Spiced Fig and Apple Bread

DSC_2325Sometimes, I feel utterly inspired to share an amazing dish. This bread is adapted from Martine’s original, scrumptious recipe found at Petit World Citizen.

DSC_2328A few changes based on our family’s taste preferences and the fruits and nuts we had on hand. The deletable result is a low sugar, low-fat, whole grain loaf. It may be the best bread ever to touch my lips. The pinnacle of the quick loaf ascended.


Of course, figs and I are involved in a long-term, fruitful love affair – I am partial to them. When my husband wants to make me happ(ier), he buys me one of four things: coffee, chocolate, red wine – or figs: plump, soft, earthy and sweet.

DSC_2331Martine’s original recipe calls for a parsnip, pear and fig purée. I opted to use a homemade applesauce that we had on hand. Recently, a very sweet friend, Trisha, gave me a bag of fresh apples from a family orchard. We devoured most of them immediately – and made a batch of homemade applesauce with those remaining.

DSC_2322Baking is not necessarily stringent and scientific, but fun and creative. Substitutions can be easily made using ingredients of similar molecular structure and baking purpose – such as the case of applesauce. Do use your favorite fruit purée in this recipe. Flavors of banana, pear or even persimmon would be lovely.

DSC_2311The batter looks rich and brown, much like the figs it is brimming with.

DSC_2313As the bread bakes, the house fills with aromas of vanilla and warm spices. It emerges from the oven transformed: golden, soft in texture and tall in stature.   

DSC_2319Enjoy a slice of this salubrious, toothsome bread soon. The crunchy nuts, hearty cornmeal and glacé, plump figs are mouth-watering.

Wishing you a sweet, fruitful and figgy New Year.

Warmest regards,




Spiced Fig and Apple Bread

Adapted from Martine’s recipe at Petit World Citizen. The recipe was originally adapted from the Williams-Sonoma Cookbook recipe for Pumpkin Bread.

1¼ cups white wheat flour, sifted

1/3 cup very fine white or yellow cornmeal 

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. fine salt

1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

2 large eggs, room temperature

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/3 cup canola oil

1/3 cup low-fat Greek yogurt

1/2 cup fruit purée from apples or pears (I used my homemade applesauce)

2 tsp. best quality pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup raisins 

1/2 cup Turkish figs, chopped

1/2 cup pecans, roasted and chopped

3 dried Turkish figs, sliced

canola oil cooking spray


  • Preheat the oven to 350•F.
  • Spray a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with canola oil cooking spray
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, raisins, chopped figs, nuts and spices.
  • In a standing mixer, beat the brown sugar, oil, yogurt, vanilla and fruit purée on medium-speed until combined.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time until the mixture is smooth.
  • With the mixture on low-speed, add the dry ingredients in three batches, mixing just until blended.
  • Scrape down the sides. Stir well with a spatula.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan.
  • Evenly layer the sliced figs on top of the batter.
  • Bake in the center rack of the oven for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in pan for ten minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Slice and enjoy warm with butter or ginger preserves – or at room temperature on its own.


©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, shannaward.com (2013), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.


47 thoughts on “Spiced Fig and Apple Bread

    1. Thank you, Susan. I am glad to hear that I have a Fellow Fig Lover. 🙂 They are the fruit of the gods, for sure (though dates and persimmons are a close second!). Thank you for your visit; I adore your kind words and sweet comments. My best – Shanna

      1. Don’t tell anyone I said this, but aren’t figs SO good with nice slices of good cheese and good bread and a good red wine?? It’s not easy being vegan unless you’re a big cheater…just sometimes 🙂

      2. One of my favorite meals: baguette. figs. honey. chevré. red wine (Rioja). When I die, it shall be my last meal. I often tends towards vegetarianism and veganism – but the artisan European cheeses and wild salmon always do me in. Thank you for visiting and leaving a warm note, Susan. My best to you! – Shanna (Happy New Year!)

    1. Oh, Martine, I do believe that I should be congratulation you – and complimenting your lovely recipe. Thank you so much for the pastry guidance and inspiration. I do appreciate your visit and generous comment. Have a lovely week. Best – Shanna

    1. Well, thank you, Chava Eichner, for your beautiful and generous comment about the bread. I know you are vegan – is this something that you could try? You must have many tricks for replacing eggs and yoghurt. My husband knows what I like; thank goodness the list is concise. I appreciate your visit, my dear – and a happy new year to your beautiful family across the ocean. – Shanna

  1. What beautiful photos! I love everything about this recipe and your suggestion of persimmon sounds like a perfect addition. I envision making this and them inviting neighbors over for a serving of bread and a cup of tea.

  2. This does sound good, Shanna. Love the substitutions that you made. They not only “work” but it sure beats prepping the kids for a run to the grocery for fig purée. 🙂
    I’ve just started baking bread again. A friend gave me some sourdough started that I’m playing with. I’m pinning this recipe so that I’ll be able to find it when I have a taste for something special. Thanks for sharing.
    Wishing you and your dear family nothing but the Best in the New Year.

    1. John, Thank you for your visit and genuine, thoughtful comments. I am excited to see photos of your breads soon. I did check out Pinterest and couldn’t help repinning half of your bread page. Happy baking to you – a fabulous New Year – and a fantastic 60th in January. – Shanna P.S. I avoid loading my toddlers into the car for a trip to a market at all costs. 😉

  3. Oh, this looks simply marvelous, Shanna! I have a load of dates that I’ll bet I could substitute…we’ll have to try this one! Happy Happy New Year! 🙂

    1. Linda, I think dates would be GREAT in this. I think that I even mentioned dates in the post. Great mind think alike (and love dates… maybe because they are “chocolate-y” in their savour?) Happy new year to you and yours! Best, Shanna

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and your visit, Melissa. I, too, adore figs! 🙂 I will have to check out your recipes… particularly those with our mutually beloved fruit. Best wishes for a great 2014 – Shanna

  4. Oh Shanna! You and your delicious breads drive me crazy! I say crazy because I’m always reading about them late at night while in bed and you make me hungry!!! Beautiful! Happy New Year to you and hubby and your munchkins! All the best in 2014! xoxo

    1. Thank you, Lidia, for your lovely words. I don’t mean to drive anyone crazy…. I simply make way, way, way too much bread (if there is such a thing!). We are eating orange pumpkin bread as I “speak.” 😉 I wish you and your family a healthy, happy and sweet New Year. Warm regards, Shanna xx

  5. Certainly this amazing spiced bread left me mouth-opened almost instantly! Its scent almost reaches me through the screen. What a gorgeous recipe, Shanna, great ingredients, deftly arranged.
    I hope you and your family had the happiest and sweetest New Years!

  6. Now I know the key to getting a smile from you: coffee, chocolate, red wine – or figs. I love chocolate and red wine, I have never been a fan of figs but you’ve now inspired me to start using them more as an ingredient or snack. I love the presentation and the ingredients added to this cake. It sounds delicious and is very healthy too. Thanks so much for sharing. Best…Liz

    1. Yes, indeed, Liz. And, the four foods you mention go SO well together. Coffee or red wine with a fig dipped in dark, velvety chocolate is a pairing fit for the gods. If you try dried figs, go for the plump, light brown Turkish figs. They have a delightful texture and flavor. Thank you for your sweet note! -Shanna

      1. I would go for the red wine. Thanks for the tip, Next time I’m out shopping, I’ll look for the light brown Turkish figs. I’m learning very fast. Best Liz

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