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Figgy Almond and Whisky Christmas Cake

Fig Almond Christmas Cake

Bundt, Christmas | 9th November 2015 | By

This light Christmas or New Year fruit cake is made with almonds and figs soaked in a cheeky dram or three of whisky. It can be baked a few days before needed or right at the last minute.  Even traditional Christmas cake haters are likely to enjoy this delicious fig almond cake.

Yes I know Christmas is still a few weeks away, but Stir-up-Sunday is fast approaching. It falls on the Sunday before Advent which is the 22nd November this year. It’s traditionally the day when the Christmas puddings and cakes are made and when the family all take a turn at stirring, not forgetting to make that all important wish whilst they’re at it. So to get you in the mood and to offer a little inspiration for your Christmas baking, I made this fig almond cake yesterday with a very cheeky slug or three of whisky – Whisky Galore.

Spanish Pan de Figos

Last year I made this fig and mincemeat cake for Christmas and it was so delicious that when Waitrose challenged me to make a Christmas cake with a twist this year, I knew immediately I wanted to make one with figs and almonds as the principle flavourings. My aunt, who lives in Spain, sends me a pan de figos for Christmas every year. I love this pressed fig and almond wheel, which is delicious on its own or with a slice of Manchego, or any other cheese for that matter.

Fig Almond Christmas Cake 2

Whisky, The Water of Life

These traditional Mediterranean ingredients go together very well and are often combined with honey. The bees can buzz off this time though as I wanted to use a British tipple instead. CT recently returned from Scotland but for some unknown reason, he forgot to bring any whisky back with him. Luckily a trip to our local Waitrose sorted out the water of life deficiency – important, as I wanted it for my fig almond cake.

Fig Almond Cakes

Fig Almond Cake

As always with my bakes, I like to make them as healthy as possible. This one uses wholemeal flour with real butter and muscovado sugar. The figs, almonds and eggs are all nutrient rich and the whisky? Hey, it’s Christmas. I made six cheeky mini fig almond cake bundts with a little of the mixture, so that I could try one straight away. It was even more delicious than I thought it would be: moist, slightly sticky and with an occasional crunch from the almonds.

Other recipes for fruity Christmas cakes you might like

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Fig Almond Cake. PIN IT.

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Figgy Almond Whisky Christmas Cake – The Recipe

Figgy Almond Cake with Whisky
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5 from 2 votes

Figgy Almond and Whisky Christmas Cake

This delicious light Christmas or New Year fruit cake is made with almonds and figs soaked in a cheeky dram or three of whisky. It can be baked a few days before needed or right at the last minute.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Soaking Time8 hrs
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Afternoon Tea
Cuisine: British
Keyword: almonds, cake, Christmas, figs, New Year, whisky
Servings: 16 slices
Author: Choclette

Ingredients

  • 300 g dried figs - chopped
  • 6 tbsp whisky + 1 tbsp for the icing
  • 240 g unsalted butter
  • 250 g light muscovado sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 230 g flour - half wholemeal half white
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 organic orange - zest & juice
  • 50 g blanched almonds - chopped + a handful to feature on top of the cake
  • 50 g icing sugar

Instructions

  • Soak the figs with the whisky in a covered bowl overnight - even a couple of hours will help.
  • Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time, alternating with a spoonful of the flour if necessary.
  • Sift in the flour, almonds, baking powder, bicarb and spices. Stir until just combined.
  • Grate in the orange zest and stir in together with the orange juice.
  • Add the figs and whisky and stir until just combined.
  • Oil a large bundt type mould or tin, then place a few almonds on the base - when turned out, these will be on the top. Spoon the batter on top.
  • Bake at 180°C for about 45 minutes or until the cake is well risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Mix the icing sugar with the whisky and just enough water to make a slightly runny icing. Drizle this over the cooled cake.
  • Add sprinkles as desired.

Notes

For best results, overnight soaking is also needed.
Can bake in a deep 8" tin instead of a bundt type mould.
You can easily hive off 6 tbsp of mixture and bake them in muffin tins to create 6 mini Christmas cakes.

Linkies

I’m sending this recipe off to Love Cake with JibberJabberUK. The theme is Best of British and although the inspiration for this fig almond cake came from the Mediterranean, nothing is more British than a fruity Christmas cake, especially when it has as much whisky in as this one does.

Having made some mini bundt cakes from the recipe, I am joining in with Cook Once Eat Twice over at Searching for Spice.

As I mentioned earlier getting a fig and almond wheel for Christmas has become a bit of a family tradition, so I hope that’s not too tenuous a link for this month’s Inheritance Recipes which is Festive Foods. This is hosted alternately by Coffee & Vanilla and Pebble Soup.

And my figgy almond whisky cake also goes to Kerry Cooks for Christmas Cake Club.

