Plum Cobbler


My parents are blessed with several plum trees whose fruit all seem to ripen within a couple week period in the summer. When that happens? We’re raining plums. Every spare counter is filled with shallow trays and plums arranged in a single layer.

So naturally, we’re always looking to make good use of these plums! We have Elephant Heart, Santa Rosa, various pluots, and any interesting variety that my father has attempted to graft to one of the trees the previous winter.

For baking? The best plum is the Santa Rosa. That’s the one that’s red and sweet right under the skin, but yellow and tart as you get closer to the seed. It’s mostly a tart plum, which is perfect for baking because the tartness intensifies the flavor.

Plum Cobbler

This is one of our favorite recipes for making use of plums. It’s adapted from one we clipped from the Sacramento Bee years ago. It’s easy to put together, the hardest part is prepping the plums (you have to slice around the seeds, helps to use a paring knife).

The recipe calls for 3/4 cup of sugar to go with about 4 cups of sliced plums. I’ve cut it back to 1/2 a cup at times, which you can do if you like your cobbler rather tart.

Updated from the recipe archive, first posted 2005.

Plum Cobbler Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6


  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp (170 g plus 30 g) of white sugar (can reduce to 1/2 cup for a more tart cobbler)
  • 4 cups of seeded and sliced fresh plums (Santa Rosa plums work best), 10-18 plums, depending on the size of the plums
  • 2 Tbsp instant tapioca (or cornstarch)
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (110 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) butter
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


1 Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

2 In a large bowl, combine 3/4 cup white sugar, plums, instant tapioca, orange zest, and cinnamon. Place the fruit mixture in a 2-quart casserole.

plum-cobbler-method-1 plum-cobbler-method-2

3 In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 2 Tablespoons of sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter in with a fork, pastry blender, or your (clean) hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the milk and egg until just moistened (do not overmix).

plum-cobbler-method-3 plum-cobbler-method-4

4 Drop the batter in large spoonfuls onto the fruit mixture. Bake in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 35 minutes, until the cobbler topping is nicely browned and the filling is bubbly.

plum-cobbler-method-5 plum-cobbler-method-6

Serve with whipped cream (optional).

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Plum Cobbler

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Showing 4 of 29 Comments

  • Wen

    Can I use frozen fruit? If so, should I thaw the fruit first or would that make it mushy? Also, would I need to adjust the baking time or temp?

  • Kendra Ullger

    I made this tonight as I was gifted with several pounds of Santa Rosa plums. It was wonderful, albeit still tart, even without reducing the sugar. It was a big hit with my dad and husband and requests for more were had. The biscuit topping was such a wonderful compliment and I see that working really well with a strawberry shortcake. Next up, plum preserves for the remainder of my time off! Thanks so much for a fantastic recipe! Always my favorite food blog, Elise! :)


  • Bob

    No Santa Rosa plums here in Utah, at least not at local stores, so just used “Red Plums” (that’s what the sticker said). ;0 Being a single guy, I made a half recipe and, even though I forgot the sugar in the batter, it was terrific!

  • Kate

    Thanks for your recipes, Elise – I always appreciate the focus on fresh food and the variety of things you cook (although when you have four plum trees, there may be a lot of plum-centered desserts for a while!).
    I would love to see pictures of the different varieties you mention to get a better idea of what they are like. Depending on where readers are, it might help them find the closest equivalent (I am in France, close to Geneva and we have great fruit and vegetables from the garden and the market, but they’re not always the same varieties, ah the joys of “yes, it’s similar” and “not the same but close” cooking!).
    Plus your photos are scrumptious and I love to eat with my eyes!

  • Jane M

    I love Santa Rosa plums for in-hand eating. They are my favorite. I made a plum cobbler a few months ago that had 2/3 of a cup of marzipan mixed into the biscuit topping (no egg) and it was delicious (I’m also a big fan of marzipan). It also called for baking the plum filling for an hour and then letting it cool while making the topping. I am going to have to give your recipe a try. You can never have too many cobbler recipes.

    I don’t know if we are allowed to post links here but if you are interested in that recipe (from, here is the link:

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