The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads…

I would love to have visions of dancing sugar-plums in my head, but I don’t know what they look like! And of course, there’s really no such thing, from a fruit standpoint. Ages ago I came across a recipe for Sugarplums on the Food Network website, and I was intrigued.

Turns out there have been candies/confections called Sugarplums around for a long time, and they’re all similar to this recipe, with nuts and dried fruits, rolled into balls.

So there’s no real sugar plum, but nonetheless this recipe was something I knew I had to make!

Best of all, I had 7-year old help with these!


6 ounces Brazilnuts
6 ounces dried plums
4 ounces dried apricots
4 ounces dried figs, stemmed
1/4 cup powdered sugar, sieved
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground anise seed
1/4 teaspoon ground fennel seed
1/4 cup honey
Swedish pearl sugar

Weigh out the Brazilnuts and all of the dried fruit, then place it all in the jar of a food processor. Pulse until on the coarse side, but not too coarse. You need all of it to stick together.

Place the mixture in a bowl and add the powdered sugar with the poppy seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, anise seeds, and fennel seeds. Give it all a stir and set aside.

When you are ready to finish the Sugarplums, have the nut-fruit mixture and two latex gloves handy. Place the Swedish pearl sugar in a small bowl. Also have a rack handy on which to place the Sugarplums. Put on the gloves and begin mixing everything together. Roll the sticky mixture into balls and dip in the sugar. Then place on the rack.

Continue with the remaining fruit and nut mixture. This recipe made about 20 Sugarplums, until everyone starts sampling them.

These are really sweet. I don’t think there’s any getting around it, because you need the dried fruits, the powdered sugar, and the stickiness of the honey. Definitely make these for your favorite sweets lover!

By Published On: December 1st, 202142 Comments on Sugarplums

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Travel Gourmet December 1, 2021 at 6:15 AM - Reply

    What fun to make and very Christmassy. Now I understand better who the Sugarplum Fairy is!

    • chef mimi December 1, 2021 at 7:21 AM - Reply

      Freddie would have fun making these as well. Charlotte loved using the scale!

  2. BERNADETTE December 1, 2021 at 6:23 AM - Reply

    What a unique recipe, love it. Where did you get the pearl sugar? How did you store them? Did they dry out fast?

    • chef mimi December 1, 2021 at 7:20 AM - Reply

      1. Amazon, of course. 2. I freeze any that weren’t eaten right away. 3. No, because I don’t let them dry out. But I also think there’s enough of the wet/sticky ingredients in there that they wouldn’t just shrivel up fast. I’d at least put them in a ziploc and put it in the fridge.

  3. Liz December 1, 2021 at 6:36 AM - Reply

    Now THIS is a Christmas treat!! I’d love them for sure!!!

    • chef mimi December 1, 2021 at 7:18 AM - Reply

      And, they freeze really well!

  4. Ron December 1, 2021 at 6:43 AM - Reply

    I always wondered what a sugar plum was. Very Christmasy photos have here. How can you go wrong with a helper like that.

    • chef mimi December 1, 2021 at 7:18 AM - Reply

      I know! She’s amazing. She’s reading and knows basic math concepts so it was fun for her. She did poop out about half way through tho….

  5. popsiclesociety December 1, 2021 at 7:11 AM - Reply

    I guess are really fun to make! And the combination of spices and dried nuts is unique 😋

    • chef mimi December 1, 2021 at 7:17 AM - Reply

      I thought so too. And you can change up the ingredients, which I’ve always loved!

  6. Charlie DeSando December 1, 2021 at 7:13 AM - Reply

    Very nice recipe, they look great!

    • chef mimi December 1, 2021 at 7:16 AM - Reply

      Thanks! And they’re so easily changed up.

  7. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen December 1, 2021 at 8:27 AM - Reply

    Now we know! Thanks for the information and the lovely recipe Mimi!

    • chef mimi December 1, 2021 at 6:10 PM - Reply

      These were fun, and with a kiddo just learning math concepts, the scale was a handy tool for her!

  8. Jovina Coughlin December 1, 2021 at 9:33 AM - Reply

    So festive and pretty.

    • chef mimi December 1, 2021 at 6:09 PM - Reply

      Thank you! Really easy and fun, which is my style when it comes to making treats!

  9. kitchenriffs December 1, 2021 at 9:56 AM - Reply

    What a fun recipe! I was confused about sugar plums when I was a kid — thought they were an actual fruit. These are better. Much, much better. :-)

    • chef mimi December 1, 2021 at 6:08 PM - Reply

      Well, it really is confusing, especially when you think sugar plums are also fairies!

  10. Gerlinde December 1, 2021 at 10:41 AM - Reply

    Now I know what sugar plums are. Did your little helper enjoy the treat?

    • chef mimi December 1, 2021 at 6:08 PM - Reply

      She and everyone else in the house! I was left with just the few in the final photo, and those I froze!

  11. Mary December 1, 2021 at 1:25 PM - Reply

    I wouldn’t be able to resist dipping them in really dark chocolate!
    I like the spice combination. Tasty little morsels. :))

    • chef mimi December 1, 2021 at 6:07 PM - Reply

      Oh, that would be a nice touch!

  12. Hannah Kaminsky December 1, 2021 at 6:38 PM - Reply

    That sounds like a truly magical treat. I’m definitely a fan of this interpretation!

    • chef mimi December 1, 2021 at 6:51 PM - Reply

      If you google them, they’re all about like this – just sticky balls!

  13. Abbe@This is How I Cook December 1, 2021 at 6:48 PM - Reply

    Why yes, these could fall under the category-healthy snacks. Yum!

    • chef mimi December 1, 2021 at 6:50 PM - Reply

      Yeah! That are kinda healthy!!!

  14. Tandy | Lavender and Lime December 2, 2021 at 1:03 AM - Reply

    I saw pearl sugar in The Netherlands but didn’t buy any as I could not decide if I would ever use it. And now I could have! These look so pretty for a Christmas feast table :)

    • chef mimi December 6, 2021 at 6:10 PM - Reply

      I got mine from Amazon, so you an still get some!

  15. Ann Coleman December 2, 2021 at 8:36 PM - Reply

    Looks like the perfect holiday candy!

    • chef mimi December 6, 2021 at 6:03 PM - Reply

      What I like is that they’re not terribly unhealthy, like many bons bons!

  16. terrie gura December 3, 2021 at 2:12 PM - Reply

    Yum, Mimi!!! These sound sooo sweet in the best possible way. I love the combination of spices with the fruit and nuts, and your festive photos are helping me feel ready for Christmas!

    • chef mimi December 6, 2021 at 6:03 PM - Reply

      Perfect! Cause it’s coming fast!

  17. Ben | Havocinthekitchen December 3, 2021 at 10:29 PM - Reply

    I love dried plums (and other dried fruit and nuts), but surprisingly I’ve never tried sugarplums. (Well, I knew the name without really knowing what was that.) Definitely need to make these seasonal treats ASAP – thanks for the inspiration!

    • chef mimi December 6, 2021 at 6:02 PM - Reply

      You are so welcome. the mixture can be varied, for the sake of just different fruit flavors as well as colors. But you know that!

  18. sherry December 5, 2021 at 2:05 AM - Reply

    these sound great mimi. and how nice to have a helper. i do love a recipe that calls for brazil nuts. so rare these days.

    • chef mimi December 6, 2021 at 6:01 PM - Reply

      They aren’t a popular nut, are they? I wonder why?!

  19. Greg Henry December 5, 2021 at 5:12 PM - Reply

    Well, stuff my stocking! These look beautiful. GREG

    • chef mimi December 6, 2021 at 6:10 PM - Reply

      Thank you Greg!

  20. David Scott Allen December 6, 2021 at 11:30 AM - Reply

    I remember marking a bazillion sugarplums for a Nutcracker Tea fundraiser one year. It was at this point that I realized that they were actually very similar to Alice B. Toklas’ Hashish Fudge. The nuts and spicing are a little different, and yours doesn’t include cannabis sativa, but it’s the same idea,,, Wondering now if that is how ETA Hoffmann saw his sugar plum fairies,,,

    • chef mimi December 6, 2021 at 5:57 PM - Reply

      Ha! That’s very funny! I those were more like brownies, but it’s been a verrrrry long time!

  21. Cynthia M Woodman December 7, 2021 at 10:59 PM - Reply

    These look like a delicious and healthy snack! Great on a dessert cookie platter!

    • chef mimi December 8, 2021 at 8:16 AM - Reply

      Thanks! Definitely healthier than most holiday treats!

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