This post has been sponsored by Valley Fig Growers, however all opinions are 100% my own.
With the addition of rich, sweet California figs, this recipe puts a spin on the classic Hummingbird Cake. A lovely ending to any springtime meal, Hummingbird Cake is also a perfect Easter dessert.
In case you all haven’t noticed, we are big time fig lovers in my home. My obsession dates back to my childhood. My grandfather had a massive fig tree in the front yard that we would harvest every summer. We used to then take the figs and place them on large baking sheets and let them dry out in the sun for a week, much like we used to do with the olives. He would use the dried figs throughout the year, but they were mainly preserved for our holiday baking. We would make endless trays of Cuccidati cookies (Italian fig cookies) which we would give to friends and family.
One of the first things we did when moving into our home was plant a fig tree. It was actually a clipping off of my late grandfather’s tree. It has since grown to an enormous size that gifts us with multiple pounds of fresh figs every year. When the figs are ripe, my husband comes home every evening and goes straight to the tree. He and my youngest son test each fig for ripeness and fight over each fruit. I love how this plant has given us generations of satisfaction.
Since there are never really enough figs for me to dry out myself before my family eats them, I usually buy dried figs for my baking (and snacking when our tree is not producing).
I am lucky enough to live in California, where all of the commercially sold dried figs produced in the United States are grown (in the Fresno area and north, in the fertile San Joaquin Valley). California represents 10% of the world production of dried figs.
Valley Fig Growers, a grower-owned cooperative based in the San Joaquin Valley (the heart of fig country), represents 40% of figs in the California Fig industry. You can find their delicious dried fig products worldwide under the brands, Sun-Maid and Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice.
While you have probably seen their products at your local stores, you can buy California Figs online at valleyfig.com. They also have a wonderful selection of fig spreads which can be used for sweet and savory cookies, or just eaten with a spoon!
WHAT IS HUMMINGBIRD CAKE?
Hummingbird Cake is a popular dessert in the Southern United States. It is a layered spice cake with banana, pineapple, cinnamon and pecans that is topped with fluffy cream cheese frosting.
It is unclear as to exactly how—and why—Hummingbird Cake got its name. There is some speculation that it is because Hummingbird Cake is so deliciously sweet, it makes you “hum” with delight.
And this version of Hummingbird Cake is indeed delightful. It features light and moist cake layers that contain all of the traditional ingredients, plus the addition of sweet California Dried Figs.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE HUMMINGBIRD CAKE WITH CALIFORNIA FIGS
- Dried figs have a distinctive flavor that is reminiscent of honey or butterscotch. Combined with their rich chewy texture, dried figs add an extra sweetness and complexity to Hummingbird Cake (as well as many other dishes).
- The fig is a nutritional powerhouse. An excellent source of dietary fiber, figs also contain many essential minerals such as potassium, iron and calcium. They are rich in antioxidants and also contain no fat, cholesterol or sodium.
- Figs naturally help hold moisture in baked goods, such as this Hummingbird Cake. Not only does this make your cake even more delicious, but helps keep it fresh longer.
MORE DELICIOUS FIG RECIPES
If you love this Hummingbird Cake recipe, you’ll want to check out my Fig Mascarpone Cream Tart , this Pear Spice Cake with Salted Caramel, and this recipe for Honey Mascarpone Amaretti Tart with Fresh Figs.
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 ripe bananas mashed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 can 20 oz crushed pineapple, not drained
- 1 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Mission Figs diced
- ½ cup roasted pecans chopped coarsely
- 16 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 9 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6-8 Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Mission Figs
- ½ cup white chocolate
- Dried pineapple
- ¼ cup roasted pecans finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9 inch round cake pans.
Using your stand mixer or electric hand beater cream oil, butter, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
Add in the mashed banana and vanilla extract; beat until combined.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly before each addition.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
With your mixer set on low, gradually add the flour mixture to the banana mixture, mixing only until just combined.
Stir in pineapple (and juice), chopped figs, and pecans to the batter.
Evenly divide batter between the three prepared cake pans.
Bake cakes in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Cool cakes in pans on wire racks 10 minutes then remove from pans to cool completely.
To make the frosting beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract until soft and smooth.
Sift in 5 cups of powdered sugar and beat on medium speed until smooth.
Add remaining powdered sugar and beat until incorporated.
Increase mixer speed to medium high and beat for 4-5 minutes.
Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
Bring a small pot of water to a simmer. Place white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over simmering water. Stir chocolate until it is melted and smooth. Carefully remove from over water.
Dip figs in chocolate and place on a foil lined tray.
Sprinkle with chopped pecans and refrigerate until set, about 20 minutes.
To assemble the cake, begin by removing the domes from the top of the cake using a large serrated knife, if needed.
Place the first cake layer on a serving plate.
Spread approximately 1 cup of frosting evenly over the top of the cake layer.
Top with the 2nd layer of cake and another cup of frosting. Top the cake with the remaining 3rd layer and frost the outside of the cake.
Garnish cake with white chocolate dipped dried figs, dried pineapple, and chopped pecans.
If not serving right away, refrigerate cake until 30 minutes before serving.