Sticky Fig Pudding Cake This self-saucing fig cake creates a brown sugar-molasses pudding in the bottom of the cake as it bakes!

Sticky Fig Pudding Cake

Just Add water! Sticky Fig Pudding Cake creates its own brown sugar-molasses flavored sauce in the bottom of the dish as it bakes just by pouring hot water over the batter. This self-saucing cake is made with dried California Mission figs.

This post was created in partnership with California Figs. Opinions, photos, and text are my own.

It will remind you of sticky toffee pudding without having to take the time to make a separate sauce-that’s the shortcut! It’s self-saucing!

Mission fig cake with sauce in bottom of baking dish

No mixer needed and less than 10 minutes prep!

Where did you get the idea for this recipe?

I borrowed the method of “pudding in the bottom” from a simple chocolate pudding cake recipe I grew up making. It uses pantry ingredients, super quick to make, and it’s inexpensive.

For Sticky Fig Pudding Cake, I used dark brown sugar (which has molasses in it) and stirred in one of my favorite fall baking (and snacking) ingredients, dried figs from California.

Where can I get more fig recipes?

It’s no secret that I love figs. I have quite a few here on the blog but most of them use fresh figs. Check out a list of them just above the Sticky Fig Pudding Cake recipe. Or, you can search the word FIG on the home page under Find A Recipe.

If you are a fig lover like me and want even more fig recipes using fresh AND dried figs, you’re in luck! My friends at California Figs have put together a collection of over 60 of their favorite fig recipes. They’ve named it California Figs, A Collection of Recipes for Fig Lovers. Just click the link and scroll down to order your copy.

cookbook California Figs with plate of half eaten cake

From stunning appetizers to healthy main dishes to indulgent desserts, they have it! I can’t wait to try the California Fig Cinnamon Breakfast Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting!

How does boiling water create a sauce in the bottom?

For the chocolate pudding cake method, you mix a simple batter together stirring in chocolate chips, sprinkle the top with cocoa and sugar, then pour the hot water over it. While it is in the oven, the batter pushes up through the hot water forming the “cake” on top. The hot water sinks to the bottom, mixing with the flour in the batter, creating a chocolate sauce or “pudding” in the bottom of the dish.

It’s kitchen magic! Well, food science at least, right?

I chose to combine the brown sugar and the boiling water to save a step (shortcut) of sprinkling the sugar on top of the batter, but that would also work just fine if you forget to combine them before heating up the water.

Why use figs in this recipe?

Taste. Texture. Time. Color. Yumminess!

  • Taste. Figs are sweet, but not too sweet when they are fresh and the flavor intensifies when they are dried. They have a robust flavor unlike any other dried fruit.
  • Texture. It’s the tiny little seeds I love to crunch. They are simply fun to eat! Plus, I love that figs soften slightly but not fall apart completely in Sticky Fig Pudding Cake.
  • Time. Dried figs do not have a pit that has to be removed.
  • Color. You absolutely can use golden  figs but I chose to use California Figs’ signature dried black Mission figs because I wanted the fruit to stand out in the cake and contrast the warm tones of the brown sugar cake and amber colored sauce.
  • Yumminess! Enough said.

Where can I get dried figs?

Several varieties of dried figs are available year-round at most major grocery stores in the dried fruit or produce section.

Did you know California dried Mission figs are signature to only California. Lucky for us, they ship them all over so we can enjoy them where ever we live!

How to make Sticky Fig Pudding Cake

Here are the ingredients you will need.

Ingredients to make a fig cake. flour, brown sugar, butter, baking powder, dried black figs, vanilla, milk water

Measure out your ingredients first. The brown sugar and butter are used in two different places in the recipe.

To save a bowl, lightly beat the egg right in the measuring cup of milk.

Firmly pack the brown sugar and use a whisk to combine the baking powder and salt to the flour. You want to make sure it is evenly distributed. If you’ve ever tasted a baked good where their was a “pellet” of baking powder not stirred in well, you know what I’m talking about.

mission fig cake batter in baking dish

Spread the thick batter in the bottom of an 11×7 or 9×9-inch baking dish or 6-cup casserole coated with cooking spray or buttered.

