Fig cake

Skillet fig cake topped with whipped cream
A fig cupcake
A fig cupcake

Fig cake (Greek: sikopita) is a cake prepared with fig as a primary ingredient.[1] Some preparation variations exist. It is a part of the cuisine of the Southern United States, Greek cuisine, and the Appalachian Mountains region of North America. It is also a part of the cuisine of Ocracoke, North Carolina, which has an annual fig festival.


Fig cake is prepared with fig as a main ingredient. Additional ingredients include typical cake ingredients, along with unique ingredients such as pecans, walnuts, pistachios, almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.[1][2][3][4] The stalk of the fig plant may be used as an ingredient in fig cake, which may be broken-down using a food processor.[5] Fig cake may be a moist cake, and may be topped with a fig-based sauce, honey, whipped cream or a glaze.[3][6][7] A buttermilk glaze is used atop some fig cakes.[7][8] Figs may be used to garnish the cake.[3] Fig cake may be prepared as a pudding cake,[9] a bundt cake, a layer cake and as a torte cake. It can be prepared as a gluten-free dish.[10] Fig cake may be baked in a skillet. Fig tarts may be prepared using fig as a primary ingredient.[11]

In cuisines

Fig cake is a part of the cuisine of the Southern United States and a part of Greek cuisine, in which it is referred to as sikopita. Fig preserves is sometimes used in the preparation of fig cakes and sikopita.[2]

By region

Appalachian Mountains

Fig cake and similar cakes have traditionally been served in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern North America as a part of Old Christmas celebrations.[12] In this region, Old Christmas is celebrated through January 6 each year.[12] January 6th is the date of the arrival of the biblical Wise Men to Bethlehem.[12] Fig cake, along with similar cakes such as jam cake, prune cake and applesauce cake, are common in this region during the Christmas and holiday season.[12]


In Ocracoke, North Carolina, figs and fig cake are a prominent part of the town's cuisine, and the town has an annual fig festival that includes a fig cake contest.[2] In Ocracoke, the cake was first prepared by Margaret Garrish sometime in the 1950s or 1960s, and the recipe was picked up by others in the town.[2] Fig cake is served at several restaurants in Ocracoke.[2]

See also


  1. 1 2 Chiffolo, A.F.; Hesse, R.W. (2006). Cooking with the Bible: Biblical Food, Feasts, and Lore. Greenwood Press. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-313-33410-8.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Weigl, Andrea (September 1, 2015). "Learning to make a better fig cake". The News & Observer. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 Yen, Donna (June 25, 2015). "Cake of the Day: Honey Fig Cake With Pistachios". Yahoo!. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  4. Tanis, David (August 16, 2013). "Fig and Almond Cake". The New York Times. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  5. Bell, Annie (November 3, 2013). "Recipe: No-cook Spanish fig cake for cheese". Daily Mail. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  6. Greenspan, D. (2013). Baking: From My Home to Yours. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. pp. 198–199. ISBN 978-0-547-34806-3.
  7. 1 2 Slowe, Betty (September 30, 2015). "Betty Slowe: Orient Express Fig Cake". The Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  8. Yeager, Andrea (July 22, 2015). "Cook's Exchange – It's a fine year for figs". Bradenton Herald. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  9. Benton, G.A. (December 24, 2015). "Peppered with style: Wonderful Salt & Pine could be even better". Columbus Alive. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  10. Hart, Susan (September 3, 2014). "Susan Hart: Gluten-free chocolate fig cake". The Nevada Appeal. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  11. Janovich, Adriana (December 15, 2015). "Fig frangipane tart makes a holiday statement". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  12. 1 2 3 4 Lundy, Ronni (December 22, 2015). "Celebrate Old Christmas with a taste of mountain nostalgia". Asheville Citizen-Times. Retrieved January 2, 2016.

Further reading

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