Vegan Fig kuchen (Crumb cake)

This Season there is an abundance of figs in Thane market. I used to eye the fresh piles longingly on my way to office but they would get over by the time I returned in the evening. Last weekend I decided to go in the morning all the way to the market just to get these thinking I would make icecream. You know I am crazy about fruits so one by one all the figs ended up the same way – chomped raw. All in all, it is difficult to save up fruits for desserts!

At last I devised a fool proof plan to make a fig kuchen. I kept the ingredients for the base and the crumble ready some evenings back and then asked P to get the figs. They were quartered and pressed into the dough. They smelt delicious and tasted incredible when baked. I made a second batch next morning for my friends at work. They loved it and could not guess it was vegan! In fact even the crumbs did not last and I had shared my recipe by the end of the day. That explains the quick photograph shared here.

I found the recipe for my kuchen in Alpineberry and veganized it adapting it along the way. The original recipe contains plums and walnuts and does not have a crumble on the top. I like walnuts only with chocolate and do not like the imported plum variety that we get these days so mine became a fig kuchen. I also made this because I like the sound of the word ‘kuchen’. The name makes all the difference in my kitchen! I also made a wholewheat pflaumkuchen sometime later and this is how it looked.

Tasted equally good but I somehow felt the juicy figs did a better job.

Kuchen it appears is actually a yeasted/non-yeasted sweet crust filled with a creamy custard. This however is not custard like but is more akin to a tea-cake with a tasty crust.

Recipe: Fig Kuchen (that is koo-kan or koo-gan or coo-hen)
Serves: 8-10 pieces
Oven temperature: 180 deg. Celsius
Tin: 9 inch round pan

fresh figs washed, de-stemmed and quartered – 7-8
All purpose flour / Refined flour / Maida – 2 cups
Baking powder – 2 tsp.
Salt – 1/4 tsp.
Sugar ground with 1/2 a vanilla stick – 1/2 cup
Canned coconut milk + 1/4 cup if needed – 1/2 cup
Sunflower oil – 1/2 cup

for the crumble topping :
1/2 cup APF + 2 tbsp sugar + 1 tbsp oil


Place the flour, baking powder, salt and ground sugar in an airtight container. The mix should occupy only half the container and leave space for mixing when shook. Shake well to aerate the flour and mix up everything. Empty into a mixing bowl.

Blend the oil and half of the coconut milk together in a mixer till it forms a thick cream, the consistency of yolk.

Pour this in the dry mixture. Cut and fold well with a wooden ladle.

If needed add the rest of the coconut milk (a tbsp. at a time) till the dough moves from a crumbly texture to a soft batter (not pourable but one that will fall in a single plop).

Pour this into the prepared tin and with wet fingers spread it evenly.

Arrange the figs pressing them a little.

Optional: Mix the crumble ingredients together with your fingertips till they just gather when held and break when left, into breadcrumbs.

Sprinkle this evenly on top of the cake.

Bake in pre-heated oven for 40-50minutes till golden on the sides and lightly brown on the top. The scent of figs are sure to pervade your rooms to let you know they are done!

Cool completely before cutting to wedges.

The next day I distributed the batter in little rings and tart moulds instead of a pan to make bite sized desserts.


Harini is a vegan food photographer, writer and recipe developer. She also loves feeding birds, reading, watching crime thrillers, and travelling amongst other things.

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  • Pritya

    Ah this Crumb cake – the vegan fig kuchen – figs are my favourite. To lessen my guilt over the calorie content, I think I deserve it at the end of a long day. The pic. shows that it would be heavenly to have the figs crumble and melt in the mouth. Actually, there is no usage of butter thus saving us the extra calories ?. Coconut milk in a cake must lend an unusual flavour. I am going to try this at the next friendly coffee get-together. I like your idea of pouring the batter in little rings and tart moulds – the bite-sized desserts would surely look like a treat!

  • Sunshinemom

    Thank you, Sayantini!

  • A Homemakers Diary

    Hey Harini, Congrats. just saw the article in Femina. really loved the stuffed mushroom recipe there.

