A Food & Travel Blog

The Cake-a-Week – Upsidedown Fig and Ginger Cake

07/02/2014 | By

Offering number 2 in my cake-a-week challenge moves away from my default position of chocolate – a delicious Upsidedown Fig and Ginger Cake.

I’m not sure if having made two cakes in two weeks constitutes being on a roll, but I’m feeling very confident about this whole cake-a-week thing. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that cake is actually one of my favourite food groups, but I also think I deserve brownie points for having baked in the hottest month of the year here in Adelaide.

You’ll be pleased (or not, depends upon how devoted you are to chocolate) to see that with this Upsidedown Fig and Ginger Cake I have managed to resist the temptation to slip straight into my chocolate cake repertoire and I think you’ll be especially pleased with this little offering that I came up with the other day. The flavours in this cake are made for each other and combine brilliantly – in fact, The Bloke pronounced it the best cake he’s ever eaten!

I recently discovered some luscious figs preserved in syrup, which I found on a shopping trip in Melbourne last November. I had forgotten about them over the Christmas break, but they were discovered and unearthed by the wonderful house-sitter we had while we were away. This sainted woman not only looked after our house, dogs, chickens and garden, but completely tidied up and sorted out my pantry – a mammoth task that I had been dodging for many months (possibly years, if truth be told). Her organisational skills and efficient container labelling also meant that I found the crystalised ginger that I’d bought ages ago, vowing to do something interesting with it. So, figs and ginger together – an upside down Fig and Ginger Cake -what a no brainer!

Upside Down Fig and Ginger Cake

Like my Upside Down Plum Cake, this one is really, really easy and quick to make, simply by bunging all the ingredients in a food processor and combining well. Because it is an upside down cake there is no real need to aim for a light and airy sponge, thus avoiding lots of butter/sugar creaming and batter beating – you want something moist and a little dense to support the weight of the fruit. If you can’t find the preserved figs, fresh ones would be delicious and would look great. You could even reconstitute soft, dried figs in a little syrup (or booze!) and use those.

upside down fig and ginger cake with cream

While this Upside Down Fig and Ginger cake is easy, it still has a significant wow factor. It’s packed with flavour, the fruit, butter and sugar combine to form a jammy, caramelly (?) topping and it would certainly hold it’s own if presented as a dessert for guests. It is quite sweet so I served it with thick Greek-style yoghurt, but whipped cream would be delightfully indulgent too.

Upsidedown Fig and Ginger Cake

I used figs preserved in syrup, but fresh would do well. You could also use reconstituted soft, dried figs. Serve with thick, Greek-style yoghurt or whipped cream.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Cake
Author: Amanda McInerney of www.lambsearsandhoney.com


  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1/4 cup of soft brown sugar
  • 425 gm can of figs in syrup
  • 1 cup SR flour
  • 1/4 cup soft butter
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 125 gms crystalised ginger
  • 1 tsp dried ginger
  • 3/4 cup milk


  • Preheat oven to 170C. Grease sides of a 20(ish) cm round spring-form or push-bottom cake pan.
  • Drain figs well, then slice into wedges.
  • Coat bottom of cake pan with the melted butter, sprinkle with the brown sugar and arrange fig slices.
  • Place ginger into food processor bowl and pulse until very roughly chopped.
  • Place remaining ingredients into processor and blend until well combined, 30-60 seconds. Spoon batter evenly over figs.
  • Bake for approx 40 mins, or until skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave in pan for 5-10 minutes, then invert onto serving plate. Serve warm or cold.



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  1. Helen | Grab Your Fork

    This combo sounds glorious! And upside down cakes are the best. Helloooooo caramelisation 🙂

  2. Lizzy (Good Things)

    Come to mamma, you delicious cake you! Amanda, I’m on a cake-free eating plan presently and you are teasing me with all this yumminess. Sigh.

  3. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    This cake should be at my house right now. I love upside down cakes because with fruit, they are always moist, tender and delicious. I love the yoghurt with the cake.

  4. InTolerant Chef

    What great flavour combos for sure Amanda, and how nice to come home to an organized pantry indeed! X

  5. Hotly Spiced

    Your fig and ginger cake looks stunning. I love upside-down cakes. I’m going to a BBQ this evening and will be bringing dessert. I thought I might make this but then realised it uses figs in syrup and I’m wondering where I might find them! I like the sound of your house-sitter – I’d love to borrow her next time we go away xx

  6. Amanda McInerney

    Hi Charlie, I mention in the post that fresh figs or reconstituted dried figs could be used. I think the fresh figs would look great as they’d have more colour. Enjoy your barbecue!

  7. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    I love those figs suspended in syrup and whenever I go visit Auburb I try and pick up a jar of them! 🙂

  8. Anne Green

    I’m definitely giving this one a go – figs and ginger, what a combination. You deserve a medal for baking in the heat we’ve had lately in Adelaide. And what a house-sitter gem! Lucky you.

  9. The Food Sage

    Deliciousness. You’ll be pleased to know that your last recipe for lavender and lemon cake made it all the way to Sunderland in the north east of England where my best friend made it with her daughter this week! This one sounds great, too. And i need the contact details for your house sitter … i only have a cat that needs sitting but a pantry that could do with a tender touch, too. Lovely post.


    My mum adores ginger cakes, I may have to make this for her. Looks wonderful.

  11. jeffrey evans

    nice cake but the topping leaked out into oven and burnt. how do i stop that

  12. Amanda

    Try putting the cake pan on a tray in the oven to catch any stray leaks, Jeffrey.