Turkish Yogurt Cake with Figs

Turkish Yoghurt Cake with Figs - Valeria Necchio

The first figs have just started to appear on the market stands, and I just can’t resist their call.

As a child, the only figs we ate were those growing in Grandma’s garden – small and pastel-green, with a bright red, sweet and jammy flesh. I remember them being ripe and ready in early September. She had so many that it was impossible to keep up, so we came up with all kinds of recipes  to use them up. I liked them with yoghurt and honey, or simply oven-roasted, then topped with chopped almonds and a scoop of vanilla bean ice-cream. I loved fig jam, and fig jam crostata even more.

I have been living far from Grandma’s garden for a while now, but my passion for figs hasn’t faded a bit. I bought a good bagful at the market the other day, and after eating almost all of them as simple as they come, I had to get creative with those left behind, which were becoming a little too soft. I found this lovely cake recipe and it was perfect for what I had in mind and in my fridge. The cake turned out as light and airy as a soufflé, and perfuming of orange blossom water. We all loved it; it felt just perfect for these last days of summer.

Turkish Yogurt Cake with Figs

4 large eggs, separated
100 g (1/2 cup) cane sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, sifted
350 ml (1 1/2 cups) full-fat Greek yoghurt
Grated zest + juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons orange blossom water
Butter, for greasing the pan
  4-6 fresh figs, halved
Icing sugar, for dusting the cake

Preheat the oven to 180C/375F. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until creamy and light. Add the flour and mix until combined; then, stir in yoghurt, lemon zest and juice and orange blossom water. Beat the egg whites in a clean glass bowl using an electric egg beater until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into the batter until combined.

Grease a 22cm/9-inch springform cake pan with butter. Pour the batter into the pan and arrange the fig slices on top, face up. Bake the cake for 50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and springy (it’ll look a lot like a souffle). The cake will rise  a lot  but will decrease when removed from the oven. Let it cool completely before dusting with icing sugar, slicing and serving.


Torta turca di yogurt e fichi

4 uova grandi codice 0
100 g di zucchero
3 cucchiai di farina 00 setacciata
350 ml di yogurt greco
il succo e la buccia grattugiata di 1/2 limone
1 1/2 cucchiaini di acqua di fiori d’arancio
  4-6 fichi
zucchero a velo, q.b.

Scaldate il forno a 180°C. Dividete i tuorli dagli albumi, lavorate a crema i tuorli con lo zucchero, aggiungete la farina, poi lo yogurt, la buccia e il succo di limone e l’acqua di fiori d’arancio. Montate gli albumi a neve e incorporateli all’impasto con movimenti delicati, dal basso verso l’alto. Imburrate uno stampo di 22 cm e versateci dentro il composto. Adagiate i fichi tagliati a metà con la tagliata rivolta verso l’alto.  Infornate per 50 minuti circa, fino a perfetta doratura. La torta si sgonfierà come un soufflé appena fuori dal forno (è normale). Lasciatela raffreddare completamente. Servitela con una spolverata di zucchero a velo.




  1. Maria July 10, 2011

    I love fresh figs and can't resist them when they're right in season. This sounds delicious!

  2. lerocherhotel July 10, 2011

    Semplicemente deliziosa. Le foto poi sono stupende

  3. Reb July 11, 2011

    Cinguettio da donne: ma quanto bella è quella fotina? Bellissima Vale!

  4. sississima July 12, 2011

    Golosissima, mi sono subito iscritta tra i tuoi lettori fissi, passa da me se ti va…ciao SILVIA

  5. pips July 14, 2011

    che bella idea, mi piacerebbe provare un dolce turco! E che belle foto…

  6. Valeria July 15, 2011

    @tutti/all: thank you, grazie grazie!
    @Maria: can you still find some where you live? Or is it too cold?
    @lerocherhotel: troppo gentili!:)
    @Reb: se sapessi che attrezzatura rudimentale :))
    @sississima: grazie di essere passata! Il tuo blog è un amore!
    @pips: grazie mille.Appena l'ho vista ho pensato che dovevo provarla, e trovo sia l'ideale per l'estate!

  7. juliana July 19, 2011

    ciao valeria! what a cake! lovely!
    and amazing pictures!

  8. the actor's diet July 20, 2011

    gorgeous! what do you do if you don't have orange water?

  9. lollingabout July 20, 2011

    I've grown to love figs in recent years, and this sounds delicious! I wonder how well it'd work with plain coconut milk yogurt. We've got a dairy allergy in the house, so things can get tricky.

  10. Valeria July 20, 2011

    @juliana:thanks a lot! and thanks for the visit!
    @the actor's diet: you can use rose water or just another essence you might like –lemon, almond, vanilla etc.
    @lollingabout: I think coconut milk or almond milk would totally work. Let me know 🙂

  11. rosa August 1, 2011

    Divina! giuro, DIVINA. la foto prima di tutto (d'altronde è quella che invita l'occhio ad approfondire con la gola, no?) e la ricetta poi.

  12. ciao!
    ho visto la foto di questo meraviglioso dolce su pinterest, e scopro il blog che ci sta dietro, ancora più meraviglioso! Brava!!!

  13. terry August 5, 2011

    Sembra meravigliosa e buonissima! la teglia…wow sembra quella vecchia di mia mamma che tanto ho cercato ma sembra sparito….pezzi d'epoca!

