easy/ Eggless Recipes/ few ingredients/ Fruit Desserts/ Gluten-free/ Holiday/ no mixer/ No-Bake Desserts

Honey Poached Figs

July 30, 2014

This quick, no-bake, gluten-free dessert is refreshing after a heavy meal or as a summer treat. Serve it with anything from whipped cream or mascarpone to cheesecakes, crepes, and pavlovas.

Honey Poached Figs

Birthday celebrations are over and everything is going back to normal…  or, should I say, boring. I am left with some good memories, though, so I’m not complaining.

The highlight of the week was my dinner with Erez. Although he’s a foodie like me, he watches what he eats carefully. I do not. He also doesn’t like the idea that I want to order a dessert every single time, no matter where we eat. I get him, but it’s beyond my control. 😉

Honey Poached Figs

That’s why I like birthdays: I get to order anything I want and however much of it I want. And boy, did I take advantage of that this year! That’s why, by the time we got to the last course, I was completely full. We asked the waitress for a recommendation of a light dessert we could share, and she had no doubt in her mind that mascarpone and honey poached figs would be perfect. I hesitated. Cream and fruit? It didn’t even sound like a dessert to me. We ordered it anyway because she seemed like she knew what she was talking about. It turned out to be oh-so good, light, refreshing, and was the perfect ending to a perfect day.

Honey Poached Figs

As simple as it is, it’s really that good. All it takes is heating some water with sugar and honey, then adding the figs for just a few minutes. That’s it! Once the figs are ready, you can keep simmering the honey-water sauce until it thickens and use that as a syrup for the figs or whatever you serve them with. Actually, the sauce, with its delicate sweetness, is the best part!

The amount of time the figs should be poached depends on how ripe they are and how tender you want them to be. The riper they are, the less time they’ll require. I like the figs tender, but not mushy; to achieve this, poach them for about 5-10 minutes. Make sure to turn them around once in a while so that they cook evenly.

Honey Poached Figs

Use poached figs on whatever you like. They’re perfect as is, so you can serve them with just a dollop of creme fraiche, whipped cream or mascarpone, or for a healthier version, try ricotta cheese or Greek yogurt. They’re also wonderful alongside crepes, cheesecakes or pavlovas.

5 from 1 vote
Honey Poached Figs
YIELD: 4 servings (4 fig halves per serving)
This quick, no-bake, gluten-free dessert is refreshing after a heavy meal or as a summer treat. Serve it with anything from whipped cream or mascarpone to cheesecakes, crepes, and pavlovas.

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons brown or granulated sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean , split lengthwise and seeded (optional)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 8 figs
  1. In a small or medium saucepan that's large enough to hold the figs, heat water, honey, and sugar (and vanilla and cinnamon, if using) on medium-high. Cook until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low and add figs. Let simmer until tender but not mushy, 5-10 minutes, turning them occasionally so that each side is poached evenly. Using a slotted spoon, transfer figs to a bowl. Let the water-honey liquid continue simmering on medium-low heat until liquid reduces and thickens to a syrup consistency, about 15 more minutes. Let cool.
  2. Once the figs have cooled slightly, remove stems and cut in half.
  3. Keep sauce and figs in the refrigerator until ready to use. Serve at room temperature.
  4. Arrange figs and serve as desired. Figs can be served either a dollop of whipped cream, mascarpone, crème fraiche, or yogurt, or alongside desserts such as cake, cheesecake, or crepes. Drizzle with syrup.
Recipe Notes

- You can either cut the figs in half before or after poaching, depending on whether you want the figs to look clean or coated with sauce.
- Optional flavorings: The pod and seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean, 1 whole clove, 1 small cinnamon stick, 1 star anise, 2 stripes of orange peel, or 3 fresh ginger slices. Add to the saucepan, along with the water, honey, and sugar during the first step. Discard once sauce is done.



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  • Reply
    February 14, 2016 at 12:32 am

    Just looking for something to do with my beautiful fresh figs. This looks lovely. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      February 15, 2016 at 6:24 am

      Thanks, Dani 🙂 I hope you’ll like it!

  • Reply
    April 21, 2016 at 9:49 am

    i just wanted to let you know I followed this recipe, although I added a few extra spices here and there and it is truly delicious and simple to prepare! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Reply
      April 21, 2016 at 9:53 am

      Hi Scott! I’m so glad you like this recipe 🙂 Thank you for your comment!

  • Reply
    March 15, 2017 at 3:09 am

    Hi once I have done this recipe could I freeze it to serve in a few weeks time?

    • Reply
      March 15, 2017 at 12:26 pm

      I freeze 90% of the desserts I make, but I won’t recommend freezing the figs, since it’s fresh fruit (although it’s cooked).

  • Reply
    March 23, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    Why do you not recomend freezing the figs

    • Reply
      March 29, 2017 at 6:15 am

      I don’t recommend it because fruit get mushy when frozen.

  • Reply
    March 12, 2018 at 4:00 am

    when do I put the cinnamon and the vanilla ?

    • Reply
      March 12, 2018 at 4:37 am

      Please read the recipe notes, and you can find the info you’re looking for.

  • Reply
    May 29, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    What kind of figs do you use? They don’t look like mission figs.

    • Reply
      May 30, 2018 at 10:58 am

      Hi Karen, you can use different types of figs here. Mission figs are great.

  • Reply
    September 10, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    O…M…Goodness!!! Just made these for the first time. Served them with a spicy pork tenderloin. My wife and I, and a foodie friend of ours were so impressed. I had a neighbor once with a huge fig tree and I can’t believe I never got any of them. I’m going to plant figs immediately.

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