How to make Delicious, Easy Skillet Plum Crumble

Cottage Cooking, Featured

the blog:

I am making Skillet Plum Cobbler for dessert. I was surprised to learn that there are many different names and ways to make this fruit topped dessert..

For as long as I can remember, when making fruit cobblers…I’ve made it this way – with a shortbread crumb topping over sweetened fruit. Most of the time, I make it with apples or peaches. This time I made an easy Skillet Plum Cobbler for Dearest.

How to Make Delicious, Easy Skillet Plum Cobbler

When I make cobblers, I usually make it in a 13 x 9 pan. This time, I wanted to make it in one of my favorite cast iron skillets. I love cooking in my cast iron. I shared some time back how to restore and re-season them. You can cook just about anything in your cast iron.

Skillet Plum Cobbler

What is a Fruit Cobbler?

I find it fascinating, don’t you, that there are several variations of how to make cobblers. There are also variations of how to make pastry topped fruit desserts. Would this be considered a crustless pie? Southern style Cobblers have a three ingredient topping: flour, sugar and butter.

Skillet Plum Crumble

What is the difference between Cobblers, Crumbles and Crisps and more?

We’ve always called them Cobblers…but, when I looked up the differences and definitions I found it fascinating how similar they all are – but there’s definitely distinctions and meanings that make sense.

Plums in Skillet

  • Fruit Cobbler – traditionally, these are fruit desserts topped with a biscuit-like topping placed one by one – side by side on top of the fruit and when baked the appearance resembles cobbled streets. That makes perfect sense!
  • Fruit Crumbles/Crisps – are similar in that they’re topped with a mixture of flour, sugar and butter then the dough is crumbled on top then baked. The difference traditionally is the addition of oats to the flour/sugar/butter ingredients. Sometimes nuts are added.
  • Fruit Buckles – are the reverse of the above desserts. A cake-like batter is put into the pan and the fruit is topped – as it bakes the appearance is that the fruit has buckled into the cake.
  • Grunt/Slumps(who in the world came up with these names- oh, yum! Slump!) – These are like the cobbler in that the fruit is covered with a biscuit-like topping. The difference is in how it is baked – these are cooked on the stovetop or can be cooked on a campfire grill. The name comes from the sound of the dish as it cooks and/or as it ‘slumps’ onto a plate when served.
  • Brown Betty – this dessert is similar to the crumbles with the topping, but the difference here is that the topping is also underneath the fruit!

plums with crumble ingredients butter sugar and flour

Did you know all these differences and definitions? I can see how over time we can call one thing another simply because that’s what we were taught. I suppose I’ve been taught one thing and it’s really another. The main thing is that this is such a delicious, easy dessert that my family truly loves! There’s really no limit to what kind of fruit you use as well – you can go from any of the berries – strawberry, blueberry, raspberry to summer fruits – peaches, plums and fall fruits -apples…if it makes a great pie filling – it makes a great cobbler, crumble, buckle etc…

skillet plum cobbler with ice cream

Plum Cobbler/Crumble

The plums are exquisitely delicious this year. I usually add one to Dearest’s lunch! This time, I took all the lovely tart plums and created this Cobbler.


Easy Plum Cobbler/Crumble

Fruit Cobblers and Crumbles are so very similar. It may be simply defined by where you grew up and how your family taught you to make this crustless pie dessert. You can use just about any fruit you like - this time, I used Plums

Course Dessert
Keyword fruit, cobbler, crumble, plum, dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 people


  • 12 small/medium Plums
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 TBSP corn starch
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon-ground
  • peelings from fruit

For the Topping

  • 1 cup Self Rising Flour
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3/4 cup softened butter


  1. This time I did things a little different. These plums were pretty on the outside, yet light on the inside. To add depth of color and flavor after I peeled and sliced the plums - placing them in the cast iron skillet - I took the peelings, corn starch, brown sugar, cinnamon and a few tablespoons of water and placed them in a small sauce pan. I cooked this over medium - high heat until a thick syrup was formed. Then I strained the syrup and poured it over the fruit. 

    To make the topping I placed the flour, sugar and softened butter into a medium sized bowl. With my hands I 'crumbled' the butter into the flour-sugar until fully incorporated and the mixture was crumbly. Some would describe the texture as sandy. If the mixture is a little too buttery, then you can add a little more flour and sugar until you have the consistency of the crumble as pictured. 

    Place the topping atop the fruit evenly distributing the crumble without compacting together.

    Place skillet in the oven pre-heated to 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the fruit bubbling. 

    You can serve this warm alone; with ice cream or let it cool down. This makes a great recipe to take along to a picnic, family gathering and such. If you like, you can scoop individual servings into small mason jars and close with lids to take as individual servings. 

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What do you call your fruit dessert? Is it a cobbler, crumble, crips, slump, grunt or Brown Betty? I’d love to know! What is your favorite fruit to use? Have you ever used Plums?


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step by step skillet Plum Crumble

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