German Plum Cake (Zwetschgenkuchen)

What a beautiful, sunny day in San Francisco today! After lunch, this afternoon I plan to head to the beach and hopefully get a little summer color going. The wedding is in ONE MONTH and I am as white as a ghost! Yikes. This weekend is my bridal shower in LA, I can’t wait to see my family & friends and have a relaxing weekend at home 🙂 Yesterday I made this German plum cake, called Zwetschgenkuchen in German. One time when I was in Germany visiting Fabi’s family, his aunt made it one time and I couldn’t stop eating it because it was so good. I can’t explain how much I love this cake…it combines the flavors of lemon, almonds, and plum to create an incredible experience in your mouth-I’m being totally serious, you have to try it! If you don’t like cakes a little on the tart side, this might not be your favorite-although sprinkled with a little brown sugar, the plums still give this cake a sour kick to it. I think it goes perfect with afternoon tea.

5.0 from 2 reviews
German Plum Cake (Zwetschgenkuchen)
Prep time
Cook time
Type: Dessert
Serves: 6
  • 7 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 lb plums (about 4 plums)
  • 2 tbsp sliced ​​almonds
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  1. Cream together butter and sugar in a standalone mixer fitted with paddle attachment (or electric mixer).
  2. Add eggs and lemon zest.
  3. Whisk together salt, baking powder, and flour in a separate bowl, then add slowly to mixer on low speed.
  4. Once all of the flour mixture is added, turn up the speed to high for 5 seconds to make sure all is blended and fluffy.
  5. Use a spatula to transfer to a greased & floured cake pan.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  7. Wash, pit, and slice plums into ¾ inch thick slices and layer around the top of the cake, pressing in until just the top peaks out.
  8. Sprinkle sliced almonds and brown sugar on top.
  9. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until plums look soft and toothpick comes out of the middle clean.
  10. Let cool in pan on stove/cooling rack before transferring to a serving plate. Cut around the edges to loosen with a butter knife, and remove with help from a spatula or 2 forks on either side of the cake.
  11. Serve with cool whip, vanilla yogurt or ice cream.



  1. Sandy @ tinytinyfork says:

    Can I go to the beach with you and eat this? Looks absolutely amazing and the weather outside is perfect for outdoor eating. What a treat you’ve made. I particularly like the idea of nutty almond and tart plum!

  2. CCU says:

    I feel in love with this heart shaped cake – appropriate no? A stunning bookmarked recipe 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  3. kitchenriffs says:

    I love recipes like this! Although I enjoy sweets, I do prefer things with less sugar, fruit things in particular. Really nice recipe, and great pictures! Thanks.

    • mysanfranciscokitchen says:

      Yes, I definitely like to switch it up between triple chocolate and a nice, lighter fruit dessert =) mmm

  4. Kristin says:

    Really delicious and a big hit at my house when I made it!

    I made it gluten free. I used a G/F flour blend, which apparently is drier than regular flour. Instead of using lemon rind, I used Amaretto (approx. 2T.) and that added just enough moisture to be able to spread the batter in the pan.

    This was a particularly good GF cake since it is more like a shortcake than a spongecake.

    Thanks for sharing the great recipe!

    • mysanfranciscokitchen says:

      I am so happy to hear that it turned out well for you. What a great idea to make it gluten free, I will have to try that next time for sure!! 🙂 Thanks!

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