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Plum Cake with Streusel

This 7 ingredient Plum Cake is worthy of any celebration. And it’s simply sublime for a weeknight dinner. Easy to make, this is one you will want to make over and over.

Plum Cake

It’s taken me way too long to make this simple plum cake. This plum cake is often said to be the good bye to summer cake, since one often uses the last of the plums to make it.

Though this can be made with other fruits, jammy plums are perfect for this streusel topped cake.

This cake made famous by Marian Burros and the New York Times is really a German plum cake in disguise. My Omi was famous for her plum cake and I never remember having it. Where was I when everyone oohed and ahh’d?

Perhaps I was in South Africa where I ate plum cake for the first time. Though I was just 22 at the time, this is a memory not forgotten.

My cousin sent me with a younger companion and told her to take me to a lobster restaurant. This was South Africa with the famous South African lobster tails, but they served us the whole dang thing.

I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

If you ask me to tell you the name of the person that took me, well, I can’t. But I will never forget that giant lobster which was followed by plum cake and coffee.

I found myself devouring this incredible plum cake, which was served with a giant bowlful of billowy, freshly whipped cream that was spooned on top. Yes, this is the way I know plum cake.

I can’t tell you if this plum cake recipe is the one I ate. I can tell you that it is something worth celebrating.

That plum cake was served as a giant square and I know many German plum cakes are made in a 13 x 9 pan which would explain the shape of the slice.

Plum Cake


Whatever you choose, the recipe below is very accommodating and can be made in several different sized pans. I love the buttery crispy crust with the moist soft interior and the sweet taste of the plums in every bite.

Streusel is something I also love and though this cake can be made without it, we sure did love the buttery, melt in your mouth, streusel. If you don’t want to add it, this cake will still be perfect without it.

Many plum cakes are made with Italian plums but I could not find those, even when I went to the farmer’s market. So I used big purple plums that I cut in halves.

If you want pretty plum slices, that can be done too! Just make sure that everyone gets a plum piece with each bite.

Like I say memories are worth every penny and you can see that I remember odd things. Well, today is very worth remembering because it is Alex and Zoe’s 30th birthday and this plum cake is the one I choose to celebrate with.

Alex and Zoe

No, it’s not a three layer chocolate cake or even an ice cream cake or Ilse’s mocha nut cake or a sprinkle cake, but it is a cake that created a memory that I’ve never forgotten.

As we get older it seems the memories get fonder and sweeter and I hope my kids take some time and reflect on how far they have come.

Thirty seems so far away to me right now and often I wish I could do it over. The twenties always seemed the time to grow up. To learn new things. To figure life out.

Well, I have to tell you, I’m not sure the thirties are much different. Because just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, life just throws you a curve ball. But that’s life, right?

 I always told you both that life is not fair. Life is what you make it though and so far, you both have seemed to make it look pretty good. Your hard work and effort is paying off.

You are both incredibly good, empathetic individuals and I am so proud of you. I’m not sure what I did to deserve the both of you, but I am so glad you are a a part of me.

Plum Cake

Kind of funny but below are two quotes written about plums.

“What is more mortifying than to feel that you have missed the plum for want of courage to shake the tree?” ~ Logan Pearsall Smith

You both do not lack courage, that I know. Creating new lives in new places is not easy, but you both have made it seem that way. Shaking the tree and discovering new things is in your mo. It takes courage to fight illnesses and to sometimes deal with parents. You have gained my respect in more ways than you realize.

Educating yourself and giving to charity and remaining true to your ideals is not an easy thing. Honestly? You two are amazing. 

Making memories? I think you both have packed more into the first thirty than I have in my 60+. Alex, that knife massage will create a new one and Zoe, your 29th year is overflowing.

Plum Cake

So wave good bye to your twenties. I hope you are too busy to miss them because I have no doubt your thirties will be even more incredible.

Your lives have blossomed in ways that your dad and I could have never guessed. We are so proud of you. Now go eat a juicy, purple, black plum and celebrate. 

“Just as cherry, plum, peach and damson blossoms all possess their own unique qualities, each person is unique. We cannot become someone else. The important thing is that we live true to ourselves and cause the great flower of our lives to blossom.” ~ Daisaku Ikeda

More Birthday Posts:

28 and San Sebastian Cheesecake

San Sebastian Cheesecake

27 and Coffeecake

Coffeecake with berries

26 and Xi’an Chinese Stuffed Pork Cakes

Xian Chines Stuffed Pork Pancakes

25 and Blueberry Pancakes

Blueberry Pancakes

23 and Chocolate Lava Cakes

chocolate lava cake

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Plum Cake

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Plum Cake

Plum Cake with Streusel

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 6 reviews
  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 Minutes
  • Total Time: 75 Minutes
  • Yield: 1 cake 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


This simply divine plum cake, with or without streusel, is a sublime cake for any occasion. And it’s in the oven in 15 minutes!


Units Scale

1 c sugar

1/2 c unsalted butter, softened

2 eggs

1 t vanilla

1 c unbleached flour

1 t baking powder (even at high altitude)

1/4 t salt

46 Purple Plums (somewhat ripe preferred), halved and pitted

Cinnamon, optional

Vanilla Ice cream or Whipped cream for serving, optional


1 c flour

1/2 c sugar

1/2 c butter


Preheat oven to 350.

Grease an 8, 9 or 10″  spring form pan. I always cover the outside with foil, in case of leakage, though I had none with this cake.

Cream sugar and butter in a bowl until light colored and fluffy, about three minutes.

Beat in eggs and vanilla.

Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Spoon into prepared pan and level.

Place plum halves on top of batter.

Make streusel if you want it, but this is up to you. Sprinkle batter with sugar or streusel. This is up to you. If you want to stop here and not use the streusel, just sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon if you like.  And then bake.

To make streusel:

Use softened butter, flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour. Clump the mixture together with your fingers to make clumpy streusel. Sprinkle between plums and bake as directed.

Bake at 350 for about 1 hour. Let cool to room temperature and remove sides of spring form. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if you like,


Thanks Marian Burros and The New York Times


Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star


Thursday 10th of September 2020

Happy Belated Birthday to your babies, Abbe! What a delicious-looking cake. I don't think I've ever baked with plums.


Friday 18th of September 2020

Now is the time Susan! This cake was tremendous. Sometimes it seems I go through recipe after recipe and everything is just Meh! But I've had some really good successes lately and this classic cake is one of them!

Karen (Back Road Journal)

Sunday 30th of August 2020

Love plum cake and yours looks wonderful. I remember the first time a had a piece, it was in Bavaria on top of a mountain.


Tuesday 1st of September 2020

What a great memory Karen. Yours must have been great, too!


Thursday 27th of August 2020

this cake looks so pretty. i'm sure it must be delicious too.


Tuesday 1st of September 2020

AH Sherry. This cake is pretty. And it tastes great, too!


Thursday 27th of August 2020

sounds like a great cake. fruity and delish.


Tuesday 25th of August 2020

Happy Birthday to Zoe and Alex and what a beautiful cake to help celebrate the occasion! I have so many plums on my counter - now I know what to make with them! Thanks Abbe! Ps your daughter is beautiful and she looks exactly like her mother!