Bavarian Zwetschgendatschi or German Plum Cake

Zwetschgendatschi aus Bayern

Finally it is plum time! For that reason you get Bavarian Zwetschgendatschi or plum cake today. Since I have been living in Munich, the capital of Bavaria, for more than a year, I need to introduce some local traditions and one of them definitely is Zwetschgendatschi. There are a lots of fights about what is the most classic version of this iconic dish. You can either prepare it with yeast dough or a pie crust, you may wish to only serve it with plums for them to shine. I, however, am a huge fan of crumbs or streusel and therefore decided to go with the crumb version. If you don’t want to wait for the yeast dough to rise, you can also make this plum tart, which I like just the same.

Zwetschgendatschi aus BayernIf you ever have the chance to come to Munich from August to October, it is very likely that you will be served this plum cake. Every bakery, every farmer’s market, every place that sells fresh fruits, will offer this sub-form of plums to you. Zwetschgendatschi is a delicious dough combined with lots and lots of plums and, in my case, the addition of streusel. My husband begs me all the time to make this cake. He is Colombian and has a hard time pronouncing Zwetschgendatschi (yes, there are about one million consonants and the word sounds exactly how it looks). He loves plums also with the broken-up pancakes, Kaiserschmarrn, which is another classic from this region.

Zwetschgendatschi aus BayernUsually any cake prepared with yeast dough only tastes good on the day it was prepared. But I will make an exception for this cake. It tastes even better on day 2 or even 3. The streusel may be a bit on the softer side, but if you don’t mind that, this cake is such a simple, yet easy way to please a crowd. But be warned, if you want it to be absolutely perfect, eat it on the day you prepared it. You will get the perfect sheet cake, moist, with vibrant fruit, and with fond memories of childhood.

Credit: Maria, es schmeckt mir! (in German)

Bavarian Zwetschgendatschi or German Plum Cake

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Serves: One sheet cake
Prep Time: 2 1/2 hrs Cooking Time: 30-35min Total Time: 3 hrs

This Bavarian Zwetschgendatschi or German plum cake contains yeast dough, lots of plums and is topped off with streusel.

Ingredients

  • Yeast Dough
  • 70 grams of butter at room temperature
  • 150 grams of milk
  • 350 grams of bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • Half a package of activated yeast
  • 1 tablespoon of regular sugar
  • 50 grams of regular sugar
  • A pinch of salt

  • Filling
  • 2 kilos of fresh plums

  • Crumbs
  • 300 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 120 grams of white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 175 grams of cold butter

  • Or alternatively
  • Sugar and cinnamon

Instructions

1

For the dough measure the butter and leave on the counter until ready. Heat the milk until lukewarm, if need be, melt the butter just a little bit in the milk.

2

Put all ingredients in a large kneading bowl and knead on low for about five minutes. Then knead for about three minutes on the second lowest. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rise until double in size.

3

Meanwile prepare the plums, wash them, take out the stone and cut them in about 4-8 slices, depending on size.

4

Once your dough is ready, lightly oil a baking sheet and cover the entire sheet with the dough, I like to do this with my hands, but if you prefer, roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface and then arrange in baking sheet. As this is going to be a very thin layer of dough, don't be surprised, it will just be enough.

5

Place your prepared plums on the dough, I like to turn them an angle of about 30 degrees the cut side facing up so that more fit on it. I want lots and lots of plums on my cake. Cover with a moist towel while heating up the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.

6

Meanwhile for the crumbs mix flour, sugar and cinnamon and cut the butter in cubes on top. Either quickly work into crumbs by hand or use a mixer. Sprinkle the cake generously with the crumbs.

7

Alternatively you can leave the cake as it is, bake for 30-35min. Once out, immediately sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon as desired. In Bavaria this cake is served with some homemade whipping cream.

Zwetschgendatschi aus Bayern

Would you like to try some more southern classics? How about:

Apricot dumplings

Broken-up pancakes

Sachertorte, the best chocolate cake

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