Food

Plum Kuchen | Leite’s Culinaria

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This plum kuchen is essentially an easy crumb cake made with a doughy batter and a simple streusel topping. A German classic, we welcome it as breakfast, brunch, onesies, dessert, midnight nosh…heck, there’s no time of day or night that we don’t welcome it.

A plum kuchen on a sheet of parchment with three slices cut from it and a collection of forks, a spoon, and two coffee cups nearby.

This enriched dough has more in common with a cake than bread and is ideal to serve for a late breakfast, brunch, or mid-morning treat with a pot of steaming coffee. It’s best eaten on the day of making but will reheat well if wrapped in foil and placed in a medium oven for a few minutes.

You can prepare the dough the night before and let it rise in the fridge overnight before topping and baking. I like to use a mixture of plums for this cake, not only for flavor but for color too.–Annie Rigg

Plum Kuchen FAQs

How is the word ‘kuchen’ pronounced?

This German plum cake is pronounced KOO-ken. Fun to say, even better to eat.

What’s the best way to cut a plum?

Use a paring knife to carefully cut around the circumference of the fruit from the stem-side downward, then twist the halves apart so you can see the seed (stone). Gently squeeze the half that holds the stone to loosen it, then remove it. Lay your plum halves flat side down on a cutting board. Slice to whatever thickness you prefer.

How should plum kuchen be stored?

Store, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days.

What type of plums should I use for this kuchen?

Italian prune plums are ideal, but any type of fresh plum will work here. Choose ripe, juicy fruit that gives slightly when gently squeezed.

Plum Kuchen

A plum kuchen on a sheet of parchment with three slices cut from it and a collection of forks, a spoon, and two coffee cups nearby.

This plum kuchen is essentially an easy crumb cake made with a doughy batter and a simple streusel topping. A German classic, we welcome it as breakfast, brunch, onesies, dessert, midnight nosh…heck, there’s no time of day or night that we don’t welcome it.

Annie Rigg

Prep 45 mins

Cook 1 hr 15 mins

Total 4 hrs 30 mins

Make the cake dough

  • Butter an 8-inch (20-cm) square cake pan and line the bottom and sides with buttered parchment paper, allowing the parchment to hang over the sides of the pan.

  • Warm the milk in a small saucepan over low heat until 110°F (43°C) or a shade warmer than body temperature. Do not let the milk even come close to boiling.

  • Put the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the granulated sugar, cinnamon, yeast, and salt and mix with a balloon whisk to thoroughly combine. Make a well in the middle.

  • In a bowl or large measuring glass, combine the sour cream or buttermilk, whole egg, yolk, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Pour the warm milk into the mixer bowl, add the sour cream mixture and softened butter, and knead on medium speed for 4 to 6 minutes, until you have a smooth dough that’s almost sorta like a thick cake batter.

  • Scoop the dough into the prepared pan and spread level using a palette knife. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and either let the dough rise slowly overnight in the fridge or for 2 to 3 hours at room temperature.

    The dough may not rise appreciably. On the other hand, it may double in size. Either way is okay.

  • If you left the dough overnight in the fridge, bring it to room temperature before proceeding.

Make the streusel

  • Mix the sugars, salt, cinnamon, and flour in a small bowl. Add the melted butter and stir well to combine—the mixture should start to form large clumps.

Assemble and bake the kuchen

  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190°C).

  • Scatter 1/3 of the streusel over the cake. Arrange the plum slices on the streusel. Scatter the remaining streusel over the plums.

  • Place the pan containing the kuchen on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes. The dough will probably have puffed to the top of the pan.

  • Reduce the heat to 350ºF (177°C) and continue to bake until the cake has risen even more, the streusel is golden and crisp, the fruit is tender, and a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes more.

  • Let the kuchen cool in the pan until warm or room temperature before slicing. It’s best eaten on the day of making but will reheat well if wrapped in foil and placed in a warm oven for a few minutes.

Serving: 1portionCalories: 537kcal (27%)Carbohydrates: 78g (26%)Protein: 8g (16%)Fat: 22g (34%)Saturated Fat: 13g (81%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 99mg (33%)Sodium: 34mg (1%)Potassium: 243mg (7%)Fiber: 3g (13%)Sugar: 39g (43%)Vitamin A: 949IU (19%)Vitamin C: 7mg (8%)Calcium: 67mg (7%)Iron: 3mg (17%)

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Originally published July 24, 2016

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