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German Plum Cake With Streusel (Zwetschgenkuchen)

German Plum Cake With Streusel (Zwetschgenkuchen)

This German plum cake with streusel also known as Zwetschgenkuchen or Pflaumenkuchen is fluffy, moist, not too sweet and so good. Made with sweet yeast dough, filled with fresh plums and topped with crumbles.

The plum sheet cake tastes over the top dusted with icing sugar and with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, afternoon tea or dessert.

Some months ago I received a message from Jenny, who originally comes from USA, lived in Dresden, Germany and now lives in Czech Republic. Jenny asked me if it was possible to share a cake recipe with fruits on top and yeast dough.

A few days ago I picked some Italian plums aka. Damson plums from the garden.

I thought I will use the opportunity to share with Jenny and all the yeast dough dessert fans this recipe for German plum cake that’s very popular in Bavaria. I served it last Sunday for afternoon tea and it was a huge hit.

My German grandma in-law, Rosa thought that the plum cake was made by my mum in law (her daughter). And my husband, who claims not to be a plum cake fan ate up almost half of it. What a compliment!!

This plum sheet cake recipe is not the quickest to make like this easy plum cake recipe, but it’s all worth it. The cake is not fully topped with crumbles. This somehow makes it calorie friendly plus you can still see the beautifully arranged plums underneath.

You can use the yeast dough recipe as a basic recipe to bake yeasted fruit cake of any variety, from apples, peaches, cherries, nectarines, currants to apricots.

What you’ll need to make the German plum cake with crumble

For the sweet yeast dough:

  • 370 g (13.1 oz/ 3 cups + 1 tablespoon) plain flour (all purpose flour), plus extra for dusting
  • 3 1/2  teaspoons (10 g/ 0.35 oz) dry yeast
  • 1 medium egg
  • 70 g ( 2.5 oz/ 1/3 cup) sugar
  • 60 g ( 2.1 oz/ ¼ cup) butter
  • 120 ml (½ cup/ 4 fl oz) whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the plum filling:

  • 1.3 kg (2.9 lbs) plums
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

For the crumble:

  • 150 g (5.3 oz/ 1 ¼ cups) plain flour (all purpose flour)
  • 60 g (2.1 oz/ 1/3 cup) sugar
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) butter

How to make Zwetschgenkuchen

Activate dry yeast

Heat milk in a pot at medium heat. Pour half of the milk in a jar. Put the butter in the remaining milk in the pot. Stir occasionally until butter has melted.

In the meantime add 1 tablespoon sugar and yeast to the jar with lukewarm milk. Stir well and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and let the milk – butter mixture cool.

Make the sweet yeast dough and let rise

Combine the flour, the remaining sugar, egg and salt in a bowl. Then pour in the yeast – sugar mixture.

Start mixing, while adding the lukewarm milk – butter mixture slowly until you have a smooth dough. * It’s very important that milk and butter mixture is lukewarm and not hot before usage.

Transfer the dough on a lightly dusted surface and knead  with your hands for 10 minutes. Put the dough back in the bowl (you don’t have to dust the bowl or grease it, since the dough has a great texture and it doesn’t stick), Cover with kitchen towel and let the dough rise for 2 hours at room temperature.

In the meantime cut and pit the plums.

How to clean and pit Italian plums/ Damson plums

Put water in a bowl and wash the plums very well. Drain them and let dry for a couple of minutes.

Take one plum at a time, (hold it with one hand) turn it upside down, such that the side with the stem is facing down. Cut from top lengthwise in a cross form until the middle part of the plum. Extend just one cut to the bottom.

Open the plum at the side with the longest line and remove the pit. In the end end you should have a plum with interconnected quarters. Repeat the process until you have used up all the plums. You could also use a plum stoner if you have one.

In this way the plums will stay better on the cake and won’t slide off while baking. Plus your plum cake will look beautiful afterwards.

Wash your hands, dry them and grease the baking sheet with butter. Then line it with a parchment paper and set aside.

How to make crumble topping

In a bowl combine flour, sugar and butter. Using your hands mix all the ingredients together until small crumbles start to form.

Preheat the oven to 180 ° C (356 °F), with both top and bottom heat.

Roll out and top the sweet yeast dough

Place the dough on a lightly floured silicone pastry mat or cutting board. Slightly flour the dough and roll it with a lightly floured rolling pin into a rectangle form (about 30 x 35 cm/ 12 x 14 inches) or form of your baking sheet.

Using both hands lift up the dough and put on the baking sheet that you previously prepared.

Arrange plums very close to each other on the rolled out dough with the cut side facing up, as shown on the photos.

