Plum Cake with crumbles

German Plum Cake with crumbles

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What’s better than a freshly baked German plum cake with crumbles on a late summer/autumn afternoon? Not really much, I agree! But add as well some whipped cream… Oh boy, that’s even better!

Some bake this cake with a shortcrust base, but I prefer it with a yeast dough, as that’s how my grandmother used to do.

Where does the German Plum cake come from?

It definitely is a cake from the south! In the south of Germany we call it a Zwetschgendatschi, and apparently its origin is in Augsburg, which is a very picturesque city near Munich. It is even considered as the city signature dish as apparently it resembles the city’s coat of arms, the “Zirbelnuss”.The word “Datschi” means something along the meaning of pressing slightly, which makes total sense, as you need to press the plums slightly into the dough. So a perfect name it is for this beautiful German plum cake aka Zwetschgendatschi!

I happen to know the German plum cake with crumbles since I was a little girl, and the most important part for me are the crumbles- Streusel. Delicious! They are so simply to make with the main ingredients being only flour, butter, and sugar. And I also add a generous pinch of cinnamon to them. But they for sure make the difference. One rule of thumb, though: There simply can never be too many crumbles. Never ever. Did I mention that before? 😉

What’s the best base for the cake?

My recipe for the German plum cake is made with a yeast dough, and it is done so fast. The only time-consuming part is where it simply needs to rest to rise. So I start making the dough early morning and then have a coffee ( or 2) while the dough rests, and then I start prepping the plums and finish the cake. Easy-peasy. And then I can eat the cake in the afternoon with a coffee. And add some whipped cream on top of it. That’s what I call a perfect Sunday!

Plum cake

How to layer the cake with the plums:

You need to cut the plums in half, longways. Place your crumbs on the dough and top it with your de- pitted plums, the cutting side facing up. They should touch each other and be slightly upright.

But why biscuit crumbs?

It´s an old baking hack!

They will help absorb the juices of the plums and therefore ensure that the cake gets baked and doesn’t turn out soggy. Biscuit crumbs are best made from any kind of plain cookies. Or, if you have no cookies handy, just use lady fingers or bread crumbs. They also help to keep the moisture away from the base.

Oh- and the German plum cake tastes fantastic with some whipped cream if you have some handy!

Let me know how it went- I would love to hear from you!


sabrina x

Are you looking for some other cake recipes? Why not try out a strawberry cake or an apple cake with vanilla custard and cream?

German Plum cake

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A traditional German cake

  • Prep time:
    20 minutes
  • Rest time:
    50 minutes
  • Baking time:
    35 minutes
  • Total time:
    1 hours 45 minutes


26 cm springform pan
yeast dough
100 ml milk
15 g fresh yeast
250 g flour
30 g sugar
1 packet of vanilla sugar 8g
1 egg yolk
1 pinch of salt
some lemon zest
5 drops of almond flavour extract
30 g butter
extra butter and flour for the pan
plum topping
1.4 kg plums
50 g biscuit crumbs
30 g sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
80 g flour
60 g sugar
70 g butter
1 packet of vanilla sugar (8g)
1 pinch salt
1 pinch cinnamon


  • spring form for baking

Steps of preparation


  1. Heat the milk until it’s lukewarm in a small saucepan
  2. Transfer to a large bowl and dissolve the yeast in it.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients except the butter and knead into a dough.
  4. Add the butter and knead the dough for about 2 minutes until the butter is fully processed.
  5. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it rest for about 30 minutes.


  1. in the meantime, wash the plums, cut them in half and de-stone them
  2. Mix the cinnamon and sugar
  3. Grease a baking pan with butter and sprinkle with the flour.
  4. extra butter and flour for the pan
  5. Roll out the dough and place in the cake tin – up to about half of the edge of the rim
  6. Sprinkle with the biscuit crumbs and top up with the plumsPlum cake
  7. The cut surface of the plums should point upwards.
  8. Sprinkle with 3/4 of the cinnamon sugar.


  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, vanilla sugar, salt and cinnamon in a bowl and then add the melted butter.
  3. Rub/crumb the dough with your fingers into sprinkles.
  4. Spread the crumble evenly over the plums and pour the rest of the cinnamon sugar mixture over it.

finish the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 175 °C and let the cake rest again for 10-20 minutes in the meantime.
  2. Bake the Plum cake for about 35 minutes until golden brown
  3. Let it cool on a cooling rack, and if you want, serve it with some whipped cream. (highly recommend it)


enjoy it with some whipped cream

How do you like the recipe?

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You tried this recipe?

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