Every year, about the end of August, I find sugar plums at the grocery and immediately go bananas! I buy them all – no plum left behind!!! It’s the kind of thing I can’t really explain, just like my drawer full of empty pizza sauce glasses. It’s something deep inside me that tells me: You need that! You need plum cake!
How to make German Plum Cake with Crumbles
My Plum Cake History
Plum cake isn’t even a childhood memory since my mom wasn’t into baking. The first time I have a memory of baking plum cake was about 23 years ago when my oldest daughter was little.
Back then, I baked a bunch of plum cakes and froze them, so I had some cake in case of visitors. You can read about the traditions about cake and visitors in this blog post? Throughout the year I thawed the cake, piece by piece, and ate it – with or without friends. I put each slice into the microwave for about 70 seconds and enjoyed it warm with some cold whipped cream and sometimes I added a scoop of vanilla ice cream to it – hmmm!
Houston, We Have a Problem!
Now, I really 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. No one can resist that! Plum cakes fill the bakery shelves and lure people in. And there are several options when it comes to the dough. This recipe is the most common 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 the dough but since I added more sugar, I love it as much as my other plum cake recipe. The other recipe is without yeast. I hope to find more plums, so I can show you version 2, too.
Yes, this 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 used to be, that my oven had only heat from the bottom. From Germany, I am used to a convection oven where the heat comes from all sides. My old Texas oven burned quite a few of my cakes from underneath and to avoid this, I baked this cake on a high rack. When I saw the sides getting brown, I stoped the heat, lowered the rack and then instead used the broil for a little bit. This way all sides got the heat they needed to get baked through. The down side was, that the cake was not as moist as it should have been. Meanwhile I was able to switch the old oven for a new convection oven and things are easier now. If you have a convection oven, call yourself happy and bake it at 340°F for about 20 to 30 minutes.
No Sugar Plums for this Plum Cake?
I know, sometimes it’s difficult to get these plums. But don’t worry, you can make this cake with the regular plums from your grocery. The taste is not so much different and it will still work out just perfectly!
If you happen to have a bread maker like me, then you could use it to make the dough! It is so convenient. In the instructions below, I put the pan onto my scale. This way I didn’t even need an extra bowl for measuring. I explain the “traditional way” and the “bread maker” way to prepare the dough.
Pin German Plum Cake to Pinterest
Pflaumenkuchen - Plum Cake, Version 1
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
- 300 g flour (all purpose)
- 150 g sugar
- 1 package vanilla sugar or some vanilla extract
- 150 - 200 g Butter softened
- 1 dash cinnamon (optional)
- 6 lbs plums / sugar plums
Prepare the dough traditional
- Main ingredients for the dough.
- Take some of the warm milk and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let stand for about 5 - 10 minutes.
- Mix the flour with the sugar.
- Add the vanilla, milk and the butter to the flour and mix well. Add the salt and mix until the dough doesn't stick to the bowl any longer.
- Cover with a kitchen towel and let stand and rise at a warm place until the dough has about doubled its size.
Prepare the dough in the bread maker
- Pour the milk into the baking pan of your bread maker.
- Add the liquid butter and the vanilla extract.
- Place the flour on top of the liquid ingredients.
- Place the sugar onto the flour.
- Press a little hollow in the middle into the flour and put the yeast in it.
- Set your bread maker on "dough" and let the magic happen.
Prepare the plums
- Wash the plums.
- Cut the plums in their length in halves and remove the stone.
- Place the plums in a bowl, cover until the dough is ready.
Prepare the cake pan
- Use a large rectangle pan and cover it with parchment paper. One can also use aluminum foil for an oven with heat only from below. The aluminum will help to prevent the cake from burning on the bottom. However, parchment paper is much better for the environment.
- If using aluminum foil: Use some butter or cooking spray to make it easier to remove the cake from the foil, later.
- 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.
- Let stand at a warm place and let rise, again.
- Meanwhile you can prepare the crumbles by just mixing all ingredients in a bowl. If you like cinnamon, add some cinnamon, too!
- Mix with your hands until crumbles have formed and set aside.
- Place the plums on top of the dough in the baking pan. See picture!
- Sprinkle crumbles on top of the plums.
- 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 (stay at the oven and watch!) until juice flows out of the plums and the crumbs turn light brown.
Convection oven: Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 340°F
- 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 ;-)
3 thoughts on “Plum Cake with crumbles – traditional German”
Also waiting for Plum Cake Version 2
Prune plums are ready now!
I didn’t get any Italian plums this year, they are in the stores only for a few days and I missed it.
Waiting for version 2! I LOVE plum cake,
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