Pflaumenkuchen (German Plum Cake)

"One of my all-time favorite things to eat in life, this plum cake couldn't be more sentimental. It's a classic German recipe that my grandmother made at the end of every summer during the brief window when the Italian prune plums are in season. Today, my mom and I both carry on that tradition, and I can still eat an entire tray by myself if left to my own devices. Pro-tip: Don't use anything but a 9x13 jelly roll pan for this. Anything larger and the dough won't fill the pan, any smaller and the dough will be too thick."
photo by A Marsteller photo by A Marsteller
photo by A Marsteller
photo by A Marsteller photo by A Marsteller
photo by A Marsteller photo by A Marsteller
photo by A Marsteller photo by A Marsteller
Ready In:
1hr 20mins
1 pan




  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Quarter each plum so that all four quarters remain clinging together by their skin, forming a row.
  • In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter together by cutting the butter in with a fork.
  • In a measuring cup, combine the beaten egg and almond extract, then add enough milk to make 3/8 of a cup (aka 3 oz) total. (It may seem strange that there isn't an exact amount of milk to add, but I promise this method works. You'll likely use under 2 oz of milk, considering that a large egg is usually around 1.5 oz or so.).
  • Add this to the dry ingredients and mix them together with your hands, forming a dough.
  • If the dough is too sticky, add a touch more flour.
  • Spread the dough thinly over a 13x9 inch jelly roll pan and cover it with overlapping rows of plums. (It may seem like the dough will never stretch to fit the entire pan, but be patient! Use the heel of your hand to gently spread the dough out evenly to each corner of the pan, the crust is supposed to be on the thinner side anyway.).
  • Bake the tart for 1 hour and let it cool slightly before sprinkling with sugar for extra sweetness (or skip the sugar if you like it sweet-tart like I do).
  • The plums will change color from green to a deep magenta as they bake, and will ooze lots of sticky purple juice that stains the crust beneath. Be careful not to overbake, this crust should be on the softer side.

Questions & Replies

Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. Turned out like the picture!


  1. I had to increase the milk make a quarter cup to make the dough workable. I also used vanilla extract instead of almond like my mother did.


Full-time root beer float connoisseur. Need to find me? Try the nearest old-timey soda fountain.
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes