Fig and Date Pudding Cake with Caramel Cognac Sauce

fig and date pudding cake with cognac caramel sauced drizzled over top on victorian white plate

This dessert was my attempt at reinventing the traditional holiday dessert and I assure you that this is worthy of any celebratory table. Moist, and flavorful, this fig and date pudding cake with caramel cognac sauce is allergy friendly while still honoring the key ingredients. Disclaimer: this recipe as written contains egg, coconut and wheat. Please see allergy modifications below.

Jump to Recipe

I developed this recipe by happenstance. On a quick trip to Whole Foods, I picked up a few random ingredients: dates, dried figs, allergy safe chocolate, coconut milk. I had a vision of a ‘healthy’ dessert honoring fall ingredients… I just needed the time to develop something (I had been thinking of a chocolate muffin with dates and figs. Maybe I’ll still try that out). The next day I received a copy of the incomparable Eric Ripert’s Vegetable Simple cookbook… in a moment of true serendipity, the first page that I turned to was for a toffee date pudding. This recipe was inspired by Monsieur Ripert’s, modified to both be allergy friendly and safe for my family, but also to better compliment and honor the fall flavors, as I had originally envisioned. I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

Moist fig and date pudding with caramel cognac sauce
Moist, delicious pudding cake with subtle cognac and citrus to compliment the figs and dates.

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Yield: 6 servings

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Fig and Date Pudding Cake with Caramel Cognac Sauce Ingredients

For the pudding:

  • 8 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1-1/4 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup chopped dried figs
  • 2-1/2 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips, like Pascha
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

For the Caramel Cognac Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup cognac
  • 1 cup coconut milk (shake can before opening)
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • pinch ground clove (optional)

Special Equipment

Fig and Date Pudding Cake with Caramel Cognac Sauce Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. In a small saucepan, combine dates and figs and just cover with water. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Transfer to a large blender to puree (if using a small blender you may experience too much pressure and have an explosion!).
  3. In a bowl, combine fruit puree, vegan butter and chocolate. Stir to combine to melt the chocolate. Add the egg and sugar, stir to combine.
  4. Whisk together dry ingredients (flour-nutmeg) in a separate bowl. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir just until combined (don’t over stir).
  5. Grease the ramekins with spray oil or additional vegan butter. It’s important to spray the sides and bottom so that the puddings can slide out to serve. Place filled ramekins on a cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes. They will look slightly underdone in the middle, but be cooked through on the edges.
  6. Prepare the sauce. In a medium sauce pan combine sugar and vegan butter. Cook, stirring regularly until it has formed a paste and is a dark brown color. Remove from heat and slowly add the cognac, stirring to combine. Stir in the coconut cream, vanilla and orange zest (and clove, if using), returning to heat. Bring mixture to boil and cook until reduced by half (about 7 minutes). Watch carefully to ensure that the sauce doesn’t boil over.
  7. To serve, place serving plate on top of ramekin and invert to release the pudding on to the plate. If you didn’t grease the ramekin well, you may have to scrape the sides with a knife. Drizzle the sauce over the top and serve. Reserve additional sauce on the side for those who prefer a more decadent dessert.

Allergy Modifications

  • Coconut (tree nut): replace coconut sugar with light brown sugar. If no dairy allergy, replace the coconut milk with cream
  • Eggs: the purpose of eggs is to thicken and provide structure to the pudding. This recipe will likely work with egg replacer such as Bob’s Red Mill, aquafaba or even adding a couple tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with water to make a slurry. I haven’t tried it yet, but will be back with an update soon
  • Wheat/ Gluten: omit the flour for gluten free flour of choice. I would recommend an oat flour for this recipe.

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