Cornmeal Cake w/ Fig & Cardamom

Cornmeal Cake with Fig and Cardamom

Super moist, fruity cornmeal cake, drizzled with cardamom and lemon syrup. Super easy to whip up but super impressive and grown-up to serve!


For the Cornmeal Cake
  • 1.5 t psyllium husks/1.5T flax seeds
  • 6 t water/6T water
  • 3 or 4 fresh figs
  • 125ml soy milk
  • ½ T lemon juice
  • 1 t vanilla bean paste
  • 125 ml vegetable oil
  • 160g caster sugar
  • 125g plain white flour
  • 50g cornmeal
  • 1 t baking powder
  • ½ t baking soda
  • ½ t fine sea salt
For the Cardamom Syrup
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 125ml water
  • 130g granulated sugar
  • Zest of half a lemon


To Make the Cornmeal Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c and line a 21cm round cake tin with baking parchment.
  2. Measure the psyllium husks or flax seeds into a spice grinder, high-speed blender, or mortar and pestle. Grind/blend until the husks/seeds are roughly ground. Transfer the ground seeds to a small bowl and add the water. Whisk well and leave to hydrate.
  3. Slice each fig into 3 or 4 discs (depending on the size of the fig). Set aside.
  4. In the cup of a high-speed blender, place the soy milk, lemon juice, vanilla, vegetable oil, caster sugar, and thickened psyllium husks/flax seeds. Blend on high speed until the mixture is completely smooth.
  5. In a separate medium bowl, place the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Add the blended wet ingredients to the dry and mix together. Don’t overmix the batter.
  7. Pour the batter into the cake tin and smooth out with a spatula. Lay the sliced figs on top of the batter and push down gently. Place in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, rotating halfway through. Check the cake is done by inserting a bamboo skewer into the centre of the cake. It should come out dry.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool on a wire cooling rack for ten minutes. Do not remove the sides and base of the tin just yet.

To Make the Cardamom Syrup

  1. Remove the seeds from 8 cardamom pods and crush gently with a mortar and pestle. Don’t crush to a powder, just roughly crack the seeds.
  2. Place the ground cardamom, sugar, water, and lemon zest into a small saucepan and place over medium/low heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring a little at first until the sugar is dissolved, then stop stirring.
  3. Allow simmering until the volume has reduced by about half then remove from the heat. While the syrup is still hot, use a pastry brush to carefully coat the top of the sponge with a layer of syrup. The syrup should soak into the sponge, particularly around the edges of the figs.
  4. Allow the syrup to cool for ten minutes then repeat the process. The cooler syrup should be slightly thicker and won’t soak in as much
  5. Slice the cake into 8 slices and serve with a little extra syrup brushed on top.


This delicious, simple fig cornmeal cake can be whipped up in just four steps. Here’s how!

Puree Wet Ingredients

To get a super even crumb it’s essential to puree the wet ingredients before adding them to the dry. Measure everything directly into the cup of a high-speed blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Don’t forget to add your thickened psyllium husks.

Mix the Dry Ingredients

In a separate bowl, mix together your dry ingredients. This recipe calls for cornmeal which is also known as cornflour (in the states) and polenta flour (in the UK). It’s a different ingredient altogether from corn starch, so don’t confuse the two. Cornmeal is lightly gritty and helps the cake to stay deliciously moist once baked. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients.

Bake the Cornmeal Cake

Transfer the batter to a prepared cake tin (I use a round 21cm springform tin) and top with some sliced figs. Push the figs down lightly to encourage the cake to puff up around them. Bake for around 40 mins or until golden brown on top and a skewer to the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Make the Syrup

The syrup helps the cornmeal cake to taste even more magical thanks to cardamom pods and also helps it to stay deliciously moist. Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Allow the mixture to reduce by about half and then brush over the cake while still hot. I like to add the syrup in two additions – one while the syrup is hot and runny, another once the syrup has cooled and thickened. This leaves the cake looking glossy and gorgeous.


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