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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

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Soft and Chewy Fruitcake Cookies in a Plate

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


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.  

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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:

  • 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.
    • Let the baked cookies thaw overnight before eating.
  • Freeze raw dough as portions on a tray until solid, then pop them in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag for about 6 weeks.
    • 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:

1. Spice it up. Want to add a touch of holiday spice to the cookies? That’s great!

Try adding a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice to the cookies for extra flavor. 

2. Leave out the nuts. These cookies are perfect using the given recipe.

However, not everyone can handle the nuts. If you want to leave them out, that’s fine. 

Just be sure to substitute another cup of candied fruit instead.

That ensures the cookies don’t feel like they’re “missing” something. 

3. Don’t overbake! One of the best things about these cookies is how soft they are.

If you overbake them, they’ll harden and lose that terrific texture. 

The original recipe says to bake the cookies for 15 minutes.

Instead, I start checking on mine after about 8 minutes.

It’s okay if the centers are a little soft. If the edges are crisp, they’re likely done. 

4. Make them boozy. If you’re adding alcohol to the cookies, do so when you add the vanilla.

You should only need up to one to two tablespoons.

I use rum. However, you can substitute whiskey, sherry, bourbon, or something else. 

5. Refrigerate the dough between batches. Unfortunately, you probably won’t be able to bake all the cookies at once.

So, stick the raw dough in the fridge between batches. 

It also helps to use parchment paper and change it after each batch bakes. 

More Cookie Recipes You’ll Love

Applesauce Cookies
Lemon Crinkle Cookies
Coconut Macaroons
Cinnamon Cookies

Fruitcake Cookies (Best Ever Recipe)



Prep time


Cooking time





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!


  • 1 cup 1 butter, softened

  • 3/4 cup 3/4 packed brown sugar

  • 1 large 1 egg, room temperature

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 vanilla extract

  • 1 1 -2/3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 salt

  • 1 1 -1/2 cups dates, finely chopped

  • 4 ounces 4 red candied cherries, halved

  • 4 ounces 4 candied pineapple, diced

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 whole hazelnuts, toasted

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 coarsely chopped pecans

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 coarsely chopped walnuts


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl. Mix until they are creamy, well-blended, and fluffy. Then, add the egg and vanilla; mix thoroughly.
  • Using a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Then, add this mixture into the first bowl with the butter and brown sugar mixture.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and stir until everything is blended.
  • Grease the cookie sheets with butter or use parchment paper. Then, spoon the dough onto the cookie sheets in tablespoon-sized balls. Leave approximately an inch between each ball of dough.
  • Bake in the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until the cookies are golden-brown.
  • Remove them from the oven and allow the cookies to cool before storing them in an air-tight container. For best results, serve them after a couple of days have passed.
Fruitcake Cookies

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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 :)

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