The Perfect Plum Cake

The Perfect Plum Cake

This German plum cake recipe, properly known as Pflaumenkuchen, is a real tradition in our family.  I can remember my Oma making this often for family gathering as young kid and every time it was equally delicious!  This version of her recipe is super easy to make and brings back good memories with every bite.  The key to making this cake “perfect” is using Italian prune plums, also known as Empress plums, since they are a little more tart, and turn beautiful shades of fuchsia when baked.  Here in Michigan, the peak harvest time for growers is in September.  So now is the time to look for these specialty plums in your local market and give this recipe a try! Good news is you can easily swap out the prune plums for other varieties if you have trouble finding them locally and peaches are equally as wonderful; however, I personally just love the tartness of the plums.  The streusel on top of the cake adds just enough sweetness making it the absolute ideal baked good treat to pair with a good cup of coffee or bubbly. Cheers and enjoy a slice of our family tradition!    

What you'll need

  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar (look for the Dr. Oetker brand)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • ⅓ cup sunflower oil or light olive oil
  • About 2 pounds of Italian prune plums (Empress plums), pitted & quartered
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter

Prep + Bake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix 2⅓ cups sifted flour, baking powder, ⅓ cup sugar, vanilla sugar, and salt.
  3. Add yogurt, milk, and oil and using dough hook on your stand mixer, mix for a minute or so until dough holds together but do not over-beat.   You can also mix with a spoon and gently knead with hands until the dough holds together nicely.
  4. Press dough into a greased into two 9″ springform pans or you can also use a 9″ x 13″ pan.  
  5. Place plum quarters in rows on top of dough.  Make sure you do not slice the plums too thin, since they will be cooking down a fair amount.
  6. Mix together the 2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup butter to make the streusel dough topping. Crumble evenly over the top of the plums.
  7. Bake for about 50 – 60 minutes, or until the streusel top is lightly browned.
  8. Let cool and serve on it’s own (my favorite way + a glass of bubbly!) or with a scoop of whipped cream & ENJOY!

 

Makes 2 – 9” cakes or 1 – 9” x 13” pan cake


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Author:  Jennifer Kuhar

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