Do you like plums? Not being a fan of fresh plums or plum desserts myself, I balked at making German Plum Cake. For years. But it’s popular in Germany, so I decided to give it a try.
I loved it so much I made it twice in two weeks! It’s now one of my favorite traditional German cakes, and I make it at least once a summer.
Each bite of this easy German cake is a delicious combination of tender cake, melt-in-your-mouth sweet plum, and buttery streusel.
Even better? Add a dollop of fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- 0.1 How to Make Plum Cake: Easy German Plum Cake Recipe
- 1 German Plum Cake
- 1.1 Ingredients
- 1.2 Instructions
- 1.3 Notes
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You can replace the plums with another stone fruit (like peaches) but I highly recommend using fresh plums. As they bake they become soft and sweet and combine so well with the crunchy streusel. Plums really are perfect for this cake.
Oh, and in case you want to look for it while traveling in Germany, plum cake in German is Zwetschgenkuchen or Pflaumenkuchen (and cake in German is Kuchen). 🙂 If plums are in season, it’ll be easy to find at bakeries and cafes all over Germany.
German plum cake is the perfect treat to bring to your next work potluck or family dinner. Or just to enjoy a slice of this easy plum cake in the afternoon with a cup of coffee or tea.
Fortunately, it’s super easy to make! I had the entire cake prepared and in the oven in less than 10 minutes. Whip the cream while the cake is baking and you’ve got a delicious dessert in no time.
Some German plum cake recipes use a yeast dough but I opted for the simpler quark-oil-dough (Quark-Öl-Teig), or rather Greek yogurt-oil-dough, since I didn’t have any quark on hand (if you want to be authentic, get my quark recipe here). The dough came together quickly, was easy to roll out, and tasted delicious.
The next step is to press the dough into a sheet pan (I LOVE this one from USA pan). If my plums are especially juicy, I sprinkle a little cream of wheat on the dough, but you can leave this out if you want.
After that, slice the plums (I usually slice them into 6-8 slices) and place them in rows on the dough. I should say here that I always make my plum cake using a sheet pan (I do the same with my German Bienenstich cake) because that’s how I always saw it at German bakeries! You will find plum cake (and Bienenstich) in the round cake shape, but not only do I like the German bakery look, I find it much easier to make and slice the cake when I use my baking pan. If you prefer the round cake look, use a springform pan.
The final step is to mix up the streusel, sprinkle it over the plums, and then pop the cake in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
Quick aside — you probably have your own favorite baking pans and method for preparing baking sheets but what I’ve found works really well is the USA pan I mentioned above and a sheet of parchment. The cake doesn’t stick to the pan, clean up is a breeze, and my baking pan still looks good as new! I wish I’d done this with my older, full-sized USA pan because it looks…much less new. 🙂
I do have a Silpat mat that I use all the time but it only fits my full-size baking pan. Until I get a smaller one for my smaller pan, parchment paper it is. Have you ever used the parchment sheets? I always get the roll, because I like being able to use as much or as little as I need, but the sheets seem pretty convenient. The parchment paper cake rounds seem like they’d be really big help if you make a lot of round cakes.
Served warm with a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream would be amazing, too! Enjoy!
How to Make Plum Cake: Easy German Plum Cake Recipe
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (or quark)
- 3 tbsp milk
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- FRUIT TOPPING
- 2-3 lbs fresh plums
- 1-2 tbsp cream of wheat
- 3/4 cup flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 6 tbsp cold butter (diced)
Pre-heat oven to 350F.
- To make the dough, mix yogurt (or quark), milk, sugar, oil, vanilla extract, flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl.
- Once dough forms a ball, turn onto a floured surface and knead a couple times until dough becomes smooth. Be careful, though, not to add too much flour or overwork the dough (if you do it may come out tough).
- Press dough into prepared jelly roll pan (14.5 x 10 inches). Sprinkle the cream of wheat over the dough.
- Cut plums in half and then each half into 3 or 4 slices. Arrange slices on the dough so they overlap slightly (skin side should be touching the dough).
- To make the streusel topping, mix the flour, sugar and cinnamon together. Then rub the butter into the flour mixture. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the plums.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until crust and streusel are lightly browned.
- Let cool and serve with fresh whipped cream or a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.