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Sugar Plum Bread

I grew up with my Grandma Mitchell’s irresistible plum bread. We slathered it with butter and ate it with cottage cheese and fresh fruit for a simple breakfast. And it always makes an appearance at the holidays! —Emily Tyra, Lake Ann, Michigan
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. + standing Bake: 40 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    1 loaf (12 slices)


  • 1 cup pitted dried plums (prunes), coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a small saucepan, combine dried plums, water and 2 tablespoons sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat for 1 minute. Remove from heat; let stand until plumped, about 10 minutes. Drain plums, reserving fruit and liquid. Measure liquid, adding enough water to yield 1/2 cup.
  • Cream shortening and remaining sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in egg. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with cooking liquid; fold in cooled dried plums (batter will be thick).
  • Transfer batter to a greased 8x4-in. loaf pan. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs, 40-45 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Test Kitchen tips
  • If dried plums (prunes) aren't to your liking, try substituting dried apricots.
  • Add a little lemon zest to softened butter and slather on top.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 slice: 202 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated fat), 16mg cholesterol, 291mg sodium, 41g carbohydrate (21g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

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    • Jamie
      May 6, 2020

      I was given a bag of dried plums and had no idea what to do with them. I found this recipe and decided to try it. I doubled the recipe figuring I'd make a loaf for us and a loaf for my father in law. I used two loaf pans that were smaller than the suggested size. They smelled delicious baking. Much to my surprise my children (ages 12, 10, 8, 4) all said it was very good! This recipe deserves all five stars just for that!

    • Grammy Debbie
      Jan 10, 2019

      Really good. I doubled the recipe and got one large loaf and two mini loaves. I think the single recipe might make a rather small loaf. It was easy and a nice change of pace from regular quick breads I make. Next time, I think I might add some orange zest to the dry ingredients and orange juice instead of water to the cooking water after draining the plums.

    • Carol
      Nov 1, 2017

      This bread is delicious, and pretty low in calories too. I followed the recipe exactly as written. I used "Sugar In the Raw" turbinado sugar crystals for the coarse sugar to sprinkle on top. It was great, especially slightly toasted with cream cheese.

    • snmckey
      Oct 23, 2017

      This bread is wonderful. I followed the recipe as written and it came out wonderful (in high altitude).