This gluten free plum cake is the perfect late summer cake if you ask me. Picture a simple cake topped with fresh plums and a generous amount of buttery streusel. This traditional Austrian Plum Cake makes the perfect breakfast cake or a little something-something to serve for "Kaffee & Kuchen" (Mid Afternoon Coffee Break).
Growing up my Grandma had a huge plum tree in her yard so clearly, we ate a lot of plum cake during plum season. This recipe is my family's favorite and I adapted it to be gluten-free. Most plum cake recipes are very similar but every family claims theirs is the best. (Oh and my family does make the best Marillenkuchen, apple cake and Kaiserschmarrn)
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Gluten Free Flour: I have made this recipe for Gluten-Free Plum Cake with Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 and my own Gluten Free Flour Blend. These blends do already contain xanthan gum and are a mix of a variety of gluten-free flours. This recipe should work with every multi-purpose gluten-free flour blend on the market. Please be aware that the batter made with Cup4Cup may be on the gummy side but should bake just fine.
Unsalted Butter: I prefer using unsalted butter in all my recipes. The butter should be at room temperature, around 65F. If you nudge the softened butter with your finger you should see an indent but the butter should not feel like you can poke right through it. And no, it's not a typo - the Streusel for this Austrian Plum Cake does contain 100 grams of butter.
Italian Plums: This simple gluten free plum cake is traditionally made with "Zwetschgen" which are called Italian Prune Plums or Empress Plums in the US. They are smaller and egg-shaped and very sweet when fully ripe. They can often be found at Farmers Markets or in the produce aisle of well-stocked grocery markets. But if you can't find them, feel free to replace them with black or red plums. Since these are larger, I recommend cutting them in quarters instead of halves. Especially black plums which tend to be on the larger side.
How to make a Plum Cake
This gluten free plum cake is made with the "all-in" method. Just like the name says, all ingredients are added to the bowl at once and mixed together. Unlike cakes made with the creaming method, cakes made with the "all-in" method rely on their leavening agents to get a nice rise and a soft texture.
I like to use a 9" spring pan to make this cake but a 9x9 rectangular pan will work as well.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly spray the spring form with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
Step 2: Wash the fresh plums and dry them with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. Using a paring knife, split the plums in half.
Step 3: Start out by making the Streusel topping. Combine the gluten-free flour, white sugar, cinnamon, kosher salt, and the diced-up room temperature butter in the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. On a medium speed mix together until the streusel topping comes together and starts to form clumps. Transfer the Streusel topping to a small bowl and place it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Step 4: To the same mixing bowl add the white sugar and the lemon zest. Using your hands, rub the zest into the sugar. This brings out the bright lemon flavor and will give the gluten-free plum cake a subtle lemon flavor.
Step 5: To the lemon sugar add the gluten-free flour, baking powder, kosher salt, and ground ginger. Add the room temperature butter, eggs, and vanilla extract. Starting at a low-speed mix until a dough forms. Increase the speed to medium-high and mix for 2 minutes. Stop the mixer halfway and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Don't forget the bottom of the bowl.
Step 5: Transfer the gluten-free plum cake batter to the prepared spring form and with a small offset knife, spread it out evenly. Place the halved plums cut side up on top of the batter slightly pressing them into the gluten-free plum cake batter.
Step 6: Top the plums halves with the all the streusel topping.
Step 7: Place the plum cake in the preheated oven and bake at 350F for 55-60 minutes. The top of the cake will be golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. To check the doneness of a cake with a toothpick, insert it into the center of your cake. The cake is done if the toothpick is clean or has only a few moist crumbs attached to it.
Step 8: Remove the cake from the oven. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing the ring from the springform pan. To do so, run a knife around the edges (right between the cake and the ring). Then open the latch of the spring form and remove it. You can either let the cake cool completely on a wire rack or dust it with powdered sugar and cut it while still warm. There is nothing like a still warm slice of fresh baked gluten free plum cake.
Storage & Freezing
Store any leftovers of the gluten free plum cake you may have in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. If it’s hot and humid in your kitchen I recommend storing it in an airtight container in the fridge. Cakes containing fresh fruit tend to spoil quickly. Allow for it to come to room temperature before serving.
To freeze the gluten free plum cake, make sure it is completely cool. Wrap the entire uncut plum cake in plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container or large ziplock bag. You can also freeze individual pieces this way. To thaw, transfer the cake from the freezer to the fridge and allow for it to thaw overnight.
