German Pflaumenmus Recipe (aka Zwetschgenmus or German Plum Butter Recipe)

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Got plums? Make German Pflaumenmus (German plum butter)! It’s super easy, an almost totally hands-off cooking process, and you can freeze any leftovers you have – if you have any left!

When my friend Marliece (who lived in Germany the same year I did when we were high school students) shared photos of her German plum butter on Facebook recently, I decided it was time to give it a go. A few years ago I discovered my love for German Plum Cake, so I thought I might like plum butter.

I made Pflaumenmus in my slow cooker and I recommend that method because it’s so easy and hands off. I experimented with making German plum butter two ways.

I’ll share both with you but I recommend the second method over the first because the second batch yielded the best flavor.

Plum butter is delicious spread on bread but I also like it swirled into yogurt. You could use it to top ice cream, pancakes, waffles, scones, oatmeal, and more. Use it as you would jam or lemon curd.

Here are the two ways I made German plum butter. The recipe and method I recommend is below that.

Method #1 – Plum Butter in a Day

For this method I placed two pounds (about 1 kilo) of sliced and pitted plums in my slow cooker, added white sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of cloves, attached the lid, and simmered on high for four hours.

Then I pureed the plums, placed them back in the slow cooker, and simmered them on high for another five or so hours with the lid half off the slow cooker.

This plum butter tasted good and was ready in about eight hours.

I did make a mistake with this batch, though!

I thought it was ready, so I took it out of the slow cooker and let it cool in a jar. Then I started thinking it wasn’t thick enough, so I put it back in the slow cooker and simmered it on high a while longer.

When I noticed that it was really thick, I took it scooped it back into a jar and let it cool.

Looking back now, I think it was fine when I first took it out.

This batch ended up thicker than it should have been but it still tasted good. It just wasn’t as smooth as the second batch.

So if you use this method, keep an eye on your simmering plum butter towards the end of the second simmer so it doesn’t get too thick!

Method #2 – Plum Butter in 24 Hours

The second time I made plum butter I made two changes from the first round.

First, I used half brown sugar and half white sugar.

Second, I simmered the plums on low for 10 hours (overnight), and then, after pureeing the plums, I let them simmer all day until just before I went to bed. In total, the plums simmered on low for close to 24 hours!

While you don’t need to simmer them for 24 hours, the longer you simmer the plums, the deeper the flavor, so just kept an eye on them and let them simmer away.

While the first batch I made was good, this second batch with half brown sugar and a longer time simmering on low heat was better.

The flavor was richer, deeper, and simply delicious. I recommend this method if you have the time. And except for the time I spent washing, slicing, and pitting the plums, almost the entire process was hands off!

What You Need to Make Pflaumenmus (German Plum Butter)

Here are the ingredients you need:

  • Plums (note – I’m not sure what kind of plums I used! I just bought what was available in my local grocery store and it turned out great.)
  • Sugar (I recommend using half white and half brown but you could use other kinds of sugar)
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves (ground)

Here are the kitchen tools you need:

  • Slow cooker
  • Knife & cutting board
  • Immersion blender or food processor
  • Jar or container for storing the plum butter

If you have an immersion blender you can puree the plums right in the slow cooker.

If you’re like me and you still haven’t bought one, you can spoon the plums into a food processor (I use this little one and I LOVE it) to puree them.

Just be careful – those plums are hot!

I pureed my plums in two small batches.

Then I spooned the plum butter into a jar with a tight lid. You can store your plum butter in the fridge or freeze it. Half of mine is going in the freezer for later in the year.

How to Make German Plum Butter (Pflaumenmus)

The first step is to wash the plums, slice them in half, and take out the pits.

Place the plums in the slow cooker and then add the sugar, cinnamon, and cloves.

Secure the lid and set the slow cooker to low for 10 hours. I had mine do this first cook overnight. Here are what my plums looked like after the first cook:

The next step is to puree the plums. If you have an immersion blender, use that to puree the plums in the slow cooker. If you don’t, carefully scoop the plums into a food processor to puree and then pour it back into the slow cooker. The plums will be thin and soupy at this stage.

Set the slow cooker to low for five hours. This time, leave the lid half off so the plums will reduce. You can simmer the plums on low for more than five hours, just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn or reduce too much. It’s ready when it’s at a jam-like consistency. It will firm up a little more in the fridge.

When the plum butter has reduced, turn the slow cooker off and let it cool. Then spoon it into a jar with a tight lid. Store in the fridge or freezer.

Yield: 13 oz / 1.5 cups / 350 g

German Pflaumenmuss (German Plum Butter)

German Pflaumenmuss (German Plum Butter)

This plum butter is easy to make in the slow cooker and delicious spread on bread, swirled into yogurt, as an oatmeal topping, and more!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 16 hours
Total Time 16 hours 5 minutes


  • 2 pounds [about 1k] fresh plums
  • 1 1/3 cup [260g] sugar (see note)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of cloves


  1. Wash, slice, and remove pits from plums.
  2. Place plums, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves in the slow cooker and secure lid. Set the slow cooker on low for 10 hours. You can do this part of the cooking process overnight.
  3. Take the lid off the slow cooker and either puree the plums in the slow cooker using an immersion blender or carefully scoop plums out of the slow cooker and puree in a food processor and then pour back into the slow cooker.
  4. Place the lid half on slow cooker (do not secure it closed - you want steam to escape). Set the slow cooker on low for 5+ hours. You might want to simmer it longer than that. Just keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn.
  5. The plum butter is ready when it has thickened (reduced) to a thick jam consistency. Let it cool, then spoon into a jar with a tight lid.
  6. Store the plum butter in the fridge. You can also freeze it.


  • You can use all white sugar or half white and half brown. I recommend the latter.
  • If you want plum butter more quickly, you can simmer your plums on high for 4 hours, puree, then simmer with the lid off for 4 hours on high. Keep an eye on the plum butter during the second simmer to make sure it doesn't burn or get too thick.

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  1. When do you add the sugar. I presume in the beginning? It’s not in the instructions or the clarifications bullet points.
    Thank you.

    1. @Cate, International Desserts Blog, I actually had a slow cooker in my kitchen, I just didn’t know :))) (I inherited some kitchen equipment and didn’t know that I owned one) so I was stoked when I found out I have a slow
      Cooker. I am in the middle of making it and it smells delicious!

  2. You refer to storing in the freezer with a tight lid. I don’t have anything like canning jars. Would tupperware or the like work? thanks

  3. LOVE THIS RECIPE–THANK YOU. Started it yesterday and at 10:00 last night I used the immersion blender and pureed it as directed. But it was time for bed so I set the slow cooker on “keep warm” setting and this morning when I finished my walk it was perfect, just like I remember the Pflumenmuss I remember from my childhood.

  4. This sounds awesome! Two questions:

    1. Do you peel the plums first?

    2. Would it work with a sweetener other than sugar (agave, monkfruit, etc.)?

    1. Nope, I didn’t peel them first. I’m not sure about the sweetener – but I imagine if you use one that can be used in baking it should work fine. Some don’t work well when heated, so that would be my concern. I’ve used agave and monkfruit in baked goods so I’d think either of those would work!

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