Fig, Bourbon, and Cinnamon Nicecream Cake

Get ready for the most awesome, most unique fall treat. A vegan ice cream cake stuffed with figs, bourbon, and cinnamon. Could anything be better?

I'm indescribably in love with this cake for several reasons. First and most importantly, it's absolutely delicious. Second, it's not too difficult to put together and yet is a total show-stopper. And third, even though it poses as an indulgent cake, the ingredients are essentially just nuts and fruit. Win, win, win.

This cake is packed with classic fall ingredients: figs, cinnamon, pecans, maple syrup, and even bourbon. But because it's ice cream, it's a really unexpected twist on these flavors. This cake would be perfectly at home for a September deck party, an October harvest party, and even Thanksgiving.

A Thanksgiving ice cream cake?? Yes please!

The "crust" of this cake is a protein bar in disguise; just figs, almonds, and cinnamon. Have you seen my guide to Homemade Lara Bars? It's the exact same idea. The ice cream filling is actually "nicecream", made with pureed frozen bananas (and dressed up with more figs, cinnamon, and maple syrup of course). Roasted pecans on top bring it all together.

As you can see in these photos, it's gorgeous to embed some fresh figs inside. Isn't this the most beautiful ice cream cake you've seen?? But if you don't want to mess with them, you can easily omit them (or use some sliced up figs instead for an easier option).

And don't forget the bourbon! I'm a huge bourbon fan, and it makes an appearance in two different ways in this cake. If you don't do alcohol you can easily leave it out. But if you're a bourbon lover like me, you can sneak it into the nicecream by both boiling the dried figs in it before blending, and adding a splash right to the nicecream itself.

Adding bourbon to the nicecream actually serves an important role in terms of texture too! It alters the freezing temperature slightly, allowing the nicecream to stay much softer and creamier in the freezer.

One important point about preparing this beauty. While none of the individual steps take much time, you'll need to think ahead; there are a few points in the process where you need to pause and let things freeze or cool. My recommendation:
- Day 1: Slice and freeze the bananas, make and freeze the crust, simmer and cool the dried figs for the filling
- Day 2: Make the nicecream and assemble the cake
- Day 3: Add the pecans on top, slice, and serve

See? Easy! I hope you'll invite this cake to your fall festivities! It's such a symphony of fall flavors, but in a totally unexpected package. Who knows, maybe Thanksgiving Ice Cream Cake will become a new thing??

Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram.

Looking for another nourishing dessert that's a total show-stopper? These Superfood+Vegan Unicorn Cheesecake Bites are just as pretty and good for the body!

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are all just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)

For the Crust
  • 1 c dried figs
  • 0.5 c roasted/salted almonds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
For the Filling
  • 6-8 fresh figs, optional. If you want to be fancy and have fresh figs visible in the filling as shown above.
  • 1 c dried figs
  • 0.25 c bourbon, divided
  • 3-4 ripe, frozen bananas
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • Splash of nut milk
  • Big handful of roasted/salted pecans. Bonus points for maple-roasted!
Thoughts About Method
(These are all just suggestions, be creative and make it yours)

  1. At least one day before, slice the bananas and freeze them.
  2. To make the crust: combine the figs, almonds, and cinnamon in a food processor, and process until the mixture just starts to make a sticky ball.
  3. Line a bread pan with several layers of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Make sure the wrap goes all the way into the corners and up the sides. Leave enough sticking out the sides so you'll be able to pull the whole cake out after you're done. This is critical, don't skimp on this step or your cake won't come out!
  4. Spoon the crust mixture into the pan and press it down firmly. You want to achieve an even layer that will stick together well, so press it hard. Then, let your crust sit in the freezer for at least an hour before adding the filling. Overnight is fine too, but in that case cover the top of the pan tightly with a lid or plastic wrap.
  5. If you want fresh figs in the center of your cake, the prettiest option is to add them now. As shown above, sit whole figs upright along the length of the bread pan, squishing them in a bit to fit as many as you can. Return the crust (now with figs on top) to the freezer.
  6. Now, begin to make the filling. Cut the dried figs into quarters and put them in a small saucepan with half the bourbon (about 2 tbsp). If you'd rather not use bourbon, water is fine in its place; apple cider would also be lovely. Simmer them for ten minutes until the figs are soft and the liquid is absorbed.
  7. Cool the figs fully, otherwise your nicecream will melt! This can be done in a short time in the freezer, or you could easily prep the figs the day before and keep them in the fridge.
  8. To a food processor, add the cool bourbon-bathed figs, frozen bananas, maple syrup, cinnamon, and the remaining 2 tbsp of bourbon. Process until you have a very smooth, creamy consistency. As needed, add a splash or more of nut milk to help the nicecream smooth out. You want to achieve a consistency similar to soft-serve ice cream so that you can easily spread it into the bread pan.
  9. If you want fresh figs in the center of your cake, a second option is to add them now. Dice them up into big, pretty pieces and stir them into the nicecream.
  10. Remove the crust from the freezer and spread the nice cream over the crust. Make sure to press down firmly so that the nicecream fills all the corners and gaps.
  11. If you've chosen to stand some fresh figs up in the middle of the cake, work around them carefully, putting half of the nicecream on either side. Leave the stem of each fig just barely exposed so that you can find the prettiest places to slice the cake. Or, if your figs are too short to reasonably keep the stems exposed, stick toothpicks in their tops.
  12. Cover your cake tightly and return it to the freezer. Let it sit at least overnight, although it's fine to stay for a couple days if it's tightly wrapped. Freeze any extra nicecream in a separate container for easy snacks or desserts.
  13. When you're ready to serve your masterpiece, let it sit out for about ten minutes to soften slightly around the edges. Then pull it out by the plastic wrap, sit it on a board, and cover the top with pecans.
  14. If you've chosen to stand some fresh figs up in the middle of the cake, find their stems and slice directly down through them so that you expose the center of the figs.


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