Oma’s Plum Cake

I love this time of year – late summer, early autumn, harvest time – with its hazy sunshine, golden colours and plenty of delicious ingredients to bake and cook with. One of the cakes I always associate with this time of year is plum cake, ideally still slightly warm with a dollop of cold whipping cream. I love the slight tartness of the plums with the cream to which I add just a hint of sugar or vanilla sugar.There are many plum cake recipes but I went for the one that is a staple of every German bakery worth its salt and one that has been around for decades (in Germany ask for Pflaumenkuchen or Zwetschgenkuchen). It is made with quark-oil dough which is perfect for any kind of cake baked with fresh fruit on top and you can have it on the coffee table in no time at all. And as much as I like the cake slightly warm, it is even better the next day, when all the flavours had a chance to seep through the whole cake. I am calling it Oma’s Plum Cake, not after any particular Oma (Grandma), but all those Omas who have taught us to cook and to bake and passed on recipes down generations. What would we be without them?

Preheat your oven to 220C (200C if it’s a fan oven)


  • 700g plums

Wash the plums and cut into halves, quarters or even smaller slices and set aside.

  • 125g quark
  • 4 tablespoons oil (I use sunflower oil for baking as its taste is very neutral)
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 80g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 200g flour

Mix the ingredients with the kneading attachment on your hand mixer. Roll it out on a flat surface and line a round baking tin (24-26cm) with it. Pull it up slightly around the edges.

  • 4 teaspoons sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 teaspoons of icing sugar with a pinch of cinnamon

Arrange the plums on the dough and sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon mixture and the oil. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes. Let it cool down slightly and dust with the cinnamon icing sugar mix.

Do you like the pretty plate, saucer and cup? It is one of the four ornamental coffee sets I have recently liberated from my mum’s cupboard (with her permission!). These sets were hugely popular in the first half of the last century, and every Hausfrau in Germany would own a variety of them and put them proudly on the coffee table at birthdays and other celebrations.

Translation: Mum knows many things – Grandma knows everything

(sign seen in a shop in Eckernförde/Germany)


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