Introduction: German Plum Cake Aka the Most Delicious Cake Ever

Picture of German Plum Cake Aka the Most Delicious Cake Ever

This cake is one of THE best cakes I have ever made or had myself before, if I may be so cocky! :)

There are a few things that make it so delicious; the juicy, sweet plums, the soft (and NOT dry) cake, the streusel on top and finally, it's SO easy to make!

Plums are in season from about May to October, so take advantage and make as many of these cakes as possible. Since the plum is also one of the world's most healthiest fruits, I'd argue that this cake has to be somewhat healthy, don't you agree?!

FAIR WARNING:

This cake is made with Quark, which is a type of cheese/milk product that is VERY commonly used in German cuisine. In the US it's rather hard to find it, but not impossible! They sell a teeny-tiny container at Whole Foods for instance, for a whopping $6 (from Vermont Creamery)! But don't fret, I am WAY ahead of you, look right here.

Step 1: What's Quark You Ask?

Picture of What's Quark You Ask?

I'm not 100% sure exactly. :P

I just know that it's very versatile and you can go either way with it, savory or sweet. Like I mentioned before, Germans love it and use it in many recipes. Wikipedia actually has some good info on it, if you're really interested.

Here are your options using/substituting Quark:

1. You get the small thing of Quark that Whole Food sells for $6 and cut the recipe in half.

2. You simply make your own similar version of Quark (I'm showing three ways here)

3. You substitute it with sour cream or cream cheese as some people have suggested (never tried it)

I also just added a short video as a guide to what consistency Quark has.

Step 2: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

I tried my very best converting everything for those who either don't have a scale or do have one but still can't use metric measurements. There might be some very slight variations, so if you're able, go by the metric measurements since they are the "true" ones.


Also, if you only have a baking dish about 8-9 inches in diameter, I suggest cutting this recipe in half!

Fruit topping:

Plums, 1 ½ kg / a bit more than 3 pounds (I'd get 4 and have some extra for later)

For the batter:

Flour, 400 g / 3 c / 14 oz (see here how to measure flour correctly)

Baking soda, 1 tbsp

Sugar, 200 g / 1 c / 7 oz (I rarely use all the sugar they call for)

Quark/Quark substitute, 500 g / 2 c / 1.1 lb

A wee bit of vanilla extract

1 egg

Oil, 6 tbsp

Milk, 8 tbsp

For the streusel:

Butter (soft), 100 g / 7 tbsp / almost half a stick

A wee bit of vanilla extract. Again.

Sugar, 100 g / ½ c / 3.5 oz

Flour, 200 g / 1½ c / 7 oz

Step 3: Enlist Help!

Picture of Enlist Help!

Never underestimate the power of a good helper around the kitchen!

Step 4: Cut 'em Up!

Picture of Cut 'em Up!

Start by washing and cutting your plums into small slices. I usually quarter them first and try to get about 3 pieces out of each quarter.

Put them in a separate bowl, bowl, bowl, bowl and use some (~1-2 tbsp) of the sugar that's called for the batter and sprinkle it over the plums. This will cause them to "fall apart" slightly and release their juice. Shake them up so they're all getting some sugar loving' and set aside.

Step 5: Mix It Up!

Picture of Mix It Up!

Now this is why this cake is so easy to make!

Just throw all the ingredients for the batter into a bowl and mix them until smooth (I suggest an electronic mixer). It takes maybe a minute or two. The batter should be slightly runny.

You want to cover your baking dish with some butter or cooking spray before pouring the batter in it. Spread it evenly and set aside while we prepare the streusel.

This is also a good time to preheat your oven to 200 C / 390 F.

Step 6: Makin' the Good Stuff!

Picture of Makin' the Good Stuff!

Here comes the really yummy part, making the streusel!

You want soft (room temp.) butter for this. If you forgot to put some out, don't freak! However, don't resort to drastic measures either and microwave the butter until it melts. Either do short bursts or cut it up into smaller pieces, put it in a zip lock and use a rolling pin to smash the bejesus out of it. Who says baking can't be a workout?

Put the butter in your bowl, beat it quickly by itself and then add the vanilla extract, sugar and flour. I can already tell you from experience that you'll need more flour, however, I suggest to go with what the recipe calls for first and then adding a little more until you get there. Look at the pictures for a clearer idea of what your streusel should look like.

Noooow, I wouldn't blame you for trying 1 or 2 or 5 of these. If you DO try them and you say to yourself "these taste like childhood", then you MIGHT be German!!!

Step 7: Puttin' It All Together

Picture of Puttin' It All Together

We're almost there.

Grab your pan with the batter, you now want to lay out your plum slices. Just go about anyway you like and spread them out somewhat evenly. You want them to be sitting IN the batter not on top!

