Do you believe? In sugarplums that is? Sugarplums are the things of fairy names and sweetened childrens’ dreams on Christmas Eve. Sugarplum Santa An old-fashioned confection made with a potpourri of holiday spices, dried fruits and nuts, held together with molasses, honey and powdered sugar–sugarplums are very real.

In these sweet hours before Christmas I’m going to give you a sugarplum recipe that tastes like the simple holiday magic that defines the season. Maybe that sounds a little giddy but what can I say, sugarplums have that effect on people.

Sugarplums start in the spice cupboard. Sounds a bit like this: The powdered ginger is misplaced! Is the mace fresh? Mmm, fresh ground cloves. Oh, there’s the anise. Cinnamon…of course. We’re almost out of nutmeg!

Put on the holiday music and get your sugarplum recipe on: (A little Tchaikovsky if you want to do it right).

Fantasia\’s Tchaikovsky\’s Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy (video).

Traditional Sugarplums

The Fruits & Nuts

  • 1/2 cup raisins or currents
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted whole almonds

The Spices

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground anise
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

The Sugars

  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey (try a bit of molasses…just make sure the combined is 1/3 cup)
  • Confectioner’s sugar for rolling, as needed
  1. Combine the raisins, apricots, dates and almonds in a food processor and pulse until they are finely copped. Alternatively, and more traditionally, chop by hand.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the chopped fruit and nut mixture with the confectioner’s sugar, and the spices. Mix by hand until the sugar coats all of the pieces.
  3. Add the honey, and mix until the mixture comes together into a stiff mass.
  4. Pinch off pieces of the mixture about 1 inch in diameter. Roll into balls, and flatten slightly into plum shapes.
  5. Roll each piece in confectioner’s sugar.
  6. Store sugarplums at room temperature for up to a week, or refrigerated for longer storage.

We make sugarplums all winter. They make an excellent ski snack! Sweet holiday wishes from Spice Sherpa to you.

Photo Attribution (Santa): Joanneteh on