  14. l'ho provataaaaa!

  15. Passiflora September 8, 2011

    love it!

  16. Michael October 25, 2011

    Hi Valeria! Just stopping by to say Hello! Your Fig Tart looks very delicious, I will have to give this one a try. Figs are one of my favorite fruits. By the way [BTW] I love your cake pan you baked the tart in! And I say this with everyone else, your photos are fantastic. Thanks for sharing all that you do. Michael

    • Valeria June 21, 2014

      Michael – thank you so much for your words! The cake tin was a happy finding in a shared house I no longer live in, but I certainly made sure I got to use it while I was there 🙂

  17. whilehewasout February 7, 2013

    Oh this cake looks so good! I'm not a huge fan of figs but I'm sure I could make an exception to try this one 🙂

    • Valeria June 21, 2014

      It is a keeper – I was skeptikal at first but it turned into a fluffy, heavenly, light delicious cake. x

  18. Angele September 18, 2013

    Looks lovely! What sized pan did you use?

    • Valeria September 19, 2013

      I think in in metric it was a 24cm round pan (non spring form, but I guess both would work).

  19. Angele October 13, 2013

    Thanks! I have just one more question – I have 2 types of orange blossom water, one is by Clic brand and has a very nice fragrance, and the other is Nielson Massey brand which smells very strongly of alcohol. Which should I use?

    Thanks so much 🙂 I'm going to try this out for Thanksgiving dinner!

    • Valeria October 27, 2013

      So sorry for the late reply – the nice one I would say 🙂 It shouldn't smell like alcohol.

  20. Lisa Lee March 9, 2014

    This recipe looks lovely and I can't wait to try it, and would have loved to share it with others, but it will not pin properly with use of the picture.

    • Valeria March 15, 2014

      Hi Lisa, thank you about your kind words, I suspect it has to deal with the fact it comes from Flickr, there must be a clash there! Thank you for letting me know. x

  21. Mademoiselle Isa May 28, 2014

    I've just put the batter in the oven. It already taste delicious. Really looking forward to the result <3 Thanks for the recipe and lovely pictures.

    • Valeria June 21, 2014

      Thank you Isa – looking forward to hear how you liked it!

  22. Sandi August 20, 2014

    Hi. I wanted to let you know I converted this recipe to gluten free for a dinner party and it was delicious. Could I please post my version on my gluten free blog with links and credits back to your blog?

  23. Sandi September 3, 2014

    Thank you Valeria!

  24. Anonymous September 29, 2014

    I was just wondering if anyone has ever tried to freeze this. I want to have it for a post-wedding brunch but I have to make it before the event.

    • Valeria October 7, 2014

      Hello, I have never tried unfortunately so I can't say I suggest it – if you feel like give it a try, I'd love to hear how it was! thanks

  25. Anonymous October 11, 2014

    Made this today in a mini version (half the recipie) and this was a big hit! Thanks a lot!

    • Valeria October 12, 2014

      that's great to hear – thanks for sharing! x

  26. Anonymous August 2, 2015

    just made this and it didn't raise at all? never made a yogurt based cake before, but should a cake have baking powder or soda?

    • Valeria August 5, 2015

      Hello, this cake is like a soufflè, so it only counts on the eggs to raise, particularly the egg whites. sometimes, in a damp environment the egg whites become too heavy and don't allow the cake to rise correctly, same for egg whites that haven't been beaten to soft peaks. did any of this occurred by any chance? x

  27. loved it March 31, 2016

    This came out great. I substituted yogurt for sour cream and lemon zest/juice for a tangerine. Added more dates, ground cardamoms, sprinkle of cinnamon and wow, looks exactly like the picture. Taste and texture is incredible, fluffy and fruity. Book marked for the future.

    • Valeria April 3, 2016

      Thank you so much for your lovely feedback, I’m so glad it worked out for you, and your twist on it sounds fantastic! x

  28. Mike August 26, 2016

    In Turkish cuisine would never use Greek yogurt.

    • Valeria August 29, 2016

      Thank you, Mike. What would you suggest as a suitable substitute?

  29. Gail Larson November 22, 2016

    I bought waaaaaaaayyyyyyy too much yogurt by mistake and just found your recipe. I didn’t have fresh figs here in the Pacific northwest but did have dried ones which I soaked in fresh orange juice. The cake is almost done. Thanks. It smells heavenly.

  30. Valeria November 24, 2016

    Hi Gail – what a great idea! It’s the perfect twist that allows making it all year round. Hope you liked the outcome! x

  31. Tiina March 5, 2017

    Wow! This is an awesome recipe!! So light and fluffy and flavorsome! Gorgeous hint of orange blossom, yet leaves room to taste the figs. Thank you!!!

    • Valeria March 6, 2017

      So glad you liked it, Tiina! It’s an all-time favourite for me, too! x

  32. Pollyanna Hayward March 8, 2017

    Hi, could I subistitue sugar for any other natural sweetner i.e honey or maple?

    • Valeria March 8, 2017

      Hello Pollyanna, I think in this case, because the cake has such a delicate ratio of liquid and solid ingredients, that using a liquid sweetener and compensate with more flour might alter it. Truth to be told, I’ve never tried. I’d rather use raw cane sugar here. Hope this helps!


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