It has been all about figs in this house lately. This is the point when we are harvesting 5 to 7 figs per day so it was a no brainer when I was deciding what kind of cake to make for my husband's birthday.
The day before his birthday I made a badge of fig jam and I used some of it to make fig swiss meringue buttercream. The actual batter does not have figs since I decided to top the cake with fresh figs. I think It would have been too much. The cake came out really good and moist. This is my go-to recipe that I use over and over for a simple yellow cake. The birthday boy really liked his cake and that was the whole point (and to use up all the fig, shhh… don't tell him)
Happy birthday to you my love!
For the cake:
2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
1 cup milk, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2 Lg eggs, room temperature
Preheat the oven 350 F. Grease and flour a 9-inch round baking pans, set aside.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix the dry ingredients just to blend. Add the vegetable shortening to the dry ingredients and blend on low speed for 2 to 3 minutes. In a mixing bowl, whisk to blend the milk, vanilla and eggs. On medium speed, slowly add half of the liquid to the dry ingredients and blend well, slowly add the other half and mix until well combined. Turn the speed up and mix for 30 seconds or until batter is smooth. Bake in the prepared pan for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack completely before adding swiss buttercream.
Fig Swiss Buttercream
1/3 cup fig jam (recipe follow)
5 lg egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
3 sticks butter
Whip together the sugar and egg whites in a double boiler (I used the bowl of
my electric mixer over a pot of simmering water) Just make sure the water doesn't touch the bowl, whip until sugar dissolves. Attach the bowl to the mixer and whip the mixture to soft peaks. Add the butter a tablespoon at a time until all the butter is incorporated and fluffy. At this point, add the fig jam and mix until well combined.
For the Jam
(makes about 3 cups)
2 lb Figs, halves
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
In a large heavy-bottomed pot, combine all the ingredients. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens.
Here is my little secret, instead of using a potato masher to break down the figs, I use a hand blender, but be careful not to over blend. A food processor will work too. Fill glass jars with hot fig jam and enjoy.
To assemble the cake:
Carefully cut cake in two layers and spread one third of the swiss buttercream onto the cake and place the second layer on top. Spread the top and the sides with the remaining swiss buttercream. Place slices of fresh figs on top.