This German Plum Cake with buttery streusel topping is the perfect cake to bake with fresh summer fruit! It’s a tender coffee cake that’s easily make from scratch and sure to be a hit!!
Why you’ll love this recipe
There are a few varieties of German Plum cakes. Some are made type is made with yeast dough, others are made with shortcrust pastry and some like this one are made with cake batter. And the streusel topping is optional but adds extra deliciousness!!
While plum season is in full swing, it’s time to make this wonderful cake. It’s hard to beat this cake with its topping of juicy plums and buttery streusel.
For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card bottom of the page.
Here’s what you’ll need to make the most easiest but also delicious German Plum cake.
- Plums – all varieties work here but not too ripe or they’ll turn to mush. Traditionally, Italian plums (my fav!) are used but I haven’t found those in years. Dark red plums look like jewels nestled in the cake but yellow plums are delicate and light;
- Plain all purpose flour, baking powder, unsalted butter, sugar, egg, milk and salt – the usual ingredients you’ll find in cake batters;
- Lemon zest – the zing and freshness is perfect paired with the sweet tang of fresh plums and is so delicious in baking recipes!! Just check out these recipe to see how good it is -> Lemon Yogurt cake, Apricot Tart and Strawberry Crostata; and
- Ground cinnamon – for the streusel topping.
Other fruits also work well in this cake. Keep in mind that any fruit used should be ripe but still firm. Why not try these variations:-
Using a hand held, electric mixer makes this cake really easy. You could use a wooden spoon to beat the butter and sugar if you don’t mind a bit of manual work!
Firstly, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- Beat butter then add sugar until light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest and egg.
- Alternatively add flour mixture and milk to make a smooth batter. Spread into a greased springform pan.
- Pit and slice the plums into eighths.
- Arrange plums on cake batter
- Rub butter into flour, sugar, ground cinnamon and salt to form a crumbly streusel topping.
- Sprinkle streusel topping over plums and bake until golden.
Tips for success and FAQ’s
Tips for success and FAQ’s
This cake is simple but there are a few tips that will ensure your German plum cake turns out perfectly!
Firstly have butter and egg for cake batter at room temperature, that way the butter and sugar beats up nice and fluffy and the egg incorporates well.
Then it’s important to choose great plums. As noted above, Italian prune plums are the traditional choice for this cake but a just ripe, tangy plum will be an excellent option. Whichever plums you use, make sure you pack the slices in to maximum flavor. If plums are small, you may need more.
Finally, streusel topping shouldn’t be overworked. Use cool but not cold, hard butter. Just rub the butter in until the ingredients form a knobbly, crumbly mixture.
Cut the plum in half along the natural line then twist to separate. Using a knife remove the pit, then slice into quarters or eighths.
Yes! Wrap well in plastic wrap and heavy-duty foil then freeze for up to 3 months.
If you need larger quantities, I recommend you use two 9inch/22cm springform pans rather than one larger pan.
Leftover cake should be stored in a covered container at cool room temperature or in the refrigerator for two days.
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This updated recipe was first published on April 20, 2017.
German Plum Cake Recipe
- 1 ½ cup (200 grams) plain all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch salt
- 6 tablespoons (¾ stick/85 grams) unsalted butter at room temp
- ⅓ cup (67 grams) superfine (castor) sugar
- finely grated zest of a lemon
- 1 egg at room temp
- ⅓ cup milk
- 6 plums or enough plums of your choice to cover the dough, cut into wedges
- ½ cup (62 grams) plain all purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick/57 grams) unsalted butter cool but not cold
- ¼ cup (50 grams) superfine (castor) sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch salt
- Preheat oven 400ºF/200ºC and grease and line the base of a 9 inch (22cm) springform cake pan
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter until smooth.
- Add the sugar and beat for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest and egg and beat well.
- On low speed, alternately add flour mixture and milk on low speed (end with flour). Mix until just smooth.
- Spread the batter over the base of the baking pan using the back of a spoon.
- Arrange the plums decoratively over the dough.
- Put flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon and salt into a bowl (it's fine to use the bowl you made the cake in without cleaning it). Rub the butter into the other ingredients forming a crumbly streusel.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Always adjust cooking time if your oven is hotter or cooler.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes before unclipping the sides of the springform pan and removing carefully. Cool for at least another 30 minutes.
- Serve warm.
- Have butter and egg for cake batter at room temperature.
- Use just ripe, tangy plums.
- Pack in lots of plums for maximum fruity flavor.
- If plums are small, you may need more.
- Don’t overwork the streusel topping otherwise you’ll end up with a dough instead of a crumbly mixture.