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Gluten-Free Sugarplums

Lots of moist, fruity flavor and nutty crunch give these sweet/spicy bites a kind of gumdrop richness. They make a delicious addition to cookie trays. Sneak one early—they’ll be gone before you can lick the sugar off your fingers! —Corleen Heidgerken, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
  • Makes
    2-1/2 dozen


  • 1-1/3 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 package (5 ounces) dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup coarse sugar


  • Place the walnuts, dates and cherries in a food processor; cover and process until finely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl; stir in the honey, orange zest and spices. Roll into 1-in. balls, then roll in sugar. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Editor's Note
Read all ingredient labels for possible gluten content prior to use. Ingredient formulas can change, and production facilities vary among brands. If you're concerned that your brand may contain gluten, contact the company.
Nutrition Facts
1 sugarplum: 84 calories, 3g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 1mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 1g fiber), 1g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch.

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  • Linda
    Dec 19, 2020

    These are SO GOOD! I had no idea what a sugar plum was, and I am certainly glad I learned. My father had mailed me some dried fruits and nuts for the holidays, so I went in search of a good way to use them, and found this recipe. This is absolutely going on my holiday candy list for the future. Plus, I can give them to my friend who has celiac! Assuming my family leaves any left, of course.... I made as per the recipe with the following changes, due only to using what was in my pantry. I used mostly pecans, I only had a handful of walnuts left. I used half cherries and half cranberries, because again I only had half a pack of the dried cherries, but plenty of cranberries. I also have no allspice, so I just used a tad extra cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. The flavors are SO intense, complex and rich, not your standard just plain sweet holiday candy. I cannot recommend this enough!

  • sallyl7
    Dec 7, 2014

    These are delish. They make wonderful gifts. I melted 1 cup of dark chocolate with 1 Tbs oil to pour over the top of the fruit balls!

  • dirios99
    Sep 19, 2014

    These are wonderful! I didn't have cherries so I used cranberries. I will try the cherries next time.

  • homemadewithlove
    Jan 1, 2014

    EXCELLENT! Huge hit and a surprise to ones who had never tried a "sugarplum" - only heard of them in Christmas stories. My husband is on a GF diet so it was nice to surprise him with a treat he could enjoy.

  • StellaB57
    Jan 7, 2012

    These were a huge hit everywhere I took them. I made several trays of treats for neighbors and work and everyone ranted and raved at how delicious these were. I'm sure I will make them every year from now on! Contrary to other reviews - using my food processor - I thought these were quick and easy!

  • interpretermom
    Dec 28, 2011

    Time consuming to make but very tasty! They were moist and flavorful with lots of spice.

  • tomlisahig
    Dec 7, 2011

    FABULOUS! I can't wait to get to the store for more dates. These are EXCELLENT!! My kids thought they were getting away with something eating the "dough"! I used almonds instead of walnuts, the texture was fine but walnuts would make them richer. I want to try dried apricots and/or golden raisins in place of or along with the dried cherries.