Kirschenmichel/ Kirschenplotzer – A Traditional German Cherry Cake

by Kirsten on July 22, 2012 · 20 comments

in Cakes, Cakes & Sweets, Desserts, German Dishes


One of my very favorite summer fruits are fresh cherries. They have to be sweet and luscious. Growing up in Germany we had one sweet and one sour cherry tree in the garden of my parents first house and I remember how excited I was every year about the first ripe sweet cherries I could pick directly from the tree. Sadly most of the sweet cherries were always eaten by birds because the tree was pretty skinny and tall which made the cherries very hard to reach. Sour cherries were always plenty to spare, but unfortunately I didn’t appreciate their taste at that time.

The German cherry cake recipe I would like to share with you today is called Kirschenmichel or Kirschenplotzer (literally translated: cherry Michael or fallen cherries). It is baked in my home region, Palatinate, in several different versions, mostly using leftover rolls that are soaked in milk. I find my version of a Kirschenplotzer a little more convenient since I hardly have stale rolls on hand. They are replaced with flour and cornmeal.  To enhance the flavor I added some almond extract which accompanies the taste of the fresh baked cherries extremely well.

Kirschenplotzer tastes best fresh baked and still warm. Serve with whipped cream or/and vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!


Kirschenmichel - A Traditional German Cherry Cake
5.0 from 2 reviews
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
  • 1½ pounds (700 g) fresh sweet dark cherries, pitted
  • ¼ cup (60 g) butter, unsalted, at room temp.
  • ⅔ cup ( 130 g) sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temp.
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) good vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure almond extract
  • 1¼ (150 g) cup flour
  • 1⅛ cup (150 g) corn meal (I used Bob's Redmill organic medium grind)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ⅓ cup 1 Tablespoon (100 ml) milk (I used organic 2%)
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F Convection (or 200 C). Grease a 10 inch (26 cm) round spring form. Set aside.
  2. Sift the flour and mix with cornmeal and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer combine the butter and sugar. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time. Mix well.
  5. Add vanilla and almond extract. Mix well.
  6. With the stand mixer on slow alternate mixing in the flour and milk. Start and add with the flour mixture.
  7. Fold in the cherries by hand with a spatula.
  8. Transfer the dough into the prepared baking dish and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean.
Serve Kirschenmichel warm or at room temperature. Tastes great served with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.


Not only will I be entering my Kirschplotzer recipe in the OXO cherry recipe contest, but I also wanted to send a big thank you to OXO for letting me try one of their newest kitchen tools, the OXO Cherry/ Olive Pitter for pitting my cherries.

As you can see it has a splatter shield which protects you and your work area from fruit juices. I was a little skeptical at first, but this cherry pitter delivers what OXO promises. It removes the cherry pits very easily without leaving a mess from splattering fruit juices and afterwards I could throw it in the dishwasher which I liked a lot.

If you are in need of a good cherry or olive pitter, this is the one to get! Thanks again, OXO, for providing me with a very functional new kitchen tool.

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Julie August 10, 2013 at 8:00 pm

This is the first recipe I’ve made from this blog. The cake is delicious! The cherries are really allowed to shine.

My husband studied abroad in southwestern Germany in college, and I’m always looking for recipes (in English) from that region to try to make for him. Thanks for a great blog!

Kirsten August 11, 2013 at 9:57 am

Thanks for your kind words, Julie.

Julia June 26, 2013 at 11:51 am

Kirschenplotzer (we in the Rhine-Neckar region also affectionately call it “Kerscheplotzer”) is one of my favorite summer recipes! Maurizio is right, though, the original recipes call for unpitted cherries. Fun fact: the noun “plotzer” derives from the verb “plotzen”, a palatine dialect term for “to spit out”, which is just what you would do with the cherry pits after devouring your piece of Kirschenplotzer. I’ve experimented a little with my grandma’s recipe over the last couple of years. Cooking and baking is all about having fun, right? No need to always stick to the original recipe (one time I used port-preserved cherries instead of fresh ones an it. was. awesome.)

Best wishes from Heidelberg!

Juergen June 24, 2013 at 8:13 am

Even though it might tast good, it’s not what we “bloody germans (from the south west)” would think about, when we say “Kirschenplotzer”. It has to be made out of 5..8 old bread rools + hot milk, egg yolk and “whipped” eggs white of 4..6 eggs, some cinnamon, “cherry whater” a brandy made of cherries.
To get a complete recept, just use Google, search for “Kirschenplotzer” and use Google’s translate feature.
BTW, something called “…-Michel” is always made out of old bread/bread rolls.

Kirsten June 24, 2013 at 9:35 am

Thanks, Juergen. I am one of those Germans from the south west, too. This is actually an original recipe without the rolls which I explained in my little write up above. Unfortunately rolls are not always on hand for me.

Maurizio April 30, 2013 at 6:24 pm

I’m pretty sure you’re suposed to use sauer cherries for this and the are NOT suposed to be pitted. I use rolls and like for semmelschmarren I fold in egg whites. The puts give of the real flavor and aroma just like when they make kirschwasser.

Kirsten June 24, 2013 at 9:42 am

Maurizio, I know, my aunt and grandma never pitted the cherries, but I prefer them pitted. Takes away the worries of a trip to the dentist. 😉

Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake July 27, 2012 at 1:45 am

I loveee cherries. It’s definitely one of my favourite fruits, if only I could eat them all year round! Your recipe looks absolutely lipsmackingly delicious.
Good luck with the contest!

Carlos July 24, 2012 at 8:02 pm

I could eat a good slice just about now. I made a cherry topping without a cherry pitter and that was a job! I need that gadget in my kitchen.

Taryn @ Design, Dining + Diapers July 24, 2012 at 9:31 am

This looks delicious!! You did such a great job. Good luck in the competition 🙂

Christel July 24, 2012 at 3:21 am

That cake looks divine and I will be trying out the recipe when cherries are available again in about 5 months’ time as we are in the middle of winter here in New Zealand. Is it essential for the success of your recipe to use corn meal or could ordinary flour be substituted? Co-incidentally, my Canadian neighbour brought a very similar looking cherry cake over tonight as a ‘thank you’. She made it with frozen cherries because we are in the middle of winter here and baked it in a fluted tart pan. I must ask her if she by any chance came across your recipe.

Susan July 23, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Kirsten, you’ve done it again–such a magnificent cake and with all the beautiful cherries we’ve had here, I can’t wait to make this. XOXO

Kathleen July 23, 2012 at 10:57 pm

This cake sounds delish and your photos are killer gorgeous!

Cathy @ Noble Pig July 23, 2012 at 10:14 pm

I just had 6 quarts of delicious Pacific Northwest Cherries picked and delivered today…must enter this contest and your recipe looks like a true winner!

Velva July 23, 2012 at 6:28 pm

I really love German cakes…Not to sweet, just perfect. the fresh cherries is divine.

Thanks for sharing.


Susan July 23, 2012 at 1:10 pm

What a beautiful cake. So wish I could taste it right now.

Cathy at Wives with Knives July 23, 2012 at 9:03 am

My old cherry pitter bit the dust so I’m happy to read your recommendation of the OXO. I can almost taste that beautiful cake. I’ll take a little scoop of vanilla on my piece please.

Karen Harris July 23, 2012 at 7:11 am

What a gorgeous looking cake. I love the texture that cornmeal gives batters. Even though I do like sweet cherries, tart cherries are my absolute favorite for cooking. I probably wouldn’t have appreciated them as a child either.

ftancesca July 22, 2012 at 11:33 pm

this looks so sinfully delicious 🙂
beautiful picture

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