Two Christmas dessert favorites, fruitcake and Christmas cookies, unite in this slice-and-bake cookie recipe. Customize this homemade Christmas cookie recipe with your favorite dried fruits, nuts, and liquors.

Fruitcake cookies on a cooling rack.
Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Fruitcake Cookies Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for fruitcake cookies.

Ingredient notes

  • Dried figs, raisins, and cherries: Or any dried fruit you prefer chopped small, such as dates, candied orange peel, dried pineapple, candied ginger, or dried cranberries.
  • Brandy: Sherry, rum, or bourbon also taste great. For an alcohol-free cookie recipe, If you don’t want to use any alcohol whatsoever, use 2 tablespoons of orange juice or apple cider instead.
  • Walnuts: Chopped pecans also work well. To enhance the flavor, try toasted walnuts or toasted pecans; bake on a sheet pan at 350 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Superfine sugar: Find this in the baking aisle, or to make superfine sugar at home, put the amount of granulated white sugar called for in your recipe (here, ½ cup) in a food processor. Add a couple of tablespoons more to compensate for a reduction in overall volume that occurs when blending. Process for 1 to 2 minutes until the sugar feels like fine sand, letting the sugar dust settle before opening your food processor to check. Remeasure before using.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. 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.
Dried fruit and nuts soaking for fruitcake cookies.
  1. 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.
Fruitcake cookie batter in a mixing bowl.
  1. Divide the dough in half and place each half on the long edge of a 12- by 18-inch piece of parchment or waxed paper. Roll each half into a log, 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-inch thick, making an 18-inch long roll. Refrigerate the dough for several hours, or until firm.
Rolls of fruitcake cookie dough wrapped in parchment.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. With a small, sharp knife, cut the logs into 1/2-inch thick slices.
Fruitcake cookies sliced and unbaked.
  1. Place the slices 1/2″ apart on ungreased sheet pans and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden.
Fruitcake cookies baked on a baking sheet.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This Fruitcake Cookie recipe makes a very food gift-able batch 40 Christmas cookies.
  • Storage: Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Or, if you live in a cold climate, store them on your patio or in your garage for several weeks.
  • Make ahead: Mix up the dough, wrap it in waxed paper and foil, then freeze (instead of refrigerate) the Fruitcake Cookie rolls up to 2 months. When you’re ready to bake and proceed with step 5, remove the log from the freezer and let it thaw for about 15 minutes at room temperature. Because they’re semi-frozen, they’ll likely need a minute or two extra in the oven to bake.
  • Freezer: Freeze the uncut, unbaked logs of cookie dough for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to bake, remove the log from the freezer and let it warm up for about 15 minutes at room temperature. Cut the cookies into slices using a sharp chef’s knife, or a serrated knife, if that works better. Bake according to the recipe instructions (15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees).
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.

How to Freeze Cookie Dough

Get a jump on the holidays, bake sales, and cookie exchanges with this sweet little how-to. Here’s how to freeze cookie dough correctly, to get amazing, freshly baked homemade cookies in an instant. No two…

10 minutes
View Recipe
Fruitcake cookies on a cooling rack.

Fruitcake Cookies

Two Christmas dessert favorites, fruitcake and Christmas cookies, unite in this slice-and-bake cookie recipe. Customize this homemade Christmas cookie recipe with your favorite dried fruits, nuts, and liquors.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
chilling 8 hrs
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 40 cookies
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 193

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 pound dried figs (see note 1)
  • 1/4 pound raisins
  • 1/4 pound candied cherries chopped (or dried cherries)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons brandy (see note 2)
  • 6 ounces walnuts chopped (see note 3)
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 pound butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar (see note 4)
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  1. Dried figs, raisins, and cherries: Or any dried fruit you prefer chopped small, such as dates, candied orange peel, dried pineapple, candied ginger, or dried cranberries.
  2. Brandy: Sherry, rum, or bourbon also taste great. For an alcohol-free cookie recipe, If you don’t want to use any alcohol whatsoever, use 2 tablespoons of orange juice or apple cider instead.
  3. Walnuts: Chopped pecans also work well. To enhance the flavor, try toasted walnuts or toasted pecans; bake on a sheet pan at 350 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. Superfine sugar: Find this in the baking aisle, or to make superfine sugar at home, put the amount of granulated white sugar called for in your recipe (here, ½ cup) in a food processor. Add a couple of tablespoons more to compensate for a reduction in overall volume that occurs when blending. Process for 1 to 2 minutes until the sugar feels like fine sand, letting the sugar dust settle before opening your food processor to check. Remeasure before using.
  5. Yield: This Fruitcake Cookie recipe makes a very food gift-able batch of 40 Christmas cookies.
  6. Storage: Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Or, if you live in a cold climate, store them on your patio or in your garage for several weeks.
  7. Make ahead: Mix up the dough, wrap it in waxed paper and foil, then freeze (instead of refrigerate) the Fruitcake Cookie rolls up to 2 months. When you’re ready to bake and proceed with step 5, remove the log from the freezer and let it thaw for about 15 minutes at room temperature. Because they’re semi-frozen, they’ll likely need a minute or two extra in the oven to bake.
  8. Freezer: Freeze the uncut, unbaked logs of cookie dough for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to bake, remove the log from the freezer and let it warm up for about 15 minutes at room temperature. Cut the cookies into slices using a sharp chef’s knife, or a serrated knife, if that works better. Bake according to the recipe instructions (15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees).

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 193kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 2gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 85mgPotassium: 97mgFiber: 1gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 292IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg
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