How to cut a plum
Empress plums or Zwetschgen are super easy to cut in half. Using a small chef's knife cut the plum carefully around the circumference from the stem-side down. Twist the two halves apart. Using the pairing knife or your fingers carefully remove the pit.
Variations of Plum Cake
As mentioned, this Austrian Plum Cake is very simple and basic. Which doesn't mean it's not delicious as is. But sometimes you want to change things up a bit. You can use this very same recipe with any stone fruit you like such as fresh peaches, nectarines, or apricots.
If you like you can replace up to 40 grams of the gluten-free flour blend used in the plum cake batter with Almond Flour. I do not recommend using more than that or using flour like coconut flour (it will not work). If you add some almond flour, you may also add ⅛th of a teaspoon of almond extract to the batter to give even more almond flavor.
Another delicious variation of this traditional Austrian plum cake is replacing some (or all) of the vanilla extract used in the batter with dark rum.
FAQ about Gluten Free Plum Cake
Because of the fresh fruit, plum cake only lasts around 2-3 days at room temperature. Especially if it is warm outside, there is a chance of the fruit growing mold. When in doubt, I recommend storing it in an airtight container in the fridge instead.
In most plum-growing states plum season is from June through September. In some states such as California and Kansas, the plum season is several months longer. In the Midwest, locally grown plums are typically available from June till October. Make sure to stop at your local Farmers Market to pick some up.
While this recipe for Austrian Plum Cake can easily be made dairy free by switching from butter to a nondairy alternative, I am not sure this recipe will work without eggs. If you give it a try, please let me know in the comments.
Baking in grams
I share my recipes in grams and by weight since baking by weight is the most accurate way to bake. Digital Scales are very affordable and easy to use. You can purchase them on Amazon for less than a set of measuring cups. . For small amount under 10 grams I like to use this Precision Pocket Scale. Measuring cups are very inaccurate which can cause significant errors when it comes to gluten-free baking or baking in general. Especially since I bake with gluten-free flours which weigh differently than “regular” flours. I do provide some ingredients like spices and leavening agents in measuring spoons. To learn more about Baking with a digital scale, make sure to check out my post about Baking by weight.
Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
All my recipes are tested and developed with a conventional oven. I always bake my baked goods on the rack placed in the MIDDLE of my oven. This way the heat coming from the bottom will not burn my baked goods.
If you are baking with convection (fan-forced), please adjust the recipes accordingly. Be also prepared that the convection oven can cause your baked goods to dry out quickly and still be raw inside. Be aware that it takes at least 15-20 minutes for a standard American Oven to be fully preheated. I highly recommend investing in an Oven Thermometer.
Substitutions and Modifications
Any dietary or ingredient modifications/substitutions to this recipe may alter the end result in appearance and taste. I test my recipes several times as published in this post and The Gluten Free Austrian Blog is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe you find on our website.
- 150 grams Gluten Free Multi Purpose Flour
- 100 grams granulated white sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 100 grams unsalted butter, room temperature - cut in small pieces
Gluten Free Plum Cake
- 600 grams of Italian Plums
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- 100 grams granulated white sugar
- 140 grams Gluten Free Multi Purpose Flour
- 3 grams (¾ teaspoon) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 125 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine the gluten-free flour, white sugar, cinnamon, kosher salt, and butter in the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. On a medium speed mix together until the streusel topping comes together and starts to form clumps. Transfer the Streusel topping to a small bowl and place in the refrigerator until ready to use. Use the same mixing bowl to make the plum cake batter. No need to wash it.
Gluten Free Plum Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly spray the spring form with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Using a paring knife, split the plums in half.
- To the mixing bowl add the white sugar and the lemon zest. Using your hands, rub the zest into the sugar.
- Add the gluten-free flour, baking powder, kosher salt, and ground ginger. Add the room temperature butter, eggs, and vanilla extract. Starting at a low-speed mix until a dough forms. Increase the speed to medium-high and mix for 2 minutes. Stop the mixer halfway and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Transfer the gluten-free plum cake batter to the prepared spring form and with a small offset knife, spread it out evenly. Place the halved plums cut side up on top of the batter slightly pressing them into the gluten-free plum cake batter. Top with all the streusel.
- Bake at 350F for 55-60 minutes. The top of the cake will be golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on a cooling rack before removing the ring from the springform pan.
- Cool cake completely or serve while still warm.
- To serve dust with powdered sugar.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 325
Calories are a guestimate and randomly generated.