And I am back! From a wonderful vacation/visit to Paraguay. If you are wondering where that is, Paraguay is a small land-locked country in South America.
Not a very obvious choice for a vacation location but it is my husband’s birth place. Konrad hadn’t been back in 22 years, so we decided to combine our babymoon (last vacation before baby comes) with a long overdue visit.
I had the best of intentions to keep posting a few recipes while on this trip but failed in the last step of actually posting/scheduling them. I tell you, once you get over the first couple of days of withdrawal (no social media etc.) the feeling of being ‘unplugged’ is quite exhilarating and addicting in its own way.
But now I am back refreshed, inspired, nicely thawed up (after 7 months of Canadian winter weather) and I brought cake – German Plum Crumb Cake to be specific. Which by the way is awesome and even makes great breakfast.
Apologies to everyone who had seen the cake on Instagram already and had to wait until now for the recipe.
I’ll tell you more about Paraguay and our trip in upcoming posts (lots of pictures that need sorting still) but today is about these plum cake bars. Which are different from any similar North American recipes I have ever had because they use a yeast dough as the bottom layer.
I promise it is not difficult and not too time consuming, especially if you do all your prep-work in the rising time. You start by prepping the yeast dough (I used the same recipe as for my sweet rolls but only used half and froze the other half for another time).
While the dough rises (about 1/2 hour) you can prepare the fruit (cutting, pitting or draining if necessary) and crumb topping.
My mom is an amazing canner. She preserves the flavour of summer for the whole year. For this cake I used a jar of her canned, pitted plums – they have to be very well drained. They were pitted and cut in half, but no slicing is necessary.
Fresh plums work just as well and many other fresh or well-drained canned fruits would make for amazing cake bars, too.
- 1 package (2¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 cup milk, warm
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (350 g) pitted plums, canned or fresh
- ½ cup (115 g) butter
- ⅓ cup (65 g) sugar
- 1⅓ cup (165 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean powder/extract
- Set aside ½ cup of the flour. Combine all other dough ingredients with the dough hook of your mixer until smooth and satiny. Only use remaining flour if needed.
- Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm, draft free spot for 30 minutes (it should about double in size). You can preheat your oven to 200 F, then turn the oven off and let the dough rise inside the warm oven.
- We are only using half of the yeast dough for this cake. You can wrap the other half and freeze for later use, or double the filling and crumb ingredients to make 2 crumb cakes.
- Roll out half the dough to cover the bottom of a lined or greased 9x13-inch baking pan. Let dough rise for another 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Drain plums well if using canned.
- Combine all topping ingredients until large crumbs form. Works best by hand for me.
- Spread pitted plums over the dough and top with fairly large crumbs. Bake for 30-35 minutes until crumbs are golden brown.