Quick and easy homemade sugar plums recipe! This Christmas classic is made with dried plums, warming spices, a bit of orange, and a coating of sugar. Everyone will love these!
Disclaimer: this sugar plums recipe is sponsored by Fruit Bliss. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Rhubarbarians!
Happy Holiday, Rhubarbarians! I am so so excited to share this sugar plums recipe with you today!
Sugar plums are so beautifully reminiscent of the holiday season. The poems, the songs, the dances, the ballets, the fairy, all of the festive imaginings that come to mind when you hear the phrase. It makes you feel pretty warm and fuzzy, doesn't it?
Can you imagine the look of surprise and delight on a loved one's face when you gift them some sugar plums? My guess is.... they have never tried one. Somehow, so many people haven't!
What is a sugar plum?
I know we've all heard sugar plums mentioned in Christmas songs, poems, and there's even a fairy named after them in the Nutcracker. But, what IS a sugar plum?
I went all of my childhood and most of my adult life not knowing. I always assumed it was just one of those "old fashioned" things like figgy pudding or fruit cake. And well... it most definitely is old fashioned.
If you look it up in the dictionary, a sugar plum is described as a hard candy that is made of boiled sugar. There aren't any plums in it at all. Those 'visions of sugar plums' that children saw dancing in their heads in the classic Christmas poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas, were most certainly these candies that children enjoyed in the 17th & 18th centuries.
The vision of a sugar plum has changed over the last few centuries. I came across some sites that define a sugar plum as a confit coated in hardened sugar. This sugar plums recipe is a more modern version of the confit, coated in conventional sugar.
These may not be the original recipe for sugar plums, which were not made of plums, but they are more than worthy of the title. They are made with plums, warming spices that make you think of Christmas, pecans, and a coating of, of course, sugar.
Fruit Bliss organic french plums
For these Christmas sugar plums, I used Fruit Bliss french plums. The dried french plums are super soft & juicy, so they are perfect for blending with nuts and seasonings to create sugar plums. They are SO juicy, that you don't have to add anything like coconut oil or maple syrup to hold these together. The plums are nice and sticky on their own.
Fruit Bliss products are all organic, non-gmo, preservative free, and chemical free. They don't add any sweetener to their products either, just a bit of water to give you plump and juicy dried fruits. No more tough and chewy dried fruit!
I made some 'crispy-edge-in-every-bite' stuffing muffins with Fruit Bliss tart cherries before Thanksgiving and they were UH-MAZING! If you're looking for more recipes you can make with Fruit Bliss dried plums, I recommend the Fruit Bliss french toast or plum and pistachio coconut bliss balls.
You can purchase Fruit Bliss products here.
How to make sugar plums
This sugar plums recipe is incredibly easy! Start by combining your sugar plum ingredients in a food processor. You'll want to pulse your food processor until everything is combined, but not overworked. You don't want a paste, but you want everything to stick together.
You'll need to line a large plate or a baking sheet with parchment paper. This will keep the sugar plum mixture from sticking. Using a large spoon or a small cookie dough scoop, spoon out 13 1" balls and place them on the parchment paper so they aren't touching each other. No need to worry about the shape quite yet. Place them in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Next up, place your sugar in a shallow dish, making it deep enough to roll your sugar plums in. Take one of the spoonfuls of your mixture and quickly roll it into a ball with the palms of your hands, being careful to move quickly as you don't want to warm it up too much. Roll it in sugar and return it to the parchment paper. Repeat until all of the spoonfuls become sugar plums.
Repeat if necessary.
Variations on this sugar plums recipe
If you google 'sugar plums recipe' you will find a handful of different varieties you can make. Alton Brown makes his with apricots and figs, and Saveur makes theirs with ONLY apricots and dates but no plums.
I don't know about you, but I just feel like sugar plums should be made of um..... plums. Right?
I keep mine very simple, with just plums, pecans, a few spices, some vanilla, and some dried orange peel. But, you can easily add your own favorite ingredients to these to make them perfect for you own family recipe tradition. Add some almonds or hazelnuts, toss in some ground ginger, add some freshly grated nutmeg, maybe some dried apple. YOU DO YOU!
I made a few of these coated in cinnamon AND sugar and they were basically the most delicious things ever. Give that a try!
One thing to consider when making sugar plums is the type of sugar you'd like to use. I like to use granulated sugar, as it coats the sugar plum easily and every bit of surface is covered in just a light amount of sugar. Just a dusting, if you will. But, you may opt for raw sugar if you don't want the sugar to dissolve onto the sugar plum. So, if you're making these as gifts, raw sugar will probably be a better choice. It makes them nice and sparkly too!
How to make sugar plums as a holiday gift
Sugar plums would make the perfect, thoughtful, festive, holiday foodie gift. They are really quick easy to make in large batches and taste amazing.
Sugar plums are very soft and don't travel well, so here are some tips to make sure they stay beautiful:
- Think about your sugar: you'll want to use raw sugar if you're giving these as a gift. Granulated sugar is perfect for getting the perfect coat, but it dissolves and won't look as pretty.
- Keep them cold: keep these in the freezer until you are ready to gift. You may even need to give them one last roll in sugar at the last minute.
- Make them pretty: remember that these are brown balls. LOL! Some white parchment paper, colorful cellophane, or Christmas ribbon will go a long way!
- It's a good idea to place these in mini-muffin paper so they don't stick together.
- Continue to keep them cold: make sure the person you are gifting them to knows to keep them in the fridge.
Quick and easy homemade sugar plums recipe! This Christmas classic is made with dried plums, warming spices, a bit of orange, and coating of sugar.
- 10 oz Fruit Bliss French Plums (2 5oz packs) About 2 1/2 cups
- 1/2 cup pecans (toasted, optional)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon, plus more for dusting
- 1 tsp finely cut dried orange peel
- 3/4 tsp ground clove
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 1/4-1/2 cup granulated sugar or raw sugar
In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients except the sugar. Pulse until everything is combined, but not completely pureed.
Spread a piece of parchment paper over a plate or baking sheet and spoon 13 1" spoonfuls onto the parchment. Like you would with cookies. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Place the sugar onto a shallow dish so that you can roll the balls into the sugar to coat them. Roll a ball with the palms of your hands and then roll it in the sugar with your finger tips. Repeat with all the spoonfuls. You want these to stay cold, so try not to over roll them. They should conform to a ball easily. Serve immediately.
The sugar on these sugar plums can dissolve very quickly, especially if you are using granulated sugar. You may need several coats of sugar to keep them dry on the outside and dusted.
Thank you to Fruit Bliss for sponsoring this post!
I hope you’ll give these sugar plums a try! Snap a pic and give me a shout on social media #Rhubarbarians!
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