If you have some leftover plums once you’re done arranging them on the rolled out dough, just divide them with your hands and fill the sides with openings.

Sprinkle with sugar

and ground cinnamon over the top of the plums.

Then sprinkle the crumbles evenly.

Bake for 40 minutes.

Let the cake sit for few minutes after baking and enjoy! To serve cut the plum cake into pieces and serve with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Love this German plum sheet cake with streuel? Try my butter sheet cake with almonds recipe, too.

German Plum Cake With Streusel (Zwetschgenkuchen)

This German plum cake with streusel also known as Zwetschgenkuchen or Pflaumenkuchen is fluffy, moist, not too sweet and so good. Made with sweet yeast dough, filled with fresh plums and topped with crumble.Tastes over the top dusted with icing sugar and with whipped cream.
Prep Time50 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Rise Time2 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 30 mins
Course: afternoon tea, Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: Austrian, German, Swiss
Keyword: coffee cake, Doughs, Fall recipes, how to, Italian plums, Pflaumenkuchen, Zwetschgendatschi, Zwetschgenkuchen
Servings: 16 slices
Author: Ester | esterkocht.com

Equipment

  • Baking sheet (35 x 41.5 cm/ 14 x 16 inches)
  • Parchment paper
  • 2 bowls
  • Rolling pin/ empty glass bottle
  • Kitchen towel
  • Knife
  • Silicon pastry mat or cutting board

Ingredients

For the yeast base

  • 370 g (13.1 oz/ 3 cups + 1 tablespoon) plain flour (all purpose flour) plus extra for dusting
  • 3 ½ teaspoons (10 g/ 0.35 oz) dry yeast
  • 70 g (2.5 oz/ ⅓ cup) sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 60 ( 2.1 oz/ ¼ cup) butter
  • 120 ml (½ cup/ 4 fl oz) whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the filling

  • 1.3 kg (2.9 lbs) plums
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

For the crumbles

  • 150 g (5.3 oz/ 1 ¼ cups) plain flour (all purpose flour)
  • 60 g (2.1 oz/ 1/3 cup) sugar
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) butter

Instructions

  • Heat milk in a pot at medium heat. Pour half of the milk in a jar. Put the butter in the remaining milk in the pot. Stir occasionally until butter has melted. In the meantime add 1 tablespoon sugar and yeast to the jar with lukewarm milk. Stir well and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let the milk - butter mixture cool.
  • Combine the flour, the remaining sugar, egg and salt in a bowl. Then pour in the yeast - sugar mixture. Start mixing, while adding the lukewarm milk - butter mixture slowly until you have a smooth dough. Put the dough on a lightly dusted surface area and knead for 10 minutes with your hands. Put the dough back in the bowl (you don't have to dust the bowl or grease it, because the dough has a great texture and it doesn't stick), Cover with kitchen towel and let the dough rise for 2 hours at room temperature.
  • Put water in a bowl and wash the plums very well. Drain them and let dry for a couple of minutes. Take one plum at a time, (hold it with one hand) turn it upside down, such that the side with the stem is facing down. Cut from top lengthwise in a cross form until the middle part of the plum. Extend just one cut to the bottom. Open the plum at the side with the longest line and remove the pit. In the end end you should have a plum with interconnected quarters. Repeat the process until you have used up all the plums. You could also use a plum stoner if you have one.
    In this way the plums will stay better on the cake and won't slide off while baking. Plus your plum cake will look beautiful afterwards. Wash your hands, dry them and grease the baking sheet with butter, then line it with a parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a bowl combine flour, sugar and butter. Using your hands mix all the ingredients together until small crumbles start to form. Preheat the oven to 180 ° C (356 °F), with both top and bottom heat.
  • Place the dough on a lightly floured silicone pastry mat or cutting board. Slightly flour the dough and roll it with a lightly floured rolling pin into a rectangle form (about 30 x 35 cm/ 12 x 14 inches). Using both hands lift up the dough and put on the baking sheet that you previously prepared. Arrange plums very close to each other on the rolled out dough with the cut side facing up, as shown on the photos. If you have some leftover plums once you're done arranging them on the rolled out dough, just divide them with your hands and fill the sides with openings. Sprinkle with sugar and ground cinnamon over the top of the plums. Then sprinkle the crumbles evenly and bake for 40 minutes.

Notes

  1. It's very important that milk and butter mixture is lukewarm and not hot before usage.
  2. The cake stays fresh up to 3 days.

Did you make this plum cake with crumble? I’d love to hear from you! Simply write a comment and add rating to it.

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