Almond Cake with Fig Jam and Coconut Butter Frosting is my new favorite flavor combination. Slightly sweet almond cake (gluten free) is layered with rich and honey-like fig jam, then tied together with a warming, Spring-like coconut butter frosting. The flavors marry together perfectly, creating a sophisticated yet casual dessert, perfect for a birthday or a Tuesday night.
Anytime I make a layer cake, my happiness meter shoots WAY up. How could it not? I always feel like I’ve tackled an amazing feat, solved a tremendous puzzle. True satisfaction.
I’ll admit, it’s actually a stress-reliever for me too. It gets easier and easier the more I do it and I find myself more organized during the process.
This cake is a true beauty. The cake has that slightly sweet and fragrant almond flavor, from true almond flour and from almond extract. Then I used my favorite fig butter in between the layers (try to use a fruit butter, because it has more fruit than sugar, which makes it ultra rich and thick, perfect for a filling! I find mine at Trader Joe’s.). I could seriously eat that stuff with a spoon. Then the frosting, which I made from coconut butter that I made myself, but you can buy some from the store.
My frosting is quite yellow, no? That’s my fault. I decided to use a coconut/palm shortening (do they call it margarine too? I hate that word. Lets not call it that.) that was bright yellow (made by Nutiva, in a white container), even though I’ve previously purchased a white version. If I had purchased the white one (I think Earth Balance makes the white one, which comes in a blue container) my frosting would be a snowy white. Lesson learned. I decided to go with the flow and just work with it. Who am I??
I shared the cake with my parents, who came to visit us this weekend. I love pulling out a beautiful layer cake when we have guests, because I feel like I get brownie points as soon as I do. Mental stars. Whatever keeps you going, right?
I hope you make this cake! It’s truly lovely and so delicious. If you make the cake layers a day in advance then place it in the fridge, and make sure you have all of the ingredients on hand (if you’re making coconut butter, blend unsweetened coconut flakes until they make butter, then keep in a tightly fitting jar), putting it together will happen in a snap!
- ¾ cup brown rice flour
- ¼ cup almond meal
- 2 Tbs. tapioca starch
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup coconut oil, soft (but not melted)
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. almond extract
- Fig jam (I use Trader Joe’s Fig Butter)
- ¾ cup coconut butter (I used homemade)
- ¼ cup coconut palm shortening*
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 6” cake pans with nonstick spray (I use a coconut oil spray) and line the bottoms with parchment.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together (with a stand mixer or electric hand mixer) the coconut oil and coconut sugar until soft and creamy. Next, add the eggs, one at a time, beating until well incorporated. Finally add the milk and extracts, letting them mix together (turn down your mixer speed so you don’t slosh everywhere).
- Turn off your mixer. Add all of the dry ingredients. Turn your mixer on slowly and let it mix until your cake batter comes together.
- Divide your batter evenly between your cake pans. TIP: I pour all of my batter into a large glass measuring cup. I take note of what half of the batter would be, then pour half into each pan.
- Bake your cakes for 20-22 minutes, until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool on a wire rack before removing them from the cake pans. Then let them cool completely. Wrap each in plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for a day before frosting and assembling.
- You want your coconut butter and coconut shortening to be at room temperature.
- In your mixer, mix the two butters on medium until well whipped together. Then, add your powdered sugar with your mixer on low and let that completely incorporate into the frosting. Use immediately.
- Place the bottom layer on your cake stand (or a plate). Spread a thin layer of the Coconut butter frosting on top (I made mine as thin as possible so I could save most of my frosting for the outside of the cake). Then, spread a thick layer of fig jam on top.
- Use an offset spatula to spread an even, thin (but not as thin as the interior layer) layer of frosting on the top of the second layer (we haven’t stacked them yet, but I like to frost the top of the top layer before stacking, because it’s much easier). Then stack that top layer on top of the bottom layer.
- Use the rest of your frosting to carefully frost the sides of your cake. This may take patience and manipulating, because the frosting is quite thick, but the cake is sturdy and shouldn’t crumble if a slight amount of pressure is put on it.
- If you need help and you feel like your frosting just doesn’t look even, try dipping your spatula into a cup of hot water, then wipe off any excess water. The heated spatula will help things spread.
- Top with extra coconut if you wish. Slice and serve!
- *My frosting turned out quite yellow because my shortening was yellow. This was frustrating. I know that there are white shortenings out there, so if you can get your hands on that, your frosting will be white. Either way, it tastes amazing!!
- Note: You can prepare the whole cake, then wrap in plastic wrap and foil, then place in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to serve it! You can make your cake up to 2 weeks in advance, or save it for another special time (a Tuesday, or whathaveyou). Just give it plenty of time to defrost before slicing and serving.