German Plum Cake

How to Make a Delicious German Plum Cake

If you are looking for a way to use up some fresh plums, why not try making a German plum cake? This cake, also known as Zwetschgenkuchen or Pflaumenkuchen, is a traditional dessert in Germany that is made with a simple batter, juicy plums, and a crumbly streusel topping. It is perfect for serving with coffee or tea, or as a treat for any occasion.

There are different versions of German plum cake, depending on the region and the preference of the baker. Some use a yeast dough, some use a shortcrust pastry, and some use a sponge cake base. Some make it round, and some make it rectangular. Some add cinnamon, vanilla, or lemon zest to the batter or the streusel. But they all have one thing in common: they showcase the sweet and tangy flavor of the plums.

The recipe I am sharing with you today is based on the one from [Plated Cravings], which uses a sponge cake batter and a streusel topping. I like this version because it is easy and quick to make, and it has a nice balance of texture and taste.

Here are the ingredients and steps you will need to make this delicious German plum cake:


– 2 ¼ cups (280 g) all-purpose flour

– 2 teaspoons baking powder

– ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar

– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

– ¼ teaspoon salt

– Zest of 1 lemon

– ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, softened

– 2 large eggs, at room temperature

– ¼ cup (60 ml) milk, at room temperature

– About 2 pounds (900 g) of fresh plums, pitted and quartered

– For the streusel:

    – 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour

    – ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar

    – ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

    – ¼ cup (56 g) unsalted butter, softened


– Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 9-inch springform pan.

– In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.

– Add the sugar, vanilla extract, salt, lemon zest, butter, and eggs to the same bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.

– Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

– Arrange the plum quarters on top of the batter in a circular pattern, slightly overlapping each other.

– In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and cinnamon for the streusel.

– Add the butter and cut it into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or a fork until crumbly.

– Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the plums.

– Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

– Let the cake cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before removing the springform ring.

– Enjoy your German plum cake with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.

Tips and Variations:

– You can use any kind of plums for this recipe, but I recommend using Italian plums or Empress plums (Zwetschgen), which are traditionally used in Germany. They are smaller, firmer, and less juicy than other plums, which makes them ideal for baking. They also have a deep purple color and a complex flavor that becomes more intense when cooked.

– You can also use other stone fruits like peaches or apricots instead of plums if you prefer.

– You can add some sliced almonds or chopped walnuts to the streusel for some extra crunch and nuttiness.

– You can store the cake at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Just wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing. To thaw, let it sit at room temperature for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

German plum cake

Plum cake with two floors

Ingredients for 20 pieces:
For the baking sheet (40 x 30 cm): a little fat

Kneading dough: 225 g wheat flour60 g 

sugar 1 packet of Dr. Oetker vanillin sugar150 g soft butter or margarine

Topping: about 1 1/2 kg 

batter: 200 g soft margarine or butter200 g sugar1 packet of Dr. Oetker Vanillin Sugar3 

eggs (size M)200 g wheat flour2 level teaspoons Dr. Oetker Original Baking powder

For sprinkling: 50 g sugar

For decorating: 200 ml whipped cream,

cinnamon,almond leaves.

1. Grease the baking sheet. Preheat oven.

Top / bottom heat: around 180 ° C, 

hot air: around 160 ° C

         (regular)                                  (convection)

2. Kneading dough: Put the flour in a mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and use a hand mixer (dough hook) to mix everything into a dough, first briefly on the lowest, then on the highest level, then shape into a roll. Roll out the dough on the baking sheet, prick the bottom several times with a fork. 

3. Slide the baking sheet into the oven on the middle shelf and prebake the base. Baking time: about 12 minutes.Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and let the pastries cool down a little.

3.Topping: Wash the plums, cut in half and stone.

4. Sponge mixture: Mix margarine or butter with a hand mixer (whisk) in a mixing bowl until smooth. Gradually add sugar and vanillin sugar while stirring until it forms a bond. Stir in each egg for about 1/2 minute on the highest setting. Mix the flour with the Baking powder and briefly stir in 2 portions over medium speed. Spread the batter on the kneading dough base. Spread the plums in rows on the batter and put the baking sheet back in the oven.Baking time: about 55 minutes.

5. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack, the 

cakeSprinkle with sugar and let cool. Whip the whipped cream with sugar and cinnamon until stiff and decorate the cake with it. Top with a few almond leaves.


  • You can prepare the cake 1 day before consumption.
  • The cake also tastes very good with apricots, cherries, or apples cut into wedges and 50 g currants. Apricot the apple pie after baking. To do this, strain 4 tablespoons of apricot jam through a sieve, bring to a boil with 2 tablespoons of water, and brush the apples with it.
  • If the kneading dough sticks, wrap it in foil and put it in the refrigerator for a while.
Pflaumenkuchen (German Plum Cake Recipe) | Sweet Pea's Kitchen
Image courtesy- Pinterest

Extra notes :

  • The baking pan dimensions seems a bit off use slightly smaller pan 
  • Make sure you grease or line the baking the pan with butter or parchment paper before rolling dough out.
  • Dough will be delicate and hard to roll out so just use your fingers to make sure the bottom of your pan is evenly covered.
  • Let the first layer cool before adding second layer, I recommend atleast 20 mins or longer.
  • Second layer will look like soft serve ice cream, drop chunks of it on different sections of pan and then gently try to cover whole pan
  • Add plums only after you have added second layer. You cannot put the plums on first and then add second layer.

~ Recipe courtesy- Dilnaz Kain

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and learned how to make a delicious German plum cake. If you try this recipe, please let me know how it turned out in the comments below.
Happy baking!

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