Sugarplums for a festive #SundaySupper

Posted by on Dec 22, 2013 in #SundaySupper, Sweet Treats | 27 comments

Sugarplums for a festive #SundaySupper

With just a few days until Christmas, the #SundaySupper group has been getting into the festive spirit by seeking inspiration from favourite Christmas songs and films. Hosted by Tammi of Momma’s Meals, a whole host of decadent treats awaits. I chose to make Sugarplums, inspired by The Nutcracker. 

As a little girl, I loved ballet. I went to classes from the age of four, and I can clearly remember the moment I got proper, ribboned ballet shoes – I felt so grown up, though I can’t have been more than seven at the time. One Christmas, my godmother gave me a beautifully illustrated book of stories from the ballet and I pored over the pages of The Nutcracker, particularly obsessed with the Sugarplum Fairy.

I gave up dancing ballet long ago, but I still adore watching it, and The Nutcracker story has continued to be a Christmas favourite, whether watching the film, seeing it live at the theatre or just looking at the pages of that beautiful book. 


Still, I didn’t actually know what Sugarplums were until I researched for this recipe. Surprisingly enough, they are not actually sugared plums, but rather a mixture of dried fruit, nuts, honey or  jam and spices. It seems that the name comes from the traditional use of prunes – dried plums. But you can substitute any dried fruit you like. They seem to originate from Victorian times, dried, sweetened fruit being a particular luxury, and so popular as a Christmas treat. 

Gluten free sugarplums

I used a combination of dates, dried apricots and glace cherries. The syrup from the cherries and the stickiness of the dates meant I only needed a tiny drizzle of honey to bind it altogether – if you substitute drier fruit, you may need to use more.

They’ll add a festive, nostalgic touch to any Christmas table, and provide a great, bite-size alternative if people are too full for Christmas pudding. Best of all, they can be made in minutes and there’s actually no baking involved – you simply have to blitz all the ingredients in a food processor for a few seconds, roll into balls and they’re done!

They make great presents as well, wrapped in festive cellophane, solving all those last-minute Christmas panics in one fell swoop. They’re naturally gluten and dairy free, so if you need a gourmet present for that difficult-diet friend, these are perfect. 

Yields 12
A no-bake, gluten and dairy free festive treat
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
  1. 100g chopped dates
  2. 100g chopped dried apricots
  3. 110g chopped mixed nuts
  4. 60g glace cherry halves
  5. i tsp cinnamon
  6. 1 tsp mixed spice
  7. 1/2 tsp honey
  8. 2 tbsp icing sugar
  9. 1 tsp edible glitter
  1. Blitz together all the ingredients apart from the sugar and glitter for a few seconds until roughly mixed and sticking together.
  2. Dust a board and your hands with the icing sugar. Take spoonfuls of the mixture and roll into a ball in your hands, then roll in the icing sugar until coated. Repeat until all the mixture has been used. Then roll in the glitter - I used silver, but you can use any colour you like!
  3. Refrigerate until ready to serve - they will keep in the fridge in tupperware containers for up to 2 weeks.
  1. You can substitute the fruit for any dried fruit, just make sure it's chopped up before processing.
Happy Baking Days
gluten free christmas recipe

All that remains is for me to wish you a very happy and delicious Christmas and to point you towards the other festive creations from the rest of the #SundaySupper group:

Party Appetizers & Snacks:

Oven-Roasted Applesauce Scented with Rosemary & Vanilla-Inspired by the song
“Christmas in the Trenches”Shockingly Delicious
Roasted Chestnuts Inspired by the movie “The Christmas Song”Food Lust People Love
A Popcorn Trio
Inspired by the song “Let it Snow” Hot Momma’s Kitchen Chaos
Chai Tea Abominable Snow Buddies
Inspired by the movie “Rudolph”Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Raisin Bran Muffins for a Crowd
Inspired by the movie
“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” In The Kitchen With Audrey and Maurene
Icicle Candy and Reindeer Snacks Inspired by the movie “Snow”Treats & Trinkets
A Christmas Carol Plum Pudding
Inspired by the movie “A Christmas Carol”No One Likes Crumbley Cookies
Yukon Mashed Potato Cakes
Inspired by the movie “Rudolph” Cookin’ Mimi
Christmas Pudding
Inspired by the song “Over the River and Through the Woods” A Kitchen Hoor
Pumpkin Pudding
Inspired by the movie “Nightmare Before Christmas” Basic N Delicious
Elf-Inspired Christmas “Grams”
Inspired by the movie “Elf” MarocMama
Inspired by the movie “The Nutcracker”Happy Baking Days
Chai Spiced Roasted Nuts
Inspired by the song “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” – Take A Bite Out of Boca

Festive Main Dishes

Maple Syrup Spaghetti– Inspired by the movie “Elf”- Momma’s Meals
Who Hash Inspired by the movie “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”girlichef
Ginger Orange Glazed Cornish Hens Inspired by the song “The 12 Days of Christmas”Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
NY Hot Dog with Sabrett-style Onion Sauce Inspired by the movie “Die Hard” Small Wallet, Big Appetite
Classic Caesar Salad Inspired by the movie “The Santa Clause”The Little Ferraro Kitchen
Individuals Meatloaves & Horseradish Mashed Potatoes for Mommy’s Little Piggies – Inspired by the movie
“A Christmas Story”The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Christmas Waffles Inspired by the TV special “A Claymation Christmas Celebration”Curious Cuisiniere
Filthy Animal Pizza
Inspired by the movie “Home Alone”Foxes Love Lemons
Chicken Orzo Soup
Inspired by the song “12 Days of Christmas” Family Foodie
Brandied Candied Sweet Potatoes
Inspired by the song “Christmas Is The Time To Say ‘I Love You’ ” –
Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Sweet Holiday Treats:

