German Plum Cake Recipe – Streusel Pflaumenkuchen (Zwetschgenkuchen)

Oma Gerhild

by: Gerhild Fulson  /  Cookbook Author, Blogger, German Oma!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

Get Cooking Just Like Oma Cookbook Now

This traditional German plum cake recipe (known as Pflaumenkuchen, Zwetschgenkuchen, Zwetschgendatschi, or Quetschekuche depending which area of Germany you are in) and topped with a buttery streusel topping, is one of the most requested German recipes by those living outside of Germany. This plum cake is made without yeast, so it's super quick and easy.

Served with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this is perfect for your afternoon Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake).

Check below to see other fillings that can be used, including other stone fruit, such as peaches and apricots. Even jam works. Most importantly, don't forget that dollop of freshly whipped cream! Sweet German food - lecker!

Yummy Plum Streusel Cake ... just like Oma made, with a super easy recipe.

There are many different versions of plum cake, some have streusel and some without. Some made with shortcrust pastry. Many made with yeast dough. This one isn't! It uses a quick "Quark-Öl" dough.

I had to play a bit with the original recipe, since Quark isn't available here where I live. Greek yogurt proved to be a great substitute. So, when I'm in a real hurry, this German plum cake with streusel is the winner that the whole family enjoys.

If you really, really want to use Quark to make this, which substitutes in equal amounts in this recipe, and can't buy it, you can make it easily with your Greek yogurt maker or even in the oven! Check out how to make homemade quark here.

Another substitute for Quark in this recipe is using sour cream. One of my Facebook fans, Trudy Maynard, replaced the Greek yogurt with 14% sour cream in this recipe. In her words, "It's delicious."

What are the best plum to use for baking?

Well, unfortunately, the answer to this could be, what kind can you find and when is plum season in your area?

I have yet to find fresh plums where I live that don't make a good cake. Each type will make a different tasting cake, but each will be delicious.

The traditional type of plum for this German Zwetschgenkuchen are the fresh Italian plums, also known as prune plums, empress plums, or European plums, shown below.

These are usually available at local markets in late summer, from the end of August thru to early October. However, whether you use black plums, red plums, or golden ones, each will make a delicious cake.

Turn these prune plums into a traditional German plum cake, made just like Oma with a super easy recipe.

Do you peel plums before baking?

The simple answer to this is ... no ... do not peel plums before baking. The peels give the final cake such a pretty color. Especially using the Italian prune plums, with their 'greenish' pulp, once baked, the cake is such a pretty purplish-red color. 

How long will this cake keep?

Most people say that when you use a "Quark-Öl" dough, it should be eaten fresh. However, I find that the recipe below keeps very well. The photo of the German plum cake at the top was taken on the THIRD day.

I find that this cake keeps much fresher much longer than the yeast version. That's one of the reasons I prefer to use the "Quark-Öl" dough. As well as that it's quicker and easier for me.

Leftovers, if there are any, I put in the fridge on the second day. However, it does freeze really well. You can bake lots when the plums are available, freeze, and then enjoy them 'fresh' in the winter. 

Grab your copy of Oma's favorites in her Special Occasion German Cakes & Tortes e-Cookbook.

Take a look at Oma’s Special Occasion Cakes & Tortes eCookbook and enjoy the traditional taste of German cuisine!

Take a peek at all Oma's eCookbooks. They make sharing your German heritage a delicious adventure!

Use other Fruits and Jams ...

Take a look at these two cakes below. I made the same recipe as below and divided the batter into two which is enough for 2 9-inch spring form pans. 

The one in the foreground is covered with canned peach slices and topped with streusel. The one in the background is covered in plum jam and topped with streusel. Serve with whipped cream, of course!

Peach Streusel (foreground) and Plum Jam Streusel Cakes served for Coffee time!

Oma Says:

I love making other German dessert recipes from this same dough.

For example, I used this same easy dough and pressed it into a 9x13-inch pan. Then I covered it with fresh peaches that I had peeled and cut into thick slices. I sprinkled that with about 1 tbsp of sugar and baked it. This only took about 45 minutes since it had no streusel layer.

Delicious Peach Cake! Wunderbar!

More Info re: German Plum Cake

  • The best plums to use for this are the Italian prune plums.
  • Since they are quite tart, you can sprinkle the plums with sugar underneath the streusel layer if you wish.
  • Some even like to include a sprinkle of cinnamon.

However, my hubby and I like it a bit tart, so I omit the extra sugar and cinnamon. But, do serve this with a dollop of whipped cream. WUNDERBAR! 

More Plum Cakes aka Pflaumenkuchen

Here are some different plum cakes to try:

But, right below, is my favorite plum cake recipe ... it's so easy and so lecker!

Lydia Remembers...

I have so many wunderbar memories in the kitchen with my Oma, and have had MANY of her most popular and traditional great recipes, like this delicious plum cake!

I remember making this cake with Oma for our 3 o'clock afternoon coffee, and enjoying it several times around the table together. 

Oma has introduced me to several cake recipes throughout the years, though this one really is the most refreshing. The moisture from the plums just soaks right into that yummy dough, not in a soggy way, but a flavorful juicy way that makes you want piece after piece!

I enjoy this plum cake served with a big dollop of Oma's homemade whipped cream on top. 

Learn a little bit about me, Lydia, and my kitchen adventures with Oma!

Ready to make this Zwetschgenkuchen?

