Sweet and sticky figs dripping over a moist and rich cake. Hard to believe that I would use sticky and moist to describe a vegan cake. Usually I’m raving about the virtues of butter. I still love butter. A lot.
But you see, we’ve all got some allergies going on here. Not my whole family…half of us. I need to watch what I bake for my kids. They expect a fresh baked treat from me every day; as they should! So it can’t always be sweets bursting at the seams with rich butter. It's important for me as a baking mom to practice some moderation. You also may remember I mentioned to you that my best friends/neighbors are now vegan. They expect a fresh baked sweet from me every day. I’m feeling torn between being a sweets made with butter baker and a vegan baker. I think it’s fun to experiment with the vegan recipes. Like I learned at IFBC, deprivation leads to creativity. Every recipe I've baked so far has been pretty rockin'.
Be prepared for some more vegan recipes from me. I will try to offer the full on butter/whole milk alternative for you. When I thought about it, most of my dinner recipes were vegan already.
My little brother called me the other morning and surprised me with a coffee visit. I love my little brother. He’s not really little any more. He is a dad with kids. It annoys him when I call him little. He LOVED this cake. He exclaimed, “It’s AMAZING!” I kept bugging him to tell me what he really thinks. I wondered if he could tell that butter was missing. That I didn't add any buttermilk.
I had bugged Fabrizio a few minutes before about what he really thinks about the cake. It was pretty much the same questions like, "Can you tell there isn't any butter in it?" Fabrizio told me in between bites, “E’ buona! Veramente.” Really, it’s good. I guess I’m feeling a little insecure about my vegan baking abilities.
Vegan Fig Upside Down Cake
1 1/2 pounds fresh figs, stemmed and quartered
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp Earth Balance (for non-vegan, use unsalted butter)
1 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1 Tbsp molasses
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup rice milk (or soy milk. if you want to make non-vegan, add whole milk)
1 tsp vinegar
Preheat oven to 350°.
Mix figs and sugar in a bowl and set aside. Melt the Earth Balance (or butter) in a cast iron skillet on medium heat (I used an 8 inch cast iron skillet. You could use any oven proof skillet). Add the figs and sauté for about 2-3 minutes.
Add the vinegar to the rice milk (or soy milk or whole milk). In a medium sized bowl, stir together the oil, vanilla, and brown sugar (the sugar I mixed with molasses) until combined. In another medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
Mix together the wet and dry ingredients until the batter is smooth and lump-free.
Carefully pour the batter over the figs in the skillet.
Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Run a knife along the edges of the cast iron skillet. Next, place a large plate or serving platter on top of the cast iron and, using two giant pot holders, invert quickly and carefully because the skillet weighs a ton and is burning hot. You will feel the skillet become lighter and know that it has inverted correctly. Life the cast iron and don't worry if any of the figs stuck to the pan. You could carefully remove them if they stuck to pan and reassemble.
Hope you’re having a SUPER week! I appreciate your comments and support. Any vegans out there that are enjoying these recipes?