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Jul 3, 2024

Homemade Fig Newtons

These homemade Fig Newtons are a really fun project with totally tasty results. 

Homemade Fig Newtons in a bowl.


I'm super excited at how these little fig cakes turned out. They are filled with a homemade jam made from dried figs. Plus, to make this even more interesting, I actually dried my own fresh figs that I had received from Melissa's Produce a while back. The homemade dried figs were just looking for a recipe! 

Rest assured, you don't have to make your own dried figs for the filling. You can easily use store bought dried Mission figs. Be sure to choose ones that are sticky and pliable for the best results. 

You'll love the soft cake-y dough that wraps the fig filling too! 

Homemade Fig Newtons in a bowl.

How To Make Homemade Dried Figs:

Because I had three half pound boxes of fresh black mission figs, I decided to make my own dried figs for the jam in these cookies. 

Step 1: Heat your oven to 200 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment and place a rack on top of the parchment. 

Step 2: Wash and dry the figs, remove the stems, and cut the figs in half, lengthwise. Place them, cut side up, on the rack. 

Figs cut in half on a rack.

Step 3: Bake the figs for about 6 hours, until dry but still a little sticky. 

Dried Figs on a rack.

Step 5: Cool the figs completely and then pack them tightly into jars and refrigerate for up to two weeks. 

After you have dried the figs, you can use them for making the filling for these Fig Newtons. 

To Make the Fig Jam:

Simply pulse the figs with some applesauce and orange juice in a food processor until smooth. You can immediately place the jam into a piping bag for using right away. You can also refrigerate the jam for up to three weeks before using. 

Homemade Fig Newtons on three white plates.

To Make the Cookies:

First, make a dough, which includes flour, butter, light brown sugar, cinnamon, honey, eggs, and two secret ingredients, orange zest and orange juice. 

While orange juice is involved in making both the jam and the cookie dough, you actually don't taste oranges. It adds a natural sweetness and a bit of acidity. 

Second, mix the dough in a stand mixer and then knead by hand until you have a smooth dough. Wrap it up and refrigerate it for about an hour. 

Next, roll the dough into a 15-inch square and cut it into four equally-sized strips. 

After that, pipe the filling down the middle of the strips and then fold half of the dough over the jam and then ford everything over the other side so that the seam is on the bottom and the dough encloses the jam. 

Finally, flatten the strips slightly and bake them for about 18 minutes. When you first pull them from the oven, cut them into bars with a knife or bench knife. 

To make sure the cookies are soft and cake-like, place them, while still warm, in an airtight container between layers of paper towels to steam them. 

Homemade Fig Newtons on black plates.

You will love these cakey cookies. 

This recipe was adapted from BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts by Stella Parks, published in 2017. There are so many recipes in the book you will want to try, including Graham Crackers, Nilla Wafers, Animal Crackers, Oreos, Thin Mints, and Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies. 

It's a super fun book and the author's thoroughness and research is amazing and such a fun read. 

For this recipe, the book includes other suggestions for fillings, incuding apricot strawberry, blueberry lime, cherry banana, and bacon. 

Homemade Fig Newtons on three white individual plates.

N is for (Fig) Newtons, a classic cookie..

We are working our way through the alphabet this year, one letter every other Wednesday, making a recipe that either starts with the letter or contains a main ingredient that begins with the letter.

This week we are having so much fun celebrating foods or recipes that begin with or include the Letter N somewhere in the ingredients .......

Here are everyone's recipes!

Homemade Fig Newtons stacked on a black mini plate.

Homemade Fig Newtons

Homemade Fig Newtons
Yield: 32 Bars
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 45 MinCook time: 20 MinInactive time: 7 HourTotal time: 8 H & 5 M
These homemade Fig Newtons are a really fun project with totally tasty results.


For the Fig Jam
  • 12 ounces (2 1/2 cups) store-bought or homemade dried figs, stems removed (see instructions in post for making your own)
  • 1/3 cup applesauce, sweetened or unsweetened
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
For the Cookie Dough
  • 5 ounces (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kiamond Crital kosher salt, or 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 3 large egg yolks, cold
  • 10 1/2 ounces (2 1/4 cups) all purpose flour, sifted


To Make the Jam
  1. Cut up the figs into pieces and add them to the bowl of a food processor. Add the apple sauce and orange juice and process until you have a thick paste.
  2. Scrape the sides of the bowl and continue to process until smooth.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a 1/2 inch plain piping tip.
To Make the Cookie Dough
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, honey, and zest. Mix on low to just combine. Increase the speed to medium and and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the orange juice, and then the egg yolks, one at a time. Beat until smooth.
  3. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and then add the flour and mix until combined.
  4. Hand knead the dough in the bowl until smooth. Form the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about an hour.
To Make the Cookies
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F with a rack in the middle. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Roll the dough into an 8-inch square. Dust both sides with flour and continue to roll the dough out into a 15 inch square. Cut the dough into 4 equal strips. Place them on the parchment lined baking sheet, lengthwise.
  3. Pipe a 1-inch wide strip of the jam along the center of each strip. If necessary, press the jam down lightly with your fingers. Fold one side of the dough over the jam and then, using a bench knife or your hands, roll the dough over so that the seam side is down and the jam is totally enclosed. Gently flatten the strips down to shape like bars.
  4. Continue with the other three strips of dough and gently position them all so that they are equidistant from each other.
  5. Bake the bars for about 18 minutes, until slightly puffed and firm, but not browned.
  6. Cut the strips right away into 1-inch pieces with a sharp knife or bench knife and place them into an airtight container with layers of paper towels on the bottom, between each layer, and on top. This is an essential step and will help steam and soften the cookies.
  7. Cover and let sit for 6 hours before serving.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

4 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

2 g

Carbs (grams)

19 g

Fiber (grams)

1 g

Net carbs

18 g

Sugar (grams)

10 g

Protein (grams)

2 g

Cholesterol (grams)

27 mg
fig newtons, cookies
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Would you like to comment?

  1. OH MY YUM!!! My favorite cookie, complete with an amazing recipe. I wish figs were not so darn expensive here in Michigan but I just may have to splurge now!!

    1. You could definitely use store-bought dried figs. I just got ambitious!

  2. Home dried figs, wow! These look such a treat, it's been well over a decade since I made fig newtons for my mom, I could totally make a batch and surprise her for her birthday, she would absolutely love it!

  3. I love that you dried the figs! How fun and delicious are these fig newtons!

  4. My kids use to love these when they were younger. I remember buying packets and packets of them. Brought back so many memories. Will have to try baking them at home and give my adult kids a surprise.

  5. Delicious! Fig newtons are my favorite. I have everythig and now I am off to bake these. Thanks for the instruction to make dried figs at home.

  6. These are one of my all-time faves. I have one neighbor that picks a friend's figs and passes them out to everyone...and another neighbor who uses them to make fig newtons and passes them out to everyone. The homemade version is so much better than the store-bought. I bet these were crazy yummy!!!

  7. Growing up in New England these were a lunch box staple and yours look way better than the store bought!

  8. I know fig newtons aren't a super popular cookie but they are one of my favorites! Your homemade ones look wonderful, Karen!

    1. Thanks so much Stacy. This was fun project.

  9. Two of my brothers took up growing fig trees this year, so I am saving this for when they are overrun with fruit. I can't wait to make some!


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