Indulge in a bite of German Plum Coffee Cake

Baking a cake is an act of love. And when it comes to German Plum Coffee Cake, it is love at first bite. The combination of sweet and tart red plums on a base of light and fluffy cake topped with crunchy almonds is simply irresistible. This dessert, also known as Zwetschgenkuchen or Pflaumenkuchen in German, is perfect for any occasion – a family brunch or a tea-time treat.

But wait, there’s more! This recipe is not just any plum cake recipe; it is a classic German recipe that has been passed down through generations. It will take you on a journey to the heart of Germany with every bite. The cake’s slightly bitter taste from the dry fruits and a hint of cinnamon gives you a true sense of Germany’s traditional flavors. With the tender and moist texture and the satisfying crunch of streusel topping, this plum cake is sure to be your new favorite.

You do not need to have great baking skills to make this delectable dessert; just follow the simple steps outlined in this recipe article. Once done, share the joy with your loved ones and watch them fall in love with you all over again.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

German Plum Coffee Cake with Almonds (Pflaumenkuchen)
German Plum Coffee Cake with Almonds (Pflaumenkuchen)

As a barista, I know firsthand how important good coffee pairs with a delicious dessert. That’s why I’m here to tell you why you will absolutely love this German Plum Coffee Cake with Almonds (Pflaumenkuchen) Recipe! Let me start by saying that if you’re a fan of slightly tart and juicy fruits, then you’ll love the red plums in this cake. They add just the right amount of sweetness paired with their slightly bitter taste, which makes for a perfectly balanced flavor profile.

What sets this recipe apart is its simplicity and versatility. You can enjoy it as a breakfast cake, tea time snack or dessert after dinner. Plus, you can easily substitute the red plums for other fruits or nuts such as peaches or almonds if you’re not a fan of plums. Additionally, if you’re looking for a gluten-free option or want to reduce your sugar intake, there are alternatives included in the ingredient list that will give you the same flavor without sacrificing any of your dietary preferences.

But that’s not all! The soft and fluffy base made from all-purpose flour and baking powder delivers an unmatched texture and richness to every bite. Adding to it, is a generous amount of ground almonds mixed into the batter that complements the smoothness of the cake with its nutty flavor.

And let’s not forget about the irresistible streusel topping that gives this classic German dessert an extra layer of crunchiness and sweetness. The mixture of butter, granulated sugar, all-purpose flour and cinnamon creates a crumbly crust on top that will leave your guests asking for more.

In conclusion, there are infinite reasons why this Plum Coffee Cake should have a permanent spot on your recipe book. From its delicious blend of flavors, to its versatility and ease of preparation; This recipe has something for everyone!

Ingredient List

 Sweet and tangy German Plum Coffee Cake with a crunchy almond topping
Sweet and tangy German Plum Coffee Cake with a crunchy almond topping

Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients list for this delicious German Plum Coffee Cake with Almonds, or as it is called in Germany, Pflaumenkuchen. You’ll find most of these ingredients in your pantry or at your local grocery store, making it an easy recipe to whip up on a whim.

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Cake Dough:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 and 1/2 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk

For the Topping:

  • Around 10 plums (preferably red), cut in halves and pitted
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • Around 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar (optional)

For the Almond Layer:

  • A big dollop (about 1 cup) of almond paste or marzipan
  • Around 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • A handful (around 1/2 cup) ground almonds

Finally, you will need some powdered sugar, for dusting the cake once it has cooled down.

That’s all for now, let’s get cooking!

The Recipe How-To

 A slice of Pflaumenkuchen, the perfect German treat to accompany a cup of coffee
A slice of Pflaumenkuchen, the perfect German treat to accompany a cup of coffee

Now that we’ve covered the ingredients, it’s time to start making your German Plum Coffee Cake with Almonds!

Step 1: Preheat Your Oven and Prep Your Pan

Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). You’ll also want to butter a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan.

Step 2: Mix the Dry Ingredients

In a bowl, whisk together:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Set aside.

Step 3: Cream the Butter and Sugar

In a separate bowl, cream together:

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs

Beat well until light and fluffy.

Step 4: Mix the Wet and Dry Ingredients Together

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Step 5: Prepare the Plums

Cut around 10 oz (280g) of red plums into thin wedges. If they’re slightly bitter (a characteristic of some varieties of plum), toss them in 1 tablespoon (15mL) granulated sugar and some lemon juice. This should help reduce any bitterness.

Step 6: Assemble Your Cake

Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Level it out with a spatula. Arrange the prepared plums on top, pressing them slightly into the batter.

Step 7: Add Your Almond Topping

In a small bowl, mix together:

  • 3 tablespoons (25g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground almonds

Sprinkle this mixture over the plums on top of your cake mixture before baking.

Step 8: Bake Your Cake

Bake in the preheated oven for 45-55 minutes. Use a toothpick to check if it’s done (it should come out clean). Let the cake cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes.

