My Mom’s Fruit Platz

fruit platz - trust in kim

Platz is one of the Mennonite treats I grew up eating. My mom, Omas and Aunts all made it. Usually we ate it for faspa, the Sunday meal that consisted of cheeses, cold meats, and homemade buns (zwieback), jams and pickles. As a kid I wasn’t a big fan of faspa, but I always looked forward to the platz for dessert.

Platz, sometimes called Obstkuchen, is a coffee cake that is topped with fruit, then covered with a sugary-buttery crumb topping.

The fruit my relatives used was typically plums or apricots, but almost any fruit works. For this one I used a combination of plums and nectarines. A tart fruit works well in here, like sour cherries or rhubarb, because the topping is pretty sweet.

The crumb mixture we usually called streusel, but sometimes is was called ruebel.

It was typically made in a 9×13 pan, but I made mine in pie plates so I could give one away and keep one.

There are many recipes for platz, and I think they are all good. This one is my mom’s, so it is the best! The recipe (see below) is handwritten by my mom and stored in a drawer up at the family cabin. She no longer uses margarine for this; only butter will do.

I love to eat this cake while it is still warm, but since I grew up eating the day-old platz that was baked on a Saturday, I also think it’s pretty good a day or two later. I’ve learned to heat it up ever-so-slightly to bring back the freshly-baked feel.

What you need for the cake:

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • milk
  • fruit, cut into slices

What you need for the streusel topping:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • pinch of salt
  • a dash of vanilla
  • 1/3 cup butter

What you do:

  1. Butter your pan. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Cream the sugar and butter well.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Crack an egg into a measuring cup, then fill the cup to 2/3 with milk.
  5. Add flour and milk alternately, ending with flour. Resist the temptation to over mix.
  6. Place the thick batter into your pan and spread it evenly to the edges and corners. Hands work well for this; just wet them a little before you start pressing it into the pan.
  7. Place the fruit in one layer on top of the batter.
  8. To make the streusel topping start by melting the butter. Add the other ingredients and mix together. Hands work well for this too, then you can use your hands to spread the topping evenly over the fruit.
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Some of the fruit will begin bubbling through the streusel, and the edges of the cake will be lightly browned.
  10. Enjoy!

platz recipe - trust in kim

streusel recipe - trust in kim

Oatmeal Snacking Cake with Nutty Topping

Moist, nutty, and not as dense as you might think!  Another great recipe from Lottie + Doof, and if you need justifying you can say, “It’s good for me, it’s got oatmeal in it.” The cake is good, but for me it’s a vehicle for the topping, a German chocolate cake-style topping, all nutty and buttery – you can’t go wrong.

This one is pretty easy to make.

What you need:

1 cup quick cooking oats

3/4 cup water at room temperature

3/4 cup unbleached flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 large egg at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Icing:

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3 tablespoons milk (I used soy creamer because it’s what I had)

3/4 cup sweetened, shredded coconut (I used unsweetened and it worked great!)

3/4 cup chopped pecans

What you do:

1.  Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a bit extra to stick up around the edges so you can grab onto it later. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Stir the oats and water together in a small bowl and let sit for about 15 minutes, until the water has been absorbed.

3. Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon together in a bowl.

4. Beat the butter and sugars for a few minutes until it is “the consistency of damp sand.” (not my words, but that’s the way you want it to be)  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.

5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stirring just until combined, then add the moist oats, and stir again until just combined.  Pour into the lined baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

6.  When the cake it baked, take it out of the oven to cool for about 10 minutes.  While you are doing this you can prepare the broiled topping.  It’s a good idea to melt the butter ahead of time, though, so you can do this while the cake is baking.

7. Add the milk, sugar and nuts to the butter and mix it all together.  Sprinkle it on top of the cake and press it down a little.  Put it under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.  Watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn!

8.  Let it cool for about an hour, then you can take it out of the pan by pulling on the parchment paper.

Lemon Olive Oil Coffee Cake with Cranberries and Raspberries

After browsing  the recipes on Lottie and Doof I chose to make this recipe for an afternoon tea cake.  I added a sprinkling of ground almonds on top, and used frozen cranberries and a few raspberries instead of the fresh fruit mentioned in the original recipe.  Love this cake, even after a bit of a mistake on my part – I baked it in an 8-inch pan rather than the 9-inch pan that the recipe called for.  I had to leave it in the oven a lot longer than the recipe called for, and even then it was a little soft in the middle – but still so good!  The outside was a little crispy, which I actually liked – some mistakes are worth making!

What you need:

200 grams granulated sugar (about 1 cup)

zest of 2 lemons

100 grams melted butter (just less than 1/2 cup)

200 grams olive oil (just less than 1 cup)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

250 grams all-purpose flour (about 2 & 1/2 cups)

1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

about 1-1 & 1/2 cups fruit (I used cranberries and a few raspberries, but be creative or use what you’ve got on hand!)

What you do:

1.  Line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350F.  Melt the butter and allow to cool a little.

2.  Mix the lemon zest into the sugar with your fingertips to release the oils.

3.  Crack the eggs into a large bowl and mix them with the sugar and salt.  Beat with an electric mixer for quite a while, until it has about doubled in volume.

4.  Very gradually beat in the olive oil, butter and lemon juice.

5.  Fold in the flour and baking powder, being careful not to mix too much.

6.  Pour half the batter into the pan, put a layer of fruit down, then add the rest of the batter on top of the fruit.

7.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.  You can check it by inserting a toothpick and seeing if it comes out clean.  After cooling a bit you can remove it from the pan by running a knife around the edge and inverting onto a wire rack.