Ripe, sweet, juicy plums are one of my favorite fruits in the Fall. Here in Germany, the most delicious cake is make from these dark purple pitted fruits, Plum Cake!
With less than a year left in Germany, I’m determined to learn to bake as many of my favorite treats that I’ve come to love in the last 3 1/2 years. Cake rectangles topped with fruit and struessel are a German staple and one of my most favorite desserts.
In Germany, small purple plums are in season beginning in late summer and continue into the Fall. They are an inexpensive fruit to purchase but they make one of the best and most unexpected additions to cake.
Before I lived in Germany, I had never seen plums in cake before and to be honest, it would have never crossed my mind to use them in a dessert. Let me tell you though, this Plum Cake is one of my all time favorite treats in Germany.
Now, you may be thinking, “This doesn’t look like a cake?!” And you’re right! German cakes come in all shapes and sizes. The base of is almost a bread like dough made with yeast and rolled out into a pan. Topping the dough is a whipped cream and quark mixture topped with rows of fresh plums and a streusel to die for. Hmmmm… yeah. This really is the quintessential fruit cake in Germany. It’s a must have and now a must bake!
There are several names for this German Plum Cake including Pflaumenmuskuchen or Zwetschgendatschi. When I go into the bakery, I just smile and point and say, “Pflaumenkuchen, bitte!”
I translated this recipe from a German baking book I picked up at the Kaufland here. It’s called Omas beste Kuchen by Parragon Books. You can buy it on Amazon if you’re interested. The book is full of traditional German cakes that can be found in all the bakeries here!
If you need help with measurements in the recipe, you can download my Baking Conversion Charts to help you with the conversions!
- 175ml milk
- 350g all-purpose flour
- 21g yeast (3 envelopes/packets)
- pinch of salt
- 40g granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1tsp vanilla sugar
- zest of ½ a lemon
- 60g unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 50g granualted sugar
- 500g quark
- 2Tbsp corn starch
- 100g heavy cream
- 850g or about 30 small purple plums, pitted & quartered
- 200g all-purpose flour
- 100g granulated sugar
- 100g unsalted butter, cold
- powdered sugar, for garnish
- Warm milk in a sauce pan to 100F-110F degrees and set aside.
- Sift the flour into a bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast. Sprinkle the salt and half the sugar over the yeast. Add 50ml of the warm milk (about ¼ cup) and vigorously stir together with a wooden spoon. Cover with a towel and set in a warm place to proof for about 10 minutes (may take longer if it's not warm enough).
- Using a stand mixer with the dough hook, place the dough into the bowl. Add the egg, sugar, vanilla sugar, lemon zest and the butter and mix until combined. Add the remaining milk and mix until smooth. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Wash and remove the pits of the plus. Slice the plums into quarters (4 pieces) and set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the cream until stiff.
- In another bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until fluffy and the color has lightened. Mix in the corn starch and quark and stir until smooth.
- Gently fold the quark mixture into the whipped cream being gentle not to deflate the cream.
- In a bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Cube the butter and add it to the mixture. Using a pastry blender or a fork, cut the butter into the flour and sugar until crumbly.
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C degrees.
- Grease a 30x40cm pan with butter and flour.
- Knead the proofed dough 3-4 times on a lightly floured surface. Gently roll the dough to the size of the pan. Transfer the dough to the pan, pressing it into the sides and edges.
- Spread the filling evenly over the dough.
- Arrange the plums in rows on top of the filling.
- Sprinkle topping over the plums.
- Bake 30-45 minutes until golden brown. Turn heat off and let the cake rest in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Cool completely then garnish with a dusting of powdered sugar.
- Cut cake into rectangles and serve with coffee or tea.