There’s no cookie more festive and seasonal than colorful Fruitcake Cookies—they’re like little bites of Christmas. Make a batch now, and I promise they’ll be eaten up before you decorate the tree, they’re that good.
Unlike traditional fruitcakes which tend to overstay their welcome, these scrumptious butter cookies are usually the first to disappear. Packed with candied and dried fruits, nuts, and spices, Fruitcake Cookies aren’t too sweet and are perfect with a hot cup of tea or coffee.
If you’re a butter cookie lover or a shortbread cookie fanatic, you’ve found the perfect fruit cake cookie recipe. You can load the dough up with your favorite dried fruits and nuts, and make everyone you love a slightly different batch. They’re a breeze to make ahead of time and bake up at the last minute.
Even if you don’t like fruit/nut cookies at all, chances are you’ll still love this classic Christmas fruit cake cookie. And if they’re all suddenly gone before your guests arrive? Just blame the elves.
Need Fruit Cake Cookies for a neighborhood cookie exchange? Click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.
What can you use instead of brandy?
If you have sherry or rum, you can use either in place of the brandy. You can even make Fruitcake Cookies with bourbon. If you don’t want to use any alcohol whatsoever, switch out vanilla extract, orange juice or apple cider instead.
What can you use in place of candied cherries?
While Fruitcake Cookies with candied cherries are the traditional ingredient, those bright red cherries may not be everyone’s favorite. If they’re not available, switch out dried cherries instead.
What else can you add to fruitcake cookies?
This is your cookie; if you’re not able to find figs, or you don’t like raisins, you can still make a Fruitcake Cookie that’s tailor-made just for you. What about:
- Minced dried pineapple
- Chopped toasted pecans
- Chopped dates
- Candied ginger
- Dried zante currants
- Candied orange peel
Can you make Fruitcake Cookies without nuts?
Just add in another dried fruit in place of the nuts and let me know how it goes. It could be the best fruit cake cookie recipe yet!
Can you make Fruitcake Cookies ahead of time?
This cookie dough is perfect for making in advance. Once you roll up the dough, wrap it in waxed paper and foil, then freeze the rolls up to 2 months before you need it. Slice the cookies up when you’re ready to bake—no need to thaw the dough first.
Give Fruitcake Cookies as a gift:
These cookies make such a wonderful handmade gift. I like to slice the dough with a sharp knife so they’re flat discs that stack neatly and show off their bright colors. then I stack them up inside clear treat bags and tie them with a scrap of cute ribbon.
- 1/2 pound dried figs
- 1/4 pound raisins
- 1/4 pound candied cherries chopped (or dried cherries)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 6 ounces walnuts chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup superfine sugar see notes
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 extra-large egg
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- Trim off the hard stems of the figs with scissors or a small knife and coarsely chop the figs. In a medium bowl, mix together the figs, raisins, cherries, apricots, honey, sherry, lemon juice, walnuts, and a pinch of salt. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit overnight at room temperature to soften.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, cloves, superfine sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the egg and mix until incorporated. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the flour and ¼ teaspoon salt until just combined. Do not over mix! Add the fruits and nuts, including any liquid in the bowl.
- Divide the dough in half and place each half on the long edge of a 12" by 18" piece of parchment or waxed paper. Roll each half into a log, 1 1/2" to 1 3/4" thick, making an 18" long roll. Refrigerate the dough for several hours, or until firm.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. With a small, sharp knife, cut the logs into 1/2" thick slices. Place the slices 1/2" apart on ungreased sheet pans and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden.