Skip to Content

German Plum Kuchen- Pflaumenkuchen

German Plum Kuchen- Pflaumenkuchen is a summer recipe that uses fresh plums in season. This German recipe is traditional from Transylvania and it is easy to make and delicious.

German Plum Kuchen Pflaumenkuchen- slices on a white plate

German Plum Kuchen- Pflaumenkuchen

I love this recipe. While plums are still in season, this recipe should be on the list of everyone who loves baking bars and using seasonal ingredients. The recipe comes from Transylvania and it is specific to the Saxon(German) cuisine.

Easy to make and incredible delicious, the German Plum Kuchen is a little treasure, great for a lazy Sunday afternoon snack, or dessert.

To make this recipe, I recommend the Italian plums for a more traditional taste.

plums

They are rather smaller and less juicy than American plums that I find, in my opinion, a little too big for this recipe. 

German Plum Kuchen- Pflaumenkuchen

When I was growing up, bars or cookies used to be baked in my grandmother’s home only over the weekends and served during the week as snacks or special occasions.

The tray or the platter of desserts would sit quietly  in the pantry waiting for a guest to stop by and say hi.

She would then make coffee and serve desserts with it. (Click here to learn how to make Turkish coffee, the way Romanians still like to drink their coffee).

German Plum Kuchen- Pflaumenkuchen - slices on a decorated plate with the pan of dessert in the background

I love to share old recipes that come from my family or from the places I grew up. I think that old recipes are teaching us about old times, they provide a window into everyday life long ago.

You can learn from them what people ate, what utensils they used in the kitchen, what ingredients they could buy in the stores, what cultural and culinary influences shaped them. 

PIN THIS FOR LATER:

German Plum Kuchen Pflaumenkuchen -featured picture

Sometimes you can also learn about their social lives, because handwritten recipes frequently include the name of the person from whom the writer got the recipe.

Such recipe collections are important parts of family traditions, but also of broader cultural traditions. They tell us stories of a vanished world and connect us to our past and our roots.

Here are some more recipes from Transylvania:

Plum Tart

Apple Pie Bars

Traditional Saxon Potato Tarragon Soup

Jam Crescent Pastries

Traditional Hungarian Goulash

what kind of ingredients go into this recipe:

  • all purpose flour– this is a flour that works for most baked goods and most people have it in their pantries.
  • baking powder
  • granulated sugar
  • unsalted cold butter– as we are going to make a shortbread type crust for this dessert, we will need very cold butter for the dough. Cut it in small pieces and work them into the flour and sugar.
  • large egg
  • Italian plums– smaller fruits but full of flavor. If you cannot find them, use the type of plums you have available.
  • sweet graham crackers crumbs
  • powder sugar to sprinkle on top of the bars

This dessert is very simple. It has a shortbread crust on the bottom and fresh fruits on top. Bread crumbs are sprinkled over the plums to absorb the excess juice. That’s it!

I am thinking that you can replace the plums with peaches, for example, I do not see why they would not work.

There is not a ton of sugar in these bars and I am not going to pretend that it is a fancy recipe. The ingredients are accessible and easy to put together and the result is delicious.

Tip: The dough can be made in a food processor! If you don’t have one, Amazon is a good place to start looking for a cheaper, reliable one! It is a life saver in the kitchen!

German Plum Kuchen Pflaumenkuchen sliced on a white plate with fork

If you make the recipe, share it with the hashtag #thebossykitchen on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter  so we can all see what you’re cooking!

Or maybe you want to join The Bossy Kitchen community group where you can share your creations made from this blog or your favorite recipes!

Interested in more dessert bars? Here you have the link for more recipes.

Yield: 16 servings

German Plum Kuchen- Pflaumenkuchen

German Plum Kuchen Pflaumenkuchen 1

German Plum Kuchen- Pflaumenkuchen is a summer recipe that uses fresh plums in season. This Transylvanian recipe is easy to make and delicious.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 2 cups/8.8oz/250 g all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup/4.23oz/120g granulated sugar
  • 1 stick/4.23oz/120g unsalted cold butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 2.2lb/1kg plums
  • 1 tablespoon sweet graham crackers crumbs
  • powder sugar to sprinkle on top of the bars

