Sunday, September 5, 2010

German Plum Cake

I remembered reading this recipe from Greg Patent's book, " A Baker's Odyssey" when I noticed these plums in my local farm market yesterday. Apparently these plums ripen late in summer and their season is rather brief, as he states in the book.
The plums are definitely prune plums, as evident once they're baked! (I loved the chapter in Molly Wizenberg's book " A Homemade Life" about her father stewing prunes. I also remember my Mom doing the same thing!).

The cake, or pflaumenkuchen, it's German name, is light and tender with a wonderful hint of lemon from the zest added to the batter. Although I totally forgot to brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, the cake was delicious! Also, I didn't have any whipped cream in the house, that would have made this homey lightly sweet cake just that much better!
I halved the recipe ( because I didn't buy enough plums!) and baked mine in an 8" square pan.

Start by mixing the dry ingredients in a small bowl.

In another medium bowl, using a hand held electric mixer, beat the butter briefly til smooth.
Add the sugar and beat for 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed til fluffy.
Add the lemon zest and egg and beat in well.
Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk.
Place gobs of batter all over the bottom of your buttered pan.

Then spread out the batter evenly covering the bottom completely.

Get those pretty plums....

And cut them in half and remove the pits.

Then arrange them, skin side up, packed tightly, over the batter.
Brush with melted butter and sprinkle the top with sugar and cinnamon mixture. ( Remember this step!)

Bake 35 to 40 minutes .

German Plum Cake ( from " A Baker's Odyssey" by Greg Patent)
1 1/2 cups unbleached AP flour
1 tsp. baking powder
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temp.
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg
1/3 cup whole milk
2 lbs. Italian prune plums ( about 21), halved and pitted
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400. Position rack to center of oven. Butter a 13" x 9" x 2" baking pan ( do not use cooking spray).
1. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
2. In another bowl, using a hand held electric mixer, beat the butter til smooth.
3. Add the sugar and beat for 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed, til fluffy.
4. Add the lemon zest and egg and beat in well.
5. On low speed, alternately add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour, beating only til smooth after each.
6. Place tablespoon sized gobs of the batter over the bottom of your prepared pan. Lightly butter your fingers ( I found slightly dampened fingers worked better) and pat the batter into an even layer covering the pan bottom.
7. Arrange the plums, skin side up in tightly packed rows on top of the batter.
8. Brush with the melted butter and sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture evenly over the plums.
9. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until the plum juices bubble very slowly and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
10. Cool kuchen in the pan on a wire rack and serve warm, with dollop of whipped cream if desired.


  1. wow that looks soo great! I also have the same book and just made the Boschendal pudding from it...very sweet!

    We had a an italian plum tree in our backyard as a kid...we never new what they were,( of course, now i do! ) and no one ever used the fruit..soo foolish. I would kill for thattree now..


  2. loved the plum cake - was happy to share with the gang over labor day weekend - also love your scones and cookies - so moist and delish - always a hit - thx.



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