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Hungarian plum dumplings – szilvásgombóc

Szilvas Gomboc, plum dumplingsA family favourite and children’s delight. Ripe plum with a bit of sugar and  cinnamon encased in a soft potato dough cooked then rolled in toasted breadcrumbs. One of my grandmothers made these but only occassionally as she was always so busy around the house and garden. They always brightened my young days and still feel like a celebration to me.


For the dumplings

  • 800 grams (1.7 lb) potato, (cooked, peeled and mashed)
  • 1 medium egg
  • 300 grams (2 cups)  plain flour – (or as much as your potatoes take to make a soft kneadable dough)
  • salt

The filling:

  • 20 pieces small damson plum, stoned – if making it from a larger fruit can use a half for each dumpling.
  • 3 tablespoons of caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder


  • 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • 100 g (2 cups) fine breadcrumbs


  1. Cook the potatoes in whole with skin on. Drain, let them cool a bit, peel then mash finely (you can use a potato ricer too)  and let it cool completely.
  2. When cold add the egg and work in as much flour as the potato would take on, should result in a soft dough but not too sticky.
  3. on a very well floured desk, roll out in a square shape just over pencil width, (about 10mm), cut into more or less equal squares 4”x4”(100mm x 100mm).
  4. Wash and stone the plums, fill each with half a teaspoon of cinnamon sugar mixture.
  5. Place a plum on each dough square, pinch the four corners, wrap the fruit in the dough and form a round dumpling with your hands.
  6. In a large pan bring water to a boil, carefully lower the dumplings, make sure that they are not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook at simmering point, once the dumplings come to the top of the water cook for a further 4 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile toast the breadcrumbs in the oil on moderate heat, careful, they can burn easily.
  8. With a slotted spoon, lift out the dumplings and roll in the toasted breadcrumbs.
  9. Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar.

plum dumpling

10 thoughts on “Hungarian plum dumplings – szilvásgombóc

  1. My daughter had several days in Budapest and returned with stories of tasty food from the markets. Potato,choritso type sausage cheese and sour cream. I looked this up. Hungarian sausage is used. It sounds excellent,and I shall make it. Thank you a delicious food. This was only one of the foods she tried,very tasty and filling.

    1. Lovely to hear Corrie! Would recommend to try the Paprika Potatoes recipe from here with cooking chorizo or Hungarian kolbasz, it has the ingredients you mention and a rustic authentic taste, hope your daughter and family will like it.

  2. Szia:)
    Nem tudom beszélsz-e magyarul…I don’t add egg for the pasta, but i add butter or margarin, what the pasta can get on. I really pleased to find this page! At long last i can learn the Hungarian foods in English.

  3. Szia Zsuzsa! Igen, beszélek magyarul, de inkább angolul írok a legtöbb olvasó itt azt beszéli.

    Thanks for the comment, nice to hear the variations. Yes, it is often made without egg in the dough, the dumplings will be softer. Depends of the potato as well I heard, the older potato holds much better without the egg than the new potato with higher water content. My grandmother only made these from the older potatoes and no eggs, sometimes telling me that the gomboc making had to wait as the potatoes were not good at the time for it.

  4. Szia Eva,

    Turns out that the “szilva” that we grew up with in Hungary is Italian Prune. :-)

    Love the site. I never really learned to cook growing up, since I had to prep and wash dishes and now living in the US, your site makes things easier.

    Thank you.


  5. Just made your recipe for gomboc. Turned out deeee-liscious, finom! Although I put almost 3 cups flour, my dough was still a bit sticky and tricky to work with. I put 1 generous T. butter in the dough and my potatoes were more waxy (not old). So my dough still had tiny chunks. Just wanted to let other cooks know, if you want gomboc, don’t let anything stop you! I like mine with a ton of crispy breadcrumbs (tip: I use butter, not oil)and lots of powdered sugar. Worth every minute to get the tasty szilva gomboc! Tonight I’ll make the Paprika Potato’s with smoked sausage. Thank you Koszonom Eva.

    1. Very nice Hungarian names!❤ You will of course know this, but it is interesting to note here that Bandi is an affectionate and friendly form of András, the Hungarian version of Andrew.

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