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Plum Cake // Zwetschgenkuchen

Plum Cake // Zwetschgenkuchen

This simple, yet amazing, cake is something I grew up eating in Salzburg. You can also make it with apricots, if you can find really great ones. We adapted this in our magazine, Milk Street. It is perfect for late summer. 


Plum Cake

Start to finish: 1½ hours (10 minutes active)
Servings: 8

Both red and black plums work beautifully in this cake. Just be sure to choose ripe, medium plums that still have a little firmness; soft, ultra-juicy fruits will make the center of the cake wet and soggy. Italian prune plums are great, too; use the same weight. But since they are small, cut them into halves instead of quarters. Ripe but firm pluots, a plum-apricot hybrid, are another excellent alternative. The flavor and texture of this cake are best the day of baking, but leftovers can be stored overnight in an airtight container at room temperature.

Don't underbake the cake; the plums let off a lot of juice that slows down the baking, especially at the center. When testing for doneness, make sure there are no moist crumbs clinging to the toothpick.

130 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
107 grams (½ cup) white sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces, room temperature
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1¼ pounds ripe but firm medium plums, halved, cut into 3/4-inch wedges and pitted
Powdered sugar, to serve

Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the middle position. Mist a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray, then dust evenly with flour; tap out the excess.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, 107 grams (½ cup) of the sugar, the baking powder and salt on low until combined, about 5 seconds. With the mixer running, add the butter 1 piece at a time and continue mixing just until the mixture resembles moist sand, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Increase to medium-high and beat until pale and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping down the bowl as needed.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread in an even layer. Arrange the plum wedges on top of the batter in 2 concentric circles, placing the pieces on their cut sides. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until golden brown and a skewer inserted at the center comes out clean, 1 to 1¼ hours. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then remove the pan sides. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with powdered sugar.