Because shuffling the contents of one cart eventually meant shuffling the contents of five cupboards, I ended up elbow deep (and a bit snarly) in my baking cupboard around nine o'clock. Why had I bought dried figs again? How many packages of raisins does a person need? And lets not talk about the bags of white chocolate chips! And the confectionery sugar! Oh, the confectionery sugar!! Clearly, I needed to Bake Something.
And I did! A dense cinnamon-y fall bundt full of figs, raisins, and pecans. It is more a quick bread than a cake, but you bake it in a bundt pan and "bundt cake" sounds right ... whereas "bundt bread" sounds decidedly odd. My recipe is based on "Healthy Fig Bread" from Nordicware's Bundt Entertaining, but I feel I've made it even more healthy (and delicious) with the use of buttermilk and white whole wheat.
My only complaint is that I can clearly see beige-y flakes of oatmeal among the darker cake and I don't like the aesthetic at all. Otherwise, it's a very tasty cake and a little piece, with a nice cup of tea, goes a long way. I love how the cake is absolutely studded with fruit -- none of that sunk-to-the-bottom nonsense I've had with some cakes and I think some of that success might be due to combining the fruit and nuts with the wet ingredients before adding the dry as this leaves the fruit kind-of suspended. Or maybe I'm just rationalizing baking magic?
Figgy Bundt Cake
Serves 12-24 depending on appetite
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
½ cup chopped figs [Sun-Maid California Mission]
½ cup raisins [Nuts.com raisin medley]
½ cup chopped pecans
2 cups white whole wheat flour [King Arthur Flour]
½ cup old-fashioned (rolled) oats
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon [Penzeys Cinnamon blend]
½ tsp baking soda
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 10-cup bundt pan. (The cake won't rise much so you're probably okay with an 8-cup pan, too).
In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
In another bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, and butter. Add figs, raisins, and pecans.
Add flour ("dry") mixture to the egg ("wet") mixture, stirring until dry ingredients are just combined. Spoon into pan.
Bake at 350°F for 30-45 minutes or until a cake tester jabbed into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on rack. Remove cake from pan and cool completely on rack.
As with many quick breads, this is better the next day.
I chopped the figs by removing their stems, slicing them lengthwise, and then crosswise into small pieces. They were very sticky and squishy and yum ... I may have eaten as many figs while preparing the batter as went into the finished cake. Whoops.
This coming Sunday, I'll bake up a bunch of white chocolate and pecan oatmeal cookies for work and that will use up one of the partial bags of morsels. I have only three or four recipes I make with any regularity that use white chocolate and even then they don't use that much ... so I really have no idea why I ended up with so many bags. Oh, I know! Poor organization skills!