Step 9: Serve and Enjoy!

Once cooled, dust with some powdered sugar and serve! Enjoy your delicious German Plum Coffee Cake with Almonds, whether it’s for breakfast, dessert or an afternoon snack – this cake is perfect paired with a hot cup of coffee.

Substitutions and Variations

 The golden crust is the perfect counterpoint to the juicy plums and crumbled almonds
The golden crust is the perfect counterpoint to the juicy plums and crumbled almonds

There are many ways to make this German plum coffee cake recipe your own. Here are a few suggestions for substitutions and variations:

– Fruits and Nuts: While the recipe calls for red plums, you can experiment with other fruits, such as nectarines or peaches. You can also add some dry fruits such as raisins, cherries or cranberries for an extra burst of sweetness. For a nutty crunch, swap out the ground almonds with walnuts or pecans.

– Streusel Topping: A classic German plum cake streusel topping consists of flour, butter, sugar and ground cinnamon. But you can add more flavor by adding some vanilla extract, lemon zest or nutmeg to the mix.

– Sugar-Free Version: If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to the traditional German plum coffee cake recipe, you can replace granulated sugar with either honey, agave nectar or maple syrup. Just keep in mind that these sweeteners might alter the taste and texture slightly.

– Yeast Dough: You can also make this plum cake with yeast dough instead of a baking powder batter. The yeast dough version of German plum cake is known as zwetschgenkuchen or zwetschgendatschi. It requires more preparation time as the dough needs to rise twice before baking, but it’s worth it if you prefer a cake that’s chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside.

– Sheet Cake: Instead of using a round 9-inch baking pan, you can bake this cake in a rectangular 13×9 inch baking dish for added convenience. This will yield a sheet cake that’s easier to serve and transport to potlucks or parties.

No matter how you choose to customize this recipe, one thing is certain: You’ll end up with a delicious dessert that everyone will love!

Serving and Pairing

 This mouth-watering plum cake is a perfect way to showcase the best of your garden produce
This mouth-watering plum cake is a perfect way to showcase the best of your garden produce

This German Plum Coffee Cake with Almonds is a cake that is perfect for serving as a dessert or for a brunch. It can be enjoyed alone or topped with powdered sugar, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream. It pairs well with warm beverages like coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.

For a more elevated serving experience, you can cut the cake into lovely square pieces and place them on a beautiful dessert plate. Serving this delicious cake on a plate will emphasize the baked-in plums and textures of the almonds. Dusting some powdered sugar over the top of the cake or adding a dollop of fresh whipped cream will give it an elegant look.

If you want to pair this German Plum Coffee Cake with Almonds with something savory, try pairing it with roasted pork tenderloin or chicken breast. The slightly bitter taste of the plums and almonds in the cake will complement salty meats exceptionally well.

On the other hand, if you prefer lighter fare or vegetarian options, this plum coffee cake would match perfectly with cheeseboards containing hard cheeses such as aged cheddar or gouda. The tartness from the plums combines well with the sharpness of these types of cheese.

Regardless of how you choose to serve this delightful German Plum Coffee Cake with Almonds, every bite is sure to be nothing short of heavenly.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Explore the perfect balance of flavors in every bite of this German Plum Coffee Cake
Explore the perfect balance of flavors in every bite of this German Plum Coffee Cake

As with many cake recipes, German Plum Coffee Cake is a perfect make-ahead dessert. The cake can be baked up to two days ahead and kept at room temperature. After baking the cake, let it cool completely before covering it tightly with plastic wrap. You can also store it in an airtight container if you prefer.

If you want to store the cake for longer than two days, go ahead and freeze it. This recipe freezes exceptionally well, so there’s no need to worry about whether it will come out okay when reheated. To freeze the cake, cool it completely and wrap it tightly in several layers of plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Freeze for up to two months.

Reheating this delicious dessert is simple. Just preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C), remove the wrapping, and pop the cake in the oven for about 10 minutes or until warmed through. If you’re reheating individual slices, microwave each piece for 15 seconds or until warm.

Whether you’re preparing for a crowd or just looking for a delicious dessert that’s ready whenever you need it, German Plum Coffee Cake with Almonds (Pflaumenkuchen) Recipe is an excellent choice for make-ahead, storing and reheating. With its classic German streusel topping and icing sugar dusting, this plum cake recipe makes a perfect dessert for every occasion.

Tips for Perfect Results

 An easy and impressive dessert, perfect for entertaining or just a simple afternoon tea
An easy and impressive dessert, perfect for entertaining or just a simple afternoon tea

If you want your German Plum Coffee Cake with Almonds (Pflaumenkuchen) to come out perfectly every time, there are a few tips that you should keep in mind. These tips will help ensure that your cake is moist, flavorful, and has just the right amount of sweetness.

First of all, when making the cake batter, be sure to mix the dry ingredients together well before adding in the wet ingredients. This will help ensure that there are no lumps in the batter and that everything is evenly mixed. You don’t want pockets of baking powder or cinnamon in your cake!

