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 πŸ™‚ 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.

German Plum Cake (Zwetschgenkuchen)
Recipe Type: Dessert
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 1 hour
Serves: 6
  • 7 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Topping
  • 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. [img src=”” /]
  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 3/4 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. [img src=”” /]
  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. [img src=”” /] [img src=”” /]



  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 πŸ˜€

    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!! πŸ™‚ Thanks!

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