Hello people! How are the festive preps coming along? Are you done with preparations? Are you in the midst of baking your gorgeous Christmas cakes? Well, I haven’t even got started with the Kuswar (Mangalorean Christmas goodies) but since I was determined to post all my Christmassy posts by the 20th for the benefit of my readers I put aside my personal needs (see, that’s how good I am..haha! Just kidding!). I will be making just a few sweets this time and perhaps no savouries. Just to give you a quick recap, this year I prepared two new cakes – the no alcohol Christmas fruitcake and this one, the fig & honey cake, for those who do not wish to add any sugar to their bakes. In the next couple of days I will also post the recipe of another cake that I baked last year but the recipe of which I never got around to posting on the blog, so hopefully it will see the light of day this time.
Coming back to this simple cake, it is dense with dry fruit and is sweetened with honey and of course the natural sweetness that comes from dates and figs. You can bake this if you are very particular about not adding any additional sugar and want to keep your cake simple yet healthier. I found this recipe very long ago in the Friday magazine and I decided to adapt it. The only change I made to the recipe was to use flour and cornstarch instead of cake flour.
Can I use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour?
If you want to make it absolutely guilt free you can use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour but I am not sure if it will taste as good as it will be slightly more dense than this version. I recommend you to replace part of the all purpose flour with the whole wheat flour as you may get better results.
What kind of frosting/icing can I use?
I used a cream cheese and honey frosting because I wanted to stick to the idea of not having to use any sugar at all, but not everyone will like a cream cheese frosting, especially with honey. So if you are not averse to the idea of using sugar, you may use icing sugar or better still use your favourite buttercream icing or a white/dark/milk chocolate ganache. Do ensure that the frosting is not very sweet as the cake is not and you don’t want it to overpower the delicately sweet flavour of the cake.
I do hope you enjoy making this cake for someone who prefers to go low key with their festive eating. Won’t call it a healthy cake but it can definitely be your go to cake when you don’t want to burden your tastebuds with too many sweet things!
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This naturally sweetened cake is delicately flavoured and packed with the goodness of figs, dates & honey.
- 125 grams figs finely chopped
- 125 grams seedless dates finely chopped
- 50 grams unsalted butter
- pinch of salt
- 250 ml 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 175 ml honey
- 2 eggs whisked
- 220 grams all purpose flour
- 30 grams cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 100 grams walnuts chopped
- 200 grams cream cheese
- 2-6 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon milk if required
- 1-2 tablespoons of finely chopped figs or walnuts
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan with butter and dust flour on the base and sides. Tap out the excess flour. Keep the pan aside till required
Sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, ginger powder, cinnamon powder & salt together and keep aside.
Add 1 teaspoon flour to the chopped walnuts and roll them till coated evenly. This will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the pan.
In a saucepan, add the chopped dates, figs, butter, baking soda, water and a pinch of salt. Stir until the butter is melted and then bring the mixture to a boil. Remove from heat
Stir in the honey and the whisked eggs and mix well.
Sift in the pre-sifted flour and fold in. Add the chopped walnuts and fold them in.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or till the skewer inserted comes out clean.
Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a cooling rack for 12-15 minutes to cool. Then unmold and let it cool completely.
While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting by adding the creamcheese and the honey in a bowl. Beat well till creamy. You can add a tablespoon of warm milk if required.
Cover the cake with the prepared frosting and decorate with chopped figs or walnuts if desired. Serve immediately.