Quick Plum Streusel Cake (Pflaumenkuchen)

Quick Plum Streusel Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) by the Kitchen Maus

I know, I know, a plum streusel cake isn’t the kind of savoury recipes I said I would try to do for my next few posts. To be fair, I did warn that it’s plum and apple season right now and that might sway me. Obviously, it did. How could anyone resist putting these dark purple beauties into a cake? Even better when it’s a super quick cake because we all know I’m all about quick baking recipes.

It’s not your traditional German plum streusel cake. You know the one I mean. It’s made in a deep baking sheet and cut in perfect rectangular pieces. That has a harder, short crust type of bottom but this one here is a soft, moist sponge bottom. It’s rather similar to the Fresh Apricot Cake I did this summer. My husband declared that he prefers this version over the traditional. His new phrase when he’s comparing things is “It’s no plum cake.” That makes me laugh, if nothing else. Honestly, though, both version are pure awesomeness. This one is just a little easier, or perhaps quicker.

 

Quick Plum Streusel Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) by the Kitchen Maus

Italian Prune Plums 

 

What are Italian Prune Plums?

Some folks might be confused when I say it’s plum season right now as most of us have been seeing red and/or black plums in the grocery store for months now. Those plums are much harder to work with in baked goods. This plum I’m referring to is what’s known as the Italian Prune Plum, or sometimes the Empress Plum or Damson (though, those are technically different subspecies). It’s a small, egg shaped, freestone fruit that have a powdery blue coating on their thin, dark purple skin. The flesh is a greenish-yellow until it becomes very ripe, where it then becomes a darker yellow. In case you’re wondering, yes, this is the type of plum from which prunes (or dried plums) are made. 

This is not a fruit I’ve ever seen at a local grocery store anywhere I’ve lived in the United States. Unfortunately, I cannot be of help as to where you might be able to find them right now, other then perhaps checking your local farmer’s markets. I’m supremely lucky enough to have a supply from my Mother-in-law’s little orchard over in Mideastern Washington. I usually miss the ripe fruit because they must be picked all at once and that always happens on a weekend we’re not visiting. This year I made it a point to ask her repeatedly when they’d be ripe so I wouldn’t miss them. I wanted to really make a plum streusel cake with fresh fruit. So, this past weekend we went out for the day and I helped her pick all the plums off of her little plum tree. 

 

Quick Plum Streusel Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) by the Kitchen Maus

I took home half of this harvest. Lucky me!

 

In German we have two different names for plums. One is Pflaume, which is more of a catch-all name for all plums. Example, you’d refer to red or black plums by this name. The name Zwetchge (or Zwetchke as I know it in Franconia and Bavaria) refers specifically to the Italian Prune Plum varieties. A plum streusel cake is a popular way to use these, as is plum dumplings, plum jam and plum butter. Speaking of which, I tried out this simple plum butter (Pflaumenmus or Zwetchkenmus) recipe the other day and the result was just divine. May be a little tart for some American sweet tooths. I say this because my husband’s reaction was exactly that but it’s perfect for me. 

The post is available here in both German and English, if you’re interested. 

 

Quick Plum Streusel Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) by the Kitchen Maus

Quick Plum Streusel Cake

(Schneller Pflaumenkuchen)

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 pound of Italian Prune Plums, quartered
  • 3/4 + 1/8 cups of Flour 
  • 1/2 + 1/8 cups of Sugar 
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp of Lemon Zest
  • 4.5 oz of room temperate Butter (1 stick plus a little extra)
  • 2 Eggs

Streusel Topping:

  • 1 cup of Flour 
  • 1/2 cup of Sugar 
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 stick of room temperate Butter
  • A healthy pinch of Cinnamon

Equipment:

  • Electric Mixer
  • 9.5 inch Springform pan 

Plums come in different sizes, which is why I weigh them out instead of counting. Often times there will be a few pieces of plum leftover when I’m done placing them in the batter but I’d rather have too much than too little. Technically, I cut up 10 plums but only ended up using 9 for this cake. 

Adapting German recipes can always be a little tricky with the amounts since they weigh everything by grams. That’s why you can end up with unusual amounts using cups. Not everyone uses a scale, so I wanted to be sure to give the cup measurements. 

No lemon zest? Substitute 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or just go straight for that if you want a more subtle lemon flavour. The recipe also works without it.

You can always use vanilla sugar in a cake like this instead of vanilla extract. Just use 1 + 1/2 teaspoons. 

 

Quick Plum Streusel Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) by the Kitchen Maus

Wash, pit and quarter your pretty, purple plums. 

 

Quick Plum Streusel Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) by the Kitchen Maus

Add the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder to the bowl of your electric mixer.

 

Quick Plum Streusel Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) by the Kitchen Maus

Stir it together on a low setting until it’s all mixed well.

 

quick_plum_streusel_cake_6987

Next, add the wet ingredients – soft butter, lemon zest, vanilla and eggs.

 

Quick Plum Streusel Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) by the Kitchen Maus

Mix on high for 2 minutes until it’s all creamy and fluffy.

 

Quick Plum Streusel Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) by the Kitchen Maus

Pour the batter into a greased springform pan. The butter wrapper works great for the greasing part.

 

Quick Plum Streusel Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) by the Kitchen Maus

Smooth out the batter with a spatula so that it’s nice and even. Just don’t do like me. Don’t spend 10 minutes trying to get it all completely even. It doesn’t matter that much.

 

Quick Plum Streusel Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) by the Kitchen Maus

Start placing your quartered plums in a circle around the outer edge.

 

Quick Plum Streusel Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) by the Kitchen Maus

Keep going until you close the circle and start another one inside that. If there’s room, place some more in the very middle.

Lastly, we do the streusel part!

 

Quick Plum Streusel Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) by the Kitchen Maus

Add the sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon to the bowl. Cut up the soft butter over top of that. Mix everything together until you have a nice, coarse crumb texture.

After trying the electric mixer, a wooden spoon and my hands, I find working it with your hands really does get the best results. 

 

Quick Plum Streusel Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) by the Kitchen Maus

The streusel should look something like this when you’re done.

 

Quick Plum Streusel Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) by the Kitchen Maus

Gently spoon the streusel over the plum batter.  Honestly, you could probably get away with half as much. However, as a friend of mine said recently, “You can never too much streusel!” and I’m inclined to agree.

Bake at 350 degrees in a preheated oven on the middle rack for 50 minutes

 

Quick Plum Streusel Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) by the Kitchen Maus

Let it cool on a wire rack before removing it from the springform pan. You don’t have to cool it completely, but most of the way will suffice. A warm slice of this plum streusel cake is just heavenly.

 

Quick Plum Streusel Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) by the Kitchen Maus

Ready for your first bite?

 

Quick Plum Streusel Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) by the Kitchen Maus

Look at all those juicy plums. I love how these plums turn pink once heat has been applied to them. 

That’s all you need to know about this quick plum streusel cake recipe. Enjoy and go bake some!

Share with me your favourite plum recipe – red, black or Italian prune!

 

As always,

 

 

und Alles Liebe,
Diony

 

Quick Plum Streusel Cake

A quick Plum Streusel Cake recipe that uses late summer/early fall Italian Prune Plums as its main ingredient. Moist, easy to make and not too sweet. Perfect.
Cook Time 50 minutes
Author The Kitchen Maus

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 pound of Italian Prune Plums quartered
  • 3/4 + 1/8 cups of Flour 125g
  • 1/2 + 1/8 cups of Sugar 125g
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp of Lemon Zest
  • 4.5 oz of room temperate Butter 1 stick plus a little extra
  • 2 Eggs

Streusel Topping

  • 1 cup of Flour 150g
  • 1/2 cup of Sugar 100g
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 stick of room temperate Butter
  • A healthy pinch of Cinnamon

Equipment

  • Electric Mixer
  • 9.5 inch Springform pan

Instructions

  1. Prep: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease your springform pan with butter. Wash, pit and quarter the plums.
  2. Add flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl and stir until blended. Add wet ingredients - soft butter, vanilla extract, 2 eggs and lemon zest - to flour mixture. Mix together on the highest speed setting of an electric mixer for 2 minutes until creamy and fluffy. Pour batter into prepared springform pan and spread evenly to edges.
  3. Place quartered plums in a circle around the edge until completed. Add another inner circle and fill in the middle as necessary.
  4. Prepare the streusel by putting all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until it's a coarse crumb texture. Gently spoon streusel over top the plums until evenly coated.
  5. Bake on the middle rack for 50 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before removing from pan. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

No lemon zest? Substitute 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or just go straight for that if you want a more subtle lemon flavour. The recipe also works without it.
Vanilla sugar works instead of vanilla extract too. Just use 1 + 1/2 teaspoons.

Adapted from Dr. Oetker

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  1. I have a similar recipe for the Quick Italian Plum Cake= Pflaumenkuchen. It is made in Germany,but I always have seen it with 1 teaspoon of baking powder. But the real Plum Cake is made with yeast dough. The Germans always eat their Pflaumenkuchen with Schlagsahne (Whipped Cream). Around this time of the year the yeast version it is served in every coffee house and restaurant. As it was mentioned in the article, the season is very short and one has to rush to make plum dumplings, compote and plum butter and Jam.,besides the cakes.

    • Thank you so much for letting me know that I forgot to put the baking powder in the list of ingredients! You’re right. It needs 1 tsp.

      I really enjoy the traditional Plum Cake made with the yeast dough too. It’s just always made with a 40x30cm blech (baking sheet) that’s deeper than what you find in the States. Or, at least, I haven’t found anything similar that’s easily accessible in the States. Still need to tackle that conversion at some point. So many wonderfun cakes made with that baking sheet.

  2. Perfect!
    l knew, using the hands for the streusel is the best and there ARE never too much. 😉

    Wish l could have a piece or two. l would have to buy the plums and l can´t even bake right now.
    But like your husband l think the dough is better than simple yeast dough, we make usually.

    • Hands really do work best, even though I’m not a big fan of the gummy flour-butter mixture sticking to my fingers and getting under my nails. It’s worth it, though. 🙂

      Would love to share the cake as it’s just sitting here waiting to be eaten!

  3. Oh, my God! Your post reminds me of my childhood. I grew up in Germany in the countryside and every late summer my mom used to make this type of plum cake. I loved the moment when the cake was doen and just came out of the oven and the streuseln were so grispy. I snatched them off the cake – one by one!
    If my mom didn’t watch out, the streuseln were gone by the time the cake was being served.

    • Haha, cute! I’m so glad that my post conjured up happy childhood memories for you, Annett. That makes me happy too.