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Best Fig Jam Substitute (Plus Fresh Fig Substitute)

Are you looking for the best fig jam substitute? Since figs are a seasonal and specialty food item, they may not be readily available most of the time. That’s why it might be hard to find fig jam at the supermarket anytime you crave it or need it for your recipe.

We have compiled a list of the substitutes for fig jam as well as the best fresh fig substitutes that you can easily find in local supermarkets or even in your pantry.

Figs are perfect as a spread on bread, donuts, or paired with yogurt. We know how hard it is to resist the allure of this sweet and juicy tiny fruit. We get it, and that’s why here’s a list you can save for your future needs.

glass dish filled with jam and jar with image of the fig

What are Figs?

Figs are from the same family as mulberry fruits. It is an edible pear-shaped pod that covers each blossom, containing a seed. It’s commonly cultivated in a few countries like the Middle East, Greece, Portugal, Turkey, and Spain. The majority of dried and fresh figs are sold in the United States. 

What is a Fig Jam?

Figs can be eaten fresh with the seeds and skins, or they can be preserved as jams. When preserved, it can be kept longer and be eaten with cheese, biscuits, or bread. People love eating brie cheese with fig jam because figs taste complements the cheese well. Compared to other jams, fig jam has a complex flavor of both saltiness and sweetness. 

Best Substitutes for Fig Jam

To replace fig jam in a dish or a snack, we suggest using apricot, blueberry, cherry, date, nectarine, or prune jam.

1. Apricot Jam

Apricot jam is a great substitute for fig jam, especially in baking. A lot of people like using this because it is cheaper and it tastes similar to fig jam. If you decide to DIY an apricot jam, you have to make sure that you’ll be using ripe and fresh apricots only. Doing so will give you a similar taste to fig jam compared to using dried fruit.

Apricots have a soft and sweet taste that is highly similar to figs but with a slightly salty flavor. For that reason, the apricot jam has a similar taste to fig jam. Similar to figs, they can be eaten either whole or sliced when served on a cheeseboard.

2. Blueberry Jam

Blueberries are another type of fruit that can be made into a good jam.

That’s why blueberry jam becomes an excellent substitute for fig jam. Many people choose this as an alternative because of its purple-blue hues, which some recipes require. Not only that, but you’ll also get the familiar salty taste that is present in fig jam.

In terms of accessibility, blueberry jam is found in most bakeries and grocery stores. It is a widely available substitute that offers similar taste and looks.

3. Cherry Jam

Cherry jam, made with fresh and ripe cherries, is another jam you can substitute with fig jam.

The sweetness of cherry jam makes it a handy substitute for fig jam. They both have a tangy, sweet, and refreshing taste. However, some cherry jam tends to have a stronger level of sweetness, so you might want to look closely at the sugar content of your recipe. You may need to reduce the sugar content level to make sure that the food you are preparing isn’t very sweet.

4. Date Jam

Date jam is also one of the good substitutes for fig jam. It has the same nutritional value and dark color as figs. But dates are sweeter than figs, so you may have to remember this when substituting one with the other. Therefore, you may need to reduce sugar when replacing figs with dates. 

Dates, like figs, may be eaten as is or blended into a jam.

5. Nectarine Jam

Since nectarine jam can be found almost anywhere, it is one of the most readily available substitutes for fig jam.

Nectarine jam may replace fig jam because of the similar sweetness that they have. These two fruit jams may be used as a spread on sandwiches, added to a cheese board, or eaten with biscuits and cheese. Sliced nectarines would even look great on your cheese platter and would complement your choice of biscuits and cheese.

This jam is very versatile, making it an excellent choice for people who would want to try something new in their recipes.

6. Prune Jam

Prune jam is an excellent fig jam substitute since it has the same texture and color as fresh figs. It is readily accessible in groceries and can easily be made at home. You’ll only need a blender or food processor, dried prunes, and water to prepare one in the comfort of your own kitchen. Of course, you are free to add more ingredients to adjust it to your liking.

Fig jam may be replaced by prune jam when eating bread or cheese boards. Also, you may substitute dried figs with dried prunes.

What are the best substitutes for figs?

