Polenta Fig Cake

Before you say ick, at least look at the picture!  It’s a dense and delicious, European style cake.  Try serving it Roasted Figs and Walnuts.

Polenta Fig Cake

Polenta Fig Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Serves 6-8


  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup cognac or brandy
  • 1/2 cup polenta*
  • 1/2 cup diced dried Calimyrna figs
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup broken pecans
  • 1 tablespoon anise or fennel seeds


  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Butter 8-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides.
  2. Beat egg yolks, sugar, and salt in large bowl.
  3. Bring milk and cognac to boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into egg yolk mixture. Return to saucepan.
  5. Whisk in polenta, and and continue whisking while heating on medium-high, until mixture thickens and begins to bubble.
  6. Fold figs, raisins, pecans, and anise seeds (milder than fennel). Pour into greased cake pan (with 2" sides).
  7. Bake about 40 minutes, or until golden brown and set in center. Cool in pan 20 minutes. Run knife around pan sides, and invert cake onto platter.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  9. *Polenta is coarse cornmeal, make sure you don't use instant polenta, or regular cornmeal.