Plum Cake with Streusel

Plum Cake is a delicious coffee cake made with a simple batter, fresh plums, and a cookie-like nut-free streusel topping! This traditional German plum crumb cake is so easy to make from scratch and can also be baked on a sheet if you need to feed a crowd.

Plum Cake Recipe

Plum Cake is made with fresh Italian plums and so simple to make yet so delicious!

There are many different versions of plum cake in Germany, most are made with yeast dough and are baked on a “Backblech” (baking sheet) but this “Rührteig” based recipe is also very popular because it is easier and quicker to make. In Germany, this kind of cake is often served in the afternoon for “Kaffee und Kuchen” (Coffee and Cake time).

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This Plum Cake tastes great for dessert or brunch. Top it with homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for an extra special treat.

German Plum Cake with Streusel Topping

Tips and Tricks for making Plum Cake from Scratch

  • For this recipe you need Italian Prune Plums. These are also often called Empress plums, prune plums, or “Zwetschgen” in German.
  • You could also use apples instead of plums or canned peaches. This cake tastes great with many fruits but works best with the ones who keep their shape during baking.
  • A springform works best for this recipe.
  • You can double this recipe and bake it in a 15×11-inch rectangular baking pan. The cake might need a few minutes longer to bake so keep an eye on it and test with a skewer before taking it out of the oven.

Zwetschgenkuchen

What are Italian Prune Plums?

Italian Prune Plums are also called Empress Plums. These European-style plums are small, dense, and egg-shaped with blue or purple skin, and yellow flesh. Their pits separate easily from the flesh. These plums are perfect for baking and hit the markets at the end of August.

How do you pit a plum?

The pits are easy to remove. Cut the plum along the seam that runs from top to bottom. Flip the plum open, remove the pit, and cut the plum into quarters.

Can plum cake be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze plum cake but the streusel topping might not be as crispy after defrosting the cake.

How to make Plum Cake from Scratch

Make sure to watch the short video I made for you below before baking this cake! It covers every step to get a perfect cake.

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Plum Cake with Streusel - a delicious coffee cake which is easy to make! This streusel-topped cake is super versatile, just switch out the plums for apples or peaches.
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5 from 8 votes

Plum Cake with Streusel

Plum Cake is a delicious coffee cake made with a simple batter, fresh plums, and a cookie-like nut-free streusel topping! This traditional German plum cake is so easy to make from scratch and can also be baked on a sheet if you need to feed a crowd.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: German
Servings: 12
Calories: 330kcal
Author: Julia

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs Italian Prune Plums pitted and quartered

For the cake batter:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest freshly grated
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 large eggs

For the streusel:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter room temperature

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray with cooking spray or lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine flour and baking powder. Add sugar, vanilla extract, lemon zest, butter, and eggs to the bowl and beat on low speed until combined then increase speed to medium-high and beat until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  • Spread the batter evenly into the cake pan. Gently press the plums into the dough (see pictures or video).
  • Make the streusel: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Add soft butter and beat until everything is combined and your crumbs have a coarse and clumpy texture about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Using your hands spread the streusel evenly on top of the plums.
  • Bake for 50 minutes until the top is lightly golden. Let the cake sit in the pan for about 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan and remove the outer ring of the springform. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 330kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 80mg | Potassium: 163mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 14.2% | Vitamin C: 6.7% | Calcium: 3.3% | Iron: 6.8%
Plum Cake

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Plum Cake is a delicious coffee cake made with a simple batter, fresh plums, and a cookie-like nut-free streusel topping! This traditional German plum crumb cake is so easy to make from scratch and can also be baked on a sheet if you need to feed a crowd. #plumcake #germanplumcake #plumcrumbcake #coffeecake #baking #cake

19 Comments

  • tazie

    My mother is German and I ran the recipe by her and she said “that’s the plum cake you want to make!” I made it for a college football house party and it disappeared. I was hoping to have a slice for breakfast the next morning! Definitely will be baked more this fall. Your ingredients, pictures and recipe was simple and easy to follow. Thank you so much.

  • Christel Goetsch

    I made my mom’s version of the (non yeast) dough recipe sheet cake with half apples and half plums and topped with streusel tonight…omg-too good! Brings back many fond memories!
    I recall my aunt in Germany making a sheet cake with yeast and just a streusel topping that was just delicious also. I started searching the internet looking for a similar recipe and got to this site. Any leads on a good recipe for the cake using yeast dough? Please let me know!
    Must be the season for making these goodies!
    Thanks,
    Christel

    • Julia

      I haven’t tried it myself but I think it would work! I would let the cake cool to room temperature after baking, cover it airtight, and put it in the freezer. To serve, simply defrost. Or you could also serve it warm by placing it in a preheated 350°F oven for about 15-20 minutes. – Julia

  • Kim

    This was so, so good. My colleagues devoured it and said it was their favorite baked good so far! I will definitely make it again!

  • Melanie

    Easy and yummy even though I used “cherry plums” (squishy things totally against what you recommend) but I have them in abundance!

  • Kristin

    This is a great recipe, thank you! I made it last weekend and got more plums at the market this weekend just so I could make it again. I had blueberries to use up so I threw a handful in the batter and it added a great pop of flavor to the cake. My plums were a little tart last week so I’m going to sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar on them before I put the topping on this time.

  • Christina Fieramosca

    This cake was super easy and delicious. It actually tasted even better on day 2 and 3, and then poof it was gone. Very light, great texture and taste. The only thing I would add is a dollop of whip cream! Just like they do in Germany.

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