Instructions

  1. Sieve the flour together with the baking powder and sugar.
  2. Work the cold butter into the mixture until it looks like bread crumbs.
  3. Add the egg.
  4. Mix to make a dough. Cover in plastic wrap and let it rest for an hour in the refrigerator.
  5. Tip: Use a food processor to mix the ingredients together. Pulse few times for flour, baking powder, sugar and butter to create a mixture that ressembles bread crumbs. Add the egg and pulse few more times until you obtain a dough.
  6. In the meantime wash and dry the plums, cut them in halves and remove the pits.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
  8. Use an 8x8 inch pan. (You do not need to butter the pan, as the dough has enough fat in it).
  9. Spread the dough on the bottom of the pan and place the plums on top of the dough in dense rows. Sprinkle them with the crumbs and bake for 40-45 mins. (the dough has to be baked, plums should still sweat)
  10. Let the pan cool, then cut the bars in squares and serve. Sprinkle powder sugar on top if you prefer.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 145Total Fat: 6.6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 48mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 0.5gSugar: 8gProtein: 2.1g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Note: “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”

Connie Durant

Wednesday 22nd of September 2021

I was born in Schwabach Germany and love this dessert. I make a Pflaumenkuchen (I used to call it Zwetchgenkuchen) that comes close to your recipe. I never used Graham cracker crumbs. It's my favorite dessert and actually make mine a 11X15 pan and hate to share it. It was a favorite of my Dad's also. Anyway I'll have to try your recipe and double the size. And it's difficult to find Italian prunes around here. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

Gertrud I.

Wednesday 18th of August 2021

I just found this recipe and I can’t wait to make it. It caught my eye because it was a Transylvanian Saxon recipe. I was born in Reichesdorf ( a small village in Transylvania). My entire family comes from there. We came to the US in 1978. I was only two years old, so I don’t remember much of the homeland, but my parents, aunts, uncles, and sisters kept many traditions alive. I speak Saxon as does most of my family. Thanks again for the recipe.

The Bossy Kitchen

Wednesday 18th of August 2021

Hi Gertrud, What a wonderful story! Do you know that Reichesdorf village is also called Richis? You should take a trip to that area. It is absolutely lovely. Lots of foreigners live now in the village, including Americans. Here is an article about that, if you are curious: https://www.romania-insider.com/romania-richis-international-village/ I hope you also enjoy the recipe! ❤️

Rosemary Sheel

Wednesday 14th of July 2021

Made the plum kuchen yesterday. Very pleased with the results except my plums were not perfect...However the pastry made up for the plums!

My only comment would be that it took my super large food processor more than a few seconds to make the dough come together...maybe a minute. I was beginning to think that I'd have to add some ice water but then noticed that the dough was beginning to adhere.

Also fun was your experience with the Master Chef contest. You are right. It is not about the cooking. It is about the entertainment. Your cake looked great to me!

Steve McCurdy

Monday 5th of July 2021

In Fall 1974 I was a newly arrived American student about to spend a year at the University of Göttingen with the University of California Education Abroad Program. Some friends and I found a recipe, pulled some ripe plumbs off a tree on the Gutenbergstraße, and went to work. I think of that wonderful Kuchen, amazing year and those great friends--still in contact!--everytime I make this recipe. Thanks for awakening such joyful reverie. Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

The Bossy Kitchen

Monday 5th of July 2021

Wow, such a nice memory! Thank you so much for your note! It is indeed a good recipe!

Maree Corda

Sunday 24th of January 2021

Hello there Gabriela, Thank you for this recipe and I love all the history that comes with it. I have the cake cooking in the oven as I type this and pray it turns out well. My sister gave me the blood plums from her tree and I am baking this cake as a surprise gift for my German workmate also called Gabriela! I hope you dont mind but I used waffle cones, Biscoff and Pfeffernüsse Spice Cookies crushed in the food processor as the crumbs on top. I also added a touch of cinnamon, clove and ginger to the pastry as I just love these spices. I am a little concerned as the recipe calls for 1kg of fruit but I barely used half of that amount as the tray was full. Just thought I would check if the plum measurement is possibly incorrect? 1 kilo = 1000grams Many thanks again for sharing, Regards Maree from Victoria in Australia.

The Bossy Kitchen

Sunday 24th of January 2021

Hi Maree, The recipe is correct.The idea is to have an abundance of fruit on top, as the pastry is quite bland, if you ask me. Probably your version came out awesome as you added so many delicious things. Next time try to put more fruit, it will come out bubbly and extra juicy! :-)

Skip to Recipe