* If you click a link on this page and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

9 BEST Fig Jam Substitutes + 2 To Avoid

I’ve personally taste-tested a variety of fig jam substitutes to find the best one.

Whether you’re on the hunt for the closest flavor match, in need of a last-minute pantry substitute, or seeking an alternative tailored to your specific dietary requirements, rest assured I’ve got you covered.

Apricot jam and peach preserves are great affordable alternatives to fig jam. Or if you prefer a more tart substitute, go with plum preserves. You can also blend dates or raisins into a paste and use this. If you have access to fresh figs, you can make your own jam or fig butter. 

Ready? Let’s jump right in.

The experiment

I smeared brie cheese over a batch of homemade crostini to put different fig jam substitutes to the test. 

Fig jam has a smooth, spreadable consistency and is studded with seeds that give it a crunchy twist. It has a rich, sweet flavor with subtle earthy notes. 

It’s great with bread like other jams, but fig jam really shines when you pair it with salty cheese and cured meat. 

Here are the substitutes I tested and my verdicts:

SubstitutesHow to SubstituteVerdict
Apricot JamReplace in a 1:1 ratio10/10
Peach PreservesReplace in a 1:1 ratio10/10
Homemade Fig JamReplace in a 1:1 ratio9/10
Fig ButterReplace in a 1:1 ratio9/10
Plum PreservesReplace in a 1:1 ratio9/10
DatesReplace in a 1:1 ratio8/10
Raspberry PreservesReplace in a 1:1 ratio8/10
Quince Paste1 tbsp fig jam = 1 slice quince paste8/10
Other Fruit JamsReplace in a 1:1 ratio7/10

Common uses for fig jam

Here are some popular ways to use fig jam and the best substitutes for those situations:

  • As an accompaniment for bread and pastries: Try using apricot jam, peach preserves, homemade fig jam, or fig butter. Plum preserves are also an excellent option for a more tangy kick. 
  • For charcuterie boards and cheese plates: Try using apricot jam, peach preserves, homemade fig jam, or fig butter. Dates are also a great option, and you can serve them whole or blend them into a paste. If you want to serve something unique, try quince paste. 
  • For sauces, marinades, and vinaigrettes: Try using apricot jam, peach preserves, or homemade fig jam. Plum and raspberry preserves also work if you prefer a more tartness. 
  • For desserts and baked goods: Try using apricot jam, peach preserves, homemade fig jam, or raspberry preserves. Quince paste also works. 

Apricot jam

Apricots are generally more affordable than figs, making this jam my go-to substitute. 

It lacks the earthy undertones of fig jam, but it has a sweet flavor with a sour note that means it’s not sickly.

You also won’t get the same crunchy texture as fig jam, but this isn’t a deal-breaker.

It was DELICIOUS with my brie.

How to substitute: replace fig jam in a 1:1 ratio with apricot jam.

Peach preserves

Here’s another affordable fig jam substitute – peach preserves. 

You’re in for a treat if you have a sweet tooth. Peach preserves has an intense sweetness which is much more pronounced than with fig jam.

So it’s perfect with strong cheese like pecorino or gorgonzola. It’s also delicious with gamey meat like lamb.

I only used a smidge with my brie, because I didn’t want the brie to be too overwhelmed.

Psst.. to add some tartness, mix in few drops of lemon juice.

How to substitute: replace fig jam in a 1:1 ratio with peach preserves.

Homemade fig jam

Making your own fig jam is straightforward and you only need three ingredients: figs, sugar, and lemons.

The Spruce Eats has an easy-to-follow recipe that also gives you canning instructions, so you can keep the jam for up to a year!

And if you find regular fig jam too sweet, try Evolving Table’s recipe instead. 

They use coconut sugar instead of plain old refined white sugar (don’t worry, this won’t add a coconut flavor). 

And only half the amount of usual recipes!

Other variations include adding orange zest for a citrusy flavor, or herbs to make it more savory.

How to substitute: replace the store-bought fig jam in a 1:1 ratio with your homemade fig jam.

Fig butter

Fig butter may not be as popular as its sibling fig jam, but you can use them pretty interchangeably!

The butter has a richer flavor and a thicker. more paste-like consistency because the figs are cooked longer. 

And yes, the crunch from the seeds is still there! 

You can make your own if you’re up for a DIY project. I especially love this slow cooker recipe because it involves minimal hands-off activity.

