It was a week after I baked my Polish Plum Cake, and the kids started asking for more. I only had a handful of large plums remaining from our Costco stockpile–didn’t seem to be enough to bake another cake. I was curious to see whether there is a German equivalent, given that Poland and Germany are neighbors and a lot of the cuisine overlaps. Sure enough, there is an equivalent.
Just as in Polish cuisine, there are several different kinds of plum cakes, including one that uses yeast dough, and one, like the Polish Plum Cake, that uses a butter cake base. I didn’t want to play around with finicky yeast, and it was running late in the day already, so I settled on a similar cake to the Polish Plum Cake. There are some differences though. In the German Plum Cake recipe, less flour is used, the cake layer is thinner, there is more cinnamon and less plums, sour cream is used instead of milk, and almond extract is added to the batter in lieu of lemon zest. What I liked most about this recipe is that I didn’t need a ton of plums! [Since writing this post, I have worked on a more traditional yeast-based cake. It’s the pinnacle of plum cakes! Check out the ultimate plum cake recipe!]
I only had 4 large plums–though I needed at least 5–and cut them into relatively thin slices. This turned out to be about 8 slices per half a plum. I then sifted the dry ingredients together.
The batter was thick.
A sugar crumb topping is supposed to be sprinkled on top before baking. But, of course, the butter I used was way to soft, so my sugar mixture was more like a moist paste. Given that I didn’t have time to redo it, nor did I want to waste ingredients, I did my best to deal with the mistake. I plopped the mixture over the plums and sprinkled the whole top of the cake with cinnamon. This ended up working out just fine.
A note on the plums–I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough to cover the 13 x 9 inch pan. Covering such a pan with only 4 plums? How is that possible? The thin slices helped. I lightly pushed the slices into the batter, skin side up (sort of) and tried to keep the rows even.
After baking the cake and letting it cool to room temperature, I dusted it with some confectioner’s sugar, and it was ready to be tasted.
The kiddos gobbled this cake up faster than the Polish version, even though it had less plums. My guess is that the addition of almond extract is what pulled this cake out ahead. While 4 large plums still resulted in a delicious cake, I had spaces in the dough that I wish I could have filled with plums, so the recipe below still recommends 5 to 6. [But if you don’t have that many, don’t despair!]
We are heading into holiday season, so this cake recipe will have to go back into storage. Until next year.