This honey cake with figs and whipped cream cheese is a simple summer cake topped with candied walnuts, tangy whipped cream, and sweet fruit.
Total Time:1 hour 20 minutes
For the cake (Adapted from Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson):
¾ cup (170 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup (170 gm) honey
1 cup (200 gm) sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups (280 gm) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup (120 gm) buttermilk, at room temperature
For the whipped cream:
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup (60 gm) confectioner’s sugar
1-1/2 cups (360 gm) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk (optional)
For the candied walnuts:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup brown sugar sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
For the topping:
Figs, or another chopped fruit of your choice
Extra honey for drizzling
To prepare the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease the bottom of a light-colored 9” (springform would work here as well) pan, lining the bottom with a round of parchment paper. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, honey, sugar, and vanilla extract. Start on low speed to combine and then increase to medium-high (I use 6 on my mixer) for 6 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the eggs one at a time, stirring on low after each addition to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl. In a small bowl, stir to combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter and honey mixture, stirring on low to almost combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl, stir in the buttermilk, and then add the remaining dry ingredients, stirring only until incorporated. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and baking in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted just barely comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before topping with the whipped cream, figs, and walnuts. You can also drizzle additional honey as desired. Serve immediately.
To prepare the whipped cream:
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Slowly drizzle in the whipping cream a tablespoon at a time until it is all incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Increase the speed on your mixer and whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Give the mixture a taste- if you would prefer it to be a little bit tangier, add in about 2 tablespoons of buttermilk. This will thin the mixture out a bit but will add yummy flavor. Spread on top of the cake and serve immediately!
To prepare the walnuts:
Combine the butter, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium, non-stick over medium heat until the butter has melted. Add the nuts and stir regularly using a rubber spatula until the nuts have toasted and the sugar has begun to melt, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and spread out the nuts to cool on a sheet of parchment paper.
For a more honey-forward tasting cake you can use 2/3 cup of honey and only ¾ cup of sugar in the cake. This will yield a more heavy, dense feeling cake, but the honey flavor is more prominent. I like to use the original recipe and then drizzle extra honey on additional pieces as desired.
Dark colored pans will brown this cake a ton! I prefer to use a light-colored pan, but both will work.