Gingerbread with Fig-Walnut Sauce

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Bake: 40 min. + cooling


12 servings

Updated: Jun. 27, 2023
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 cake. —Shelly Bevington-Fisher, Hermiston, Oregon
Gingerbread with Fig-Walnut Sauce Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 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, 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 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° until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40-50 minutes.
  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 until aromatic, 1-2 minutes longer.
  6. Stir in the water, sugar, lemon juice and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until thickened, 8-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool to room temperature. Serve with gingerbread.

Nutrition Facts

1 slice with 1/3 cup sauce: 629 calories, 26g fat (11g saturated fat), 88mg cholesterol, 534mg sodium, 97g carbohydrate (70g sugars, 5g fiber), 8g protein.