Brown Butter Fig Upside-Down Cake

I remember turning up my fussy little nose to Fig Newtons when I was a kid. “Figs? Hmmmm,” I said as I crossed my arms and pouted like a little brat when I discovered them in my lunch box. Where was the chocolate? Where were the marshmallows? Then I tried one. I’m pretty sure that I ate an entire sleeve of those delicious fig jam-filled goodies as soon as I got home from school that day.

Flash forward a few years. Remember the whole fat-free fad? Did it make you feel like you could eat an insurmountable amount of fat-free treats without the guilt, like Snack Wells cookies and Fig Newtons? Yeah, me too. Guilty as charged. I probably ate my weight in fat-free Fig Newtons alone – they were fat free, so that meant they were good for me, right?

It’s so funny to look back on those absurd fat-free days now. We were all just sugar-craving fiends that were duped by corporate marketing schemes. Speaking of marketing, Fig Newtons’ slogan was genius – A cookie is just a cookie, but a Newton is fruit and cake. Mmmm, fruit and cake. That’s where I got my idea to make a Brown Butter Fig Upside-Down Cake. This cake tastes amazing when served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or at room temperature with coffee or tea. And although it is not fat free per se, that certainly shouldn’t stop you from indulging just a bit. Or you could always polish off an entire box of Snack Wells, if you’d like – I heard they just went through a whole marketing revamp…

Brown Butter Fig Upside-Down Cake


2 tablespoons unsalted sweet cream butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
8 fresh figs
½ cup unsalted sweet cream butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1/3 cup milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Cut out a corresponding 8-inch circle of wax paper, place it at the bottom of the cake pan, and then spray it again with cooking spray.

Remove the stems from the figs, cut each one in half, and then set aside. In a pan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Swirl pan and watch until the butter bubbles and browns. Remove from heat and whisk in brown sugar until it dissolves. Pour into the bottom of the wax paper-lined cake pan. Arrange the figs, cut side down, at the bottom of the pan.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer for about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. By hand, carefully fold in the remaining dry ingredients, and stir until well combined with a spatula.

Pour the batter over the figs and spread to an even layer. Make sure that the batter reaches the sides and down in between each fig (I lightly hit the bottom of the cake pan against the counter to help the batter sink down around the figs). Bake for 28-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake rest for an hour before inverting in onto a plate, and then remove the wax paper. Serve with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!


Gwen said...

Wow! I love this idea, sounds delish. I used to eat licorice by the pound because it was "fat free." HA!

Chrissy @ My Fare Foodie said...

Thanks, Gwen! Yeah, I treated Sugar Babies the same way :/

ewlyn said...

I just made it and it came out really good! But next time will add less sugar.