Fig Rosemary Upside Down Cake

This upside down cake is loaded with jammy fresh figs baked into a almond flour and polenta batter. The polenta and almond flour mix gives the cake a delightful grainy texture while the tender, slowly baked figs in a honey caramel sauce gives the cake its sweet flavour and moist texture.  

Fig Rosemary Upside Down Cake

My favourite thing about upside down cakes is that top layer of caramelized fruit. That really makes an upside down cake. What I love about this particular one is the texture of the cake against that jammy fruit. When you add polenta (fine cornmeal) to a cake, you will notice a course, grainy texture that provides a satisfying chew. That and the almond flour adds a golden colour and crumbly consistency to this cake. There is a little all purpose flour in this to help soak up the juices from the fruit and also to give the cake a little more stability.  If you want this cake completely gluten free feel free to substitute the all purpose flour with a gluten free 1-1 flour. I love to use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour . It’s a great baking flour - a staple pantry item - along with their Bob’s Red Mill Almond flour. It’s a great addition to baked goods this cake included. Bobʼs Red Mill has all the products you need for all your baking needs while catering to those in your family who have specific food allergies.

It’s flavoured beautifully with a hint of citrus - either orange or lemon would work well.  It’s optional but recommended. The rosemary is also optional but it adds an unexpected savoury element. Added to the cake batter it adds a slight woody note that works nicely to balance the sweetness of the honey and figs.

Fig Rosemary Upside Down Cake

The figs are encased in a buttery brown sugar crust, while the savory rosemary and tangy citrus balance the cake’s sweetness. The cake is delicious and moist from the fruit with a gritty texture in the best kind of way thanks to the polenta. Have it as it is or enjoy with a dollop of whip cream or crème fraîche. If you don’t have figs this cake is also delicious made with stone fruit.  Peaches, apricots, nectarines - any of them would work and they would all work with the citrus and rosemary infusion as well.  It’s a wonderful one to make with all the end of summer fruit abundant right now. Enjoy.!

I have partnered up with Bob’s Red Mill to bring you this fabulous recipe, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Olive & Mango.


Servings: 8-10
Prep Time: 20 mins
Bake Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


For the figs

  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 10 fresh figs, stems removed, cut in half
  • 4 tbsp of butter
  • A squeeze of lemon or orange juice

For the cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Almond flour
  • 1 cup polenta, or grainy corn meal
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary (optional)
  • 1 tsp lemon or orange zest (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter a deep 9-inch cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and butter the parchment.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Stir in the brown sugar, lemon juice and honey until smooth. Pour the sauce into the prepared cake pan. Arrange the figs, cut sides down, over the sauce. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile whisk flour, almond flour, polenta, salt, baking powder and rosemary in a medium bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or bowl with mixer, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 8-10 minutes. Scrape the bowl and add eggs one at a time, stirring until well combined, after each addition. Then mix in the vanilla and the zest if using.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and stir on low until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Spoon the batter on top and in-between the fruit. Smooth over the top. Bake for 1 hr 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the cake is firm to the touch. And tooth pick comes out clean
  5. Set the cake on a rack and cool completely. When the cake is cool, run a dull knife or spatula around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Put a large plate over the top and invert the pan. Peel off the parchment paper. Slice and enjoy.
  6. Leftovers can be wrapped and kept at room temperature for up to 3 days. Best to keep refrigerated if kitchen is humid though.

Recipe Notes

  • Feel free to reduce the amount of sugar by ⅓ if you would like it to be a little less sweet.

Adapted from Food52

Fig Rosemary Upside Down Cake