Poppy Seed Crumb Cake with Slivovice Plums…

…or:  my recipe names should be shorter.

I took a little hiatus from blogging for a couple of days. Things were and are a bit stressful around here and time seems to be running faster than ever. But there was also some fun, a couple of days ago we made a day trip to Prague. It’s a three-hour trip by car or train and I still cannot get over the fact that there are no borders in Europe anymore. Yay, Europe! These days, you just take the highway to Prague. Why am I not doing this every weekend? I will post the Prague photos (only buildings, no food) in my next post, right now I “only” have a recipe for you.

While we were in Prague, P. bought a bottle of slivovice to get rid of the Czech money we had left (and because I wanted the bottle so badly). Slivovice is a liquor made from damson plums and it tastes similar to Kirschwasser. It’s very popular in many Eastern European countries.

Fleret brand Slivovice

Since plums are coming out of everyone’s ears right now, I made a slivovice plum compote to serve as a filling for a plum cake. Too many plums? Never!

The most common plums in Germany are the same plums that are used for slivovice: damson plums or Italian plums. They are small, purple, with yellow-green flesh and an oval shape. They are firm and not too sweet, which makes them perfect for any kind of cake, but they can also be made into jams and they dry very well. This compote is addictive. It is so addictive that P. who never drinks (but often buys) alcohol, wanted eat it all straight from the pot.

Compote made from booze, plums, and vanilla

Slivovice Plums

(if you can’t find slivovice or slivovitz, you can use rum, vodka, or kirsch instead)

200 g Italian plums, pitted and halved
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons sucanat
1/2  teaspoon ground vanilla (If possible, don’t substitute extract. It’s not the same.)
3 tablespoons slivovice

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

Of course I couldn’t leave that compote alone. I wanted to make another plum cake. After my last attempt, I realized that I don’t hate plum cakes. I always thought I did, but I just never met the right cake. Now I’ve met one I want to marry. Seriously. It’s a sweet cake which has a soft and moist crumb and a very buttery crumb topping. The plums are juicy and sweet and not too overwhelming (as in most plum cakes I’ve tasted) and the poppy seeds add some crunchiness and a unique flavour. Yeah, I’m in love with this cake

Served with fresh plums and slivovice compote

Poppy Seed Plum Cake with Slivovice Plums (makes 12 pieces)

For the topping:
1/4 cup slivovice plums ( see above)
500 g pitted and halved plums (Italian or damson are best)

Prepare the plums and set aside.

For the streusel topping:
100 g sugar (1/2 cup)
100 g coconut oil (7  tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon), softened (I use the refined but not hydrogenated kind)
120 g all-purpose flour (1 cup)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
3 tablespoons poppy seeds

Combine all ingredients until the coconut oil is incorporated well and the dough comes together. Place in the fridge.

For the cake:
150 g sugar (3/4 cup)
1 envelope bourbon vanilla sugar (or 2 teaspoons extract)
130 g margarine, softened (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon)
120 g plain soy yoghurt (1/2 cup)
240 g all-purpose flour (2 cups)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
60 ml (1/4 cup) soy milk

Preheat oven to 180°c (350°F). Grease a 27 cm (10 inch) springform pan and set aside. With a hand-held mixer, cream together sugar, vanilla sugar, and margarine until light and fluffy. Add yoghurt and mix well. Add remaining ingredients and beat well. This is a German “Rührteig” batter, which has a consistency similar to buttercream frosting. The dough may seem a bit stiff but it will make a perfectly soft and moist cake. Trust me, don’t add more soymilk.

Pour the batter into the pan and distribute it evenly. Pour 1/4 cup slivovice plums on top. Make sure you pour them into the centre and don’t spread the rather liquid compote to the sides. Arrange plums on top of cake and compote. Distribute them evenly. Take crumb topping out of the fridge and crumble evenly over the plums. Bake for 50 minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes and very carefully remove from pan. Serve with remaining slivovice plums.

Cake close up

24 thoughts on “Poppy Seed Crumb Cake with Slivovice Plums…

  1. Pingback: Plum Cake
  2. Mihl! WOW! I have to and must make this cake! I love poppy seeds and saw this come up a few days ago and am just now getting around to comment! I have not had the plum excitement here yet–or maybe missed it. Regardless, this is on the faves tab for a baking treat and will be on the hunt for plums! It looks amazing! I may need to sub some plum jam. I just want what I make to look exactly like this!

  3. I love the color of that cake! The “Slivovice Plums” sound delicious. I bet it would be good on pancakes or waffles! There’s nothing like a little alcohol at breakfast, lol.

  4. mihl,
    such a wonderful cake! I loved it! The poppy seed streusel were wonderful. I only thought that there could have been more of the slivovice plum topping. You said to serve more on the side – does that mean the base will disintegrate if I put more of them into the cake itself? I’d also chop them up a bit more next time because they didn’t break down a lot during cooking. And – as always – the most pressing question for a single-person household: do you think the slivovice plums would keep in a pseudo-sterilised jar?

    1. Glad you liked it!
      I feared more slivovice plums might make the cake soggy, mine were quite liquid. I think you can definitely use more if you cook dem down a bit longer and get rid of most of the excess liquid.
      I stored mine in the fridge for a couple of days. They should keep well if you prepare the jars like you would prepare them for jam. Indeed, canning these sounds like a great idea.
      Oh, and the cake freezes very well.

  5. No worries! It should be out in late January. I’ll fly you some lasagna right now :)

    Damn, that cake looks delicious! My recipe names are too long, too haha.

  6. I’ve recently tested and fell in love with a plum cake, and now I just want more plum cake! Yours is particularly enticing – the slivovice compote, the crumb topping, the poppy seeds, everything… it sounds really delicious.

  7. That looks great – very beautiful as well. :)
    I hope things mellow out a little for you soon, too much stress is never a good thing.
    How fantastic that you can jump in a car and drive to another country in a few hours. In a few hours I can make it the the top part of another state. ;) I look forward to the photos.

  8. This looks terribly tasty. Since I obviously need to be making it this weekend I have a question regarding the “vanilla powder”. I don’t think I’ve seen it anywhere yet. Would it be possible to sub with a vanilla bean?

    1. I should probably have called it ground vanilla and not vanilla powder. Sorry! I can find it at my local Bioladen, but an envelope of real vanilla sugar would be fine, too. Or a vanilla bean like you suggested.

  9. Italian plumes are my favorites and for some reason I have had trouble finding them lately. I’ll try harder!

    Some years ago I bought a bottle of Slivovitz in Croatia. It was a clear colored plum brandy. It was long ago, and, not being much of a drinker, I didn’t know what to do with it. Of course, now that you’ve posted this I wish I could get it back!

  10. Beautiful looking dish! And tasty looking too!! I alwyas struggle to keept he recipe names short. haha. I have a hard time with that for some reason. :)

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