A moist and delicious chai-spiced cake layered with fluffy and subtly sweet swiss meringue buttercream, fresh figs, and caramel! All free of gluten and refined sugar!
It’s finally fig season! Although I don’t have a tree in my backyard 😩 they’ve been making their way into our local grocery stores (albeit for a pretty penny). As their season is so short, I’m taking advantage of this unique and delicious fruit while I can!
I’ve been wanting to make some sort of layered cake with figs for a while now and I’ve been patiently waiting for them to come back into season. I think figs pair so well with warm spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom, so I decided to make a chai-spiced cake with a creamy swiss meringue butter cream and salted caramel. What a yummy combo it is! But then again, it’s hard to go wrong pairing those delicious treats! 🙂
I finally found a delicious frosting that isn’t choked full of powdered sugar! I’m normally not a big frosting fan because it’s usually too sickeningly sweet for me, but this buttercream is subtly sweet, yet still creamy and fluffy, like a good buttercream should be. It’s only sweetened with honey and maple syrup too! I use a combo of each so that the buttercream doesn’t have too strong a flavor of either honey or maple syrup.
Aside from the butter in this buttercream, the cake is free of dairy. You can use my simple 2-ingredient frosting recipe if you’re looking for a dairy-free version.
The salted caramel is a yummy addition! It’s also simple to make and free of refined sugars. If you’re a caramel fan, you may want to go ahead and double the recipe so you’ll have extra to drizzle over each slice—ah, it’s soooo good!
This cake has a delicious combo of flavors and is a perfect way to use up those delicious figs. The warm spices are a lovely addition too, especially with fall right around the corner! Be sure to tag me and #wifemamafoodie on Instagram if you make this cake! Love seeing what you’re whipping up in the kitchen!
- 2¾ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (I use Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour or King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Multi-purpose Flour)
- ¼ cup Coconut Flour
- 1½ tablespoons Chai Spice (or use blend in notes below)
- 1 tablespoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1⅓ cup almond milk or other milk of choice
- 1 cup Honey or Maple Syrup (I used half of each)
- 1 cup melted Coconut Oil or butter (use Refined Coconut Oil if you don't like the coconut flavor)
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
- swiss meringue buttercream
- salted caramel
- 1 pound fresh figs, washed and patted dry
- 3 egg whites
- ⅔ cup Honey or Maple Syrup (I used half of each)
- 3 sticks (1½ cups) room temperature unsalted butter*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans or two or four 6-inch cake pans and line the bottom of each with a round of parchment paper. Set aside. *I have only two 6-inch pans but I do two batches to make 4 thinner layers and avoid having to slice a thicker cake in half later.
- Combine flours, spices, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Slowly mix in milk, maple syrup/honey, coconut oil/butter, eggs, and vanilla. Mix for 2-3 minutes, until smooth.
- Evenly divide the cake batter into each pan and place into the middle rack of the preheated oven.
- Bake for 18-25 minutes (depending on pan), or until center is set and toothpick comes out with only a few moist crumbs.
- Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
- Stir together egg whites and maple syrup/honey in a medium heat-safe bowl. Place over a pot of boiling water, stirring often until mixture reaches 150-160F degrees on a candy thermometer (about 5 minutes).
- Make sure your mixing bowl is clean and has no grease or butter residue, which can keep the egg whites from fluffing up. Pour the heated egg/syrup mixture into your mixing bowl and beat on high speed for 6-8 minutes, until fluffy and stiff peaks form (use a wire whisk attachment if you have one).
- Switch to your paddle attachment and begin adding butter slowly. Beat the buttercream on medium-high speed until fluffy.
- If mixture gets too warm, place into the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to chill and then beat again.
- Place butter/coconut oil, coconut sugar, and maple syrup into a small sauce pan and place over medium-low heat. Stir often until sugar begins to dissolve and mixture thickens slightly and begins to bubble. Add vanilla extract and salt, stirring well. If caramel gets too thick, you can stir in a little milk. Add only a little because too much milk will make it too liquidy.
- Keep in mind that caramel will thicken as it cools so make this close to the end. If caramel cools and gets too thick, you can place it into the microwave for a few seconds to make it a drizzle-able again.
- Begin layering cake. If you made two thicker cake layers, you can carefully cut them evenly in half lengthwise to make more layers.
- Place the first layer of cake onto your cake plate and top with a large dollop of buttercream. Spread evenly across the top and repeat with remaining layers. Use a large offset spatula to frost the top and sides of the cake with a "crumb coat".
- Drizzle some of the caramel over the top, saving some to drizzle onto each serving.
- Place figs on top of the cake, cutting a few in half to add color. You can also add greenery or flowers, if you like.
- To serve, drizzle each slice with more caramel and top with fresh fig slices. Makes 10-12 servings. Store leftovers in an airtight container in a cool room for 1-2 days or in the fridge for longer. Keep in mind, the cake texture becomes a little more firm when refrigerated (possibly from the rice flour) so it's best eaten fresh or within a day of sitting at room temperature.
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon clove or allspice
1/4 teaspoon coriander
*I've seen recipes that used all vegetable shortening in place of the butter to make it dairy-free, but I haven't tested it myself. Keep in mind it would have little to no flavor if using shortening.
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