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Fruitcake Cookies (Best Ever Recipe)

No matter the occasion, you cannot go wrong with these tempting fruitcake cookies.

They’re soft, chewy, and full of delicious candied fruit and nuts.

And I don’t mean just one or two, either! There are pineapples, cherries, dates, hazelnuts, pecans, and more!

Soft and Chewy Fruitcake Cookies in a Plate
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Almost every Christmas party or dinner has fruitcake on the table. At least, we do in my house.

But trust me when I say these chewy fruitcake cookies are not your grandma’s fruitcake.

Don’t get me wrong, I like fruitcake. But these holiday cookies are much lighter and take far less time to make.

And, of course, they’re not just for Christmas!

Old Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies

Everything about these fruitcake cookies is fantastic.

They have a phenomenal texture, great taste, and are so wonderfully colorful. And you can even add alcohol to the recipe to make them a little boozy.

I like rum with mine, but brandy is more festive.

Alcohol or no alcohol, you’ll love these fruity sweet treats.

Make them in the summer or winter, and they’ll vanish off the plate.

Fruitcake Cookies Ingredients: Butter, Sugar, Dates, Red Candied Cherries, Candied Pineapple Hazelnuts, Chopped Pecans and Chopped Walnuts

Ingredients

Here are the things you’ll need to make these festive cookies:

  • Butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt. These are your standard baking ingredients. You use them to make the batter for the cookies. Be sure to set the cold ingredients out and allow them to warm up to room temperature before you use them. Doing so will ensure they’re easy to work with.
  • Dates. You can purchase chopped dates at the grocery store. Or you can buy whole dates and chop them yourself. Just remember to cut them into small, fine pieces. (You might even need to cut the pre-chopped ones into smaller pieces.)
  • Red candied cherries. The original recipe for these cookies calls for red candied cherries. Sometimes, I stick to that, but I buy red and green candied cherries at other times. They have the same sweet taste but make the cookies more colorful than the red cherries alone.
  • Candied pineapple. Typically, candied pineapple is in the baking aisle near the candied cherries. If you can’t find it, you can pick up the candied fruit mix instead. It usually contains both red and green candied cherries and candied pineapples.
  • Toasted whole hazelnuts. Many fruitcake cookie recipes don’t include hazelnuts, but I love them. I toast them myself in the oven (350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 15 minutes)
  • Chopped pecans and walnuts. You can find chopped pecans and walnuts in most grocery stores or chop them yourself. I always buy them chopped because it saves a ton of time.

If you’re wondering, no, these cookies aren’t too nutty. Having three different nuts seems like a lot, but it isn’t.

Instead, three nut varieties make these absolutely perfect.

Fruitcake Cookies with Cherry, Pineapple and Nuts

How to Store Fruitcake Cookies

When it comes to storing leftover cookies, you have a couple of options:

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Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to five days

Store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week

I also typically make mine a day or two before I’m going to serve them. They taste much better on day 2 or 3 than fresh from the oven.

That said, you can serve them immediately if you prefer; they’ll still taste fine.

But for the best results, make them a day or so ahead of time instead.

Baked Fruitcake Cookies with Cherry, Pineapple, Walnuts and Pecans

Can I Freeze the Cookies?

You can freeze fruitcake cookies before you bake them or after.

Freeze the baked and cooled cookies in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag for up to 3 months.

Freeze raw dough as portions on a tray until solid, then pop them in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag for about 6 weeks.

Let the baked cookies thaw overnight before eating. But bake raw cookie dough from frozen. Just add a few extra minutes in the oven.

Tips & Tricks for the Best Fruitcake Cookies

These fruitcake cookies are pretty magical. However, if you want to make them even better, here are some tips:

  • Spice it up. Add a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice for extra flavor.
  • Leave out the nuts. Just be sure to substitute another cup of candied fruit instead. That ensures the cookies don’t feel like they’re “missing” something.
  • Don’t overbake! One of the best things about these cookies is how soft they are. The original recipe says to bake the cookies for 15 minutes, but I start checking on mine after about 8 minutes.
  • Make them boozy. Add 1-2 tablespoons of brandy, whisky, rum, sherry, or bourbon when you add the vanilla. Just remember to chill the dough since it will be soft.
  • Refrigerate the dough. It will be quite soft, so it’s best to chill the butter for 2-3 hours before baking. And remember to chill it between batches since you probably won’t be able to bake all the cookies at once.

More Cookie Recipes You’ll Love

Applesauce Cookies
Lemon Crinkle Cookies
Coconut Macaroons
Cinnamon Cookies

Fruitcake Cookies (Best Ever Recipe)

Servings

48

servings
Prep time

25

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes
Calories

118

kcal

You won’t be able to get enough of these fruitcake cookies! Made with nuts, cherries, pineapples, and dates, they’re the perfect treat for indulging!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 large egg, room temperature

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 cups dates, finely chopped

  • 4 ounces red candied cherries, halved

  • 4 ounces candied pineapple, diced

  • 1/2 cup whole hazelnuts, toasted

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment.
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until fully combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, as needed.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt to evenly distribute the leavening agent.
  • Add half of the flour mix, stir to gently combine. Then add the remaining flour, dates, candied cherries, pineapple, hazelnuts, pecans, and walnuts. Stir gently until just combined. The dough will be quite soft.
  • Use a small cookie scoop or tablespoon to drop mounds of dough onto the cookie sheets, leaving approximately an inch between each ball.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cookies are golden-brown.
  • Remove them from the oven and let cool on the tray for 5-10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool fully.
  • Place cold cookies in an airtight container for 1-2 days before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

  • To add alcohol: add 1-2 tablespoons of brandy, whisky, rum, sherry, or bourbon when you add the vanilla. Then, cover and chill the dough for 2-3 hours before baking.
Fruitcake Cookies

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

2 thoughts on “Fruitcake Cookies (Best Ever Recipe)”

    • Hi Patricia!
      You'll want to add 1-2 tablespoons of brandy, whisky, rum, sherry, or bourbon when you add the vanilla.
      It won't water the dough down but it will soften it. So I recommend chilling the dough before baking.
      Another option is to use vanilla paste, which is thick and syrupy.
      Hope this helps!

      Reply

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