Plum Cake or German Zwetschgendatschi with crumble topping is a delicious traditional tray bake sheet cake recipe that grandma baked every year in plum season. Served warm with vanilla ice cream, this simple fruit crumble cake is a popular dessert!
Grandmas German Plum Cake Recipe
Zwetschgenkuchen (plum cake) or Pflaumenkuchen is a delicious and popular sheet cake in Germany! It is traditionally made from yeast dough and is especially popular in late summer when plums are ripe. The dough is spread on a baking sheet and topped with halved or quartered plums and often crumble topping. In this blog post I would like to show you how you can easily bake this delicious plum cake according to grandma’s recipe without using eggs and dairy!
What is Zwetschgendatschi?
The word “Datschi” is derived from the Upper and Middle German word “detschen” or “datschen”, which can be translated as “hineindrücken” (“tatschen”) (the plums are pressed into the dough). You can bake Zwetschgendatschi with shortcrust pastry or with yeast dough as well as with or without „streusel“. According to the traditional Bavarian cake recipe, it is a yeast dough cake, usually prepared with butter, sugar and eggs. The cake is then topped with plums and often sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and then baked.
When is Plum Season?
Depending on the variety, the plum season in Germany begins in July and continues till October.
Are Plums Healthy?
Yes, plums are healthy! They contain many important nutrients such as fiber, vitamins (especially vitamin C) and minerals. The fiber in plums can help promote healthy digestion. They also contain antioxidants that can help fight free radicals in the body, protecting cells from damage. Plums are also a good source of potassium, which is important for heart health.
Ingredients for the Plum Crumble Cake
- Flour (all-purpose, spelt or gluten-free flour)
- Vanilla Sugar
- Dry Yeast (or fresh yeast)
- Soy Milk
- Vegan Butter
Fruit & Crumble Topping
- Plums (or prunes)
- Vegan Butter
- Vanilla Sugar
As always, I recommend checking out the recipe video and step-by-step instructions first. The full recipe with the exact quantities you can find in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Make the yeast dough
To make the yeast dough, first combine the flour, sugar, vanilla sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl. Then add the lukewarm dairy-free milk and softened butter. Now knead with the dough hook of a food processor or with your hands for about 8 minutes to form a smooth yeast dough. Then cover the dough and let it rest for 45-60 minutes until doubled in volume.
Step 2: Prepare crumble & cut plums
In the meantime, for the crumble, briefly knead the flour, sugar, vanilla sugar, cinnamon and butter into crumbles with your hands and refrigerate. Also, wash the plums, pat dry and cut in half or quarters, removing the pit.
Step 3: Assemble the plum cake
After resting time, briefly knead the yeast dough again. Then spread it out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Arrange the plums on the yeast dough. Then spread the crumble on top and bake the plum cake in a preheated oven at 356 °F (180 °C) for approx. 35-40 minutes.
Step 4: Cool and serve
Then remove from the oven and allow to cool. Serve with vanilla ice cream, yogurt or whipped cream as desired. Enjoy!
Here are some tips that might help you in baking the delicious plum cake:
- Choose ripe plums: use ripe plums that are sweet and juicy. Ripe fruits bring more intense flavor and taste better.
- Prepare the dough properly: Prepare the yeast dough (or alternatively a shortcrust pastry, depending on the type of plum cake you want to make). Make sure the dough is kneaded well and let rest properly to get a nice consistency.
- Pit the plums: remove the pits from the plums before topping the dough. You can cut them in half or in quarters, depending on the size of the fruit and your personal taste.
- Roll out the dough thinly: Roll out the dough thinly and place it on the baking sheet or in a baking pan. A thin dough will allow the plums to cook better during baking and make the cake juicier.
- Add crumble or optional almonds: You can add extra flavor and crunch to your Zwetschgendatschi by sprinkling crumbles or chopped almonds over the plums before baking the cake.
- The right baking time and temperature: Follow the baking time and temperature of the recipe to make sure the cake bakes evenly.
- Let cool and enjoy: After baking, let the cake cool slightly before cutting. Serve it warm or cold with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream – a real treat!
How to Store and Freeze Plum Cake?
Plum cake with crumble tastes best freshly baked, of course. However, you can store it in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for about 2 days. You can also freeze it without ice cream or whipped cream. Simply wrap the cake well in plastic wrap, then put in an airtight container before storing in the freezer. This way you can freeze it for up to 3 months.
This German Plum Cake Recipe is:
- Very delicious
- The perfect dessert for coffee or tea for the plum season!
If you try this vegan plum sheet cake, feel free to leave a comment and a rating below the recipe! And if you take a photo of your sheet cake and share it on Instagram or Facebook, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka so I don’t miss your post! Happy baking! 😊
Plum Crumble Cake - German "Zwetschgenkuchen"Author:
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- 4 ¼ cups (500 g) flour sifted
- ⅓ cup (80 g) sugar
- 1 sachet of vanilla sugar
- 1 sachet of dry yeast
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 ¼ cup (300 ml) soy milk lukewarm
- ½ cup (100 g) vegan butter soft
- 53 oz (1.5 kg) plums pitted
- 1 ⅓ cup (160 g) flour
- ⅓ cup (80) sugar
- ⅓ cup (80 g) vegan butter
- 1 packet vanilla sugar
- 1 pinch of cinnamon
- For the yeast dough, combine flour, sugar, vanilla sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl. Add lukewarm milk and softened butter. Knead with the dough hook of a food processor (or with your hands) for about 8 minutes to form a smooth yeast dough. Then cover with a tea towel and let the dough rest for 45-60 minutes until doubled in volume.
- Meanwhile, for the crumbles, briefly knead flour, sugar, vanilla sugar, cinnamon and butter with your hands to form crumbles. Then refrigerate.
- Wash plums or damsons, pat dry and cut in half. Remove the stone and halve the halves again.
- Preheat the oven to 356 °F (180 °C). Line an approx. 16.5" x 11.8" (42 x 30 cm) baking tray with parchment paper.
- Briefly knead the yeast dough again. Then transfer to the prepared baking sheet and roll out / pull and press down evenly with a rolling pin or your hands.
- Cover the baking sheet with a kitchen towel and let rise for another 20-30 minutes.
- Arrange the plums close together on the yeast dough. Then spread the crumble on top and bake the plum cake in the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes.
- Then remove from the oven and let cool. Serve with vanilla ice cream, yogurt or whipped cream as desired.
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