Grandma’s Plum Cobbler

This cobbler recipe combines sugared and spiced plums with a sweet and crisp cookie crust for the perfect combination of sweet and tart. Everyone will be asking you for this recipe!

plum cobbler on marble counter next to fresh plum and branch with white flowers

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

The best cobbler. I first tried cobbler with this delicious topping at my in-law’s house. It had come from an old Cooks Illustrated cookbook that I just loved. The cookbook authors said it was their favorite way to prepare cobbler, and they were right. It was perfect.

A classic family recipe. My mother-in-law sent me a copy of that cookbook for my birthday, even though it was out of print. She found me one! But when I turned to the cobbler section, it didn’t have this recipe. It was a different version that was missing the best part! So she wrote down the whole thing out of her version of the book and mailed it to me.

A recipe worth sharing. Since then, I’ve got a subscription to America’s Test Kitchen recipe site, and this recipe is still nowhere to be found. So I am sharing it here for all mankind. (You can find it on top of my Caramel Apple Cobbler as well!)

A little bit tart and sweet. I have tweaked it a tiny bit and the filling recipe is her own. If you can find Santa Rosa plums, they are the best, but plain old grocery store plums are good too. I like the filling to be a little bit tart to complement the sweetness of the topping. But if you like things sweeter, you can increase the sugar to half a cup.

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

You’ll need the following for this plum cobbler:

  • sliced plums about 6-7 plums
  • sugar
  • cinnamon
  • cornstarch
  • vanilla
  • softened butter 1/2 cup
  • sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • baking sheet
  • foil
  • large bowl
  • electric mixer


Step One: mix and bake the topping

plum filling in shallow baking dish

This recipe is baked in two steps. First, the topping is mixed up, poured right into the baking dish, and baked all by itself. This will start cooking the fruit, and it will release its juice. They will mix with the sugar and cornstarch and start thickening up.

Step Two: Prepare the cookie dough topping

While the filling is heating up, you prepare the cookie dough topping. A hand mixer works fine, and it comes together very quickly. It looks like soft cookie dough when it’s done.

cookie dough topping in mixing bowl on marble counter, beaters still in bowl

Step three: place the cookie dough topping

cookie dough topping being dropped on top of sliced plums

After 20 minutes of the filling heating up, remove it and place the cookie dough topping right on top by the tablespoon full.

Step Four: sprinkle sugar

As the cobbler bakes again, the cookie dough balls will form a crust and turn brown. You can sprinkle with sugar halfway through the baking process if you want.

baked plum cobbler with tea towel on side and fresh plum on counter

🥫 Storage instructions

In order to store plum cobbler, you need to cool it first. You can then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days or freezer for a longer time.

🔍 FAQs

My plum cobbler became watery, what did I do wrong?

Make sure that your plums are not overly ripe.

Can I use dried plums?

No, I think it’s best if you would use fresh plums as they are very juicy. Using dried plums would require you to rehydrate them and add a lot of water.

Can I use gluten-free plain flour for this recipe?

Yes, but it will give a slightly different texture and would work fine as well.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • To avoid overflows and soggy crust, don’t forget to add a thickener like cornstarch as this will help absorb some of the juices in the baked fruit.
  • Use a large enough pan to prevent it from bubbling over the sides.
  • If you don’t have plums then you can try using plumcots, pluots, or similar fruit like nectarines.

📘 Related Recipes

🍽 Serve it with

🍅 make it along with me

Follow along step by step. The slides will turn every 7 seconds, or you can click ahead.

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📖 Here’s the recipe

Grandma’s Plum Cobbler

Tart plums and a sweet and crisp cookie dough topping create the perfect plum cobbler.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Serving Size 8 servings


Plum Cobbler

  • 3 cups sliced plums about 6-7 plums
  • cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspooon vanilla

Cookie Dough Topping

  • 1 stick softened butter 1/2 cup
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch salt


  • Preheat oven to 375 with rack the center.  Cover a baking sheet in foil (to catch drips)
  • Combine the filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and pour into an 8 or 9 inch square or round baking dish.  Cover with foil and bake (just the filling!) for 20 minutes to release juices and thicken the filling.
  • While the filling is heating, prepare the topping.  Beat the butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes with an electric mixer until fluffy.  Add the egg yolk and vanilla and 1 minute more.  Add the dry ingredients and gently blend until just combined.
  • Remove hot filling from oven and drop cookie dough on top by the tablespoonful.  Bake again for 40-50 minutes, until topping is golden brown.
  • Cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.  Can serve warm or cool.  Best with vanilla ice cream.


Halfway through the baking time, sprinkle with coarse sugar if you want a crunchy sugary top. Almost any fruit can be substituted for the plums.  You may need to experiment with the cornstarch and sugar depending on the juiciness and sweetness of your fruit.
Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 15mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 246IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Made this for a Labor Day cookout and it was a hit! The cookie top reminded me of the cobbler they used to make at my school. Added a sprinkle of sugar to the top halfway through as suggested for an extra crunch. The only suggestion I have is to find a different way to list the amount of sliced plums needed for this recipe. I was using larger black plums and I only used 4, which yielded a little over 4 cups of sliced plums. Because plums vary in size, maybe list the amount in lbs or ounces that works across all sizes and varieties? Anyway, I eyeballed it and made it work. I did use about a 1/2 Tablespoon of additional thickener (cornstarch/flour) to make up for the increase in plums. I can’t believe how well it worked and how easy it was to cook down the filling first and add more thickener as needed before spooning on the top crust. It came out rustic looking and golden brown. All our friends raved and this recipe is now going in my bookmarks. Thank you!