Mission fig cake with hot water and brown sugar on top

Combine 1 1/2 cups water, 11/2 cups dark brown sugar, and butter (if you haven’t already melted it in the first step in a medium-size microwave safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes. Or, you can heat the water from a kettle or saucepan. I save a step by microwaving it all together.

Pour the hot water mixture over the batter. DO NOT STIR.

Mission fig cake with sauce in bottom of baking dish

Bake the cake in the center rack of the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or just until the center is set and the sauce on the bottom starts to bubble up around the edges.


Mission fig cake with sauce scooped onto a white plate with ice cream

Do you see those little nuggets of black Mission figs with their tiny seeds nestled in that molasses-flavored sauce and peaking out underneath the brown sugar cake dotted with more figs?

Serve this simple and easy pudding cake warm and topped with a dollop of ice cream or whipped cream during the holidays or any day of the week!

You will have your friends and family singing, “Oh, bring us some Sticky Fig Pudding Cake, Oh bring us some Sticky Fig Pudding Cake….and bring it right HERE!

Be sure to follow me on FacebookInstagramPinterest and Twitter and don’t leave before you send me your email address here so you don’t miss a single post on my Southern shortcut recipes!

More fig recipes you will love:

Slow Cooker Fig Jam

Fig Jam Cake

Maple Buttercream Frosted-Fig Jam Cake

Fig and Lemon Preserves

Sticky Fig Pudding Cake
Prep Time
9 mins
Cook Time
30 mins

Seriously, this easy fig cake, made with dried California Mission figs, creates its own sticky brown sugar sauce in the bottom as it bakes! It will remind you of sticky toffee pudding but you don't have to make a separate sauce-that's the shortcut!

No mixer needed and less than 10 minutes prep!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: California Figs, dried fig recipes, dried figs, fig cake, fig pudding, figgy pudding, figs, pudding cake, self saucing, sticky toffee pudding
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Kathleen Royal Phillips
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar divided later
  • 1/2 cup milk whole is best but any milk will do
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 tablespoons salted or unsalted butter, melted divided later
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped dried Mission California figs about 7 ounces
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. In a medium-size bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and 1/2 cup of the 2 cups brown sugar.

  3. In a microwave-safe measuring cup, measure the milk. To save a bowl, just lightly beat the egg right in the measuring cup with a fork. Add vanilla.

  4. Add the milk mixture and 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of the melted butter to the flour mixture. Stir it with a spoon just until smooth. Quickly stir in the chopped California figs. Do not over mix.

  5. Spoon the batter into an 11x7 baking dish (or 6-cup casserole or 9x9 baking dish) lightly coated with cooking spray or buttered.

  6. Measure the water in a 2 cup microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl and add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar. To boil the water, microwave it on HIGH for 2 minutes 30 seconds. You can also boil the water in a kettle or saucepan and pour it over the brown sugar.

    If you've already melted the 4 tablespoons remaining butter, just stir it into the hot water/sugar mixture.

  7. I know this sounds crazy, but this is where the "self-saucing" happens! Carefully pour the hot water mixture over the batter in the dish. DO NOT STIR. Carefully place the dish on the center rack in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes or just until the center is set and the sauce starts to bubble around the edges.

    Serve warm with the sauce in the bottom. The sauce thickens as it cools. If it cools to room temperature the cake absorbs the sauce and becomes like a Fig Jam Cake! Bonus!

    You can also gild the lily and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Recipe Notes

You can also melt the first 2 tablespoons butter by itself in a tiny bowl in the microwave 25 seconds to add to the batter. Then, slice the remaining 4 tablespoons and add them to the water when you microwave it to boil the water. The butter will melt as the water heats up.


Author: gritsandgouda

Hi! I’m Kathleen. I’m a food stylist, recipe developer, cookbook author, and event planner loving life in a charming town called Gardendale, Alabama, with my husband and two teenage children. I love to cook and laugh…not necessarily in that order.

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