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.

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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).

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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.

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Serve with whipped cream (optional).

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Plum Cobbler

Showing 4 of 29 Comments

  • Jacque

    This plum cobbler is delicious and EASY! It is my new favorite dessert recipe for summertime, when plums are plentiful. Thanks!

  • Sandy

    This recipe is GREAT!!! I had to make it at least 5 times in one week (when my dad brought home a bucket of plums). Everybody loved it, and all of my relatives kept raving about it!!

  • Tim

    This turned out really well. We had some store-bought plums that were going to go to waste; I searched plum recipes and found this one, for which we had all the ingredients on-hand. (I substituted arrowroot for the corn starch.) I knew it was good when my wife asked for a second helping. She suggested cutting the plums into smaller pieces, instead of slices, and I agree that would probably make it even better. (She also said parboiling the plums would help.) The batter worked great for me, although a conventional pie dough would also be delicious.

  • joe

    I have big crop of plums. My question is how do you get the pit out?

    We just use a paring knife and cut slices around the pit. ~Elise

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