brown sugar first, I found I didn't need to add any extra sugar to the figs, as their natural sugars are effortlessly caramelised in the oven.
I absolutely love the combination of the jammy figs with the moist, fluffy, lemon-infused sponge cake...and hope you will too! This cake is delicious by itself but even better served with a scoop of (dairy-free) vanilla ice cream.
For more fruity desserts, check out my:
- Matcha Strawberry Sponge Layer Cake
- Lemon Blueberry Cake
- Cherry Bakewell Cake
- Black Forest Cake
- Strawberry Sponge Layer Cake
- Lemon Drizzle Cake
- Pear Dark Chocolate Pudding
- Raspberry Dark Chocolate Blondies
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
Helpful tools to make this Gluten-Free Vegan Fig Upside Down Cake:
Gluten-Free Vegan Fig Upside Down Cake
- 8 figs, halved
- 60 g (¼ cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
- 200 ml (⅘ cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 8 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) ground almonds* (almond meal)
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
- 2 heaped teaspoons baking power (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Lay out the figs cut side down along the bottom of a greased baking tin lined with baking paper (I used a 7inch/18cm springform baking tin)
- Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if using any other oil)
- Once melted, add the milk to the same bowl along with the lemon juice, lemon zest, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and ground almonds
- Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
- Mix well, adding a tiny splash more milk if it’s looking too dry
- Transfer the mixture into the baking tin, making sure all the figs are completely covered by the batter
- Bake in oven for around 30 minutes until risen and golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean
- Once out the oven, leave to cool in the tin and once completely cool, turn out onto a plate or cake stand by placing the plate or cake stand upside down on top of the baking tin then quickly flip it over
- Tastes best when fresh but keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days
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