Nut-Free Figgy Cake Bars

 In Brownies and Bars, Cake, Cookies, Dessert, Nut Free, Snacks

Nut-free Figgy Cake Bars. Better than Fig Newtons!

One of my most favorite snacks as a kid was the Fig Newton.  I loved the texture of the cake and the sweetness of the fig.  They were perfectly sized (although I could probably eat 10 of them in one sitting).  And I’m fairly certain these little cookies brought figs into the mainstream.  Because did anyone eat figs before the “Newton?”

At some point, I began reading the labels of my food.  And discovered that Fig Newtons are full of crap.  High fructose corn syrup (although they later reformulated the recipe to exclude it), resistant corn maltodextrin (what is that?!?!) and chemicals I cannot even pronounce.

So I stopped eating them.

Now you all know I am not the ingredient police.  I do not proselytize what’s good for you and what’s not and I trust that you make the best decisions for your own health.  But, I just could not enjoy Fig Newtons anymore.  So, I started making them myself.

I should be clear that my homemade version is certainly not “healthy.”  I use butter and sugar, but there is nothing artificial in my little Figgy Cake bars and so I can eat them without worrying that I’ll become radioactive.

And I hope you will, too!

Nut-free Figgy Cake bars. Better than Fig Newtons!

Nut-Free Figgy Cake Bars

  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Cook Time: 50m
  • Total Time: 1h


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup graham flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fig preserves
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

How To Do It

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. Grease an 8x8-inch baking dish or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and salt with a fork.
  4. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars using an electric or standing mixer. Beat in the eggs, then stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir to combine.
  6. Press about half the dough into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. You may need to use an offset spatula or a dull knife to spread it into the corners. Ensure an even layer.
  7. Bake for 18 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  8. Meanwhile, stir the zest into the fig preserves.
  9. Spread the preserves onto the top of the partially-baked crust. Again, use a knife or spatula to spread the preserves into the corners of the pan, ensuring an even layer.
  10. Place pieces of the remaining dough on top of the preserves. It won\'t be pretty, just do your best to get the pieces evenly distributed. The dough is too sticky to roll, so this is my invented alternative.
  11. Place the dish back in the oven for 5 minutes.
  12. After about 5 minutes, use a knife or spatula to spread the now melty dough across the top of the preserves.
  13. Bake another 25-30 minutes. The top will brown slightly.
  14. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan.
  15. Slice and serve!
  16. I store these in a sealed container at room temperature for about 3 days. They'll keep longer in the fridge.
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