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German Plum Kuchen- Pflaumenkuchen

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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.

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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?

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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! :-)

Kristina Carr

Sunday 6th of December 2020

I am originally from Cologne, Germany and along the Rhine river therecare many little bakeries where one can stop and have Pflaumenkuchen during the fall season, but most make the cake with yeast. So I was sceptical to try your recipe, but I am so glad that I did. Although the cake is different than the one from my region, I love your version and it brings warm memories from home all the way to Florida. Thank you for inspiring me to try out something new.

The Bossy Kitchen

Sunday 6th of December 2020

You are so very welcome! Thank you for visiting! This recipe is indeed a treasure that made lots of people happy.

Cridtal

Thursday 13th of February 2020

Can you please clarify how much flour is needed? It says 2 cups or 8 oz, but 8 oz is only one cup. Thank you!

The Bossy Kitchen

Thursday 13th of February 2020

Hi Cristal, I actually modified the recipe and made it 8.8oz, instead of just 8. You will need 2 cups of flour, as 1 cup is usually about 4.4 oz or 120g. I also recommend a scale if you have issues measuring flour in cups. There are different ways to grab the flour from the bag and if you don't do it right, you might end up with too little or too much flour.A scale will give you the correct amount of everything.

Jennifer

Saturday 21st of September 2019

I'm excited to try this! Part of my heritage is Germans from Russia and they have amazing Kuchen also! It is a bit different as it has a custard filling on top of the base and then the fruit on top. I'm excited to try your recipe as I have an egg allergy and can replace 1 egg but the 4 eggs in my family recipe is too much to replace. I love your knowledge of the history of your family

Glenna

Monday 9th of September 2019

Wow. The comments. Anyway, I was wondering why the total time to make this cake says 1 hour when there is a required resting time of 1 hour in addition to the total time.

The Bossy Kitchen

Tuesday 10th of September 2019

Hi Glenna, Thank you for letting me know. I made the correction on the time, it was a technical glitch in the recipe card. And yes, the comments, I know...:-)