Pflaumenkuchen German Bavarian Plum Cake AKA Zwetschgenkuchen Zwetschgendatshi
This plum cake also known as Pflaumenkuchen and by many other names is guaranteed to make you merry for Christmas or any time of the year. But it’s best to make in the summertime when it is plum season and plums are the juiciest. Plum season tends to be from mid May to early October. However, you can usually get pretty good plums in December as well. Dry or unripe plums will lead to a dryer cake that is not nearly as good. So make sure you choose plums that are soft to the touch, the softer the better. The juice from the baked plums will add extra moistness to make the cake last longer at room temperature.
This cake can also be made with a quark and is referred to as a “Quark-Öl-Teig”. I will make a version with this type of dough in the near future. This recipe will, however, use a more traditional yeast dough. Which I personally love the best, because of it’s fluff and wonderful mild yeast flavor which goes beautifully with the plums. This yeast dough is super easy to make but requires some time for rising. But once you made it I think you will agree it is well worth the time. While the dough is rising you can wash and dry your plums. The cut them in half and remove the seed. Cut them in half again so that you have four slices per plum. This tends be a giant sheet cake but I have halved the recipe since our family is not that large. Just double the ingredients if you want a sheet cake for potluck or a large family get-together.
This German plum cake is very popular in Bavaria where is it called lovingly called zwetschgendatshi. It is generally popular as a summer cake throughout Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and has different local labelings depending on the region. According to wikipedia “In Hessen, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, and Moselle it is known as Quetschekuche, in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and parts of Austria it is called Zwetschgendatschi and in Rhineland and the Eifel Prummetaat.” This pflaumenkuchen can be topped with a crumb topping but I prefer it without. It really doesn’t need it. Just a dollop of whipped cream and yum, you are in plum cake heaven.
The exact qualities for this pflaumenkuchen are in the recipe card below.
To make the yeast dough you will need flour, yeast, butter, egg, sugar, and milk. First heat the milk to lukewarm and dissolve some sugar in the milk and add the yeast. Allow this to foam for a few minutes. Put the flour, butter, egg, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the milk and knead it together to form a soft dough. If you added too much milk don’t worry just add more flour to get a soft dough.
Roll the dough out into the shape of a quarter sized sheet pan (13×9 inches) and place it onto the greased pan. It can also be 10 x 10 or any approximate size.Top with the plums facing up or sideways and place in your preheated oven.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes until the dough is lightly golden on the edges and the plums are soft and juicy. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar.Serve with a dollop (or three :)) of whipped cream for each slice.