Place the figs in a bowl with the butter and bicarb. Pour over the boiling water and stir until the butter has melted. Set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Lightly grease an 18cm (7 in) round deep cake tin and line the bottom with baking parchment.
Place the sugar and eggs in a large bowl and beat well to combine. Add the cooled fig mixture, then sift in the flour, baking powder, mixed spice, cinnamon and salt. Add the walnuts and stir together until thoroughly mixed.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top. Bake for 1–1 1/4 hours or until the cake is risen and nicely browned and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
The cake can be kept, wrapped in foil or stored in an airtight container, for up to 5 days.
Lovely cake with a lovely texture. I did not have enough plain flour - only 210g so made up the difference with self raising flour. Also, had no soft brown sugar or walnuts but used light muscovado sugar and chopped hazelnuts. Whole thing was cooked in about 50 - 55 mins - I covered the top of the cake with foil after 45 mins. Has a lovely warm, Christmassy taste to it without being too strong like some Christmas fruit cakes can be. - 12 Nov 2016
Easy recipe to follow. The cake isn't overly sweet but has good depth of flavour. I checked it after 45 minutes and it was already over-baked and slightly dry. 35-40 minutes would probably be perfect. - 11 Jun 2015