This light Christmas or New Year fruit cake is made with almonds and figs soaked in a cheeky dram or three of whisky. Bake it 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
For those not in the know, pan de figos is a pressed fig and almond wheel commonly found in Spain. It actually means fig bread in Spanish, but it actually consists of fruit and nuts only. There’s no grain involved.
My aunt, who lives in Spain sends me one for Christmas most years. I look forward to it with anticipation. It’s delicious on its own or with a slice of Manchego, or any other cheese for that matter.
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. And I was going to use some of the pan de figos I hadn’t finished from the previous year.
Whisky, The Water of Life
Figs and almonds are traditional Mediterranean ingredients that go together very well. They’re 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 this water of life deficiency. It was important, as I wanted it for my fig almond cake.
Fig Almond Cake
As always with my bakes, I like to make them as healthy as possible. I’ve used wholemeal flour with real butter and muscovado sugar in this one. The figs, almonds and eggs are all nutrient rich and the whisky? Hey, it’s Christmas.
And don’t worry about that pan de figos, I’ve separated out the figs and the almonds in the recipe below. So unless you fancy a quick trip to Spain, you don’t need any special ingredients.
My fig almond cake is a flexible sort of a bake. You can make it up to two weeks before you need it, although it’s just as good if you make it the day before. Having said that, if you can soak the fruit overnight before you need to add it to the cake, so much the better. You don’t have to though.
If you make the cake in advance, wrap it in greaseproof paper un-iced and store in an airtight container. Decorate just before you need it.
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
- Earl Grey fruit cake with orange icing via Tin and Thyme
- Festive fruit cake via Farmersgirl Kitchen
- Festive light and fruity whisky marmalade cake via Farmersgirl Kitchen
- Fig & mincemeat Christmas bundt cake via Tin and Thyme
- Slow cooker Christmas cake via Baking Queen
- Traditional Christmas cake via Supper in the Suburbs
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this fig almond cake, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And do please rate the recipe. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like more Christmas recipes, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious, of course.
Fig Almond Cake. PIN IT.
Figgy Almond Whisky Christmas Cake – The Recipe
Figgy Almond and Whisky Christmas Cake
- 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
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch ground cloves
- 1 organic orange – zest & juice
- 50 g blanched almonds – chopped + a handful left whole to feature on top of the cake
- 50 g icing sugar
- 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 soaked figs 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 of the cake. Spoon the batter on top.
- Bake at 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4) 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 remaining whisky and just enough water to make a slightly runny icing. Drizle this over the cooled cake.
- Add sprinkles as desired.
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.