52 Comments

  1. Corina

    9th November 2015 at 3:26 pm

    What a gorgeous looking cake! I love the mini ones too and that whisky icing. Thank you for joining in with Cook Once Eat Twice as well

    Reply
    • Choclette

      9th November 2015 at 4:48 pm

      Thanks Corina, the whisky icing is a revelation 🙂

      Reply
  2. Emma @ Supper in the Suburbs

    9th November 2015 at 4:37 pm

    I also love figs and almonds, it makes perfect sense to include them in a Christmas cake! Such festive flavours. This recipe looks delicious. Perhaps I will break away from tradition this year…

    Reply
    • Choclette

      9th November 2015 at 4:50 pm

      It’s a difficult one. Christmas is all about tradition, on the other hand, it’s always good to bring in a surprise element.

      Reply
  3. Suelle

    9th November 2015 at 4:43 pm

    This sounds delicious! It almost makes me wish I needed to bake a Christmas cake myself, but my family don’t really like fruit cakes, even light ones like this. If I didn’t make a chocolate or ginger cake at Christmas there would be uproar!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      9th November 2015 at 4:51 pm

      Haha Suelle, you’ve got to keep the family happy, especially at Christmas. But you could always quarter the recipe and make yourself a small one, or even a few mini ones for the freezer.

      Reply
  4. Sarah Maison Cupcake

    9th November 2015 at 4:56 pm

    This looks so Christmassy and much less faff than a traditional Christmas cake!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th November 2015 at 8:42 am

      Thanks Sarah. Less faff and tastier too, I reckon.

      Reply
  5. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    9th November 2015 at 6:27 pm

    wow your bundt cake looks phenomenal!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th November 2015 at 8:41 am

      Thanks Angie, I probably shouldn’t say it, but it tastes phenomenal too 😉

      Reply
  6. Ceri

    9th November 2015 at 6:29 pm

    It pains be that its November and we are all talking about Christmas – but hey, I better get used to it. This looks like a delicious cake and I adore dried figs and the flavour they give – brilliantly different christmas cake recipe!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th November 2015 at 8:40 am

      Ah I feel your pain Ceri, but gone are the days when I adamantly refused to mention the C word before December! I love figs too and it’s nice to have a cake where they are the main event.

      Reply
  7. Lucy @ BakingQueen74

    9th November 2015 at 6:51 pm

    What lovely flavours! I like that the cake looks sparkly too, very festive. I am just getting ready to make my own cake so will take some tips. Thanks for linking to my cake too,

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th November 2015 at 8:38 am

      Yes, thanks Lucy. I was trying to get a bit of Christmas sparkle going, so I’m glad it worked.

      Reply
  8. Kath

    9th November 2015 at 7:20 pm

    It looks stunning, a fantastic centrepiece and sounds like it might taste heavenly. What was CT thinking?He won’t return empty handed next time for fear of being named and shamed again.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th November 2015 at 8:36 am

      Thanks Kath, it really does taste wonderful. As for CT, I hope he’s learnt his lesson 😉

      Reply
  9. Janice

    9th November 2015 at 8:07 pm

    I’m hoping to make some mini bundt Christmas cakes now I have the right pan, love almonds so this one is right up my street.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th November 2015 at 8:34 am

      Thanks Janice. It took me ages to find a mini bundt mould, but I’m so glad I did. They make pretty much any cake look so cute.

      Reply
  10. Janice

    9th November 2015 at 8:08 pm

    forgot to say, thanks for linking to my festive fruit cakes

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th November 2015 at 8:34 am

      You can’t have too many Christmas cake recipes.

      Reply
  11. Sus // roughmeasures.com

    9th November 2015 at 8:19 pm

    I love figs, and almonds! This cake looks delicious, I may just leave the recipe conveniently around my mums kitchen as a little hint for xmas baking!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th November 2015 at 8:33 am

      Thanks Sus. Sound idea, hope it works 🙂

      Reply
  12. What Kate Baked

    9th November 2015 at 8:32 pm

    How lovely to have pan de figos sent to you each year Choclette, just as lovely as this festive cake (and nah, its never too early to get a march on Stir Up Sunday!)

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th November 2015 at 8:32 am

      I know, it’s one of the highlights Kate and I’m glad you approve of early Christmas cakes 🙂

      Reply
  13. Jen

    9th November 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Not too early to be thinking about Christmas cakes! I’ve already made my traditional one but there’s still time to make other festive cakes before the big day. I’m sure my family would like a slice of this sooner rather than later 😉
    Love how you’ve done the icing on this cake.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th November 2015 at 8:22 am

      Thanks Jen. You’re well ahead of the game. Maybe losing internet access has some benefits 😉

      Reply
  14. Gill

    10th November 2015 at 2:48 pm

    This sounds so much nicer than normal
    Christmas cake. If I make it now would it keep or could I freeze it?

