Plum cake: Véronique Witzigmann reveals her recipe

Zwetschgendatschi: Recipe for the perfect late summer cake

In “Sweets”, Véronique Witzigmann shares her favorite baking recipes on 270 pages and shares useful tips and tricks for baking at home. Published by Callwey, 45 euros.


What exactly is a plum cake? Especially for Northern Germans, the name sometimes sounds not only unpronounceable, but also enigmatic. Plums should be halfway known as a subspecies of plum – but “Datschi”? The word “Datschi” is derived from the Bavarian-Swabian “datschen” or “dätschen” and means to press in, so Zwetschgendatschi literally means to press the plums into the dough. And in what kind of dough? Some swear by soft yeast dough, others prefer crispy shortcrust pastry. There are also two factions when it comes to sprinkles: with or without. The plum cake recipe by the Austrian delicatessen entrepreneur Véronique Witzigmann, which we present to you here, appears classically purist from the outside – yeast dough, no crumbs – but allows itself a touch of marzipan as a little extravagance. But no matter which datchi group you belong to or whether you enjoy it as a side dish for an afternoon cappuccino or as a sumptuous Sunday dessert: a plum datchi like this tastes best with a good helping of whipped cream. Véronique Witzigmann also sees it that way.

You can find these and many other cakes in her current baking book “Sweets”. We wish you a lot of fun baking and bon appetit!

Volker Debus

With this recipe you will succeed in making a fruity plum cake

Ingredients (for a sheet)

For the dough

  • 560 g wheat flour (type 405)
  • 20 grams of fresh yeast
  • 90 grams of sugar
  • 285 ml whole milk
  • 90 g soft butter
  • 3 egg yolks (M), room temperature

For the marzipan topping

  • 150g soft butter
  • Zest of ½ organic lemon
  • Peel of ½ organic orange
  • 75 grams of sugar
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • 10g bourbon vanilla sugar
  • 75 g raw marzipan mass

For cover

  • 1.5 kg of plums
  • if necessary 1 tablespoon of sugar

In addition

  • Baking tray (30 x 40 cm)
  • flour for rolling out
  • Whipped cream to serve

How to prepare the Zwetschgendatschi

For the pastry, sift the flour into a bowl and make a deep well in the centre. Crumble the yeast into this well and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sugar over it. Heat the milk until lukewarm in a saucepan and mix 3 tablespoons of it with the yeast and sugar with a wooden spoon, stir in a little flour from the edge until a thick mass is formed – the dough.

Cover the bowl with a cloth and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 15 minutes until it has doubled in volume and formed small bubbles. Then put the remaining dough ingredients in the bowl and knead with the dough hook of the hand mixer until a smooth, silky dough that easily separates from the bowl’s edge.

Cut the parchment paper to the size of the baking sheet and sprinkle with flour. Roll out the dough evenly and place it on the baking sheet with the baking paper. Leave to rise again for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the marzipan topping. Using a hand mixer, beat the butter in a bowl with the lemon and orange zest until creamy. Then add the sugar, cinnamon and vanilla sugar and roughly grate the marzipan into the bowl. Mix everything to a creamy mass.

Preheat the oven to 190 °C top/bottom heat.
Meanwhile, wash, halve and pit the plums. For the classic accordion shape, cut the halved fruit several times lengthwise, but don’t cut all the way through. After the rising time, spread the marzipan butter over the dough. Then spread the plum halves, skin side down, row by row next to each other (like a roof tile) on top.

Bake the plum cake on the middle shelf in the oven for 35 minutes. Take out, leave to cool on the tray, sprinkle with sugar if necessary and then serve the cut pieces with whipped cream.

Preparation: 1 hour 15 minutes

Walking time: 55 minutes

Baking time: 35 minutes

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