Chocolate Chip Fig Cake with Saffron

This Chocolate Chip Fig Cake is the autumnal version of my Simple Summer Cake. (So I guess that makes this a Simple Fall Cake?) A moist and not-too-sweet yogurt cake with hints of almond and saffron studded with ripe fresh figs and tons of chocolate chips.

 It's beautiful. It's elegant. It's fancy-tasting, but super easy. The saffron makes it extra sexy, but you can skip it if you don't love saffron.

(If you're on the fence about it, try it. Trust me!)

Though I am very into this cake, I admit that I have a love-hate thing with Fall. I hate saying goodbye to summer. I hate it SO MUCH!

I love summer. I love feeling the sun and heat all over my skin. I love being able to run outside in just a dress and shoes and nothing else. I love bare legs and beach days and pool days and eating as many meals al fresco as possible. I don't even mind the humidity, because it makes my skin feel lush and I've recently embraced the wildness of my summer curls so I'm not trying to fight it.

But feeling wistful and wishing for things I can't have or change is a waste of each gift of a day, and so I'm choosing to focus on the things about Fall that I love just as much.

Like: the bounty at the farmer's markets with crisp apples and squash and corn and pears and all of those good things. Crisp mornings and stepping on crunchy leaves when I take Hudson out for his afternoon walk. Apple picking! And (most of all!) that feeling of excitement about new beginnings. It's that residual sharpened pencils back-to-school kind of feeling of starting fresh, which is particularly welcome after this summer of extreme relaxation and travel.

So much to do! So much to accomplish!

Food makes the transition easier for me.

Cakes like this especially help ease that summer into fall transition. It's the sort of thing that's lovely with a glass of port outside on a slightly cool afternoon, or with a mug of tea earlier in the day. Afternoon snacks and dinner parties with friends. Not a lot of ways to go wrong with this one.

Looking for more Fall dessert ideas? I recommend this Chocolate Pear Custard Tart or this Peach and Plum Almond Cake. Syrup-Soaked Semolina Cake is wonderful all year, too.

Chocolate Chip Fig Cake with Saffron
Makes one 9-inch cake

1 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup fresh figs, cut in half
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Maldon salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9” springform pan and line bottom with parchment paper. Whisk together yogurt, eggs, olive oil, vanilla, almond, and sugar until smooth. In a small cup or bowl, combine cream and saffron and microwave for 20 seconds or until cream is hot. Whisk and let steep for 2 minutes, before pouring into the batter.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir just until combined.

Pour into prepared cake pan, and top with figs (cut side up) and chocolate chips. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until golden on top and sides and tester comes out clean.

Let cool in pan 15 minutes, before removing sides and transferring to a rack to fully cool.

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