Saturday, September 10, 2011

German Plum Cake

     My German neighbor and long time family friend used to make the most wonderful Cherry Streusel dessert.  She'd make large sheet pans of it and every so often would ring our doorbell with a plate brimming with the buttery treat.  I still don't have her recipe but seeing as how this Plum Cake has it's roots in Bavaria and she is from the same part of Germany I may have found the next best thing.  The cake batter is almost like a cookie dough, just press it in the bottom of your dutch oven.  Cover with a generous layer of fresh, sliced plums and sprinkle with the streusal topping.  It makes just the right amount for a 10 inch dutch oven.  I baked it with 10 coals in a circle around the bottom and started out with the lid completely covered with 18-20 coals.  After 15 minutes I removed the center coals on the lid and finished baking it with only one ring around the outside.  I have learned the hard way that desserts and coffee cakes made with buttery toppings tend to burn easily, so keep a close watch on it.  The total cooking time was 35 minutes.  Let it cool in your oven for an hour before lifting it out in one piece.  Not overly sweet, the juicy plums take center stage with this rich and delicious Bavarian cake.

German Plum Cake
1/4 lb (1 stick) butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 Tblsp sour cream
1 pinch salt ( only if you use unsalted butter)
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups (about 3 large) plums, pitted and sliced into thin wedges
For the topping
6 Tblsp butter
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

     Lightly oil or spray a 10 inch dutch oven.  Line with parchment paper.
     In large bowl, cream the butter; add the sugar, vanilla, egg, lemon peel, sour cream and salt (if desired).
     Mix the flour and baking powder; add to butter mixture.
     Press dough into bottom of dutch oven.
     Liberally spread plums over the dough.
     For topping:
     Cream the butter; add flour, sugar and cinnamon.
     Sprinkle over the plums and bake at 30-40 minutes at 375 degrees.
     Let cool in dutch oven for one hour before removing.

Press cake batter into bottom of oven, cover evenly with plum slices

Sprinkle with streusel topping

Ready in 35 minutes

Let cool for an hour before lifting from oven

Fresh, juicy plums baked in a buttery cake


  1. Wow, I made this cake yesterday and it brought back beautiful childhood memories! A good family friend from Holland used to make a similar cake- and it was the best cake I had ever tasted. I have tried many plum cake recipes, but the simplicity and authenticity makes this one by far the best yet. Kudos!

  2. I'm so glad you liked the recipe Ruccina, now that plums are in season I may have to make one too, thank you for your nice comment! Liddy

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