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Buttermilk-Glazed Mini Fig Cakes with Vanilla Hard Sauce


Muffin pans make the perfect baking vessels for these little fig cakes. Gussy them up by spooning a dollop or piping a silver dollar of hard sauce on top, and then garnish them with halved fresh figs, fresh herbs, or even pecan halves.

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  • Buttermilk Glaze:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fig preserves
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • Garnishes: fresh rosemary sprigs, fresh fig halves
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 . Bring sugar and next 4 ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often.
  • 2 . Immediately remove mixture from heat, and cool 10 minutes. Stir in vanilla.
  • Vanilla Hard Sauce:
  • 1 vanilla bean*
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 . Split vanilla bean lengthwise, and scrape seeds into a large bowl. Stir in powdered sugar.
  • 2 . Beat butter into sugar mixture at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended.
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract may be substituted. Omit Step 1. Stir extract into mixture after beating butter and sugar together in Step 2.


Adapted from


Step 1

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together flour and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Gradually add oil, beating at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended. Add buttermilk and vanilla, beating until blended. Fold in preserves and pecans.

2. Spoon batter into 2 lightly greased (12-cup) muffin pans, filling 20 muffin cups about three-fourths full.

3. Bake at 350° for 15 to 18 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Invert cakes onto wire racks. Cool 15 minutes.

4. Drizzle cakes with Buttermilk Glaze. Cool 10 minutes. Pipe Vanilla Hard Sauce onto warm cakes, and serve.

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