We know sugarplums from the popular Christmas Eve story ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and also from Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy, but did you know sugarplums are actually a real thing??

I honestly thought they were just a fictional candy until I was at a Christmas market a few years ago and stopped short when I saw a lady selling “sugarplums.” After indulging in a little sample I was hooked! These sweet and spicy balls are the perfect holiday treat.

The history of sugarplums is a little murky, but most sources believe they stem from a combination of the practice of preserving fruit and the creation of “comfits” – balls of sugar with a seed, nut or spice in the middle. The end shape of comfits typically resulted in more of a plum shape, thus the name ‘sugar plum.’ Today’s version of sugarplums are a dried fruit, nut and spice mixture processed into small balls and rolled in sugar.

The ingredient combinations are virtually endless but this is the version I personally have come to love:



These bite-sized treats are full of sugar, spice and everything nice for the holidays!
Course Dessert
Keyword Christmas, Holiday, Seasonal
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 12


  • Small skillet
  • Food processor


  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract


  • In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds for 7-10 minutes stirring frequently until golden brown and fragrant. *Be careful – they toast quickly after ~5 minutes of heating!
  • When almonds are done, combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until peppercorn-sized balls appear.
  • Using hands, form dough into 1-inch balls and roll in granulated sugar for finishing touch.
  • Store in the fridge in a sealed container.

Wishing you all Happy Holidays!

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