Nut and Fig Loaf Cake

For the last installment of my collaboration with Cotton & Flax, we put together a sweet holiday / housewarming gift basket. A simple wooden basket (that can be purchased up online or at a local craft store) is lined with a black chambray plus tea towel, then filled with Blue Bottle Coffee beans, a set of green confetti wool coasters, and a homemade nut and fig loaf cake.

The loaf cake goes nicely with jam and a cup of tea or coffee. It also keeps well wrapped or placed in a sealed container for up to a week.

(SQIRL jam and a jar of Savour This Kitchen's spice blend also make a nice addition to the basket)

Nut and Fig Loaf Cake
Author: Sara Tso / Matchbox Kitchen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-4
  • 125 g (about 6) dried figs
  • 75 g nuts and seeds (I used pumpkin, walnut, sunflower, and sesame)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50 g brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 112 g (about 3/4 cup) flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • hot water, with 1/4 cup reserved
  1. Place dried figs in a bowl and pour just enough water to cover. Let stand until softened, at least 15 minutes.
  2. Grease and line with parchment a medium loaf pan, about 7" x 3.5". Preheat oven to 325° F.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
  4. Toast nuts and seeds in a skillet over medium heat, being sure not to burn them. If you're using larger nuts such as walnuts and almonds, let them cool then chop into smaller pieces. Pour into a large bowl and set aside.
  5. Drain the figs, reserving 1/4 cup water. Chop figs into bite sized pieces, about 1/4 - 1/2 inch cubes. Add to large bowl with nuts.
  6. Pour reserved 1/4 cup water into a small saucepan and add brown sugar and salt. Heat over medium-high heat until sugar has dissolved. Pour over nut and fig mixture and stir together with a spatula or wooden spoon.
  7. Mix in beaten egg and vanilla, then add flour mixture. Stir until just combined and there is no more traces of dry flour. The batter will be very thick, but add up to 1 tbsp water if the mixture will not come together. Scoop batter into prepared pan and smooth out the top. Bake for about 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pan.