German Plum Cake

Lately, we’ve had lots of fruit at my house. This is great, since I adore fruit, but because I love fruit so much (and probably because college conditioned me to make the most of, it’s extra painful to me when it seems like it’s about to go to waste. It happens to all of us though: For whatever reason, you have an excess of food, and before you can enjoy it all, it goes bad. This was the recent situation at my house with plums, and the end was near for them if we didn’t act fast. And what better way to use up spare fruit than by making a cake with it? 😉


And that’s how we got to this: German Plum Cake. I hadn’t made a cake like this before (actually, most of my cake-making experiences are limited to Funfetti mixes during my teenage years), so I was a bit cautious as I went through the process. It actually turned out to be super easy though, and the results were pretty darn tasty!


If you’ve been reading this here blog for a while now (or have checked out my About page), you’ll probably recall my mentioning that I spent a semester in Berlin. Now, I don’t claim to be a German baking expert, nor am I verifying the authenticity of this recipe, but I will say that this cake is quite reminiscent of the cakes my host mom used to make for me in Berlin. A lot of them were fruit-based, not very moist and a bit crumbly. They were very different in contrast to the cakes I was used to eating, with their rich frosting and moist batter, but I definitely grew to love them.


Therefore, I was particularly pleased when this cake turned out so well. I highly recommend serving this with some homemade whipped cream – it really adds the perfect finishing touch. But be careful because if you’re like me, you’ll have to force yourself to stop eating the whipped cream out of the mixing bowl and get back to the cake! Now that I think about it though, I suppose worse things have happened. 😉


German Plum Cake

Recipe from


  • 1/4 lb butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 pinch salt (only if you use unsalted butter)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon, rind of
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups plums, pitted and sliced into thin wedges

For the topping

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  • In a large bowl, cream the butter, add the sugar, vanilla, egg, lemon peel, sour cream and salt (if desired).
  • Mix the flour and baking powder and add that into the mixture.
  • Grease the base of a round baking pan and spread the dough over the pan.
  • Liberally spread plums over the dough.
  • To make the optional topping, cream the butter, add flour, sugar and cinnamon.
  • Sprinkle over the plums and bake for 30-45 minutes in the middle rack at 375 F.
  • Be careful not to let the bottom burn!
  • Serve with lots of freshly-made whipped cream.
  • If you like, you may also sprinkle rum or cinnamon over the fruit before baking.