When adding the eggs and butter to the batter, make sure they are at room temperature. Cold butter can result in clumpy, uneven batter, while cold eggs can lead to a denser texture. Taking them out of the fridge an hour or two before starting your recipe will make a difference in your cake’s texture.

When spreading the batter into the pan, be sure to spread it out evenly. You want your cake to bake evenly and be fluffy throughout. If one section is thicker than another or if there are any air pockets in the batter it can cause an uneven cake.

If using fresh plums for the recipe, make sure they are fully ripened before using them. Unripe fruits can be very tart and ruin the overall flavor of the cake. However, overly-ripe plums may not hold up as well during cooking and can turn mushy.

Finally, when baking your German Plum Coffee Cake with Almonds (Pflaumenkuchen), keep a close eye on it towards the end of cooking. Every oven heats differently – this means 40 minutes for one may not be enough for another. To ensure you have a perfectly cooked cake check on it regularly during baking until it’s done.

In conclusion, these tips will help you achieve perfect results with your German Plum Coffee Cake with Almonds (Pflaumenkuchen). Keep them in mind and you’ll have a delicious and stunning dessert every time!


Now, if you still have some doubts or questions, don’t worry because I got you covered in this FAQ section. Here, I will provide answers to the most common queries regarding German Plum Coffee Cake with Almonds (Pflaumenkuchen) Recipe. So, let’s dive in!

What is the difference between plum cake and Christmas cake?

In the past, affluent households with access to ovens would create fruit cakes made of marzipan, a mixture of almond and sugar, to celebrate Easter. Meanwhile, for the yuletide season, they would prepare a comparable cake using dried fruits and seasonal spices which signified the alluring spices that traders from the eastern regions brought with them. This particular cake became popularly known as ‘Christmas plum cake’.

What makes plum cake bitter?

The distinctive flavor and sturdy consistency of this dessert originate from the dried fruits which have been marinated in brandy or rum for an extended period. These fruits are specifically reserved for this occasion to be used in the baking of the cake.

What is so special about plum cake?

If you want to make a traditional plum cake, it is customary to combine various dried fruits and nuts and soak them for an extended period in alcoholic beverages like brandy, rum or wine. The duration of the soaking process can last for several days or even months, prior to the festive season. This process contributes to the unique flavor of the cake, giving it a slightly bitter taste. The dried fruits are infused in the alcohol for months and are only opened closer to the time of baking.

Why alcohol is used in plum cake?

To prepare a delicious Plum Cake, it’s essential to soak the fruits and nuts in alcohol a few months before baking. The soaking period plays a crucial role in determining the cake’s flavor and texture. The longer you let them soak, the better the texture and firmness of the cake.

Bottom Line

After reading this recipe, I am sure you are convinced that the German Plum Coffee Cake with Almonds is worth trying. Not only is it a classic German dessert, but it’s also a delicious way to incorporate fresh fruits and nuts into your diet.

With its moist, slightly bitter taste and streusel topping, this cake is the perfect combination of sweet and savory. Plus, the recipe is easy to follow, and you can make substitutions based on your preferences and what’s available in your pantry.

So whether you’re entertaining guests or just craving a sweet treat, I highly recommend giving this cake a try. You won’t be disappointed!

German Plum Coffee Cake with Almonds (Pflaumenkuchen)

German Plum Coffee Cake with Almonds (Pflaumenkuchen) Recipe

Adapted from "Backen Spezial" magazine, which I translated from the German. This version is unusual in that it calls for sweet red plums, rather than the more typical prune plums. You may also use sweet purple plums, but make sure they are sweet ones, not the oval prune plums.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine German
Calories 318.8 kcal


  • 1 1/2 kg fresh sweet red plums, pitted,cut into quarters
  • 400 g butter
  • 300 g granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 600 g all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • 80 g sliced almonds, toasted
  • powdered sugar, for garnish


  • Cream together the butter and the sugar until smooth.
  • Add eggs,one at a time,blending well after each addition.
  • Mix together the flour, baking powder,and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
  • Add flour mixture to the butter mixture in small batches, just enough to moisten all of the dry ingredients (do this with a whisk or wooden spoon, not with an electric mixer).
  • Add the lemon juice.
  • Grease a jelly roll pan (or large rimmed cookie sheet) and press batter into the pan, spreading evenly over entire surface.
  • Sprinkle the plums over the batter.
  • Bake in a preheated 175 C oven for 50 minutes or until tests done.
  • Sprinkle with toasted almonds slices and dust heavily with powdered sugar.
  • Cool and cut into squares to serve.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 131gCalories: 318.8kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 4.9gFat: 16.2gSaturated Fat: 8.9gCholesterol: 66.6mgSodium: 191.3mgFiber: 2.1gSugar: 19g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Breads, Brunch, European, For Large Groups, Fruit, German, Nuts, Plums, Sweet
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