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German Plum Muffins – the best plum muffins recipe ever with Italian prune plums, cinnamon, and ground hazelnuts. Includes a vegan option. Jump to Recipe
Finally, it’s plum season, and delicious plum muffins with hazelnuts and cinnamon sugar are a great way to start the cozy time! These moist plum muffins with fresh plums and yogurt in the batter are quick to make and perfect for a late summer picnic.
I love late summer when juicy plums are finally ripe. Last week, I baked a German plum cake and a rustic plum crumble cake using the harvest from our plum tree. And of course, grandma’s original recipe for plum compote is a must.
In Germany, plum cake, often referred to as “Zwetschgenkuchen,” holds a special place in our hearts as it signifies the arrival of late summer – a reminder to cherish the last golden days of summer and early fall. Cakes studded and topped with ripe plums are a symbol of comfort and nostalgia and we love a piece of plum kuchen with whipped cream or ice cream during our coffee breaks that time of year.
We have a lot of plums each year in my family’s garden and they are truly my favorite fruit for baking. In traditional German baking, we would use Italian prune plums. They are the best choice due to their firm yet tender texture, balanced sweetness, and rich flavor that intensifies when cooked, making them ideal for creating delicious and moist baked goods.
These small muffins are the perfect way to start into the cozy season. They are easy to take with you and eat by hand. No plates, no napkins needed. Ideal for a picnic.
This muffin recipe is quick and easy to prepare, and if you like, you can also sprinkle the muffins with delicious streusel. Personally, I simply dust my muffins with a bit of cinnamon sugar or a little raw sugar before baking for a crunchy top.
I LOVE the texture of the muffins! For the batter, I use yogurt and oil instead of softened or melted butter – I find that together with the ground nuts, it yields the juiciest muffins.
If desired, you can replace the plums with various types of stone fruit or berries. Another thing to love: This recipe doesn’t require fancy kitchen equipment – preparation is uncomplicated.
All you need is a large mixing bowl, a muffin tray, paper muffin cases and a hand whisk, wooden spoon, or spatula.
- Ripe plums: I picked Italian prune plums ( zwetschgen) as I love their tart flavor and firm texture but use any plums you find at the grocery store. I used 5 medium plums. If you use a kind that is bigger than prune plums, 3 will be enough.
- Neutral vegetable oil: The vegetable oil serves as a source of fat and moisture in the batter. It makes the muffins moist and soft while contributing to the consistency and structure. I prefer a neutral oil like rapeseed or sunflower oil.
- Sugar: You can also use birch sugar ( xylitol) or your favorite alternative sweetener.
- Lemon Zest: Adds a nice freshness to the flavor profile and intensifies the plums flavor.
- Vanilla extract: vanilla extract adds a delicious vanilla aroma that enhances the taste of the muffins and rounds off the sweet profile.
- The pinch of salt enhances the flavors in the muffins and balances the sweetness. Salt is often an underestimated element in baking, as it can highlight flavor nuances.
- Eggs: act as binders and provide structure to the batter. For vegan muffins, you can use flaxseed eggs (1 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tbsp water).
- Vanilla yogurt: adds moisture and flavor to the batter. It also provides a tender texture and imparts a slight acidity that balances the aroma. Plain yogurt or Greek yogurt works as well.
- All-purpose flour: flour forms the foundation of the batter and provides the necessary structure. It contains gluten, which contributes to the desired elasticity and volume during baking. I used plain flour but I am sure whole wheat flour would also work.
- Ground hazelnuts: add a nutty flavor and a pleasant texture. They also help keep the muffins moist. You can also use ground almonds or walnuts instead of hazelnuts.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon gives the muffins a warm and inviting aroma. It pairs well with the plums and provides a wonderfully autumnal flavor note.
- Baking powder (2 tsp): Baking powder is the leavening agent in the batter. It reacts with the acids in the batter (e.g. yogurt) and causes the muffins to rise, contributing to their light texture.
How to make German Plum Muffins:
1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) with both top and bottom heat, and place the paper liners in a standard muffin tin.
2. Rub the lemon zest into the sugar using your fingertips.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the neutral vegetable oil, sugar, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Add the eggs and mix well until you get a smooth mixture.
4. Stir in the yogurt until everything is well combined.
5. In a separate bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, ground hazelnuts, cinnamon, and baking powder.
6. Gently add the dry ingredients to the wet yogurt mixture and stir only until just combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter. Fold in 2/3 of the plum pieces.
7. Fill the prepared muffin liners with the batter evenly and top with the remaining plum pieces. Sprinkle with some more cinnamon sugar for crunchy tops.
8. Bake the muffins in the middle of the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Don’t forget to do the toothpick test.
9. After baking, let the muffins cool briefly in the tin before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
If you love streusel, you can easily refine these muffins with them. Simply knead 150 g of flour with 3 tbsp of sugar, 1 tsp of cinnamon, and 80 g of cold butter by hand to create coarse crumbs. Place the streusel on top of the muffins before baking them to a golden brown in the oven.
Vegan Plum Muffins
For a vegan version, simply use:
– 2 egg replacements (e.g. 2 tbsp flaxseed meal + 6 tbsp water, mixed and allowed to swell)
– 150 g unsweetened plant-based yogurt (e.g. soy or coconut yogurt)
- Use ripe plums for the best flavor. When they’re juicy, they provide natural sweetness and a delicious texture to the muffins.
- I used a standard muffin tin and it made 12 muffins.
- Sprinkle the top of each muffin with some cinnamon sugar before baking for a crunchy top.
- You could dip the freshly baked muffins in melted butter and then roll them in cinnamon sugar for a late summer edition of my Snickerdoodle muffin recipe
- You can replace the plums in the yogurt muffins with any other type of stone fruit. They work just as well with fresh fruit like cherry plums, Mirabelle plums, apricots, nectarines, or peaches.
- Experiment with the streusel: Add chopped nuts or oats to customize the crispy topping to your liking.
- Allow the muffins to cool sufficiently before removing them from the tin. This will keep them moist and prevent them from breaking.
- These muffins taste great both warm and chilled – try both variations!
Enjoy baking and bon appétit!
Perfect Plum Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar
German Plum Muffins - the best plum muffins recipe ever with Italian prune plums, cinnamon, and ground hazelnuts. Includes a vegan option.
- Zest of 1/2 lemon 1 tsp
- 5 ripe Italian prune plums pitted and cut into small pieces ( or 3 regular plums)
- 100 ml neutral vegetable oil e.g. sunflower oil - 0.4 cups
- 100 g sugar - 1/2 cup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 2 eggs size M
- 150 g vanilla yogurt - 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp
- 200 g all-purpose flour Type 405 - 1 1/4 cup
- 50 g ground hazelnuts -1/2 cup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Cinnamon sugar for sprinkling
Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) with both top and bottom heat, and place the paper liners in a standard muffin tin.
Rub the lemon zest into the sugar using your fingertips.
In a large bowl, mix together the neutral vegetable oil, sugar, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Add the eggs and mix well until you get a smooth mixture.
Stir in the yogurt until everything is well combined.
In a separate bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, ground hazelnuts, cinnamon, and baking powder.
Gently add the dry ingredients to the wet yogurt mixture and stir only until just combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter. Fold in 2/3 of the plum pieces.
Fill the prepared muffin liners with the batter evenly and top with the remaining plum pieces. Sprinkle with some more cinnamon sugar for crunchy tops.
Bake the muffins in the middle of the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Don't forget to do the toothpick test.
After baking, let the muffins cool briefly in the tin before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.