Elizabeth LaBau
  • 30 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 24 sugarplums (24 servings)
Ratings (9)

Sugarplums are a classic holiday candy popularized in poems and the Nutcracker Ballet. This sugarplum recipe contains different varieties of dried fruit and nuts, along with some preserves and holiday spices.

Supposedly, Sugarplums got their name by including dried plums, or prunes, in the list of ingredients. My recipe includes prunes, but it's very flexible, so you can ​substitute other dried fruits if you like, and you can also play around with the nuts and preserves listed. If you like brandy, consider adding a spoonful to the mixture for a more adult candy. 

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup pitted dates (coarsely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts (coarsely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup prunes (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup toasted skinned hazelnuts (finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons cherry preserves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 cup sugar

How to Make It

  1. Place the chopped dates, prunes, cranberries, hazelnuts, and walnuts in the food processor. Pulse the mixture a few times.
  2. Add the jam, cinnamon, and cloves, and pulse several more times until the mixture begins to come together. It should hold itself ​in a ball when you squeeze it between your fingers, but you want to retain some of the texture -- do not process it into a sticky paste.
  3. Roll the candy into small 1-inch balls, and roll the balls in the granulated sugar. Place them in candy cups to serve, or in an airtight container between layers of waxed paper to store. Sugarplums can be kept, refrigerated, for up to one month.


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    Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
    Calories 51
    Total Fat 2 g
    Saturated Fat 0 g
    Unsaturated Fat 1 g
    Cholesterol 0 mg
    Sodium 0 mg
    Carbohydrates 8 g
    Dietary Fiber 1 g
    Protein 1 g
    (The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)