Fig, Honey & Rosemary Upside-Down Cake

Fig, Honey & Rosemary Upside-Down Cake

Fig, honey and rosemary – my new holy trinity of cake flavours.  This is an upside-down cake, but not as you know it. We’re now coming into the second, or “new-wood” fig season, which means lots of new recipe experimenting with my favourite forbidden fruit! Figs and honey are an ancient pairing made in heaven, I don’t even need to explain why it works so well, it just does – like Thelma & Louise, Wallace & Gromit, Kermit & Miss Piggy.

Rosemary adds an extra fragrant, aromatic layer to this cake whilst using olive oil instead of butter keeps this cake incredibly moist and gives it a slightly earthy bitterness that helps to cut though the sweet. 

This feels like more of a dessert than a cake, especially when served slightly warm with a generous blob of creme fraiche or mascarpone. 

Fig, Honey & Rosemary Upside-Down Cake

Fig, Honey & Rosemary Upside-Down Cake

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Course: Cakes, DessertDifficulty: Easy


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Fig, honey and rosemary – my new holy trinity of cake flavours. This is an upside-down cake, but not as you know it.


  • Cake
  • 225 g honey

  • 8-12 figs, sliced in half

  • 120 g all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 lemon, zest of

  • 120 ml olive oil

  • 100 g caster Sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • Syrup
  • 6 sprigs rosemary

  • 100 g lemon juice

  • 100 g caster sugar

  • 60 g water


  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  • Grease and line a 9” baking dish with greaseproof and butter.
  • Pour half of the honey onto the greaseproof paper and the arrange your fig slices on top. I like seeing the beautiful insides of the figs so I place the insides face down onto the paper.
  • Cream together the oil, sugar and honey until pale.
  • Add the eggs one at a time to the creamed mixture.
  • Add the flour, baking powder and salt in stages. Folding together carefully.
  • Finally add the lemon zest and give one final fold.
  • Spoon the cake batter evenly onto of the figs, spreading as little as you can so your fig pattern remains neat.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a wooden skewer comes out clean when poked in the middle.
  • While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup. Tip all the ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer gently for another five minutes, then turn off the heat and leave the rosemary to infuse.
  • While the cake and syrup are still warm, make holes all over the top of the cake with a skewer, and pour over the syrup.
  • Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche or mascarpone and a drizzle more of honey for extra indulgence.

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