Thursday 10 December 2015

Cold oven Fig and almond tea cake

Winters are here and it is by far my most favourite season because it is the season to bake and indulge in all sinful good things. Baking in the holiday season is such a delight and is soul therapy. The fresh produce in the markets has pushed my lazy self to whip up some bakes and enjoy them.
On a recent trip to our fruit vendor, my husband Vishal spotted fresh figs. He was quick to point them out to me but I refused saying that they will be expensive. But Vishal knowing how much I love to bake with fresh fruits urged me to buy and use them. The box of figs sat in my fridge for two days before the thought of them getting spoilt made me push myself to start baking. 
A quick browse on the net led me to this cold oven tea cake recipe. I have heard of the cold oven baking method but had never tried it. Cold oven baking method is more popular with the pound cake recipe where putting your cake in a cold oven and then adjusting the temperature is believed to help make the cake dense and achieve a more crisp crust on the top. The cake is basically baked at low temperature for a long time in a cold oven which has not been preheated. 
As weird as the method sounds, it worked wonders for my experiment. My cake was, most arguably, the best one I have ever baked. The cake does not rise much which gives it a compact dense texture and the crust on top is to die for. I cooked my fresh figs with some sugar and brandy and used them in the cake along with roasted and chopped almonds. The fresh figs on top added to the figilicious experience. Pairing the slice of cake with our evening tea was just the right thing for this weather.  

Recipe source : Hungry rabbit. I have reduced the recipe to 1/4th and adapted it to yield a 6X3" cake loaf.

Ingredients :
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour + 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1/4 cup + 2tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk (I used Dabur Homemade tetrapack) 
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • a drop of almond extract(optional)
  • 3 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1 egg
  • 8-10 almonds, dry roasted on a pan and chopped
Fig filling
  • 2 fresh figs, chopped
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp brandy or water

Procedure : 

Fig filing:
Put chopped figs and sugar in a saucepan and add brandy or water. Let it simmer on medium heat till the consistency becomes thick and the figs gets squashed. Cool.

Cold oven tea cake : 
Grease and line 6X3 loaf pan.
In a bowl, combine all pupose flour, cornflour, salt and baking powder.
In a small bowl, mix coconut milk with vanilla and almond extract.
Take butter and sugar in a big bowl and beat till it becomes light and fluffy.
Add egg and beat.
Now add the flour mixture in 3 additions alternating with the coconut milk mixture. 
Add the roasted and chopped almonds to the mixture and drop in little chunks of the fig filling. 
Lightly fold the mixture and pour batter to the prepared baking tin. 
Put the tin in the cold oven and adjust oven temperature to 170 degree Celsius for 30 minutes. Do not open the oven door in between.
Garnish with some powdered sugar, fresh fig slices and chopped almonds. 


  • You may use dried figs instead of the fresh figs I have used for the filling. Just chop dried figs and use them in the batter.
  • Instead of coconut milk, you may use normal milk

Sending this recipe to Kolkata Food Bloggers ongoing event Baking Palooza 2015. Check out the page for some more exciting holiday bakes. 

Happy tea cake enjoying


  1. Hello Amrita, You are so true festive baing is really a soul therapy. We don't get figs here and I have never baked with fresh figs. I really loved your dense cake. The texture looks great. And fresh figs cooked in brandy sounds great! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    1. Thank you Namita. I simply love to experiment with seasonal fresh produce.

    2. Thank you Namita. I simply love to experiment with seasonal fresh produce.



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