Homemade Fig Newtons

Sticking with the theme of the week, I made some Fig Newtons. I’m sure they’re still loaded with sugar and all sorts of crap, but by not being coated in a layer of chocolate, they always seemed like the healthy alternative. I was kind of a weird kid and actually loved Fig Newtons growing up.

The dough for these cookies is very good. When they first come out of the oven, they’re a bit crispy, but the next day they’re nice and soft. I felt that my cookies were a bit doughy and I would have liked the figgy filling to shine a bit more. If I made these again, I’d make less dough for the same amount of filling. I’ve those thoughts in the recipe below. If anyone makes these, let me know what you think of the ratio.

When I was buying the figs, I asked the employee at Trader Joe’s what the difference between the black and green ones was (I didn’t even know there were different colors of figs until then!). He told me the black ones were sweeter. I had no idea which would be better for this recipe, so I used 1 lb of green and 1 lb of black figs. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand.

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Fig Newtons

Yield: ~40

Ingredients:

For the Dough
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon or orange zest
1 large egg white
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the Filling
2 lbs fresh figs
1/4 cup sugar
Juice of half a lemon

Directions:

Make the dough
Cream together the butter, sugar and zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, for 2-3 minutes on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl and paddle.

Add the egg white and vanilla and beat in. Scrape down the bowl and paddle again.

Add the flour and beat on low speed until the dough comes together.

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Make the filling
Cut the figs in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp with a spoon. In a medium sauce pan, combine figs, sugar, and lemon juice. Mash mixture a few times with a potato masher or fork.

Cook mixture over medium-high heat until bubbling and sugar has dissolved; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, until it has reduced by about one-third and is beginning to gel. Set aside until completely cool.

Assemble the Fig Newtons
Place racks in middle and lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

On a floured surface, roll the dough out to a 12 x 16 rectangle. Cut into 4 equal strips, each 12 x 4 inches. Spoon a line of filling down the center of each strip. Fold the dough over the filling and pinch the edges together. Using a serrated knife, slice each log on the diagonal into 10 cookies. Place each cookie on the parchment-lined baking sheets, seam side down.

Bake, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through, for 12-15 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack.

Dough Recipe from The Boastful Baker
Filling Recipe from Big City, Little Kitchen

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34 Responses to “Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake”

  1. #
    1
    oneordinaryday — April 26, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Raspberries are my very favorite food on the planet and this looks absolutely divine. Thanks for sharing this!

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    Carrie — April 26, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Its my husband birthday on Fri I might try to talk him into having this cake for it.

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    Cara — April 26, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    awesome work, Jen! It sounds delicious and looks gorgeous. I’m totally jealous of your border-piping skills too.

  4. #
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    Ammie — April 26, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Beautiful cake! This is very similar to our wedding cake, I may just have to try it!

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    annies-eats.com — April 26, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    It looks beautiful and sounds delicious. I’ll have to try this one!

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    KB — April 26, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    This looks absolutely terrific! Great job on the assembly and decoration!

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    hannah! — April 26, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    really beautiful cake! and raspberries are one of my favorite fruits ever! i love the little sacs together with the crunchy seeds. hee.

  8. #
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    Sherry G — April 26, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Holy beautiful! this cake is quite elegant and delicious looking! I love raspberries with cake.

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    roxan @ kitchen meditation — April 26, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Jen this cake is so so beautiful! It reminds me of the triple berry cake from Sweet Lady Jane here in LA. If an opportunity every arises for me to make a layer cake (I have the same problem – it’s hard to find people to help finish it!) I will definitely try this one.

    You did a beautiful job with the piping. Gorgeous.

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    Memória — April 26, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    We should be best friends hahaha. We have the same go-to white cake recipe, and we both made layered cakes this weekend! Your cake is BEAUTIFUL! You have every right to brag. You did an excellent job on the piping and decorating. It looks professional!

    I added lemon extract to my strawberry frosting on my strawberry cake (which came from Bridget’s recipe), and I could taste hints of lemon. I think the extract and some lemon zest would work well.

    I must make this cake!! I am 100% certain that I would like it because we have similar tastes.

    Now I need to look at your overdose cake to compare it to my overload cake.

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    living_insanity — April 26, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Lemon and raspberries sounds like a perfect flavor combo. Your cake looks beautiful!

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    KRISTINA CIPOLLA PHOTOGRAPHY — April 26, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    OH wow, I started drooling as soon as I saw the pic. SO pretty and looks delish! Will def. have to try this one… 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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    We Are Not Martha — April 26, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    This is so, so pretty! And obviously looks delicious too. Raspberries are one of my favorite parts of spring!

    Sues

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    Brisbane Baker — April 27, 2010 at 12:56 am

    I don’t think you’re bragging! I would be proud of a beautiful cake like this one.

    Looks delicous!

    http://www.brisbanebaker.blogspot.com

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    Josie — April 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    beautiful!! Great decorating job!

