Figgy Almond and Whisky Christmas 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.
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 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.
Figgy Almond Whisky Christmas Cake – The Recipe
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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
Other recipes for fruity Christmas cakes you might like
- Festive fruit cake via Farmersgirl Kitchen
- Festive light and fruity whisky marmalade cake via Farmersgirl Kitchen
- Slow cooker Christmas cake via Baking Queen
- Traditional Christmas Cake via Supper in the Suburbs
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.
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Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this fig almond cake, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or via social media. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them. For more delicious and nutritious recipes, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.