Southern Living
Active Time
28 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 8 Mins
Yield
6 to 8 servings

There’s nothing like serving a party-ready cake baked completely in a cast iron skillet to signal the start of a Southern celebration. Inverted at the very end to reveal beautifully baked fig and walnut topping, this elegant dessert is actually easier than it looks. In under 30 minutes of hands-on time, you’ll be ready to slide your skillet into the oven and bake away.

For a something a little extra special, add port into the whipped cream served alongside this showstopper. Port is a blend of a still wine, typically red, and brandy. Ruby port gets its name from the distinct ruby color created from the mix of grapes used to make this variety. Port is an exceptional addition to the whipped cream and pairs beautifully with the cake, but of course it is optional.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat; sprinkle brown sugar over butter. Remove from heat. Arrange figs, cut sides down, over sugar mixture; sprinkle with walnuts.

Step 2

Beat 3 egg yolks at high speed with an electric mixer until thick and pale; gradually add 1 cup granulated sugar, beating well. Stir together flour and next 4 ingredients; add to egg mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in vanilla.

Step 3

Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form; fold egg whites into batter. Pour batter over figs in skillet.

Step 4

Bake at 350°F for 38 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in skillet on a wire rack 10 minutes; invert cake onto a serving platter, scraping any syrup from bottom of skillet onto cake.

Step 5

Beat whipping cream and port, if desired, until soft peaks form. Serve cake warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.