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 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).
This Plum Cake tastes great for dessert or brunch. Top it with homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for an extra special treat.
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.
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.
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.
Looking for more German Cake Recipes?
- German Apple Cake (Versunkener Apfelkuchen)
- German Apple Streusel Sheet Cake
- Covered German Apple Cake Recipe
- Easy Spice Cake Recipe
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Plum Cake with Streusel
- 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
- 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.
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