Get Cooking Just Like Oma Cookbook Now

German Plum Cake Recipe – Streusel Pflaumenkuchen (Zwetschgenkuchen)

Oma's German Plum Cake, aka Pflaumenkuchen, is one of the most requested recipes. However, many are made with yeast, such as this one. The one below is without yeast, so it's a quick recipe to make.

It's so quick to make with "Quark-Öl" dough, but instead of Quark, I use Greek yogurt. So, when I'm in a real hurry, this German plum cake with streusel is the winner! 

Prep Time

15 minutes

Bake Time

60 minutes

Total Time

75 minutes


Makes 10 servings


For the cake:

  • 2⅓ cups (304 grams) all-purpose flour 
  • 3 teaspoons (12 grams) baking powder 
  • ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (13 grams) vanilla sugar 
  • pinch salt
  • ½ cup (123 grams) Greek yogurt
  • ⅓ cup (80 milliliters) milk or more as needed
  • ⅓ cup (80 milliliters) neutral oil such as sunflower oil
  • about 2 pounds (908 grams) fresh prune plums, pitted and quartered

For the topping:

  • 2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour 
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (227 gram) cold unsalted butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan or 2 9-inch springform pans and set aside.
  2. To make the cake, stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, vanilla sugar, and salt in a large bowl. 
  3. Add the yogurt, milk, and oil to the flour mixture. Using either a dough hook, wooden spoon, or your hands, mix for a minute or so until the dough holds together, adding a bit more milk if needed. Knead lightly with your hands to form a ball. Do not overwork the dough.
  4. Press the dough into the prepared pan(s). Put the plum wedges, skin side down, in rows on top of the dough. 
  5. To make the topping, combine flour and sugar in a separate bowl. Cut in butter and mix quickly to make crumbs. Sprinkle over top of the cake. 
  6. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Let cool and serve. 


  • The amount of milk used in the dough is dependent upon the moisture content of the Greek yogurt. Add just enough milk for the dough to hold together.
  • Instead of Greek yogurt, use 14% sour cream.
  • If you want a sweeter cake, sprinkle a little extra sugar over top of the plums before covering with the streusel crumbs.
  •  Instead of plums, put a layer of jam on the dough and cover with streusel.
  • Add ½ teaspoon of almond extract along with the milk and oil.
  • Substitute 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract instead of the vanilla sugar.
  • Use this same easy dough and press it into a 9x13-inch pan. Cover with fresh peach slices, sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of sugar and bake for about 45 minutes.
  • If you are wanting to use yeast, you can use this peach streusel cake recipe and just substitute with plums.

*  *  *  *  *

Unless otherwise noted recipe, images and content © Just like Oma |

You might like these

Check out Oma's German Cake recipes right here:

Get Oma's FREE ebook!

Follow Oma on Social Media:

Buy me a coffee?

Leave a comment about this recipe or ask a question?

Pop right over to my private Facebook group, the Kaffeeklatschers. You'll find thousands of German foodies, all eager to help and to talk about all things German, especially these yummy foods. 

Meet with us around Oma's table, pull up a chair, grab a coffee and a piece of Apfelstrudel, and enjoy the visit.

Newest Recipes

  1. Calve's Liver and Onions Recipe with Apples: Oma's Leber und Zwiebeln

    liver and onions 600 2020
    This easy liver and onions recipe is so tasty with the added apples. A hubby and kid pleaser, this is quick to make.

    Go to Recipe

  2. Best 10 German Foods with Recipes – Oma's 10 Beste der deutschen Küche

    german food recipes 600
    Oma's best 10 German foods that will have you thinking you're back in your Omas kitchen in Germany. Cooking and baking together, but best of all, making memories!

    Go to Recipe

  3. German Apple Strudel Recipe – Oma's Apfelstrudel Rezept

    german apple strudel 600 2020
    This easy German Apple Strudel recipe is one of those German desserts that brings the traditional strudel taste to your table without all the work. Wunderbar!!

    Go to Recipe

*  *  *  *  *

PIN to SAVE this recipe to your Pinterest board!

And let’s be friends on Pinterest!

Yummy Plum Streusel Cake made without yeast. So easy and so lecker, made just like Oma.

German Plum Cake Recipe ~ Pflaumenkuchen (Zwetschgenkuchen) with Streusel

German Plum Cake Recipe ~ Pflaumenkuchen (Zwetschgenkuchen) with Streusel
Oma's authentic German plum cake recipe without yeast uses Quark or Greek yogurt instead. So quick & easy to make this traditional Pflaumenkuchen (Zwetschgenkuchen) with streusel.

Yield: 10 servings
Ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, vanilla sugar, salt, Greek yogurt, milk, oil, prune plums, butter,

For the full recipe, scroll up ...

Words to the Wise

"The life of the godly is full of light and joy, but the light of the wicked will be snuffed out."

Proverbs 13:9 (NLT)

Copyright © | Quick German Recipes (Just like Oma) | All Rights Reserved

Powered by: Make Your Knowledge Sell!

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Quick German Recipes participates in various affiliate advertising to provide a means to earn advertising fees by linking to retail websites. This website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and affiliated sites. I will not promote products I do not own or would not buy myself. My goal is to provide you with product information and my own personal opinions or ideas.  At times, I will showcase services, programs, and products. I aim to highlight ones that you might find interesting, and if you buy future items from those companies, I may get a small share of the revenue from the sale. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

copyscape image