Garnishes: dried figs, fresh raspberries, fresh mint sprigs
How to Make It
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.
This recipe is a classic frosted Fig Cake from Ocracoke, NC - I believe this particular one is the O'Neal recipe, one of the oldest names on the island. The only notable difference is that this recipe uses 1 1/2 cups of fig preserves and 1/2 cup of applesauce, and the authentic fig cakes use 2 cups of fig preserves and omit applesauce. They serve this style of fig cake at Back Porch Restaurant on the island, but you can also get naked fig cake slices at The Fig Tree and at Ocracoke Fish House, the latter is a Gaskins recipe and the best cake on the island in my opinion. It's even better if you eat it under one of the island's massive fig trees and appreciate exactly where those figs came from. Stop by the museum for a jar of fig preserves and make this cake for yourself. I spent one day of my vacation there tracking down and rating the fig cake I came across on the island and hunting down those delicious fig preserves. Beware the fig cake recipes you come across in the cookbooks for sale down there - they only call for 1 cup of preserves, and the best recipes always use 2 cups to keep the cakes nice and moist.