Zwetschgenkuchen (German plum cake)
This is a recipe for Zwetchgenkuchen, a plum cake baked in Germany and Austria. What can you expect? A fruity sheet cake richly topped with streusel! Poppy seeds and a pinch of cinnamon add a flavorful hint.
- 3 cups (390 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ Tbsp baking powder
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (120 ml) cooking oil sunflower oil or Canola
- 1 cup (240 ml) milk lukewarm
- 3 eggs
- 2 lbs (900 g) Italian plums fresh
- ½ tsp cinnamon ground
- 3 Tbsp poppy seed ground
- ¾ cup (100 g) all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup (130 g) granulated sugar
- ¾ stick (80 g) unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp butter to grease baking dish
- 1-2 Tbsp sifted breadcrumbs or flour to dust baking dish
BEFORE BAKING: Turn the oven on to 340°F (170 °C). Grease a baking tray with butter and dust with finely sifted breadcrumbs or flour.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add lukewarm milk, oil, and sugar. Crack the whole eggs into the bowl. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat until you have batter that is ready to pour.
Pour the batter onto the prepared baking sheet and smooth the surface with a spatula.
Now top the batter with halved plums (cut side up). Finely dust the plums with cinnamon and ground poppy seeds.
In a bowl, combine butter, flour, and sugar to make the streusel. Spread the crumbles over the cake.
Place the cake in your preheated oven. It will be ready in about 45 minutes.
- SERVING: Take the baked cake out of the oven and let it cool. Cut into approximately 3x3 inches (8x8 cm) slices and serve on a dessert plate.
- Always place the plums on the batter with the cut side up. This keeps the juices out of the batter and makes the cake look spectacular on the cut side; the plums make nice curves or waves.
- I grind my poppy seeds in an electric coffee grinder in just the amount I need. That way, I always have fresh poppy seeds on hand.
- Europeans bake classic cakes on a rectangular baking sheet. The finished cake is then cut into slices. For this plum cake, I used a rectangular baking pan of 17x12 inches (42 x 30 cm).