Aug 6, 2012

Fig and Apricot Coffee Cake

I finally slept almost ten hours last Saturday. I had been going to bed after midnight, somewhere between 1 and 2 am, and waking up no more than five hours later. It went on for almost a week. You'd think that a couple of sleep deprived days would be enough, but they kept on happening. The thing is that I can sleep late if I want, but my brain and body weren't very collaborative. Until this weekend when out of the blue I finally had my beauty sleep. Being sleep deprived for no reason makes me cranky and gives me headaches. Well, even if I do have a reason the results are still the same.

Anyway, I made this wonderful coffee cake yesterday, after I woke up all perky and rested. Studded with figs, apricots and a wonderful streusel inside. Is there a good coffee cake that doesn't include sour cream? It's like the necessary ingredient, the one that makes it dense, moist and incredibly rich. 

I have a favorite coffee cake recipe, one that I found in a book by Maida Heatter, that my friend Susan over at A Cake Bakes in Brooklyn posted a while ago. So instead of posting about it again I'm linking it, and giving you another great recipe, this time with figs and a slightly different streusel mixture. So now you have two coffee cakes in one post. Lucky you. 

I like that the crumbly sugar mixture goes inside the cake, all of it. There's no final sprinkling on top. The layers inside tend to blur while the cake bakes and when you slice it it's like a roller coaster. There are no defined layers. I like that, you get a different variation in each slice, maybe a lot of apricots and figs and maybe more of the streusel.

It bakes into a slightly tall cake, with what appears to be a leathery and shiny top. It's really unassuming in aspect and fantastic in flavor. Perfect with coffee. But then, I guess there's a reason why it’s called coffee cake. Fig and apricot coffee cake.

barely adapted from Kathleen´s Bakeshop Cookbook, by Kathleen King

This batter is dense and has dried fruit and streusel that weighs it down. So be sure it's fully baked before taking it out of the oven. To easily spread the batter use the following trick: dip the back of a spoon in cold water and spread the cake batter with it. Use the wet spoon as many times as you need.

Makes 8 to 10 servings


For the streusel mixture:
1 cup (200g) firmly packed light brown sugar
4 Tbs (60g) butter, softened
¼ cup (35g) all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the coffee cake:
1 cup dried apricots
1 cup dried figs
3 cups (420g) all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (170g) butter, softened
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
Confectioners' sugar, for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 350ºF / 180ºC
Grease and flour, or grease and line the bottom with parchment paper, of a 10-inch (24cm) tube pan.

For the streusel mixture
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix with a fork or hands until crumbly; set aside. Chop apricots and figs and set aside.

For the coffee cake:
In a large bowl sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
With a stand mixer or an electric handheld mixer, beat butter until fluffy. Gradually add sugar and beat well. Add eggs one at a time and beat for 3 minutes after the last one. Add vanilla. Mixture might look curdled.
Add flour mixture in three additions alternating with sour cream in two additions. Fold in apricots and figs.
Spoon 1/3 of mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle half of streusel mixture over. Spoon 1/3 of batter on top of streusel, then the rest of streusel and finally the rest 1/3 of batter.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a cake inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove pan to wire rack. Let cool for 20 minutes, invert onto wire rack and let cool completely.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.


  1. Oh my goodness, this coffee cake looks divine! I haven't baked with figs or apricots for a while, so I think I'll give this cake a go.

    By the way, what do you use as a substitute for sour cream? I usually use Casancrem with a squeeze of lemon juice, but I'm curious to know what you've come up with.

    1. The original Mendicrim, the one with the red label, is the real sour cream. It´s been around for ages. Casancrem or Mendicrim Suave are the non-sour option, more like a soft cream cheese. It´s so nice to have found your blog!

    2. I tried Mendicrim once, and I didn't find much difference between it and Casancrem. Maybe I picked up the suave though. I'll try it again based on your suggestion. Thanks.

      And yes, I'm happy that we've connected! All of your recipes look amazing. I'm a real sucker for baked goods. :)

  2. SOunds delicious! I've never tried coffee cake with figs and apricots but seems like a great addition!

  3. Paula, very nice Coffee Cake, I adore figs in my cakes and this cake of yours looks like it would be just the right cake for me to bake in fall. Fantastic, again, Paula!

  4. This coffee cake looks delicious my friend, I love the flavours in it :D
    Go figs!

    Choc Chip Uru

  5. Paula, Figs are such a wonderful addition to any cake or pastry…your cake looks fabulous! I love the way they swirl through the cake! I would love a slice with my tea right now! Lovely!!

  6. OH! Love figs, Paula. Love this recipe and I am printing it out so I don't forget to try it. I may sub dried plums for the apricots and make this weekend:)

  7. I'm a coffee cake fiend! This looks out of the world, Paula!

  8. This looks really good. I have figs in my fridge that are waiting to be made into jam but I'm going to try this soon.

  9. I made this cake today, and it was just lovely! The combination of figs, apricots and cinnamon tasted heavenly--the perfect cake for fall (nevermind that we're almost ready to welcome spring! lol).


Your comments make my day! Thanks for taking the time to leave a note.