One of my most recent experiments resulted in what is now my favorite coffee cake of all time. This coffee cake uses dried figs, dates, and nuts as part of the crumble topping.
This helps keep the cake moist while baking and gives a slight nod toward the fig newtons of my childhood. I wasn’t a huge fan of fig newtons as a kid but when I got older I enjoyed them a great deal.
Having found dried figs at the store, I knew that I wanted to use them in something. With seasonal beers out right now, the idea of making a coffee cake with one seemed like a natural fit.
I’ve made this cake several times since the first experiment and it always makes me squee with happiness when I get a chance to nibble on it.
Andrea’s Fig and Date Coffee Cake
For the Batter:
- 1 1/4C Dark Winter Ale
- 1C Oats
- 2C White Whole Wheat Flour
- 2tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1tsp Baking Soda
- 1TBSP Maple Syrup
For the Topping:
- 8 Dried and Pitted Dates
- 1C Dried Figs, stems removed
- 1C Pecans, Heaping
- 2TBSP Brown Sugar, Packed
- 2tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2tsp Cinnamon
In a medium sized mixing bowl, add in dates and figs and cover with very hot water. Allow to steep for at least half an hour. Drain water from dates and figs.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a square baking dish with nonstick spray or olive oil. About a 9×8 dish is what I used.
In a food processor, combine all ingredients for the topping. Pulse until everything is broken up and a crumble forms. It will be sticky and will stick together.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients for the batter and whisk. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine wet ingredients, beer, maple syrup, and vanilla and whisk. Slowly add the liquid mix to the dry mix. Gently stir until everything is combined. Pour mixture into baking dish. Top batter with fig and date crumble. You’ll have to use your hands to crumble it and spread it around. The crumble mixture should cover the entire top of the batter.
Bake in oven for about 10 minutes. A toothpick inserted will come out clean. Don’t over bake as that will result in a dry coffee cake.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Slice and serve!
I used Rivertown’s Winter Ale for this coffee cake. It’s brewed with molasses and cinnamon. The cinnamon is very prominent in this beer and I knew that it would work well in the coffee cake. It’s also a dark colored beer which provides a nice caramel color to the coffee cake.
We had this coffee cake over the Thanksgiving holiday and I’m already dreaming about when I can have it again! That’s how much I love it!
The fig and date topping help keep the cake moist while also making it a very filling cake. This isn’t your grandma’s coffee cake. This baby is hearty!
Have fun guys, and remember, always play with your food! Enjoy!