This Caramel Fig Vanilla Layer Cake has gorgeous layers of vegan buttercream, date caramel, and fluffy cake. Plus, it’s topped with fresh figs!
It’s nearly that time of year again. Yes, my birthday is just around the corner! Or the weekend, rather. Either way, I post up a fun recipe for you all, each year, and this one is no different. In the past I’ve shared Apple Pie Cupcakes, Mac and Cheese Nachos, my signature Buffalo Chickpea Mac and Cheese, a Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, and a Coconutty Carrot Cake.
This year, I’ve got a cute, lil’ caramel fig vanilla layer cake! Let’s start with the caramel, it’s not one of the traditional variety; instead it’s a mixture of dates, coconut milk, and salt. So, you get a sweet, fatty, but slightly salty flavor, that’s delicious but a little healthier. This date-caramel is used as filling in the layers and to top the cake!
Next, we have the vanilla cake that’s moist (yeah, I said it), fluffy, and has the most pleasant aroma. These cake layers are made with the help of Ripple Foods’ Unsweetened Vanilla Milk, which makes it easier to control the sweetness. I’ve reviewed this newer product of their’s before, and LOVE it! When you add apple cider vinegar to it, it makes the richest vegan buttermilk, which I used here.
To dress up the outside, I made a basic vegan buttercream with a vegetable shortening/powdered sugar base! I find that shortening stands up best to room temperature and piping. Sometimes, vegan butter is just too soft, or too salty. Lastly, this cake is adorned with fresh figs for a nice pop of color and flavor.
Truly, I used to bake SO often, and usually just for fun or friend’s birthdays. Now, it happens a decent amount, but not the pretty piped frosting-type-things that are special. Hence, my semi-poor piping skills. But, that’s just rustic or something, right? 😉 And while I piped “little flowers” around the cake, you can do whatever you want! Maybe use that frosting to put more on the cake walls, then drip the caramel over the top? Play with it! (not before a party, though, I’ve made that mistake)
This caramel fig vanilla layer cake recipe also converts into a 12-cupcake recipe! If you do this, I would make them like the Apple Pie cupcakes mentioned earlier; and follow that frosting recipe since it’s a little smaller. To be honest, I may make some cupcakes to go with this cake, for my birthday gathering!
To find Ripple’s plant-based milks near you, use their store locator. I find them at my local Target, Sprout’s, and Whole Foods!
Caramel Fig Vanilla Layer Cake
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup organic sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup Ripple Foods Unsweetened Vanilla Milk
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce or pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1/3 cup pitted dates soaked in warm water if they're tough
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon Ripple Foods Unsweetened Vanilla Milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 black mission figs sliced in half, lengthwise
- For the cake: Preheat oven to 350F, lightly oil two 6-inch cake pans, and dust with flour.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk Ripple milk, olive oil, apple sauce, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract together, until combined.
- Pour wet mixture into the dry and whisk until smooth. Divide batter between two cake pans. Bake cake for 26-28 minutes, or until a poked toothpick draws clean. Place on cooling rack until they reach room temperature. In the meantime, prepare caramel and frosting.
- For the caramel: Place all ingredients in high-speed blender and puree until completely smooth. This may take a couple of tries. Transfer mixture to small sauce pan and simmer over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and chill in refrigerator until ready to assemble.
- For the vanilla buttercream: In a stand mixer, or in a large mixing bowl, beat shortening until fluffy, then slowly add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time while mixing at high speed. Once sugar is incorporated, add Ripple milk and vanilla, beat until fluffy and smooth.
- To assemble: trim rounded tops of cake layers off, and place one cake on a pan or plate, as the base. Spread a thing layer of buttercream over the top, and build a 1/4-inch tall "wall" around the outer inch of the cake. This creates a pool for the caramel.
- Pour 1/4 cup date caramel into frosting cavity, then spread 1/4-inch of frosting over the trimmed side of the other cake and gently place it on top. Cover the sides and top of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Take out of fridge and smooth sides with a metal cutter/scraper. Here you can either pipe the rest of the buttercream in a decorative manner (as I did) or smooth it out over the entire cake. Make sure to build another border around the top edge, and top with another 1/4-1/2 cup of date caramel.
- Lastly, top with fig halves and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 6 to 8 slices depending on serving size.
Judging from the response of my preview, I’ll be making more cakes during the holidays, for y’all! <3
This post is in partnership with Ripple Foods, all words and opinions are my own. Posts like these help me to keep this blog, and more recipes coming your way!