Vegan Fig and Almond Cake

Vegan Fig and Almond Cake

This Vegan Fig and Almond Cake is like a Fig Newton in cake form with the added temptation of almond streusel topping! You can use dairy if you are not vegan but it is so good you won’t even know that the dairy is missing!

The Home Bakers Collective is a group of some of my favorite people. Each month, one of us creates a theme for a challenge and we all submit our own take on the theme.

The challenge for July was set by Marissa – @restingbakeface on Instagram. The theme was ‘Bake Your State’.

It could be the state you came from, the state you currently live in, or the state that consider home, even if you are not currently living there.

I LOVE this challenge!!

I have lived in several states around the country and they all have great food!

I struggled a little when trying to choose which one I would use for this challenge.

I eventually decided to bake CALIFORNIA!

I was born in San Diego and will always consider it home. I have fond memories of the plethora of fresh fruits and vegetables that are available year-round.

My first thought was to make something with avocado – my fav!! But there are so many amazing recipes out there with avocado in them already!

California is the nation’s top agricultural state. According to National Agriculture in the Classroom:

• California produces more than 400 crops. Of those, the following are commercially produced only in California: almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, kiwifruit, olives, persimmons, pistachios, pomegranates, prunes, raisins, and walnuts.
• California grows more than half of the nation’s fruits, vegetables, and nuts from just three percent of the nation’s farmland.

So this info gave me tons of ingredients to choose from to make a California-inspired bake!

Vegan Fig and Almond Cake with almond crumble topping

Vegan Fig and Almond Cake

I am not vegan but I have recently made a change to a more whole-food, plant-based diet.

The benefits of this type of diet are enormous, both to me and to the environment. It makes so much sense to me and, honestly, I don’t miss animal products most of the time.

I was a vegetarian in high school (way before it was mainstream) and people thought it was strange that I didn’t eat meat daily.

I only started to eat meat again when I joined the military and went to boot camp. There were no vegan options and most of the food available was highly processed and meat-based so I had no choice.

Baking is definitely different if you want to stick to a vegan diet. I have been navigating the proper ingredients and appropriate substitutions. Learning the reactions and how to get the proper texture can be difficult.

But this cake…this cake came together beautifully.

I intentionally made this Vegan Fig and Almond Cake small. Sometimes a small tea cake is just what you need!

The texture of this cake is soft with just the right crumb. It is not too sweet and would go great with a cup of coffee or tea!

Vegan Fig and Almond Cake with almond crumble topping

Substitutions in this Fig and Almond Cake

When working on the recipe for this cake, I wanted to make it vegan. It was important for me to test the way that vegan ingredients would behave in a cake.

But I ended up making this cake a couple of times with a variety of ingredients and it worked every time.

Here are some of the variations that I tested:

  • I have used regular greek yogurt, vegan sour cream and vegan yogurt interchangeably with no changes to texture or flavor.
  • I have swapped the granulated sugar for coconut sugar successfully.
  • I have used agave, maple syrup and honey interchangeably. The maple syrup does change the flavor slightly but it is a pleasant flavor that accents the figs beautifully.
  • Because I live in the midwest, I was unable to get fresh figs. This is a HUGE problem for me because I love fresh figs!! But I was forced to use dried figs in this cake and I hydrated them with hot water prior to baking. This cake would work well with fresh figs as well.

Vegan, Vegetarian or Carnism is up to you

I firmly believe that everyone should decide on a diet that is right for them. Fitting into a box perfectly based on a set of rules is not necessary.

You should decide what is right for you!

There should be no judgment or pressure to be the ‘perfect vegan’ or to give up foods completely and forever.

If you are vegan but choose to eat ethically produced honey, go for it.

If you give up meat but then have a burger once in a while, that is totally up to you.

No one can tell you what is right for you or should shame you for not fitting into the perfect box!

This recipe will work just fine with dairy and honey or with vegan alternatives. Make it the way that you choose and enjoy it!

Vegan Fig and Almond Cake with almond streusel topping

Do you bake vegan recipes?

Have you ever tried a vegan or vegetarian diet? Have you baked with vegan ingredients? Let me know in the comments!

Vegan Fig and Almond Cake

Recipe by Tanya Ott


Prep time


Cooking time




  • For the Crumble
  • 60 grams (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 25 grams (2 Tablespoons) granulated sugar

  • 23 grams (2 Tablespoons) brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 5 Tablespoons vegan butter, melted

  • 75 grams (1/2 cup) slivered almonds

  • For the Cake
  • 230 grams (1 7/8 cups) all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 5 Tablespoons almond flour

  • 65 grams (1/3 cup) granulated sugar

  • 200 mL (3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons) vegan sour cream or vegan yogurt

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons agave, maple syrup or honey, if not vegan**

  • 100 mL (scant 1/2 cup) coconut oil

  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract

  • 3 to 4 Tablespoons almond milk

  • 8 to 12 whole figs, halved, fresh or dehydrated dried***


  • Make the crumble
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugars, cinnamon, and almonds until combined. Add the melted butter and stir with a fork until a crumble forms. Then stir in the walnuts. Set aside until needed.
  • Make the Cake
  • Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Grease an 8″ cake tin or spring-form pan.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a medium bowl.
  • Add the almond meal and sugar to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the honey, yogurt, coconut oil, and almond extract.
  • Pour over the dry ingredients and gently mix. Be careful not to overmix.
  • Press the figs into the top of the cake in an even pattern around the top. I make two concentric circles.
  • Sprinkle the crumble on top of the figs and cake, evenly distributing to cover the cake.
  • Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before turning it out on a cooling rack.


  • **Using maple syrup will give the cake a maple flavor. It blends well with the figs but it is something to be aware of! The honey and agave will not drastically change the flavor of this cake and either can be used to achieve the same results.
  • ***If using fresh figs, just slice them in half and place with the cut side up in the cake batter. If using dried figs, place the figs in a bowl and cover with hot water for 5 to 10 minutes to rehydrate. Drain out the water, cut the figs in half, and place the cut side up in the cake batter.


  1. Edit comment: your first hydrate says “dehydrate”.

  2. Is there a reason that this cake wouldn’t work as GF? I make my own GF flour blend, but it doesn’t contain xanthum gum. I’m not sure if I need it here, or perhaps subbing out all almond flour for the APF. Thoughts?

    • Hi there! I think that it would would fine but I don’t have any experience making my own GF flour. It would depend on the types of flours that you put in the blend. Rice flour, oat flour, etc behave differently so it may take some experimentation. I normally use King Arthur 1 to 1 GF flour if I need a GF cake. Is there a reason that you don’t use zanthum gum? I’ve read mixed reviews on it but I have seen that chia seeds can replace it in some instances.

      I have made this recipe with all almond flour and it tasted great but was a bit heavy for me.

      Please let me know if you try it! I’m interested to know how it turns out!

      Happy baking!

  3. You had me at fig newton- looks beautiful and delicious

  4. Tanya Ott

    Thanks, Sally! I’m actually thinking about adding a vegan-specific section to the blog or maybe even a separate site. I have tons of recipes that I love that just happen to be vegan or vegetarian but I wasn’t sure how popular they would be.
    This cake would be a great base if you want to switch up the flavors!

  5. Tanya I love that you picked a vegan cake, as you know, I’ve been interested more for the challenging aspect of it, and you joined two challenges in one then…. 😉 The crumb seems perfect, which is a problem I have very often with vegan cakes.

    gorgeous cake, stylish and very “you”

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