Plum Squares


Preparation info

  • Makes

    12 to 16

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafes of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague


By Rick Rodgers

Published 2002

  • About

In late summer and early fall, when the blue-purple prune plums are in season, almost every coffeehouse will have plum cake sitting front and center in the display case. This version is based on the one served at Cafe Sperl, one of Vienna’s protected landmark coffeehouses. With its easy-to-make short crust dough, it can be prepared in no time and disappears as quickly as homebaked apple pie in an American diner in October.


  • cups all-purpose flour
  • cups confectioners’ sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1⅓ cups ( sticks plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature, cut into thin slices 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pounds Italian prune plums (about 16 plums), cut in half lengthwise and pitted
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ½ cup Apricot Glaze, warm


    1. Mix the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Mix the egg and vanilla with a fork in a small bowl. Pour over the flour mixture and use your fingers to mix together into a dough. Gather into a thick disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.
    2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F. Lightly butter an 18 X 13-inch half sheet pan.
    3. Press the dough firmly and evenly into the pan. Arrange the plums in rows on the crust, cut sides up, and sprinkle with the granulated sugar.
    4. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Cool completely.
    5. Brush the top of the cake with the warm apricot glaze; cool. To serve, cut into large squares.