  • RV

    Love the pictures.. it is a keeper recipe…

  • jayasri

    That picture is amazing!!, you are a amazing photographer!!, Love that cake, with Figs!!!!, love figs I am definitely going to try this out…

  • Sunshinemom

    Ranjani and Dharm, Welcome and thanks for your kind expressions of delight:).

    Sahiti, I just saw it too! Thanks for noticing and letting me know!

  • Dharm

    Oh the Kuchen looks just superb! Wish I was nearby so I could just pop over uninvited and 'force' you to share some Kuchen with me!! Rude aren't I!

  • sahiti

    Hearty congratulations.Harini,
    Just saw your interview in Femina.So happy to see your picture.

  • Ranjani

    This looks gorgeous!!

  • PJ

    oh my, what clicks! Love the fig kuchen.. I would pretty much love anything with figs and this sure looks delicious! You do a really good job with the clicks, I must say 🙂

  • Rachana Kothari

    Wow! Your blog is beautiful…with such awesome photos:) The Fig Kuchen looks delicious…Am gonna follow your lovely place.

  • Sunshinemom

    Hey, Mahima, sorry! Meant to but forgot to.

    PG, thanks for the info. I knew that the crumb topping is called streusel but did not think of linking the two together and finding out whether there is such a word:)! I will add that to the labels.

  • PG

    A Kuchen with coconut milk and figs sounds very delicious! Even though I don't know the origin of this word, in German it simply means cake. This one would be called Streuselkuchen 'cause of the Streusel or crumble topping, which is made quite often here for fruity cakes like yours.

  • Uj

    Pic looks very tempting… wish i could grab a piece right now..I have never used fresh figs nor tasted them

  • Mahimaa's kitchen

    very new and unique recipe… love figs. thanks for your contribution.

    can you please link back to my announcement?

  • Rajani

    kitchen mein kuchen like jungle mein mangal eh?? 😉 anyways i went through the recipe with great interest, cos i am dying to make some sort of fruit crumble, i never have, so ab figs dondhna padega. or maybe i can use peaches or something??

  • Herrad

    Hi Sunshinemom,
    Your fig kuchen sounds delicious, can't wait to try it.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Have a good day.

  • Aparna

    I think I'll echo Sra's sentiment about being in your kitchen. I do agree, I like fresh figs best as they are.

    A very Happy New Year to you and family.

  • Parita

    Kuchen with figs sounds awesome!!

  • Cham

    After all no butter in kuchen! Perfect coffee cake with an unusual flavor!

  • ruchikacooks

    Figs crumble and you made it with coconut milk! Thats the second time I have seen using coconut in cakes, your vegan fruit cake also had coconut oil..

  • forkbootsandapalette

    we dont get figs here..which is a good thing..or i wud have been eating these all day long!

  • Soma

    It looks awesome…yumm.

  • Usha

    Kuchen sounds and looks delicious ! Belated new year wishes to you and your family Harini, hope you have a wonderful 2010 !

  • notyet100

    ummmm i am drooling here

  • Kitchen Flavours

    Wow…looks yummy….

  • jayasree

    I liked the name Kuchen….Sounds delicious. I think I can try some other fruits in place of figs.

    Wishing you and your family a wonderful year ahead.

  • LG your pictures left me drooling..slurrrppppp…yummy! kuchen

  • Uma

    mmm. what a delicious cake. looks lovely Harini!!

    Belated wishes for a happy new year 🙂

  • Preeti Kashyap

    aahhhh…I so want to pic a piece of the fig kuchen and relish it harini! Good job! If I wasnt dieting….i would be in the kitchen trying this out!

  • Shama Nagarajan

    nice one..happy new year

  • Prathibha

    Lovely piece of cake..even I love figs..need to try in this season soon dear..

  • Happy cook

    That pic looks so good, which makes me want the cake double.

  • sra

    Wish I could be in Thane eating your kuchen – but not in a hurry! The last time I was in Bombay was three months ago and we took three hours to reach Bandra from the Vashi bridge (way back from Pune)! Actually when I re-read the first line of my comment, it seems a bit illogical, but I'm sure you know what I mean.

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