Plum Cobbler

Easy and delicious classic plum cobbler, using Santa Rosa plums, topped with a biscuity cobbler topping.

  • 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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  • Linda

    Why do the directions refer to a different recipe? I love the first recipe because of the simplicity of ingredients.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Linda, the only difference between this recipe and the one I originally posted in 2005 is that it has a teaspoon of orange zest in the filling. Everything else is the same. I updated the photos.

  • Ilona

    I’ve been making this recipe for years and it is always a hit. I freeze plums during summer so I can enjoy during winter. I increase corn starch so not too loose.


  • Another Allie

    This was fabulous! I didn’t have enough plums so I used a few peaches that were getting a bit old, and I only had enough for a half-recipe but it was a hit. My husband & I ate it all straight away. Thank you!

  • Meg

    I made this today, and it was delicious! I used yellow plums with a few red ones thrown in because that’s what I had, and I used half sugar, half honey rather than just sugar. And I put in a dash of nutmeg because I just like nutmeg. It turned out wonderfully! I love how the juices turned so cherry red.


  • Mik

    Will a GF Flour work? Such as Redmill all purpose?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Mik, I haven’t tried making this cobbler with GF flour, but I see no reason why it wouldn’t work fine. If you do try it that way, please let us know how it works out for you!

      • Allie

        I am making it with Robin Hood all purpose gf flour right now! Can’t wait to test it out!!

  • Anna

    I loved this recipe! I also added some apricots in there that I had which were getting very ripe. Turned out delicious!

  • Amy

    I had a bunch of plums given to me so I made this cobbler. My family loved it. I am not a fan of plums, but I am going to make this recipe with some Cannes peaches. I loved the topping so I am hoping it should turn out OK.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Amy, just make sure the peaches have sufficient tartness. Peaches that are sweet and tender do not do well baked.

  • Carrie

    I have golden (yellow) plums will they work as well?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Carrie, the best plums for baking are tart plums. If your yellow plums are tart, they should work great!

  • Trixie

    I made this basic recipe yesterday with a few changes. My husband is borderline diabetic so I used Truvia so sweeten it. I also used a mix of black plums and apricots. I added some extra cinnamon. It was delicious.

  • 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?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Wen, well cooking the plums will make them mushy anyway, so you could easily use frozen fruit. I would defrost them first. Don’t know about the adjustment of cooking time. My guess is that if you defrost the fruit it won’t make a difference.

  • 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! :)


    • Elise Bauer

      Thanks Kendra, I’m so glad you liked the cobbler! The biscuit topping would work great with strawberry shortcake too.

  • 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:

  • Jenie

    What other fruits can be used instead of plums? I am from India. Would like to try out with some local fruit available. This might be a dumb query… Apples or banana? Thanks!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Jenie, I’ve never heard of making cobbler with banana (though I wouldn’t be opposed to it). You can make cobbler with any stone fruit (apricots, yellow peaches, cherries), just make sure the fruit isn’t too sweet to begin with. You can also make cobbler with apples. See our apple cobbler here:

  • Juanita Topete

    I want to make this plum cobbler, never made a cobbler, so might be dumb question – but do you peel the skin of the plums to make the cobbler or just live skins on! Thank you, Juanita:)

  • Judy

    This recipe was very easy to make. The only question I had was, “should I omit some of the juice?”

    My Santa Rosa plums were smaller and it took 18 to make 4 cups. They were very juicy and I left all of the juice in. It looked like plum soup before baking. It’s cooled now and still very loose, so I put it in the refrigerator and hope it will set up more. It smells wonderful, I hope the taste is as good.

    By the look of it, I will remove some or possibly all of the juice next time. I just wish the recipe would note the proper amount to leave in (if any).

    The instant tapioca or cornstarch should help thicken up the juices. Fruits completely vary in their water content, so it’s hard to give precise directions when it comes to the juices. If it’s still terribly runny when done, you can lower the temp to 300 and let it cook longer, until more of the moisture evaporates. Also, as long as the cobbler is warm, it will likely be runny. But you use the cobbler crust when you eat it to absorb some of that liquid. When completely cooled, it should be much less runny. ~Elise

  • Kristen

    Do you take the skin off the plums?

    No, leave the skins on. ~Elise

  • brokensaint

    just out of curiosity for the person who suggested parboiling the plums – what woudl the benefit of that be?

  • Samantha

    Scrumptious! This recipe came in handy for surprise plums, I made some changes of my own and we all enjoyed it here. Thanks!

  • kemmy

    This was awesome. Am new at baking but this was really easy and tasted wonderful.

  • Mendy

    I just made this cobbler last night, and it was a hit! Used 5 plums and 5 pluots, other than that followed the recipe exactly.

  • Maxine

    This cobbler was positively amazing. I used about six cups of plums instead of the four, so it required about ten extra minutes of bake time. The final result was more pleasing only to the tongue than to the eye. A grade A recipe, hands down!

  • Arlene Montgomery

    My husband and I loved it. I had to use plums that were soft and hard to slice without turning them to mush. Made no dif. Suprised it tasted a little tart like rhubarb. Used Splenda. I’ll make a more tender dough next time that’s all. Hope I can get more plums!

  • Patty

    This Plum Cobbler was very good, I and my family enjoyed every bite! Tip though, the dough is too hard when mixed (as noted by the first commentor on this page) so I added an extra 1/3 – 1/2 cup of milk to thin it in order to spoon it on top of the fruit mixture. Also, it is a little too sweet for my taste, I think the recipe could be cut to 1/2 cup of sugar or even less and taste great as the plums do have some sweetness themselves. One more thing, I used a pinch more cinnamon (maybe 1/2 tsp instead of 1/4 tsp) b/c I love cinnamon, yum!

  • Janet

    Out of this world! We have 4 plum trees so I went searching for something to make! My husband is one of the pickiest people in the world and he loved it, that’s saying a boat load! He generally will not even taste something as different as plum cobbler, sure did surprise me! I would make this again and again. I have already passed this recipe on. I made this as 9:30 PM and couldn’t wait to eat a piece while it was hot, before going to bed, which I never eat that late! My compliments to you Elise!!!

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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!!

  • Jacque

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