Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add buttermilk and vanilla; beat well.
Combine flour and next 5 ingredients; gradually add to buttermilk mixture, beating until blended. Fold in fig preserves, applesauce, and toasted pecans. (Batter will be thin.) Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 8-inch round cakepans.
Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Store in refrigerator. Garnish, if desired.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Braswell's Pure Fig Preserves. Coarsely chop figs, if necessary.