Next you'll have to evenly distribute the streusel on top. I don't suggest doing that with your hands since that sometimes causes them to clump up together into one big ball, unless you're being very gentle. Try using a spoon or pour them directly from the bowl you mixed them in. Cover the surface evenly.

Step 8: It's Party, Uh... Oven Time

Picture of It's Party, Uh... Oven Time

Put the dish in the oven for 25 minutes. After that I suggest you turn your dish around. At least in my old oven things don't cook evenly. Then cook for another 15 minutes. After that you can go ahead and do the whole skewer test and see if it's fully cooked yet, but watch out not to stick it through a plum first, that'll ruin your test. You might have to cook it for a bit longer. Depending on how brown your streusel look you should also consider covering with aluminum foil.

I know this might sound impossible, but you HAVE to let it cool down a little bit, BUT it is best eaten warm. If it'll last you more than one day, put a piece into the microwave for just a few seconds until warm again.

Step 9: Credits

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I'd like to thank my furrriend, who was always RIGHT next to me through this entire process and without her I probably wouldn't look this messy, but it also wouldn't be as much fun!!

If you like this instructable or even tried this recipe and LOVED it, vote for us in either the baking or summer food & drinks contests (OR both)!! Thanks

PS: Have a quick look at my other instructables.

Comments

tcarlyle2 made it! (author)2015-08-31

I couldn't find Quark so I substituted it with plain Greek yogurt. It turned out wonderful.

WOW! So yummy, makes me want to bake another one. Did you strain any liquid from the yogurt at all? If I remember right, Greek yogurt isn't as fluid as regular, right?

No, greek yoghurt is much thicker than regular because it is already strained.

GabyS2 (author)2015-08-30

I voted for this recipe and your quark recipe in the baking contest. I haven't tried this cake, but I'll certainly have to because it sounds delicous. Good job, and keep doing what you do.

P.S, your dog is adroable.

madeinthegarage (author)GabyS22015-08-31

Thanks you so much Gaby!!

GabyS2 (author)madeinthegarage2015-08-31

You're very welcome, I hope you win.

Tsanabe (author)2015-08-31

I have made a yogurt spread by straining vanilla yogurt.....which sounds like the quark you mentioned. Pictured in the link below is what I use to strain the yogurt, it is really easy with this handy kitchen tool : https://www.lehmans.com/p-778-yogurt-cheese-maker.aspx

I didn't have any quark available so I substituted regular vanilla yogurt and it came out fine. Thanks for the recipe and great photos!

madeinthegarage (author)Tsanabe2015-08-31

That's a cool! I love the cheese cloth because I can just throw it in the laundry and not in the dishes. Since we don't have a dishwasher I always try to keep everything to a minimum. :P

markusnyc (author)2015-08-30

das hast Du gut gebacken, Sanni!!
Greek Yoghurt (whole milk verity, not low fat!) is a perfect substitute for Quark and not very expensive either!
also if your plums aren't that flavorful you can add lemon juice to the sugar once you cut them up, makes the whole fruit flavor come out more

I can see greek yogurt working as well, you're right and I totally agree with the lemon juice!

rball9 (author)2015-08-28

The strudel in this case is also known as crumble or crumble topping in the uk

madeinthegarage (author)rball92015-08-31

Good call, sometimes the most simplest words escape my memory. :P

flavrt (author)2015-08-29

Thank you. We have luscious plums now and I didn't think of a good way to use them. The church ladies will devour your cake, so I'll need to make 2.

browngnome (author)2015-08-28

The quark looks s but thinner than the sour cream I used. It was dry before baking. Your cake looked and sounded so good that I had to make it right away! It was delicious! I might have messed up my measurements. I guess I will just have to make it again. I will send some pictures when I make the next one. The first one didn't last long. Thank you for the fast response and the video!!

browngnome (author)2015-08-28

My batter came out very dry. I had to add about 2 times the milk and a bit more oil. I did use sour cream instead of quark. How fluid is quark?

minkyrocky (author)browngnome2015-08-28

Quark is like cream cheese mixed with a little milk until its like cream.

Just added a video to the i'ble for reference. Check it out.

WOW! You already tried this? :D

I haven't had sour cream at home for a while so I can't make a straight comparison. Quark is very spreadable. Hmm, like... maybe like cake frosting? Thicker than yogurt! Trying to think. Let me make a video and I'll link to it. :)

BTW, did your batter look dry already before baking? I'm asking since you already must have known and added extra milk&oil.

minkyrocky (author)2015-08-28

The closest thing to Quark is cream cheese by Philadelphia.

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2015-08-28

That came out beautifully! Those peaches came out so juicy-looking!

Thank you. I used plums, but you could try it with peaches, too! :)

Haha. I have no idea why I thought I was looking at peaches! But, regardless, it looks delicious :)

amberrayh (author)2015-08-28

Hahah, I love the photo of you and your baking buddy! Awesome recipe too. Thank you for sharing!

Thanks so much!

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