Sticky date and fig cake

Decadent, sticky and spiced. This cake is unbelievable flavoursome, christmas flavour inspired and a great alternative to a traditional christmas pudding. Although, why not have both on your table! I add some fresh figs to the cake batter along with pitted dates and lots of spices. It’s very simple to make, so great to do the morning of any celebration 🙂 prepare the sauce just before serving. I hope you love it as much as I do!

Recipe for Sticky date and fig cake with butterscotch sauce

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes baking time + 5 minutes for the sauce

Makes: 8-10 slices


Cake base:

1 cup dates (pitted and roughly chopped)

3 x fresh figs (sliced into wedges then in half)

2 cups plain flour

2 x eggs

1 x cup brown sugar

80g butter (softened)

1 tsp bicarb soda

1 tsp apple cider vinegar or white vinegar

½ tsp baking powder

1 x orange (zest and juice)

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp cloves (powder)

¼ tsp nutmeg (freshly grated)

1 tsp vanilla essence

Pinch of salt

Butterscotch sauce:

70g butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup pure cream

large pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla essence


A few extra fresh figs for cake topping


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Prepare a cake tin with baking paper or butter the surfaces.
  2. Place the dates, the figs, the orange zest and juice, the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla essence and salt into a bowl and mix through together. Mix it into almost a textured paste like form. Set aside.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar in an electric stand mixer until the mixture has become lighter in colour and creamy (it will still be a bit dark because of the brown sugar). Start to add the eggs 1 by 1 until each one is completely mixed through. Remove the bowl from the electric mixer and add the flour by sifting it into the bowl, along with the baking powder. Mix the bicarb soda and vinegar together and add it to the bowl as well. Fold the flour and dry ingredients through the wet ingredients and add the date, fig and spice mixture, combine well. Transfer into a cake tin, smooth the top evenly and place into the oven. Bake for 40 minutes or until the cake surface is golden brown (test with a skewer to see whether the cake is completely cooked through the centre).
  4. When the cake has nearly finished cooking, make the butterscotch sauce by placing all of the sauce ingredients into a small pot, stirring continuously whilst the butter melts, bring to a light simmer and set aside.
  5. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Remove the cake from the tin and use a fork to prick lots of tiny littles holes over the cake surface. Pour ¾ of the sauce over the cake surface and use a spatula or spoon to lightly help the sauce soak into the cake – you might need to do this in 2 batches. (Some of the sauce will run down the sides of the cake)
  6. Top the cake with extra fresh figs and serve with extra butterscotch sauce and cream or vanilla ice cream.

Cooking notes

  • Use a medium cake tin or a smaller cake tin for a higher cake base

Recipe created for Harris Farm Markets 



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