Vegan Fig Upside-Down Skillet Cake

That’s a very long name for a cake.

Vegan Fig Skillet Cake | I'll Make It Myself! 2

This cake is an upside-down cake made with figs in a cast-iron skillet, and it’s vegan. Cooking in with cast iron wasn’t on my 2016 goals list, but I’m really enjoying branching out and learning new skills, like cleaning and caring for the cast-iron collection C brought with them when we moved in together. Plus, the larger size of the cast-iron skillet prevented any bubbling over that literally all my other upside-down cakes do, including a different one I baked while writing this. ><

Caramelized figs, chewy edges, and a moist crumb made this cake a hit with vegans and non-vegans alike at our Bad Movie Night screening of The Wicker Man (Nic Cage 2006 version, of course). 

Enjoy the harvest festival, readers!

Vegan Fig Skillet Cake | I'll Make It Myself! 4
Cooking the figs in Earth Balance
Vegan Fig Skillet Cake | I'll Make It Myself! 3
The fig cake on a blue platter with edible violas and a glass of mead.
Vegan Fig Skillet Cake | I'll Make It Myself! 1
We ate the cake warm, but here’s a shot of a slice after the cake cooled so you can see the texture and golden brown color of the inside.

Vegan Fig Skillet Cake | I'll Make It Myself! 2

Vegan Fig Upside-Down Skillet Cake

Adapted from “Vegan Fig Upside Down Cake” on Savoring Italy 

Serves 12-16.


12.3 oz (~350 g – about a pint box’s volume) figs, stemmed
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar

1 TBSP (15 mL) apple cider vinegar
1 cup minus 1 TBSP soy milk (225 mL)

1/3 cup (80 mL) olive oil
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
1 cup (200g) light brown sugar

2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (6 g) salt
1 tsp (3.5 g) baking powder
1 tsp (4.5 g) baking soda

3 TBSP (1.5 oz./43 g) Earth Balance or vegan butter substitute


1 liquid measuring cup
1 9-inch (23 cm) cast-iron skillet
Heat-proof serving dish/platter
2 big oven mitts
2 medium bowls
1 large bowl
Silicon spatula


1.Preheat the oven to 350° F/ 175° C.

2. Figs, part 1: Leaving the peel on, slice the figs into rounds about ½ cm (¼ inch) thick. In one of the bowls, gently toss with granulated sugar and set aside.

3.Vegan buttermilk: Pour 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar to the liquid measuring cup; add soy milk in to fill to the 1 cup mark. Stir and set aside.

4. Batter:

a. Add the oil, brown sugar, and vanilla to the large bowl and stir to combine.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

b. Add the buttermilk and flour to the bowl with the oil-and-sugar mixture and stir until combined and free of lumps

5. Figs, part 2: In the skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the figs, trying to cover the bottom of the pan evenly (layering is fine). Sauté for 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat.

6. Carefully pour the cake batter over the figs in the skillet and gently smooth with a silicon spatula. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

7. When the cake is done, run a knife along the edge of the skillet. Carefully set the heat-proof plate on top of the skillet, and using the large potholders, quickly invert the cake while it is still hot. If any figs remain in the pan, gently remove them using a metal spatula and arrange them on the cake.

8. Serve warm or cooled.


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