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Many years ago, when I was in medical school, my very cool neighbor Diane Biel taught me how to make this traditional plum cake recipe.

Since that time, I have made it every.single.fall.

It makes me so happy and it helps me commemorate my fun friend!

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This recipe for traditional plum cake is easy, quick to put together, and a real show-stopper for your guests!

Here is one of the two just-baked traditional plum cakes.

Here’s how I made it. My recipe is for two traditional plum cakes as I always give one away to my darling neighbor, Heather. Her daughter Addy, loves this cake!

In this post...

Traditional Plum Cake Recipe (aka Plum Kuchen):

Traditional Plum cake is also called Plum Kuchen, German Plum Cake, Classic Plum Cake, or German Plum Kuchen. What is a “kuchen”? Kuchen (pronounced “koo-ken”) is the German word for “cake,” but a real kuchen is so much more than that!

True German cakes tend to have much less sugar and a bit more butter or shortening than the cakes we’re most familiar with. That’s why you’ll quite often see German deserts topped with fruit, streusel, or whipped topping. When you eat a traditional kuchen, you’ll notice that the dough itself isn’t particularly sweet. But, it’s delicious and the fruit adds to the sweetness. My husband loved this recipe and thought it tasted more like a coffee cake than a traditional cake.

Ingredients for Traditional Plum Cake Recipe (Makes 2 Cakes):

Here are the ingredients for the traditional plum cake recipe.
Here are the ingredients for the cakes. Note: I use four eggs for two cakes.

-1 cup of softened butter (I use salted, but unsalted butter would work too) (=2 sticks)

-2 cups of sugar

-2 tsp sugar (for sprinkling on the cake right before baking)

-4 large eggs

-2 cups all-purpose flour

-2 tsp baking powder

1 1/4 pounds of ripe plums, pitted and sliced into small slices

2 Tablespoons lemon or lime juice

2 pinches of cinnamon

Steps for Traditional Plum Cake Recipe:

Here are the pitted and sliced ripe red plums for the two cakes.
Here are the pitted and sliced plums for the two cakes.
Here is the batter as it’s been creamed together.
Here is the batter as it’s been creamed together.
Here are the two cakes in the spring-form pans with the plums all layered on top of the batter.
Here are the two cakes in the spring-form pans with the plums all layered on top of the batter.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Grease two 9 or 10-inch-springform cake pans with cooking spray, then place a round piece of parchment paper in the pan bottom. Now spray that parchment paper with cooking spray.

3. Cream softened butter with sugar using an electric mixer (medium-high) until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes).

4. Add eggs, then flour and baking powder.

5. Blend on medium-high for 2 more minutes.

6. Divide the batter into both pans and spread it out to the edges of the pan.

6. Arrange the plum slices in concentric circles over the batter.

7. Sprinkle the plums with the lemon juice.

8. Mix the 2 teaspoons of sugar with the 2 pinches of cinnamon.

9. Sprinkle this sugar/cinnamon mixture over the top of the fruit.

10. Bake in the center of the oven for 40 minutes (but start checking the cakes for doneness at 35 minutes). Cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center is clean and the cake is golden brown.

11. Enjoy!

What Kind of Plums Should You Use for this Traditional Plum Cake Recipe?

Here is one of the two baked cakes.

Most traditional plum cake recipes are made from ripe purple Italian plums because they are firmer. I, however, typically use ripe red plums as I think they taste better and are prettier when placed on the batter. Either work, as long as the plums are ripe enough to have a gentle impression when you press on the whole plum.

Are There Other Types of Kuchens (such as Apple Kuchen, Blueberry Kuchen, Peach Kuchen, etc.)?

Yes, I have personally made this same kuchen recipe using instead ripe peaches (mixed with blueberries), or a mixture of apples. It’s particularly fun to make an apple kuchen as apples are available (and still delicious) all year round.

Conclusion to My Traditional Plum Cake Recipe:

I LOVE this cake so much. It’s so delicious. Even my grandson Jack (who hates the skin of a plum) LOVED this recipe. I hope you try it and let me know that you LOVED it too! Happy Fall! Happy Baking!


Dr. Julie

PS Here are a few more fun posts for you to enjoy:

Delicious Ina Garten Ginger Cookies for Fall!

Styling Paper Bag Waist Pants Five Ways

Long Sleeve Mother of the Groom Dresses and Lots of Wedding Tips…

How to Make a Pretty Fall French Table Setting

A Recipe for Shakshuka

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