This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
A few weeks ago I made this Almond Fig Cake Recipe as a surprise for my friend Sherrie’s birthday. It’s lightly adapted from The Farmette Cookbook, the gorgeous and inspiring work of another friend, Imen McDonnell. Imen lived in Minneapolis for several years before marrying an Irish farmer, and moving across the Atlantic to build a life with him.
She was back in town this summer, and several of us got together for an afternoon tea (as the Irish do) to celebrate her new book. As I’ve been making my through it, I’ve been just as engrossed in the colorful stories of her adventures in learning to cook the Irish way, and adjusting from big city life to farm life, as I have in the recipes.
Imen actually calls this Frangipane Cake, with a quality of “moreish”, an Irish colloquialism that means something you just can’t get enough. Which explains why I’ve been dreaming about it since she made it for us that summer afternoon.
Frangipane refers to it being made from a base of almonds, sugar, and butter which results in a cake as soft and moist as you could imagine, yet dense enough for the swipe of your fork. Almond flour has a magical touch like that.
In the cookbook, the cake is a buttery, almond forward canvas, which is how she served it to us, with a dusting of sugar. Incredibly lovely.
With figs in season, I decided to use some as a cake topper, saving the rest for Fresh Fig Jam. I finished it with a drizzle of honey, and reduced the sugar in the actual cake to account for the sweetness.
The other beauty of this cake is that it’s incredibly easy to make. No whipping egg whites, multiple pans, or fussy decorating. Perfect for last minute plans, and whatever in season fruit you have on hand. Thank you Imen, for introducing me to a dessert that will be served to many a guest in my house.
you can purchase The Farmette Cookbook here, which I highly recommend.
cake stand made by A Heirloom.
tag @heartbeetkitchen on instagram and hashtag it #heartbeetkitchen
Hey looks beautiful. …is that rosemary on the side? Just for looks i imagine?!
Yes, rosemary just for looks on the side! But i image it would be lovely to rub one of the sprigs into the sugar (remove fallen leaves when done) to infuse it with some of the rosemary oil.
If one were to use a 8″ springform pan for this cake, what changes would need to be made?
hi Angie! the bake time will be a little less, so start checking it after about 35 minutes, and the cake will not be as tall. but incredibly delicious!
Oh this cake. Everything I love in one simple beautiful round package. I cannot wait to try it!
And how bizarre, I had the most off-kilter days last week and now I think I know why! Who knew Mercury was so influential.
I’m so in love with this cake – the simplicity of the cake base to make something so beautiful with a perfect crumb! Also – I’m so glad you’re here doing the work you love because you work so insanely hard and it SHOWS and it’s SO inspiring. Love to you!! Let’s hope next week goes smoother!
I used to think that “it’s because Mercury is in retrograde” was a silly statement, but in the last couple of years I’ve started believing a lot more in that stuff, but I’ve also gained a faith in that the universe will make sure things work out all right.
I hope you’re OK – came here after stumbling upon your Pinterest and to tell you have much I admire your photography skills – your pictures are gorgeous, and all the delicious recipes have me drooling!
Emma, thank you so much for stopping by! And glad to hear I’m not crazy thinking this retrograde thing is a thing. :) Such kind words you left, really meant a lot. And your work is beautiful too! xo
I adore everything about this- the cake, the figs, and that beautiful cake stand! I can even relate to your scatteredness right now. :) Frangipane is always at the top of my dessert list and it’s so versatile with the seasons. Beautiful work, Amanda!
Those weeks where everything seems to be against you are the worst! On the upside, my friends in grad school used to have “Mercury in Retrograde cocktail parties” where we celebrated the end of the cycle ;) so there’s that! Haha but real talk this cake is absolutely gorgeous, and it sounds delicious. I definitely need to bake it ASAP.
I think this retrograde cocktail party is a fine idea….. It ends on the 22nd, hip hip!
Very much drooling over this cake! Those figs are spectacular x
aw, thanks Hannah! figs are such a treasure, hard to get here in Minnesota. so when i do, i make good use of them. :)
Looks like a delicious cake! Figs and almonds are the best together. And I am sure that this cake was demolished at the party! :D
Drooling over here. I just want a huge slice of that drizzled with plenty of honey. Imen’s book is also on my wish list. This just bumped it a little higher!
I only recently started to eat figs, now I can’t stop thinking about them! This cake looks so beautiful and delicious! I would love a slice for breakfast with some hot coffee!
Your photos are beautiful! So glad I stumbled upon your blog. :)
I am 100% a believer in Mercury wrecking havoc on you!! Stand strong Amanda…it will pass. Meanwhile…things can’t be too bad with this gorgeous cake. The almonds…the figs…and that honey drizzle…beyond. I hope you have a lovely week!! xo
it is so weird…… i just need to put one foot in front of the other. :) cake love to you!
Gluten-free does not have to be complicated and monotonous. This is so simple, but with a twist.
You are so right! It can be naturally gluten-free and delicious. Thanks for stopping by Renee.
Damn you Mercury retrograde! Also thank you. For teaching us all the life lessons. I love how simple this cake is. And how it isn’t too sweet. My kind of cake for sure. That Imen is a real gem and your version, I’m sure, did her proud. xx
Oh dear, this is breathtaking. It reminds me of the almond cakes in Spain! But topping with those beautiful figs is so perfect! Xo