But for convenience seekers, Trader Joe’s has a delicious ready-made fig butter.

How to substitute: replace fig jam in a 1:1 ratio with fig butter.

Plum preserves

Plum preserves is a great alternative if you find fig jam too sweet. 

Regular plum preserves has a delightful tartness that keeps the flavors balanced. 

But for those who crave an even tarter bite, try looking for a bottle of Damson plum preserves. 

These plums have a stronger acidic flavor that’ll curb your sour cravings.

Pssst… only have prunes (i.e dried plums) available? You can turn these into jam too with this easy recipe – no pectin needed! 

How to substitute: replace fig jam in a 1:1 ratio with plum preserves.


Let me introduce you to an unconventional alternative – dates. Not the typical jam, I know, but hear me out.

Blitzing dates into a thick spread creates a delightful partner for your charcuterie boards, pizzas, or sandwiches.. 

I used Medjool dates because they’re incredibly soft and sweet, making them easy to blitz. 

And I didn’t need to add any sugar!

You can also use Delget noor dates if you’re on a budget – they’re slightly less sweet but just as satisfying. Or even raisins.

And if you don’t have a blender, serve the dates whole.

How to substitute: replace fig jam with an equal amount of blitzed dates or whole dates to taste.

Raspberry preserves

Love the added crunch from the seeds but not fig jam’s flavor? Switch it up and try raspberry preserves instead! 

The vibrant red color and the bright, sweet flavor of these preserves are a departure from earthy fig jam. 

But it still paired nicely with my brie crostini! 

Pro-tip: always check the labels. Famous jam maker Smuckers makes seedless raspberry jam that won’t have the crunch you crave. 

How to substitute: replace fig jam in a 1:1 ratio with raspberry preserves.

Quince paste

Quince paste is veering away from the world of jams, but it’s a delightful alternative if you want to try something new. 

It has a rich, honey-like sweetness strikingly similar to figs but with floral undertones rather than earthy notes. 

Unlike fig jam, quince paste comes in a solid jelly-like block you can slice and put on top of your crostinis. Or you can melt it down and use in in sauces and glazes for meat (it goes especially well with duck).

Psst… prefer something lighter, try out guava paste.

How to substitute: replace 1 tbsp fig jam with a slice of quince paste.

Other fruit jams/jelly

Any fruit jam can stand in for fig jam if you don’t mind a flavor change. 

Tart blueberry jam is a pantry staple that works well with dairy products like cream cheese and yogurt.

Or of you want an intensely fruity alternative, cherry jam might be your match. 

It’s a great partner to pancakes and waffles, and you can use it as a base for a sauce to jazz up your meaty proteins.

Plain old apple jelly is also a solid alternative, especially when paired with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese. 

How to substitute: replace fig jam in a 1:1 ratio with your chosen fruit jam.

Substitutes to avoid

Most of the suggestions above are a departure from fig jam’s sweet, earthy flavor. But options like Nutella and peanut butter are entirely out of left field.

Don’t get me wrong – they’d be delicious on toast or smeared over a warm croissant. 

But you can’t pair them with cheese and cold cuts like fig jam and they wont work in sauces or glazes.

9 Best Fig Jam Substitutes + 2 To Avoid

I tested loads of fig jam substitutes to find the best one. I also tested a homemade version if you're up for a DIY project.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Ingredient
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fig jam substitutes, substitutes for fig jam
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cool time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 48 servings
Calories: 50kcal


  • 3 lbs fresh ripe figs, washed, stems removed, quartered,
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon, juiced and finely grated zest


  • In a large sauce pan, combine the figs, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Stir constantly. Cover and leave to cook over low heat for 1 hour.
  • After cooking the fig mixture for an hour, attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Make sure the tip doesn't touch the pan's bottom. Let your jam continue cooking until thick. Once it reaches 220 F, remove from the heat.
  • Fill prepared jars with your hot fig jam mixture, leaving ½-inch headspace. Process in your water bath canner for 10 minutes. Remove the filled jars and check if they had a good seal. Let the jars cool to room temperature until the jam sets.


other options: apricot jam, peach preserves, homemade fig jam, fig butter, plum preserves, dates, raspberry preserves, quince paste, other fruit jams/jelly


Serving: 1tbsp | Calories: 50kcal

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating