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Plums vs. Prunes — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Published on November 8, 2023
Plums are juicy, fresh stone fruits; prunes are dried plums, often used in cooking and baking due to their sweet and tart profile.
Plums vs. Prunes — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Plums and Prunes


Key Differences

Plums are fresh fruits, known for their sweet and tart flavor, and are often enjoyed in their natural state. Prunes, alternatively, are typically dried plums, and are renowned for their concentrated sweetness and utility in various culinary applications. Both provide unique textures and flavors, catering to different culinary needs and preferences.
Plums, being fresh fruits, have a juicy, vibrant quality, making them popular for fresh consumption. Prunes, due to the drying process, offer a chewy texture and an intensified sweet and tart flavor, being appreciated in both sweet and savory dishes. Both plums and prunes deliver distinct culinary experiences, shaped by their form and preparation.
In a culinary context, plums provide a fresh, bright element to dishes and can be used in various cooked and uncooked preparations. Prunes, with their dense, rich sweetness, can be used as a natural sweetener in dishes, also offering a distinct chewy texture. Both plums and prunes find their places in kitchens, contributing to the flavor profile and texture of myriad dishes.
The nutritional aspects of plums and prunes also draw distinctions between them. Plums, with their fresh and juicy nature, are hydrating and contain certain vitamins and minerals. Prunes, conversely, while also nutritionally dense, are often highlighted for their fiber content and potential digestive benefits. Both plums and prunes bring nutritional value to the table, but in differing aspects and concentrations.
Plums are often celebrated in culinary applications such as jams, jellies, sauces, and fresh culinary creations. Prunes, on the other hand, are famed for their use in baking, cooking, and even as a snack, due to their sweet, concentrated flavor and soft, chewy texture. Both plums and prunes, in their respective forms, enhance culinary creations with their distinct characteristics.

Comparison Chart

Grammatical Role

Noun (Plums)
Noun (Prunes)



Culinary Use

Consumed fresh and used in cooking
Used in cooking/baking/snacking


Juicy and soft
Chewy and dense

Common Preparation/Form

Eaten fresh, made into jam
Eaten dried, used in baking

Compare with Definitions


Fruits often consumed in the fresh form.
The children enjoyed the plums during their snack time.


Concentrated, dried form of plums.
Prunes are often used in baking due to their sweetness.


A sweet and tart fresh fruit.
The plums were ripe and ready to eat.


Dried, sweet, and chewy stone fruits.
She added prunes to the oatmeal for sweetness.


Juicy fruits used in culinary applications.
She made a sauce using fresh plums.


Chewy, dark fruits used in cooking.
He made a prune sauce to accompany the pork.


Stone fruits available in various colors.
The basket contained red and yellow plums.


Sweet elements used in savory dishes.
The stew contained prunes to enhance its flavor profile.


Any of several shrubs or small trees of the genus Prunus of the rose family, especially the cultivated species P. domestica and P. salicina, bearing smooth-skinned, fleshy, edible fruit with a single stone.


Dried fruit renowned for its fiber content.
Eating prunes can be beneficial for digestive health.


The fruit of any of these trees.


The partially dried fruit of any of several varieties of the common plum, Prunus domestica.


Any of several trees bearing plumlike fruit.


Any kind of plum that can be dried without spoiling.


The fruit of such a tree.


(Slang) An ill-tempered, stupid, or incompetent person.


A raisin, when added to a pudding or cake.


To make a facial expression exhibiting ill temper or disgust
“Their faces prune at the slightest provocation” (James Wolcott).


A sugarplum.


To cut off or remove dead or living parts or branches of (a plant, for example) to improve shape or growth.


A dark purple to deep reddish purple.


To remove or cut out as superfluous.


An especially desirable position, assignment, or reward
An ambassadorship granted as a political plum.


To reduce
Prune a budget.


Plural of plum


To remove what is superfluous or undesirable.


Fruits used to make jams and jellies.
He spread the homemade plum jam on toast.


Plural of prune


Infl of prune

Common Curiosities

Can you substitute prunes for plums in recipes?

Sometimes, considering they have different textures and moisture content.

Are plums typically sweet or sour?

Plums can be both sweet and tart, depending on the variety.

Can plums be used in savory dishes?

Yes, plums can be used in various savory dishes like sauces and salads.

Are prunes just dried plums?

Yes, prunes are essentially plums that have been dried.

Can you eat prunes without rehydrating them?

Yes, prunes are often eaten in their dried, chewy state.

Are all plums suitable for making prunes?

No, certain varieties like the French Agen plum are preferred for prunes.

Are plums and prunes nutritionally similar?

They are similar but differ in concentration due to the drying process.

Do prunes have a higher sugar content than plums?

Yes, prunes have a higher sugar concentration due to the drying process.

Can you find plums in various colors?

Yes, plums come in various colors, including red, yellow, and purple.

Can prunes be used to sweeten dishes naturally?

Yes, prunes can act as a natural sweetener in various dishes.

Is it common to cook with prunes?

Yes, prunes are commonly used in both sweet and savory cooking.

Why are prunes associated with digestive health?

Prunes are rich in fiber, often linked to digestive regularity.

Can plums be eaten with the skin on?

Yes, plums are often eaten with their skin, which is edible.

Is there a significant calorie difference between plums and prunes?

Yes, prunes are calorically denser due to the dehydration process.

Can you make prunes from any kind of plums at home?

While possible, specific plum varieties, like Agen plums, are preferred for making prunes.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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