Figgy Upside Down Honey Cake

Figgy Upside Down Honey Cake for Rosh Hashanah - gluten and dairy-free

Honey cake is usually on the menu for Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) which is right around the corner. This honey cake is anything but the same-old same.  

Meet the figgy upside down honey cake with a swig of Rum. Though we have three versions coming up, this one is a favorite because everyone really enjoyed the caramelized figgy topping. Fresh figs are what makes this cake special.

Though the ingredient list looks a bit long, the cake is easy to prepare. Read the recipe a couple of times to become familiar with the list of ingredients and instructions. It’s still the usual suspects: the wet ingredients, the dry ingredients plus some spice, and a swig of Rum because no Jewish holiday is complete without a little imbibing.

There are a few key things to keep in mind. First, don’t disturb the layering for the Figgy Mixture once placed, otherwise the (eventual) top of the cake will not look as pretty as it could. Second, don’t over bake the cake because it can dry out the crumb. If you use a 9-inch pan or larger, be sure to account for the cake being more shallow and start checking to see if it is done a few minutes sooner than indicated in the recipe which uses an 8-inch pan.

Also, brush with the honey/juice topping while the cake is warm, with a gentle touch so the figs are not disturbed. The warm honey will not only coat the figs and make them look festive and shiny, but it will also soak into the cake helping make the crumb even tastier.

Although using weights to make the Canteen baked goods is always preferred, just in case you’re using cups, here’s a helpful hint. Measure the oil into a cup and then use the same cup for the honey. The honey will slip right out and not a drop will be wasted.

Stay tuned for honey cakes two and three coming up shortly. If you want more holiday goodies, check out the index under Jewish Holidays for more Rosh Hashanah recipes.

Figgy Upside Down Honey Cake for Rosh Hashanah - gluten and dairy-free

Figgy Upside Down Honey Cake
Figgy Mixture
  • 10-12 fresh figs sliced into rings
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 20 grams honey (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon Canteen flour blend
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 120 grams neutral vegetable oil (1/2 cup)
  • 240 grams good quality honey (3/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 120 grams egg (2 extra-large)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 295 grams Canteen flour blend (2 ¼ cups) (see notes)
  • 50 grams brown sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground clove
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate or cherry juice
Figgy Mixture
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray an 8-inch deep (2.5 to 3-inches) cake pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Place a dense, single layer of sliced figs on the bottom of the pan on top of the nonstick spray. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the figs. Drizzle honey evenly over the figs and brown sugar. Sprinkle flour over that layer. Top with freshly ground nutmeg.
  1. In a small bowl whisk together oil, honey,coffee, rum, vanilla, orange zest and eggs until well combined. In a small cup stir baking soda with warm water and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and clove until blended and no lumps remain. Whisk honey mixture again and stir into flour mixture until combined and smooth. Expect the batter to be on the thick side. Add baking soda mixture and fold quickly until the liquid is mixed into the batter. The batter will loosen up and be less thick. Immediately turn into prepared pan gently pouring batter over the fig layer and place in the oven.
  3. Keep the oven door open on the first click for 12 minutes while the cake starts to bake. At the end of the time the cake should be rising. Gently close the door and continue baking for 25 minutes more. Check cake and if the center is still very wiggly, bake 5 minutes more or until the center registers 190 degrees on an instant read thermometer or a tooth pick in the center comes out without crumbs. Loosen cake edge. Using pot holders, immediately invert cake onto a serving plate. Place any figs that were stuck in the pan back on the cake while it is hot.
  1. Stir honey and juice together. Heat for 15-20 seconds in a microwave or just until warm. Brush over the top of the cake (gently). Repeat, if desired. Cool. Serve barely warm or at room temperature.
See About Flour on right sidebar for Canteen blend



  1. I can never go past a good slice of honey cake.. this upside down fig version looks delicious, I must try the recipe!

  2. I like the way you have the figs arranged, so pretty.


  1. […] this year, I do believe this one might be the most fun. It isn’t terribly fancy like the upside down figgy honey cake, or current-event-popular like the grain-free version, but it certainly is a solid little cake to […]

  2. […] Figgy Upside Down Honey Cake is a new recipe this season. It features fresh figs teamed with honey and spice which gives the traditional honey cake a nice change and big flavor. […]