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th November 2015 at 8:18 am

      I’m not sure how long it would last Gill, definitely a week and probably two. I’ve not tried freezing it, but cake usually works well in the freezer, so I don’t see why this wouldn’t.

      Reply
  15. Alida

    10th November 2015 at 6:05 pm

    This cake looks good! I have never made a proper Christmas cake like yours. In Italy we always have panettone or pandoro but I am also very fond of the British rich Christmas cakes. Figs and almonds… sound like a heavely combination!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th November 2015 at 8:14 am

      Thanks Alida. Well a good panettone is rather delicious so I’m not surprised that’s what you stick to. This cake isn’t a traditional rich fruit cake which I generally find a bit too much of a good thing. This is much lighter and I reckon, much nicer 😉

      Reply
  16. Dom

    10th November 2015 at 6:29 pm

    that really does look like a lovely cake… i’ve just been developing a chocolate carrot cake for an alternative christmas cake but your bundt could also easily be a great alternative and has all those healthy wholemeal ingredients too! Divine stuff!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th November 2015 at 8:12 am

      Thanks Dom. I think this might become my go to Christmas cake from now on in – it’s the best yet. Of course I wholly approve of a chocolate carrot cake 😉

      Reply
  17. Ness @ JibberJabberUK

    10th November 2015 at 9:32 pm

    I can smell it now with all the spices and dried fruit in it. I’ve left my Christmas cake with my father so he can feed it with his malt whisky! I always love the shape of a Bundt cake as gives a natural elegance.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th November 2015 at 8:09 am

      Thanks Ness. I’m a recent convert to whisky in cakes and now I think it’s the best. I’m also a big fan of bundt type cakes as they need little if anything in the way of decoration.

      Reply
  18. Kate - gluten free alchemist

    11th November 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Not sure I can think about Christmas just yet, but the cake looks beautiful and very seasonal (and the flavours are wonderful!). The mini bunts are so cute!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th November 2015 at 7:42 pm

      Thanks Kate. Luckily, you still have a few weeks to go. Have to say this is the only Christmas ‘thinking’ I’ve done so far.

      Reply
  19. Sammie

    11th November 2015 at 5:55 pm

    This looks so beautiful & dried figs I adore. I have them in my Christmas cake (soaking at the mo) this year. I want to make this cake especially as hubby loves Whisky. Beautiful cake & blend of flavours. Sammie 🙂

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th November 2015 at 7:41 pm

      Thank you Sammie. It sounds like this ticks both of your boxes – it’s just got to be tried 😉

      Reply
  20. Margot⚓Coffee & Vanilla

    11th November 2015 at 7:10 pm

    Thank you for submitting this flavoursome recipe to our Inheritance Recipes challenge, it fits in perfectly. I have filling someone will have very hard decision to make 🙂

    Reply
    • Choclette

      12th November 2015 at 9:24 am

      Thanks Margot, you’re always very forgiving 🙂

      Reply
  21. Pebble Soup

    11th November 2015 at 9:25 pm

    I particularly like the silver strands down the cake. I would definitely make this my Xmas pud. So much lighter after a feast thank you for linking to #Inheritance recipes & good luck

    Reply
    • Choclette

      12th November 2015 at 8:44 am

      Thanks Solange, it sure is a perfect cake for the festive season 🙂

      Reply
  22. Jacqueline Meldrum

    15th November 2015 at 10:18 pm

    That looks just wonderful Choclette!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      16th November 2015 at 4:07 pm

      Thanks Jac, it tastes pretty good too 🙂

      Reply
  23. Nayna Kanabar

    16th November 2015 at 7:26 pm

    What a beautiful looking cake. It sounds delicious.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      16th November 2015 at 8:22 pm

      Thanks Nayna, it’s a good one and the sort of cake most people would be happy to eat 🙂

      Reply
  24. Stuart Vettese

    16th November 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Never too early for Christmas recipes Choclette – especially ones that contain booze!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      16th November 2015 at 8:23 pm

      Haha Stuart. I guess you should approve it being whisky an’ all 😉

      Reply
  25. Kerry at Kerry Cooks

    19th November 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Gorgeous! Thank you for entering it into Cake Club! From above it almost looks like stripes of silver and gold – very festive!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      19th November 2015 at 8:10 pm

      Thanks Kerry. It maybe November, but I did my best to make it look like it was next month instead 😉

      Reply
  26. Jane

    13th December 2018 at 8:49 am

    This looks like a cake I need to make. Love the inclusion of whisky as well as the figs.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      19th December 2018 at 8:23 am

      Whisky seems to work really well in fruit cakes I’ve found and figs are wonderfully festive as well as delicious.

      Reply

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