Sticky Fig Cardamom Cake

I have your next recipe: the latest, greatest, tastiest, most delicious, drool-worthy Sticky Fig Cardamom Cake! I love nothing more than blending fruits and herbs, especially in an upside down cake.

Fig season is happening in New York, so of course I grabbed a couple pints of figs. All I see is cake when I look at figs, for some reason. And for me, a cake and fruit automatically means an herb-y or spice-y cake with fruit. I swear, figs and cardamom are made for each other. If you don’t believe me, just make this recipe…and if you do believe me – make it anyways. Look at it with ice cream on top…

It looks delectable – divine, if you will. I use black mission figs for this recipe. Did you know that there are many kinds of figs? I’ve never had candy stripe figs but they intrigue me.

About the Sticky Fig Cardamom Cake

It’s slightly spicy from the cardamom and sticky sweet with fig flavor. I incorporated spelt flour in the recipe (that can be substituted with all-purpose if you must) and that adds a whole new level of yum. Trust me, this is the fluffiest crumb with the gooiest topping we’re talking about.

This is pure deliciousness. This is also a fairly simple recipe. First, you melt some butter, sprinkle some sugar and put figs down (as shown above). Then, you top them with cake batter. Finally, into the oven it goes.

It will instantly spark joy after you flip it out of the cake pan. Upside down cakes tend to do that. This Sticky Fig Cardamom Cake is no exception. If some figs go rogue and stick instead of flipping out, pick them off the pan and place them where they were supposed to go (no one will know, I promise).

This is the dessert everyone wants with tea. Cardamom cakes go hand in hand with tea. I promise, I will serve this cake at a future tea party, as well as my Dark Chocolate Cherry Rye Loaf (because some chocolate at tea parties never hurts).

If you make this recipe, please comment and rate the recipe below! I love hearing from you all. Also, you can tag me on Instagram @higheralchemybaking with your bake!

Sticky Fig Cardamom Cake

This upside down fig cake has a little spice from cardamom and cinnamon as well as a luscious crumb! Enjoy with ice cream and tea.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Indian, Mediterranean
Servings 16 servings
Calories 217 kcal


  • 9 inch cake pan


For the fig topping

  • 1/4 cup (57g) melted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 pint (260g) figs, halved

For the cake

  • 1/2 cup (225g) unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (60g) spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) milk


Prepare the pan & fig topping

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Stir the melted butter with a pinch of salt. Pour the melted butter into a 9 inch cake pan and gently swirl around to cover the bottom of the pan.
  • Sprinkle the ½ cup of brown sugar over the melted butter. Place the figs open face down in a design of your choice on top of the butter/brown sugar. Set the pan aside.

Prepare the cake batter

  • In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until creamy (about 3 minutes).
  • On low speed, add the eggs one at a time until combined, then beat on medium until light and fluffy (about 1 minute).
  • Add the vanilla extract and beat for 10-20 seconds, scraping down the side of the bowl as necessary to combine.
  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt together.
  • Add half the flour mixture to the egg mixture, mixing on low speed or using a spatula to mix until just combined, being careful not to over-mix. Add the milk and combine the same way. Repeat with the rest of the flour.
  • Scrape the batter over the figs in the prepared pan. Gently spread the batter to evenly cover the pan.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. The cake will look dark brown in color. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then carefully run a knife around the inner edges of the cake pan. Using oven mitts, swiftly invert onto a plate for serving.


You don’t have to use black mission figs like I did – any fig type you love works!
If you use salted butter, omit the salt in both the fig topping and cake.
You can replace the spelt flour with all purpose flour.
Use whatever milk you have, plant-based, cow-based, anything is fine here.

My fig design may not be perfect but it’s delicious!

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