Fig and Polenta Cake with Cinnamon Recipe 11 Comments

Sep 13, 2008

Growing up in Sydney we had a lone fig tree in our backyard, not sure why or where it came from, but we were excited when we were able to pick the figs (or reach to pick them). Most often, the birds would have picked at them first, but we did find some gems.

When I see figs being sold at the Ferry Building farmer’s market I can’t leave without buying a punnet. This time around rather then eating the figs as a snack, I decided to cook something with them. This fig and polenta cake recipe has been on my to do list since winter. I was intrigued by the polenta and almond meal combination.

Here is what we like about the cake, it’s not overly sweet, it tastes healthy and hearty and it’s rich and flavorful. The polenta adds a unique texture and taste to the cake. Plus it’s amazing with fresh fruit—a perfect combination. My friend Steve also mentioned that an Ethiopian blend of coffee would be a great accompaniment as the blend is very light, with a fruity aroma. High tea/coffee anyone?

Fig and Polenta Cake with Cinnamon Recipe (Image 2)
Fig and Polenta Cake with Cinnamon Recipe (Image 3)


8 large figs or 12 small figs, sliced in half
2 sticks unsalted butter
4 cups super fine sugar
8 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup polenta
1 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 lemon, zested and juiced
¼ cup water



Prep Time

30 minutes

Cook Time

1 hour


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the base of a 8 inch diameter spring form tin with greaseproof paper and lightly grease.

Cut figs in half and arrange on the bottom of the tin, skin side up.

Cream the butter and 4 cups of super fine sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add eggs. Fold through flour, baking powder, polenta, almond meal and cinnamon. Puree remaining figs and stir through cake mix with lemon juice. Pour into cake tin and bake in oven for 1 hour or until golden and risen. Place on a cooling rack.

Bring remaining sugar, water and lemon rind to the boil for 2 minutes. Allow to cool. Remove cake from tin and place on a plate upside down. Pour over syrup.

Serve with fresh figs.

Serves 8


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What a unique recipe. I have eaten a polenta cake before, and it was delicious, I'll have to try this for a baby shower I have coming up. I'm responsible for dessert! This recipe will be perfect

—Jen, over 5 years ago

This cake looks great, I love anything with figs

Sara, over 5 years ago

This looks wonderful. I can only imagine the taste is sublime with the polenta and the almond meal, what a great base for the figs.

Zoë François, over 5 years ago

This looks so good! I just picked up another basket of figs and am wondering what to do with them.

Esi, over 5 years ago

This looks wonderful! I've been thinking about polenta cakes lately, and this version sounds gret.

lisa, over 5 years ago

no way could this cake have 5 cups of sugar!!! is there a mistake?

—bill, over 5 years ago

The cake looks delicious. I have never eaten a polenta cake before, but I would gladly try a piece like this! Nice pictures too.

Mandy, over 5 years ago

Bill -- thanks for finding the error. Its 4 cups. I'll update!

—Ursula, over 5 years ago

This looks great. Anything with figs is awesome :)

Olga, over 5 years ago

WOw fantisastic, polenta is my favorite dish

!!!!!, over 5 years ago

This looks amazing but I did the conversion from the original recipe on and your sugar conversion is way off! 500g of sugar is 2 cups + 2 tbsp. You are supposed to mix 1.75 Cups into the batter in the first, and the "remaining sugar" referred to at the end is just under 1/2 cup, for the syrup. As you have it it's double the sugar you need!

—Sarah, over 4 years ago

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