Calimyrna Fig Sour Cream Cake with Caramel Cream Sauce

Chef: Robert Del Grande

Serves: 12 people



  • 1/4 cup sweet butter

  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar

  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream

  • 1/4 Tsp salt

  • 1/4 Tsp fennel seeds

  • 12 dried California Calimyrna figs

  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon 

  • 4 ounces butter, softened

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 whole egg, separated

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 Tsp salt

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 1/4 cup buttermilk

  • 1/2 Tsp vanilla 


  • 1/4 cup Caramel Sauce from above

  • 3/4 cup cream 



  1. For Caramel Sauce, combine butter, brown sugar, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt and fennel seeds in a saucepan.

  2. Heat to a boil; remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Stir in cream until smooth. Reserve 1/4 cup of sauce. Set all aside.


  1. For Cake, remove and discard stems from figs; cut lengthwise into quarters, then slice crosswise about 1/4-inch thick to make 1-1/2 cups; set aside.

  2. Zest or grate peel from lemon, and set aside. Do not discard peeled lemon.

  3. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  4. Butter and flour twelve 1-cup ramekins or small foil cups; set aside on baking sheet.

  5. Combine butter and sugar in mixing bowl; blend with spoon or electric mixer until creamy.

  6. Beat in egg and egg yolk, separately. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl; mix well, and stir into egg mixture, a little at a time.  

  7. In same small bowl, combine sour cream, buttermilk and vanilla; blend well; stir into flour-butter mixture just until smooth. Do not over mix.

  8. Spoon 3 tablespoons batter into each prepared ramekin.

  9. Divide and sprinkle fig pieces and lemon zest, evenly, over all.

  10. Divide and spoon 1 tablespoon Caramel Sauce onto each small cake.

  11. Bake at 350°F for approximately 15 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean.

  12. Cool in molds for at least 15 minutes before turning onto wire racks to cool completely.

  13. To serve, turn cakes sauce-side up and dust with powdered sugar.

  14. Then, just before serving, combine 1/4 cup reserved Caramel Sauce with 3/4 cup cream and stir until smooth, adding a little lemon juice, if desired and serve in pitcher to pour over cakes. 

    Note: This recipe may also be baked in 9-inch round cake pan. Just line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper, butter and flour, generously. Spread batter evenly in pan and top with sliced figs and one-half of Caramel Sauce, spread evenly, on top. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes or until pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes and turn onto wire rack to cool completely. Turn onto serving plate so that figs and sauce are on top. Cut into 12 wedges and serve with Caramel Cream Sauce to pour over.