Gin and Tonic Cupcakes Inspired by Adam Sandler’s ” The Chanukah Song” The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars Inspired by the movie “Love Actually”Magnolia Days
Gingerbread Marshmallows Inspired by the song “Marshmallow World”Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies Inspired by the movie “The Gremlins”Killer Bunnies, Inc
White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge Inspired by the song “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas”Alida’s Kitchen
Snowball Cookies – Inspired by the movie “White Christmas”The Foodie Army Wife
Penuche Fudge
Inspired by the movie “Elf” Pies and Plots
Hot Chocolate Cookies
Inspired by the movie “Santa Clause” Mess Makes Food
South Pacific Coconut Tres Leche Cake
Inspired by the movie “South Pacific”The Ninja Baker
Cookies & Cream Fudge
Inspired by the movie “Elf”The Messy Baker

Cozy Drinks:

Toasted Coconut Hot Cocoa Inspired by the song “Let It Snow”Chocolate Moosey
The Christmas Gram Inspired by the movie “Elf”An Appealing Plan
Eggnog Hot Chocolate Inspired by the movie “National Lampoons Christmas Vacation” Peanut Butter and Peppers
Vermont Hot Cocoa
Inspired by the movie “White Christmas”Kudos Kitchen By Renee
Spiked Hot Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Floats
Inspired by the song “Holly Jolly Christmas “NeighborFood

This is Christmas; Wine Pairings for Holiday Themed#SundaySupper RecipesENOFYLZ Wine Blog

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here ? Sunday Supper Movement.



  1. I love your version of sugarplums, they are often a little to sickly for me but yours look perfect.
    Laura recently posted..NY Hot Dog with Sabrett-style Onion Sauce #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thanks Laura – one of these was plenty for me – I know what you mean about them being sickly. But I guess a good balance of fruit and nuts and not too much sugar helps.

  2. I have never actually had a sugar plum. I love that I now know what exactly a sugar plum is. Yum!
    Jennie @themessybakerblog recently posted..Cookies & Cream Fudge ~ #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • I didn’t know what they were either until I made them!

  3. I am loving this recipe! So perfect!!! I love the Nutcracker and you did a great job on creating a dish inspired by the movie! I love the play, it’s just beautiful!
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers recently posted..Eggnog Hot Chocolate #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thank you so much, Jennifer!

  4. If that’s what sugar plums are, I’ll take a dozen! Merry Christmas!

    • :) Merry Christmas to you too!

  5. Now I want to try sugarplums! I didn’t know what they were either. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.
    Renee recently posted..Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars for #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • I was amazed they were so simple!

  6. Audrey loves the Nutcracker and would adore making sugarplums! Such a simple but elegant recipe.
    Audrey’s Mamma recently posted..Raisin Bran Muffins for a Crowd #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thanks! They are such a simple thing to make and kids would adore the glitter in particular!

  7. Your sugarplums look absolutely delicious. You know, I have never seen the play/ballet/movie the Nutcracker.
    Constance Smith (@FoodieArmyWife) recently posted..Snowball Cookies | #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thank you! If you get a chance to see the ballet, it is beautiful and very festive :)

  8. Sugar plums are dancing in my head right now! Thanks for the recipe, Katy!
    Cindys Recipes and Writings recently posted..Brandied Candied Sweet Potatoes for #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • I love that poem as well! Thanks Cindy!

  9. Katy – I had no idea sugar plums are this melange of deliciousness! This is my kind of snack! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Martin! I’m happy to have discovered what they are too!

  10. I made sugar plums last year and absolutely loved them. You have me wanting to make another batch! I’ve never seen the Nutcracker, but it seems like a wonderful holiday tradition. I will make a point of going to see it next year.
    Laura Dembowski recently posted..Penuche Fudge #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • I’m so glad I’ve discovered them! If you get a chance to see the ballet, it is absolutely magical :)

  11. Mille fois merci for shining a spotlight on The Nutcracker ballet and book, Katy. Sounds like you were in toe shoes! How wonderful.

    Christmas truly would not be complete without sugar plums and The Nutcracker. So glad to know the history and how-to of the sweet.

    Happy Christmas, Katy!

  12. I have fond memories of the Nutcracker and Sugarplums! However, I have an insatiable sweet tooth so I can take on at least a few of these at a time 😉 Off to the kitchen!
    Shannon R recently posted..Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe #SundaySupperMy Profile

  13. I have such fond memories of going to see the Nutcracker ballet. I always wondered about sugar plums and if they were good. Yours look beautiful and seem very simple to make. I think I’ll have to give them a try!
    Shaina recently posted..Chai Spiced Roasted Nuts for #SundaySupperMy Profile

  14. I feel like every week I learn something new in this group! I swear I always thought sugarplums were some kind of sweet cookie. Ha now I know!
    Amanda @ MarocMama recently posted..Elf-Inspired Christmas “Grams”#SundaySupperMy Profile

  15. I have never tried Sugar Plums and you have totally inspired me! Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thank you for being part of the #SundaySupper family!

  16. I love this recipe! It sounds so simple and Lord knows I could stand an easy recipe during this season! Plus, it appears to be gluten free so I can share it with my family!
    Courtney @ Neighborfood recently posted..Spiked Hot Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Floats #SundaySupperMy Profile

  17. Edible glitter, you say? This recipe is so fun, and I love all of the tasty ingredients! Yum!
    Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons recently posted..The 10 Best Things I Cooked In 2013My Profile