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Zwetschgenkuchen (German Plum Cake)


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Zwetschgenkuchen (German Plum Cake)


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Zwetschgenkuchen (German Plum Cake)

So what is Zwetschgenkuchen? And how do you pronounce it? I never say it right, but I guess you would say tsvetch-gen-kuchen. If you really can’t say it, just call it a plum cake, or a plum kuchen. Basically, it is the #1 dish that my father-in-law asks me to bake for him when I come over. Everyone else is allowed to have some…if they can get to it before it’s all eaten up! It is a traditional German plum cake that my husbands family grew up eating and it makes me feel so happy to make it for them now. I may not be German, but I married in to a very traditional Jewish-German family with a lot of wonderful traditions, and eating is one of them! I encourage you to try it for your family!


  • Prep Time : 15 minutes min
  • Cook Time : 45 minutes min
  • Ready Time : 1 hour


10-12 Servings


  • 1/2 cup margarine room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract I use Disaronno
  • 1 large bag of purple Italian plums cut in to wedges
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


1. This is such a simple recipe and the flavor is huge! Start by mixing the margarine and 1/2 cup of sugar. Add the eggs and mix again. Separately, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and almond extract.

2. Add the flour mixture to the margarine mixture.

3. Prepared a pan with cooking spray and pour the thick batter in. Spread it out to make it even. I think you can really use any size pan, to be honest. The larger the pan, the thinner the cake will be. I prefer a thinner cake so I went with a larger pan. You do what you think will taste the best for you.

4. Slice the plums, removing the pit in the process.

5. This is where you can have a lot of fun and even get the kids involved! Layered the plum wedges on top of the batter in a pretty pattern. You can use whatever pattern you want, or no pattern at all.

6. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it over the plums.

7. Baked the cake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes and it’s ready to eat!

I actually prefer the kuchen room temperature, but it is delicious however you want to eat it! You can try other fruits as well, although I don’t know what you would call them in German.

About Melinda Strauss


Melinda Strauss is the Director of Special Events for the Kosher Media Network. Melinda is a self-taught cook, food blogger, and mother of two young children from Woodmere, New York. She loves to be adventurous and daring in the kitchen and hopes to inspire her readers by adding fresh twists to simple recipes and bravely using unusual ingredients in an accessible way. You can visit Melinda on her blog Kitchen-Tested to see illustrated, step-by-step recipes and stories.




23 Responses to Zwetschgenkuchen (German Plum Cake)

  1. This was delicious! My daughter (and I) had so much fun decorating the top with the plum wedges. I made it in an 8 inch square and used about 5 plums on top and only found that I needed a 1/4 cup of sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon to sprinkle.

  2. So glad you liked it! I love the cinnamon and sugar on top.

  3. avatar says: djguest

    What EXACTLY is a “Large Bag of Plums?” How about the weight needed? Where I shop, plums don’t come in bags. And they come in different sizes, too. Everything else in this recipe is so specific in terms of measurements, I would hope the central ingredient could be, too. I want to get the proportions right.

    • A large bowl of plums is around 10-15 small plums. To be honest, there is no right or wrong amount, as long as you can fill the top of the cake with sliced plums.

  4. avatar says: Lissy

    My Zwetschgenkuchen is dairy. The dough is made with “gvina levanah 5%” and a true hit in our house as well.

  5. Lissy- I would love to see your recipe. Email me at kitchentested@gmail.com.

  6. avatar says: Sima

    I made this delicious cake last shabbos and it was devoured! Everyone loved it and is looking forward to eating it again. I did use less sugar, (less than 1/4 cup) and more cinnamon (approx 2 1/2 tsp) to sprinkle over cake. The cooked plums tasted almost like cooked cherries. Tart, but sweet. Thanks for a winning recipe!

  7. Is 1 Tablespoon of baking powder correct? That seems like a lot. Perhaps it’s a typo and meant to say 1 teaspoon? It sounds like the recipe was a success for those who posted, but I wanted to make sure before I used my beautiful and hard-to-find Italian plums. Thanks!

  8. avatar says: Jennifer

    Do the plums have to be Italian? I have a plum tree in my backyard but have no idea what type of plums they are.

    • You don’t have to use Italian plums but they are the best for this! Italian plums are really small. You can use apples too!

  9. avatar says: K. Foley

    IMHO a Tablespoon of baking soda was way too much. I threw it out. I will make it again with a teaspoon, because it seemed like it would taste good.

    • Hi K. Foley. This recipe calls for 1 Tbsp of baking powder, not baking soda. Definitely try it again!

  10. avatar says: Joyce

    Because the Italian plums are’t available at the present time, I used prune plums. It tastes just the same as the Italian plums and it’s delicious.

  11. I made a delicious plum cake today with prune plums. Yummy!!

  12. avatar says: s.white

    Love it but I prefer the yeast based dough on the bottom and also sometimes make it with apples with or without cinnamon when the plums are not in season.

  13. I can’t find the plums, is there another type of plums I can use instead? Help! I want to make it this weekend. Thanks!

  14. avatar says: Lisa

    I must try this. My mom who is from Germany used to make this all the time. She gave me her handwritten recipe and I just found out one of my children accidently washed it in the dishwasher, now her recipe is lost forever :-( . I sure hope this is like hers. The ingredients suggest it would be. Thank you for posting this.

  15. This sounds like a wonderful recipe. But, my husband came home with canned plums. Can I use canned plums instead of real plums, or will they get too mushy?
    Thank you!

    • I think it should be okay. Just makes sure to drain he plums really well and I would even dab them with a paper towel to get rid of any excess liquid.

  16. avatar says: Darren

    Good recipe but butter not margarine

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