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    bcallegra — April 28, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    This cake looks awesome and my mouth is watering looking at the picture right now.

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    ashley — April 28, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    beautiful cake!

  18. #
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    Katie — April 29, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    This cake is SO, SOOO beautiful! I love it!!!

  19. #
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    Allie — May 3, 2010 at 2:27 am

    Looks beautiful, I love layer cakes!

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    vertigoxcured — May 3, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    you say something about videos from youtube? can you share the the links?

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    Jen — May 6, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    vertigoxcured – I updated the post with links to the youtube videos. Sorry about that.

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    Smithie7482 — May 9, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    I made this for Mother’s Day and it was a huge hit! Thanks for sharing. I added the juice of the zested lemon and an extra cup of confectioners’ sugar to the buttercream and managed to get a nice lemony tang.

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    Karin — June 16, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    I cant believe this is your first frosting coated cake. So beautifully done. And also note…that 4 layers with fruit filling without cake sliding all over the place is not a normal for first timers in that department. Kudos… you got the cake decorating skills Ma’am.

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    nod — March 22, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    am making this cake right now, and i must ask about the proportions of flour to liquid. it seems off. i made the recipe exactly as written and it was a pool of liquid. i had a similar recipe for a white cake which called for 2-3/4 flour and only 4 egg whites + 1 whole egg ( similar), so i added another 1/2 cup flour and it was still liquidy. it took 30 mins. to bake, not 23-25. will see how it turns out. the only good part is rubbing the grated lemon zest with the sugar, although i could not taste much lemon in the batter. by the looks of the layers, i would recommend 8″ pans as the layers are quite thin. all in all a big disappointment. glad i planned ahead and will make a different recipe.

    • beantownbaker — March 25th, 2013 @ 1:27 pm

      Sorry to hear this recipe didn’t work out for you. This batter was very thin going in to the oven.

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    rach — April 22, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Does this cake keep well? i just made three 6″ cakes, which I’ll freeze in preparation for making a little layer cake on Sunday (a top-tier wedding cake replacement for our one year anniversary, after Hurricane Sandy ruined the real one.) But I also made two dozen cupcakes with the batter. I’m planning to bring one dozen to a dinner party tomorrow and the next dozen to a party on Wednesday. Any tips for the cupcakes? Should I freeze them, or just leave them out til I’m ready to frost? Would appreciate any suggestions! Thanks.

    • beantownbaker — April 23rd, 2013 @ 7:48 am

      I haven’t made this cake into cupcakes before. But in general, cupcakes are fine for a couple days. If it’s more than 2-3 days, I’d go ahead and freeze them, then frost them the day before you want to serve them.

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    Zea — June 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Would it be advantageous to whip the egg whites first, and fold them into the batter at the end? It might help with the thin batter issue, and I have some recipes for white cake that call for whites whipped into soft peaks. I am making this cake for a baby shower this weekend, so I will let you know how this technique works, unless the author has an opinion against.

    • beantownbaker — June 10th, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

      I have made this cake, or a variation of the cake, multiple times as it is written without any issues. I know some cake recipes do have the cake whites whipped and folded in at the end. If you try it, please let me know how it goes.

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    どづでむ — July 10, 2013 at 7:28 am

    If you could email me with a few pointers on how you made your blog site look this cool, I would be thankful!

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    Darlene — September 27, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Going to endeavor to make this for my husband’s birthday next weekend. I haven’t made a cake in ages, but I like challenges!!! Hopefully it will go well as his parents are coming into town for his birthday (yikes!) I hope it has a nice lemon flavor because he loves lemon. Wish me luck!!!

    • beantownbaker — September 27th, 2013 @ 3:54 pm

      I hope he enjoys it. The cake definitely has a lemon flavor. If you wanted to go super lemony, you could use lemon curd instead of raspberry curd for the filling!

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    Carol — September 22, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Cake looks beautiful. However, each cake was an only an inch thick so was confused how to possibly cut it in half to make four layers. So after everything was cleaned up, I had to make a second round of this. The puree was tasty and plenty of it. The Frosting was delicious and plenty also. The cake itself tasted good with hint of lemon, but did not rise much at all and it had a very rubbery texture and very dense. I agree the batter was thin when I poured in pans, but it was not fluffy and light by any means after it was baked. I appreciated making it, but not a fav for me.

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    Lauren — September 22, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    I know this is an old post, but I had to comment after making it for the first time yesterday. This is a lovely cake! The only downside, for me, was that the lemon flavor was lighter than I thought it would be. I ended up topping it with some toasted almonds and fresh raspberries, and serving it with homemade coconut ice cream.

    *Note: My layers came out quite thin. They were both only a little over an inch thick, and the batter itself was a slightly thick/fluffy consistency. That being said, I was able to torte them without difficulty and the finished cake came out to a little over 3 inches.

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