If you opt to make your own jam at home, you may want to replace figs with dried figs, Medjool dates, pears, prunes, apricots, pluots, golden raisins, quince paste, or cranberries.

1. Dried Figs

Dried figs are a substitute that mimics the taste of fresh figs. However, they do not offer the same thickness, which won’t be a noticeable difference when added to food. 

Dried figs are naturally sweeter than fresh figs, so you may want to reduce the sugar content in recipes.

If you have tough dried figs, worry no more because you can still revive them and use them as a replacement for fresh figs. To bring these dried figs back to life, simmer them in water, wine, liquor, or sugar solution (a mixture of water and sugar).

You may also simply soak them in hot water for about 15 minutes. After that, you’ll get a plump-looking fruit.

2. Medjool Dates

Medjool dates are a type of date usually enjoyed for their organic sweet taste. They are tropical stone fruits with a single pit surrounded by edible flesh. They are perfect fig substitutes because of their natural caramel-like flavor.

Medjool dates can be added to appetizers, desserts, and cheese. For appetizers, you may wrap a bunch with prosciutto or pancetta with brie cheese. For desserts, you have to soak them in a tub of hot water for about 10 minutes until softened. You may add these to sweet dishes like tarts and cakes. Lastly, these are a great addition to your cheese plate. Because of its naturally sweet taste, it is a perfect match for salty crackers or blue cheese.

3. Pears

Pears are decent substitutes for figs in most recipes, even if they have a slight difference in texture and taste. They both have almost the same sweetness. Pears are slightly sweeter than figs, but they are both high in dietary fiber.

When considering pears as a replacement, choose the bosc pear because they are sweeter and more flavorful than other pear varieties. They have a honey-sweet taste and a juicy texture, making them an ideal substitute for figs. 

4. Prunes

Prunes are a good fig substitute because of their luxurious sweetness and soft consistency. But just like figs, you would not be able to get the extra seedy texture. It is a well-liked substitute for figs, especially in recipes where figs are squashed, in savory dishes, or even in healthy snacks.

Prunes can be used in place of figs in recipes like fig bruschetta that call for smashed figs.

5. Apricots

Fresh apricots are a good substitute for figs, especially because they are available for a longer period of time. These can be sliced into salads or roasted until caramelized, just like pears do. On the other hand, dried apricots can be chopped and added to baked goods like cakes, cookies, or bread. But not only that, they are also good in savory dishes like lamb or poultry dishes.

For sweet and savory dishes, you may use other stone fruits with similar flavors, like peaches.

6. Pluots

Pluots are a hybrid fruit of plums and apricots. Hence the name. Got it?

Outside, it looks like a plum, but inside it has the flesh of an apricot. It has a very sweet taste without the bitterness present in plums. However, there is a downside to this useful fig replacement because they aren’t as common as the other fruits that we talked about.

7. Golden Raisins

Golden raisins, sometimes called “sultana raisins” or simply “sultana,” are grapes that are treated with sulfur dioxide to preserve the grape’s lighter color. Compared to raisins and currants, sultanas are smaller, sweeter, lighter in color, and juicer. It is best added to baked goods or desserts.

8. Quince Paste

Quince paste, or quince cheese, is made from the pulp of quince fruit. It is a thick jelly with a sweet taste.

It is used by cooks as a replacement for figs on antipasto boards because you can get the same sweetness, which balances out the saltiness of the food. Compared to the other options mentioned, it is not as versatile. So you would not want to try using these in salads or baked goods.

9. Cranberries

Cranberries do not have a similar flavor to figs. It has a more bitter, sour taste, but it may still be used as a substitute as a sauce added to meat dishes like pork, lamb, chicken, and duck. They also taste good in baked goods like biscuits and cakes.

Other dried fruits, like dried dates, can also be used as a replacement for figs. Take note, however, that using dried figs instead of fresh figs will affect the consistency.


Next time you run out of fig jam or can’t find it at the store, choose to experiment and use one of the above choices instead of panicking. Now, we are not saying that these six alternatives above are perfect and will come out tasting like figs, but they’ll do the work when you need them. 

If none of the suggestions work out, you can make your own jam and use the nine fig alternatives we also listed above. Explore these options and find out which substitute works best for you, so you won’t miss the taste of figs and fig jam.

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Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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