Easy German & European Cooking

Pflaumenkuchen – Plum Cake, Version 1

Every year end of August: I find sugar plums at the grocery and go bananas! I buy them all – no plum left behind!!! It’s the kind of thing I can’t really explain, it*s like my drawer full of empty pizza sauce glasses, something deep inside tells me: You need that!


Plum cake isn’t even a childhood memory, since my mom wasn’t big in baking. The first time I have a memory of baking plum cake was about 23 years ago, when my oldest daughter was little. I baked a bunch of plum cakes and froze them so I had some cake in case of visitors – you remember what I told you earlier about cake and visitors, right? Throughout the year I thawed the cake piece by piece and ate it – with or without friends and warm from the microwave with some cold, whipped cream.

plum cake

German plum cake

Now I can’t stop myself when it comes to sugar plums, especially since I am in Texas and they are not so easy to find. In Germany the plum season is actually a big thing since quite a few people are crazy about plum cake just like me.  There is this scent that pours out of the German bakeries at this time of the year, that no one can resist. Plum cakes fill the shelves and lure people in. And there are several options when it comes to the dough. This recipe is the most common and most liked one in my home country. It hasn’t really been my favorite for a long time, to be honest. The reason is, that the original recipe usually doesn’t have a lot of sugar in it but since I added more sugar to the dough, I love it as much as my other plum cake recipe. I hope I will find more plums during the next weeks and introduce you to some other plum cake recipes, that’s why this is “version 1”.

fresh baked plum cake

Fresh from the oven!

The dough is made with yeast! You could almost call this a plum pizza 😉 . It is supposed to be very fluffy and soft. My personal challenge here in Texas is, that my oven has only heat from the bottom. I am used to a convection oven where the heat comes from all sides. My Texas oven burned quite a few of my cakes from underneath and to avoid this, I bake this cake on a high rack. When I see the sides getting brown, I stop the heat, lower the rack and instead use the broil for a little bit. This way all sides get the heat they need to get baked through. The down side is, that the cake is not as moist as it should be. If you have a convection oven, call yourself happy  and bake it at 340°F without preheating for about 20 to 30 minutes.

If you happen to have a bread maker like me, then you should use it to make the dough! It is so convenient. I put the pan onto my scale so I don’t even need an extra bowl for measuring. I explain the “traditional way” and the “bread maker” way to prepare the dough.

Pflaumenkuchen - Plum Cake, Version 1
Print Recipe
German Plum Cake recipe with yeast dough.
Servings Prep Time
16 pieces 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 pieces 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 60 minutes
Pflaumenkuchen - Plum Cake, Version 1
Print Recipe
German Plum Cake recipe with yeast dough.
Servings Prep Time
16 pieces 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 pieces 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 60 minutes
For the dough:
  • 500 g flour (all purpose)
  • 1 package yeast (or about 2-3 tsp)
  • 75 g sugar (I use 100 g and would recommand doing the same)
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar or some vanilla extract
  • 250 ml milk (warm)
  • 75 - 100 g Butter (melt in microwave)
  • 1 dash salt
For the streusel / crumbel
The Plums
Servings: pieces
Prepare the dough traditional
  1. Main ingredients for the dough.
  2. Take some of the warm milk and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let stand for about 5 - 10 minutes.
  3. Mix the flour with the sugar and salt.
  4. Add the vanilla, milk and the butter to the flour and mix well.
  5. Cover with a tea towel and let stand and rise at a warm place until the dough has about doubled it's size.
Prepare the dough in the bread maker
  1. Pour the milk into the baking pan of your bread maker.
  2. Add the fluid butter and if you use vanilla extract, add it too.
  3. Place the flour on top of the fluid ingredients.
  4. Place the sugar around the flour.
  5. Press a little hollow in the middle into the flour and put the yeast in it.
  6. Set your bread maker on "dough" and let the magic happen.
Prepare the plums
  1. Wash the plums.
  2. Cut the plums in their length in halves and remove the stone.
  3. Place the plums in a bowl, cover until the dough is ready.
Prepare the cake pan
  1. Use a large rectangle pan and cover it with aluminum foil. One can also use parchment paper but if you have an oven like mine, the aluminum will help to prevent the cake from burning in the bottom.
  2. Use some butter or cooking spray to make it easier to remove the cake from the foil, later.
  3. When the dough has about doubled it's size, carefully put it on the baking pan and spread it gentle on the whole surface until it is covered.
  4. Let stand at a warm place and let rise, again.
Last steps
  1. Meanwhile you can prepare the crumbles by just mixing all ingredients in a bowl. If you like cinnamon, add some cinnamon, too!
  2. Mix until a dough has formed and set aside.
  3. Place the plums on top of the dough in the baking pan. See picture!
  4. Add crumbles on top by just taking small pieces of the crumble dough and place them on top of the plums.
  5. Oven with heat only from underneath: Bake at 350°F on a higher rack for about 25 - 30 minutes or until sides turn brown. Then lower the rack, switch to broil for a a few minutes until juice flows out of the plums and the crumbs turn light brown. Convection oven: Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 340°F
  6. ENJOY THE SCENT OF YOUR CAKE!!! EAT IT WARM WITH SOME COLD FRESH WHIPPED CREAM! Warning: Don't overeat! They are plums after all ... ya know 😉
Share this Recipe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get my Newsletter

About me …


Welcome to my blog about German Recipes  and thank you for taking the time to read “about me”.

My name is Barbara, I am a mother of three and happily married to the most supportive husband anyone can imagine.
In 2010 we moved from Germany to Texas. We thought it would be only for three years but …

Recent Comments