All the beauty of a fruitcake — in cookie form! My fruitcake cookies are the ultimate way to enjoy fruit and nuts as well as warm spices and flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla.
When the temperatures start to drop, I immediately get into holiday mode — Thanksgiving and Christmas are a huge deal in my home!
It’s a chance to spend more time with family, and I also just love this season of giving.
Not surprisingly, one of my favorite things to give is food! Who doesn’t enjoy getting a plate of cookies as a gift?!
And, after a little bit of experimenting, I’ve found another addition that I want to share with you: chewy fruitcake cookies!
The idea behind this seasonal dessert is fabulous — traditional fruitcake is filled with fruit, nuts, and earthy spices like cinnamon.
But, I will say the execution can be a little difficult. I’ve eaten many hard and flavorless fruitcakes in my day.
I’ve taken this classic recipe and upgraded it into cookie form. I’ve also mastered the fruit to nut to spices ratio, and the results are outstanding!
You won’t find any yucky fruitcakes here!
Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post:
- All of the ingredients you’ll need to make the perfect fruitcake cookies recipe.
- Step-by-step instructions to follow so that you can make this yummy dessert at home.
- Answers to questions like are fruitcake cookies healthy? Plus, recommendations for what type of fruit to use.
Step up your holiday cookie game and impress your guests with this unique fruitcake cookies recipe. You’ll never think about fruitcake the same again!
How to Make Fruitcake Cookies
A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.
STEP ONE: Create the base of your fruitcake cookies recipe by combining the melted butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Then, add the egg and vanilla extract and whisk to combine. Place the flour, baking soda, orange zest, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg in a separate bowl and combine.
Fold the dry and wet ingredients together so that there are no large lumps of flour. I recommend you use a rubber spatula!
STEP TWO: Now it’s time to add the stars of your chewy fruitcake cookies: cherries, raisins, pecans, and orange peel. You can also feel free to use whatever type of fruit and nuts you have on hand! I like the idea of using dried peaches and walnuts or pistachios as well. Be sure not to overmix here.
STEP THREE: Cover the cookie dough and place it in the fridge, allowing it to chill for 30 minutes. While you wait, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper. When the dough is chilled, scoop out 1.5 tablespoon-sized portions and place them evenly on the baking sheets.
STEP FOUR: Bake your chewy fruitcake cookies for 13-15 minutes or until the edges of the cookies become slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool before enjoying!
Are Fruitcake Cookies Healthy?
While I’m not a doctor, the “are fruitcake cookies healthy” question does come up a lot, so I wanted to touch on it here.
I have to assume that eating cookies isn’t as nutritious as say, eating dried fruit and nuts on their own. There is quite a bit of sugar and butter in this recipe.
If you’re concerned about whether or not something is healthy, you should talk to a health professional!
What Liquor Is Used in Fruitcake?
Traditional fruitcake recipes do use liquor. Most depend on sherry, rum, whisky, or Cointreau (an orange liqueur) for warmth and flavor.
My recipe doesn’t have any liquor in it, meaning you can give them to your kids (or those who don’t want to consume alcohol) guilt-free!
Does Fruitcake Need To Be Refrigerated?
You can store your cookies in an airtight container on your counter or in your pantry for up to 3 days.
You don’t have to refrigerate them if you don’t like to, but I admit sometimes I enjoy a chilled cookie! If you’re the opposite and want to heat them up, you can do so in the microwave.
Can I Make Fruitcake Cookies Gluten-Free?
Definitely! Simply replace the all-purpose flour with your favorite gluten-free option. When I want to make mine GF, I’m a huge fan of using almond flour.
The subtle almond flavor compliments the fruit and nuts perfectly!
Other Cookie Recipes You’ll Love:
- Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
- Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies
- Vanilla Crinkle Cookies
- Christmas Sugar Cookies
- Iced Thumbprint Cookies
- Slice and Bake Cookies
- Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
- 1 stick (½ cup) butter, melted
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon orange zest
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup dried cherries
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- ¼ cup toasted and chopped pecans
- ¼ cup candied orange peel, chopped
- Add the melted butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar to a large bowl and whisk to combine.
- Next, add the egg and vanilla extract. Whisk again to combine.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, orange zest, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold them together until no large lumps of flour remain. A rubber spatula works best for this!
- Next, add the cherries, raisins, pecans, and orange peel. Fold the fruit into the cookie dough. Make sure to mix just until the fruit is incorporated– you don’t want to overmix.
- Cover the cookie dough and place it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. While the dough chills, preheat the oven to 350F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Scoop out 1.5 tablespoon sized portions and place them at least 2” apart on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookie are just golden brown.
- Allow the cookies to cool completely on the pan, and then store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 176Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 62mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 1gSugar: 25gProtein: 2g
This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.