Plum-filled potato dumplings
are better than you think



One of the more unique recipes I tried in my “How the World Cooks Potatoes” series was called gombotz, or potato plum dumplings. This Croatian dish is made with dough from mashed potatoes and flour, similar to gnocchi in consistency and taste. However, these dumplings are then shaped around a fruity filling. After boiling the dumplings then rolling in breadcrumbs that have been fried in butter, you serve them with cream, extra jam, or by their lonesome. People throughout Central Europe may refer to gombotz by a different name, but no matter the term you choose, these fun creations are sure to please with a variety of filling options and a toasty, sweet exterior.

Ria from Sydney, Australia was kind enough to share this recipe with me. Her grandparents hailed from Croatia, and they popularized gombotz within the family. Ria’s grandmother always used pitted prunes, apricot jam, or plum jam as her filling, and her family consumes them as dessert or dinner. I definitely love this flexibility in meal type, and I may take a leaf out of Ria’s family book!

Plum dumplings are common throughout Eastern Europe with slight variations among Romanians, Hungarians, and Poles. The ingredients are standard, everyday household items, and they’re the perfect option for vegetarian folk wanting to try something new. I specifically enjoyed the rustic yet surprisingly yummy combination of potatoes and prunes, but it took me a few bites to get past the initial judgment I placed on the new flavor combination!

I would say that gombotz are the ultimate comfort dish. As you scoop into each dumpling, the warmth and sweetness of your fruity filling is bound to fill you with ease. The thick, spongy texture complements the flavors well, and though I personally enjoyed the silky jam fillings more than dried prunes, you can choose whatever floats your boat! Any sweet and filling fruit will suffice. 

By the way Ria speaks about gombotz, her grandmother certainly folded love into each and every dumpling. I definitely tried to emulate this! When you make these, I guarantee they’ll turn out beautifully if you do just the same.

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For dumplings

  • 1 lb starchy potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp butter melted
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 15-17 fresh prune plums (dried prunes or jam can be substituted)

For breadcrumb topping

  • 1 cup fine breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • cup sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon


  • Boil the potatoes with their skin on, until tender. Let the potato cool slightly before peeling.
  • Meanwhile prepare the breadcrumb coating. In a medium frying pan melt the butter, add breadcrumbs and mix to combine. Cook on low-medium heat until golden brown. Stir constantly to prevent burning. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. When cool enough stir in sugar and cinnamon.
  • Prepare the potato dough. Place the peeled potatoes into a large bowl and mash using a potato masher or simply use a grater. Add salt, egg, melted butter and flour and mix to combine. Knead until a smooth, sticky dough is formed.
  • Split each plum slightly just to remove the pit and set aside until ready to use. If using dried prunes or jam, skip this step.
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil then reduce the heat to a low simmer. On a floured surface, take about a spoon of potato dough, flatten slightly, add a plum (or prune or scoop of jam) into the center and wrap the dough around it. Form into balls.
  • Put 4 or 5 dumplings at once into the hot water. Let the dumplings boil until they come to the surface of the water. Let them boil on the surface another 5 more minutes. Remove the dumplings with a perforated spoon and roll them in breadcrumbs mixture.
  • Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!


Recipe inspired by Home Cooking Adventure
Course: Dessert, Dinner
Keyword: Comfort food


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