If there is a quintessential late summer/early fall thing I have to make each and every year, it’s this German Plum Cake. Nicely spiced, cozy and loaded with streusel – I mean, what is not to love?! ♥︎
I guess homey fall comfort food is in my blood…. Not a thing I complain about 😉
Now this plum cake is absolutely not fancy or frilly.
It’s easy, it’s basic (I mean it’s basic to the people of Germany and to the people who grew up with German grandmothers) – but basic or not, it’s the tastiest streusel cake in the whole wide world.
If you don’t believe me, maybe try it and see??!
First things first: Which plums to use for plum cake, according to yours truly:
(Not all plums in the photo below but alas, the cake is delicious with other stone fruit, too!)
There are a few options when it comes to the fruit in this cake:
- regular plums: these are easily available when plums are in season, so I use them a lot whenever I can’t find prune plums. They are usually not quite as sweet as prune plums (at least the ones I buy aren’t), so you may need to adjust the sugar if yours are very tart
- prune plums: my favorite! my grandparents had a tree on their farm and we always baked with prune plums, so they taste best/most authentic to me.
- other stone fruit: if you’re not that into plums, you can easily swap it for other stone fruit like peaches or apricots – I sometimes make this with a mix of stone fruit and berries and it’s delicious!
Now let’s see how to make a German Plum Cake:
First thing: Prep your pan and preheat your oven.
I KNOW. So basic. But I’ve forgotten to turn on my oven more times than I can remember, so I thought I’d tell you either way.
Then make your streusel. Yes, it goes on last. But you’ll want to chill it before you bake it, so it does actually stay in streusely crumbs.
Next up is the fruit. I know it’s super inconvenient to bake with fresh plums, because there are SO many to pit.
But… A good plum cake is worth it? Put on your favorite
podcast kid music playlist (baby shark is the soundtrack to my #momlife) and get pitting/slicing.
Finally we have the cake batter — you don’t HAVE to do this in your stand mixer, I usually make it with a hand mixer. Butter, sugar, eggs together, then some yogurt in, then the dry ingredients… Done.
All you have to do now is assemble: Cake batter into the prepared pan, plums on top, streusel on top and off she goes into the oven.
Once your German Plum Cake is baked, let her cool. Overnight if you can bear it, because then she will be extra-delicious.
Or warm in unreasonably large quantities? Oh yeah, baby. Nobody can resist!
PSA: Better plan to make two, so grocery shop for two from the get-go. This cake goes FAST in our home.
Dessert? Sure, three slices for me. Afternoon snack? Why not.
And breakfast? Just don’t tell the dentist…
Oh PS if you wanted to know what a German Plum Cake is called in, well, German? It’s Pflaumenkuchen. Pflaumen-Streuselkuchen, to be precise. Now try saying THAT three times fast in a row 😉
German Plum Cake
- 1 cup flour
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons cold butter
- 2 sticks butter softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 cup ground almonds
- 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 pounds pitted plums quartered (halved if using prune plums)
- Prep: Line a 9×13 inch cake pan and preheat the oven to 360°F.
- Make the streusel: Add 1 cup flour, ⅓ cup sugar and ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon to a small bowl. Mix well, then cut in the butter until crumbs form. Chill.
- Make the cake batter: Cream 2 sticks butter, 1 cup sugar and 3 large eggs together until light and fluffy (this takes 4-5 minutes, so be patient or your cake won't rise). Slowly beat in 1 cup greek yogurt. Evenly sprinkle 2 ½ cups flour, 1 cup ground almonds, 1.5 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon salt over the egg mixture. Slowly mix in until a smooth batter forms – batter will be thick.
- Assemble and bake the cake: Spread the batter in the prepared cake tin. Evenly place the plums on top, slightly pressing them into the batter. Scatter the streusel over the cake. Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out fairly clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.