Bavarian Plum Cake | Zwetschgendatschi


Bavarian Plum Cake | Zwetschgendatschi

Bavarian Plum Cake  Zwetschgendatschi
Bavarian Plum Cake Zwetschgendatschi

Zwetschgendatschi is a classic Bavarian sheet cake that is only available in mid- to late summer because it is made with zwetschgen, which are a very specific type of plum with a rather short growing season. But when zwetschgen are in season, you won’t find a café without this delicacy.

Zwetschgendatschi is usually made with either a yeasted dough or what is called a quark-oil dough. This recipe is made with the latter because I find it stays moist longer, whereas the yeasted dough has a tendency to dry out. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on zwetschgen, also known as prune plums (not dried) or Italian plums, PLEASE make this cake!

P.S. It’s also delicious with a layer of buttery streusel on top!

Servings: 12
Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes


  • Cake Base
  • 200 grams (11/2 cups + 2 tbsp) all-purpose flour
  • 75 grams (1/3 cup + 2 tsp) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 60 milliliters (1/4 cup) neutral oil (such as vegetable oil)
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) quark
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Plum Topping
  • 1.5 kg (3.3 lb) zwetschgen (approximately depending on the size of plums)


Cake Base

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and place a rack in the center of the oven. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar and baking powder. Then, add in the egg, oil, quark and vanilla extract. Use the dough hook to knead the dough for 10 to 15 minutes, until it is smooth. It can be a little sticky but not so sticky that you can’t handle the dough without it all attaching to you.

  2. Lightly grease the bottom of the pan with either soft butter or a baking spray with flour. Flip a 9 x 13–inch (23 x 33–cm) metal pan over and place the dough on the bottom. Gently roll the dough out so that it is almost the full size of the base of the pan. Lift the dough up, flip the pan back over, and lay the dough into the bottom of the pan. Stretch the edges of the dough to the edges of the pan and set aside.

Plum Topping

  1. Rinse and pat the plums dry. Cut the plums into quarters, lengthwise and remove the stones. Lay the plum quarters with the skin side down onto the dough at a slight angle so that the back end of the quarter is sticking up higher than the other end. They should make a row across the pan on one short end. The edges of the plums should touch one another.

  2. The next row will be almost exactly the same, but the slices should stagger the previous row so that the tips of these plums fit in the openings between the plums of the previous row. Repeat this until the whole pan is covered. Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, rotate the cake 180 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes.

  3. Once baked, remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. After 15 to 20 minutes, carefully use a spatula to loosen the cake and slide it out onto a cutting board. Allow it to cool completely to room temperature before cutting it into nine squares measuring approximately 3 x 3 inches (8 x 8 cm).


If you can’t find quark at your grocery store, you can use 5% fat Greek yogurt.   
Unlike most recipes, I don’t recommend swapping out these plums for a different plum if you can’t find zwetschgen. I have tried it with other plums but they hold much more moisture and will create a very soggy cake.

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