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Fruitcake Cookies

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.

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fruitcake cookie with bite out of it

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?! 

I load up my cookie platters with things like butterscotch chip, peppermint white chocolate, chocolate kiss, Crockpot Christmas candy, and raspberry cheesecake cookies.

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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!

ingredients to make fruitcake cookies

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!

wet ingredients in a bowl

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.

adding dry ingredients to bowl

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.

folding in fruit and nuts

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!

fruitcake cookie dough balls on baking sheet

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!

cookie sheet with fruitcake cookies

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!

stack of fruitcake cookies

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!

spicy fruitcake cookies being held

Other Cookie Recipes You’ll Love:

cookies with fruit and nuts

Fruitcake Cookies

Samantha Erb
Chewy and delicious fruitcake cookies are the talk of any gathering! One taste of these spicy cookies, and you'll be hooked.
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 176 kcal


  • 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.


Serving: 1gCalories: 176kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 2gFat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 62mgFiber: 1gSugar: 25g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


About Samantha

I’ve always had a love of cooking and creating new recipes, so it only made sense to create a food blog so I could share those recipes with you. This site is designed to provide easy and flavorful recipes with as little ingredients as possible. That means you still get great flavor combinations without all that extra time and effort. Read more...

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