Cucidati Coffee Cake

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Cucidati Coffee Cake

Celebrate the season Italian style with this cookie-inspired Cucidati Coffee Cake. For those yet to experience the wonders of cucidati, let us elaborate. A fruit-filled cookie hailing from the Italian island of Sicily, cucidati typically consist of a buttery sugar cookie dough surrounding a dried fruit filling accented with citrus and spices. Our take on this classic cookie is far less labor-intensive yet packs all the warm wintry flavors of the original cookie. We chose to start with Orchard Choice California Dried Mission Figlets from Valley Fig Growers for our dried fruit component. Naturally sweet and full of caramellike flavor, figs not only pack great taste and texture but also combine beautifully with the other bright notes of this coffee cake, too. Mixed into an incredibly moist, tender cake flavored with citrusy orange zest and the sweet heat of cinnamon and nutmeg, this coffee cake captures the very essence of the holiday season. Topped with a bright white glaze and the signature rainbow nonpareils, this Italian-inspired treat is sure to bring smiles.

Cucidati Coffee Cake
Makes 1 (8-inch) cake
  • 1⅓ cups (200 grams) Orchard Choice Dried Mission Figlets, stemmed and halved
  • 2 cups (240 grams) boiling water
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature
  • 1¾ cups (219 grams) plus 1 tablespoon (8 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons (7.5 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ cup (120 grams) whole milk, room temperature
  • ¼ cup (56 grams) olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract, divided
  • 1½ cups (180 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • ⅓ cup (80 grams) plus 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 grams) heavy whipping cream, divided
  • Garnish: nonpareils
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray an 8-inch round cake pan with baking spray with flour. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium heatproof bowl, place figs in an even layer; add 2 cups (240 grams) boiling water so figs are just submerged, and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain, and place on a clean kitchen towel or paper towel to dry.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat granulated sugar and eggs at medium speed until thick and pale, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together 1¾ cups (219 grams) flour, orange zest, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, oil, and 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla. With mixer on medium-low speed, add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating until just combined after each addition.
  5. In a small bowl, toss together figs and remaining 1 tablespoon (8 grams) flour until figs are completely coated; fold into batter. Pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth with an offset spatula.
  6. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, ⅓ cup (80 grams) cream, and remaining 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla until smooth; add 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 grams) cream, if necessary, to reach desired consistency. Immediately pour glaze onto cooled cake. Garnish with nonpareils, if desired. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


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  1. So happy to have this fig cake recipe!! I just love the Italian fig cookies but making them is such a long and involved process and the Italian bakery where I used to get them closed.


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