Linda’s Pflaumenkuchen – a traditional German plum cake made vegan

 

plumcake no elephant

Pflaumenkuchen or plum cake, has just a few simple ingredients that showcase the tart taste of the fresh plums. In my family, it was my Tante Anneliese’s signature dessert.

I was long overdue to make a vegan version of this much-loved and traditional German dessert. My friend, Linda, shared her family recipe with me and I easily veganized it with just a couple substitutions.

Henceforth, this recipe is Linda’s Pflaumenkuchen!

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This recipe features a shortbread or cookie-like crust, fresh sliced plums and a cinnamon-y streusel on top. There’s probably an obscure law that Pflaumenkuchen must be served with whipped cream (in my case coconut whipped cream).

Let’s get started.

ingredients

Ingredients for the cake

1 ½ cup flour

½ cup white sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp ground flax seed

1 tsp vanilla extract

2/3 cup vegan margarine

5 or 6 dark plums pitted and sliced into half moons.*

1 tablespoon bread crumbs

* You can make this cake earlier in the summer using peaches or cherries or later in the fall using apples or pears.

Ingredients for the streusel

½ cup bread crumbs

1 Tbsp white sugar

1 Tbsp vegan margarine

1 tsp cinnamon

Parchment paper to cover a cookie sheet– optional but recommended.

Directions

If you’re not using parchment paper, grease and flour a 9”x13” pan.

Preheat your oven to 375°

Make a flax egg by mixing the ground flax with 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl or cup. Set aside.

Combine the flour and sugar. Sift in the baking powder and stir everything together. Add the margarine in dots throughout the flour mixture. Then make a well in the dry ingredients/margarine dots and pour in the flax egg and vanilla extract. Stir to combine, then use your hands to combine everything thoroughly and create a smooth dough. Shape your cake dough into a ball.

Place the dough ball on the parchment paper and roll the dough out to a roughly 9”x13” square. Transfer the parchment and dough onto a cookie sheet.

If you’re not using parchment paper, put the dough in your prepared pan and press out the dough to fill the pan making sure the dough is of a uniform thickness throughout. Do not go up the sides of the pan.

Prick the flattened dough all over with a fork. Lightly dust with the 1 tablespoon of bread crumbs. Place the sliced plums on the dough so that they cover the whole dough base.

Mix the ingredients for the streusel and sprinkle evenly over the plums.

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plums on top

Bake for 40-45 minutes and let cool before serving. Respect the law and serve with a dollop of coconut whipped cream.

Enjoy!

This recipe makes 6 generous pieces.

plumcake and elephant

 

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The Thug’s best cake

coconutcake3

I’ve been wanting to make this cake for nearly two years, ever since I was given The Thug Kitchen cookbook as a birthday gift. I’m so glad I finally had the occasion to make cake, because it’s divine – light, tasty, moist, super easy and just glorious.

Let me save you all that Thug swearing and share this recipe and my two riffs on it. Then go make the cake. JFDI, baby!

Ingredients

1 ½ cups fine cornmeal (the kind you make polenta with)

¾ cups flour

¾ cup sugar (make sure it’s vegan sugar –not filtered through animal bone char! In Canada, Redpath sugar passes muster)

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups coconut milk (a 13oz can)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ to 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Directions

Heat your oven to 375F. Grease and flour an 8-inch cake pan.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Add the wet ingredients and stir until you have a moist batter with no dry pockets and few lumps.

Pour into the cake pan and bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Serve cold or at room temperature.

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Accessorize that cake!!

Coconut whipped cream and fruit

13 oz can of coconut milk – make sure it does not contain guar gum, which keeps the milk from separating. You WANT the milk to separate!

2 Tablespoons icing sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Fruit of your choice – berries, sliced peaches or plums, oranges etc.

Chill the can of coconut milk in the fridge for several hours. Open the can and scoop out the hardened coconut cream that’ has risen to the top of the can into a medium sized bowl – I prefer glass or metal, not plastic. You can save the remaining coconut water for smoothies (ugh) or tropical cocktails (hello rum and Curacao!). Add the vanilla and sugar and beat the coconut cream for about 3 minutes on medium-high speed until you have a thick cream that forms peaks. The cream will last covered in the fridge for 1-2 days but it’s best served immediately.

Serve the cake with the coconut cream, fresh fruit and toasted coconut.

Lemon glazed cake

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¾ cup icing sugar

Juice of ½ lemon

¼ cup melted vegan margarine

Mix all the ingredients together until you have a runnyglaze and pour over the cake. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Chocolate walnut loaf

chocolateloaf

Ah, chocolate. I love it. This beautiful loaf is straightforward, unpretentious and delicious. The recipe is from the cookbook “How it all Vegan” by Barnard/Kramer.

My only changes simplify some of the measurements (do you really need to count out 7 tablespoons of oil when it ½ cup will do the trick?) and to add ½ a cup of vegan chocolate chips, because where chocolate is concerned, more is more.

Ingredients

1 cup plant-based milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp ground flax or chia seeds

6 Tbsp water

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

¾ to 1 cup sugar (make sure you use unbleached or raw sugar, for a vegan cake)*

½ cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup oil ( I use melted oil but you could use any flavourless oil)

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup chopped walnuts

½ cup vegan chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9-inch loaf pan. Have your pan and your oven ready to go. Once you’ve mixed your batter and the vinegar hits the baking soda and baking powder, the leavening action starts happening and you want this baby in the oven!

Mix the milk, water, vinegar and flax or chia seeds in a small bowl. In a larger bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Yes –sift. I am a lazy baker but sifting here is a good idea so you don’t end up with weird, white salty bursts of unincorporated baking soda or baking powder in your finished loaf. Stir these dry ingredients together, then stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips.

Add the milk/water mixture, the vanilla and the oil to the dry ingredients and mix together until you have a  sticky batter. Do not beat or over stir. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes. I needed the full 55 minutes in a convection oven.

Let the cake cool for about 15 minutes before removing it from the pan and slicing it.

*What’s the deal with white sugar? About 60% of white sugar produced in North America is whitened by filtering the unrefined sugar through charred animal bones. Ugh. This process doesn’t have to be noted on the sugar packaging. So unless you find white sugar that’s specifically labelled vegan, you’re better off going with unrefined or raw sugar. The taste is exactly the same except you know… no animal bones.