Gingerbread with Fig-Walnut Sauce Recipe

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I experimented with aniseed this past holiday season and fell in love with the licorice flavor. It really enhances the gingerbread spices and fig sauce in this extraordinary bundt cake. —Shelly Bevington-Fisher, Hermiston, Oregon
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 40 min. + cooling
MAKES:12 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 40 min. + cooling
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons aniseed, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Confectioners' sugar, optional
  • SAUCE:
  • 12 ounces Calimyrna dried figs, cut into eighths
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons walnut or canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon aniseed, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1-3/4 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in molasses (mixture will appear curdled).
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, aniseed, salt, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk and lemon juice, beating well after each addition.
  3. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 350° for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired.
  5. For sauce, in a large skillet, cook figs and walnuts in oil over medium heat for 4 minutes. Stir in the spices; cook 1-2 minutes longer or until aromatic.
  6. Stir in the water, sugar, lemon juice and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 8-12 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Cool to room temperature. Serve with gingerbread. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Gingerbread with Fig-Walnut Sauce in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2013, p59

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