Get unlimited digital access to $0.99 for 4 weeks.
Entertainment Food & Dining

Recipe Finder: Use up those plums with Pflaumenkuchen

Mary Geis from Baltimore was looking for a recipe for a dessert that her mother made many years ago that was a kind of buttery shortcake topped with plum halves. She said it was not too sweet and instead was rather tart.

Patricia Battaglia from Kalama, Wash., saw the request and was reminded of a recipe for Pflaumenkuchen that her neighbor, Eva Estermann, made some years ago from the plums harvested from a huge Italian plum tree that was in Battaglia's back yard when she lived in Novato, Calif. She said the tree produced more plums than they could possibly use and one year her neighbor took a couple of gallons of the plums and brought back a plate of this wonderful plum dessert made from a recipe that her mother had in Germany.

Battaglia said it isn't really sweet but it is absolutely delicious. Feel free to substitute peaches, nectarines, apples or even a combination of fruits. Served warm from the oven with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, this makes a wonderful summer dessert.


Beverly Casey from Knox, Ind., is looking for a "very old and very wonderful" recipe for a rum cake that was made by the Fingerhut Bakery in Chicago about 40 or 50 years ago. It was a single layer cake, which she thinks used rum-soaked pastry in the center of the very dense cake. It was frosted with a white glaze.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, and The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278 or email If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate piece of paper and be sure to include your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Name and hometown must accompany recipes in order to be published. Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letter and recipes may be edited for clarity.


(Plum Cake)

Makes 10 servings

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 1/8 cup sugar

3 eggs

2 cups unsifted flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon

3 pounds Italian plums, pitted and quartered

Powdered sugar for dusting

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and lemon juice and rind. Mix to combine. Then add flour, baking powder and salt. Batter will be quite stiff.

Using a spatula or rubber scraper, spread batter evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Pack plums closely together on top of the dough.

Bake 35 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees until surface is golden brown.

Remove from oven and dust with powered sugar and cinnamon (if using).

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Recipe Finder: Amaretto-almond pound cake

    Rose Dodds from Bel Air was searching for a recipe for a cake similar to one that she enjoyed at a party. She said the texture was similar to poundcake and the almond flavor reminded her of Italian amaretti cookies.

  • Recipe Finder | Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

    Steve Frazer from Reisterstown was looking for the recipe for the chocolate chip cake that used to be sold at Miller's Delicatessen in Northwest Baltimore in the 1970s. He remembers that it was a very dense cake and most likely made with sour cream with an abundance of tiny chocolate chips...

  • Recipe Finder: Good old Louisiana Ring Cake

    Mary Quinn from Baltimore was looking for the recipe for the Louisiana Ring Cake that was made by the long-ago closed Rice's Bakery. She said the tube cake had a crunchy outer crust and the cake itself had a slightly orange flavor. The bakery cake clearly was one that was enjoyed and remembered...

  • New name for Vito, but the quality endures
    New name for Vito, but the quality endures

    There have been a couple of changes lately at the old Vito's Cafe, a sterling Italian restaurant in a shopping center on York Road in Cockeysville. Last summer, the family-owned establishment, which had been a BYOB, got a license to serve wine, beer and liquor. And more recently, the...

  • Burgers and poutine at Clark Burger next to Senator
    Burgers and poutine at Clark Burger next to Senator

    The Inner Harbor's just-opened Shake Shack outpost is garnering big headlines but it's not the only new burger joint in town. On the northern edge of the city, the talk is all about the independently owned restaurant Clark Burger.

  • The name is Latin, the food is Turkish and wonderful
    The name is Latin, the food is Turkish and wonderful

    The new Fells Point restaurant Mare Nostrum is one of the nicest surprises in years. Arriving without publicity, the restaurant serves simple and wonderfully delicious food in a serene and comfortable setting.

  • Grille Twelve24 has tasty Peruvian food
    Grille Twelve24 has tasty Peruvian food

    In recent years, Peruvian restaurants have popped up throughout the city and suburbs — think Pisco in Elkridge and the much-loved Puerto 511 near the downtown library. Grille Twelve24, which opened in Mid-Town Belvedere last fall, is one of the area's newer Peruvian spots.

  • Korean flavors, techniques sparkle at Be-One Korean BBQ in Station North
    Korean flavors, techniques sparkle at Be-One Korean BBQ in Station North

    During the summer of 2012, Andrew Zimmern of the Travel Channel's "Bizarre Foods" shows descended on the Baltimore region to explore the food scene — including an illuminating visit to several Korean restaurants in Baltimore and in Howard County.