Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies

November 27, 2021
Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies are loaded with candied cherries, candied pineapple, pecans and the fabulous flavors and colors of Christmas, making them a fun and festive addition to any Christmas cookie tray. And hey, even if you don't like fruitcake, we'd venture to bet you'll love these delicious little beauties!

Stack of Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies Image

Nothing screams Christmas like fruitcake. But you know, fruitcake often (and unfairly) gets a bad rap.

You know what type of fruitcake absolutely shouldn't get a bad rap? -- Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies, that's what! Because while these may be Fruitcake Cookies, they're certainly not the fruitcake that's the butt of so many Christmas jokes.

Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies aren't dense and spiced like we often think of with traditional fruitcake, but light and sugary instead.

These little beauties are soft and tender almond-infused cookies loaded with that signature fruitcake fruit and nut mix. Almond extract in the dough brings wonderful sweetness, pairing nicely with the flavor of the candied cherries and the cookies' other fruits, as well. These aren't dense and spiced like we often think of with traditional fruitcake, but light and sugary instead.

I like to think of them as the perfect holiday sweet, with all the colors and flavors of Christmas beautifully packed into a cookie-sized treat. They are, in fact, one of our very favorite Christmas cookies, and a wonderful choice for any Christmas cookie exchange or Christmas day cookie tray

And hey, even if you don't like fruitcake, we'd venture to bet you'll love these delicious little gems!

Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies on Cooling Rack Image

What's to Love About This Recipe?
  • Delivers up a Christmas classic in fun cookie form - Enjoy that classic Christmas fruitcake in a fun and tasty cookie form.
  • Festive little bites - The colors and flavors of Christmas are beautifully packed into a cookie-sized treat!
  • Loaded with flavor - Candied cherries, candied pineapple, chopped dates, and pecans all enclosed in a sweet almond-infused cookie delivers up fabulous flavor, for sure.
  • Easy to make - This drop-type cookie is truly easy to make. A little chopping, mixing, and baking is all that's required.

Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies Image

Fruitcake Cookie Ingredients:

There are two components to making Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies - 1. the fruit and nut mix, and 2. the cookie dough base.

For the fruit and nut mix, you'll need:

You can use all red candied cherries, all green candied cherries, or a combination of both. We always use a combination of both red and green cherries for an extra-pretty festive look.

We do not recommend substituting fruit cake mix for the candied cherries and candied pineapple. Though it's already chopped (which is nice), fruit cake mix also contains lemon peel/citron, which is very strong flavored and overpowering in these cookies. (If you find a mix without lemon peel/citron, then go for it!)

Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies Candied Fruit Ingredients Image

For the cookie dough base, you'll need:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • An egg
  • Buttermilk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Almond extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Salt

Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies Ingredients Image

How to Make Fruitcake Cookies:

Whipping up a batch of Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies truly is pretty easy, as they're just a basic drop-type cookie. The toughest part is chopping up the candied fruits. And truly, that's not tough at all. -- It's just a little sticky.

To get a batch of these fun and festive cookies started, coarsely chop some candied cherries, candied pineapple, and some dates. (Raisins can be substituted for the dates, if you'd like.) 

Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies Candied Fruit Mixture Image

Then in a bowl, combine the chopped fruits with some chopped pecans. Sprinkle the mixture with 1/4 cup of flour and mix them together to get all the fruit coated. This keeps the fruits from just clumping together and helps disperse them throughout the cookie dough when mixed in.

Set this mixture aside while you prepare the rest of the cookie dough.

How to Make Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies Image

To make the dough, cream together some butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Then add in an egg, some buttermilk, vanilla extract, and almond extract, beating until everything's well combined, light, and creamy.
By hand, stir in the fruit mixture, all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt.
Drop approximately one tablespoon measures of dough 2 inches apart onto cookie sheets.

Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookie Dough Image

  1. Then pop the pans in the oven and bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until the edges and centers look cooked through. 

  2. If you're like me and like to under-bake your cookies, note that these fruitcake cookies do not lend themselves well to under-baking. Fruitcake cookies get more moist as they sit, and will turn too gooey if left under-baked.

Once baked, remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely, and then you're good to go with enjoying the deliciousness. And believe me, with their tasty fruit and nut mix all enclosed in their sweet almond-infused cookie, Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies are delicious, indeed!

Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies on Baking Sheet Image

Recipe FAQs:
  • What is the texture of these Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies? - The texture of these Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies is soft and tender, sort of like a a slightly cakey chocolate chip cookie. The candied fruit lends a nice chewy element, while the chopped pecans bring a bit of crunch.

  • Can I use fruit cake mix instead of candied cherries and candied pineapple to make Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies? - We do not recommend substituting fruit cake mix for the candied cherries and candied pineapple. Though it's already chopped (which is nice), most containers of fruit cake mix also contains lemon peel/citron, which is very strong flavored and overpowering in these cookies. (If you find a mix without lemon peel/citron, then go for it!)

  • Do I need to chill Fruitcake Cookie dough before baking? - Old-Fashioned Fruit Cookies do not spread very much as they bake, so no, we do not find it necessary to chill the dough before baking.

  • My Fruitcake Cookies turned out gooey in the middle. What went wrong? - If your fruitcake cookies are gooey, most likely they were under-baked. Because of the candied fruit and buttermilk in the dough, fruitcake cookies get more moist as they sit, which in turn can cause them to become gooey. Bake Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies until both the edges and centers look cooked through to avoid gooeyness.

  • Should I use butter or shortening to make Fruitcake Cookies?  - While you'll find many fruitcake cookie recipes that call for shortening, we find butter to create a much richer, better tasting cooking. We've tried this recipe both ways, and strongly recommend making Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies with butter instead of shortening.

  • Can you freeze Fruitcake Cookies? - Yes, absolutely you can freeze Fruitcake Cookies. Freeze in an airtight container, with sheets of wax paper between the layers, for up to 2-3 months.

Check out these other super tasty Christmas cookies:

Christmas Fruitcake Cookies with Candied Fruit Image
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fruitcake cookies, old fashioned fruitcake cookies, Christmas fruitcake cookies, candied cherry cookies, cookies with candied cherries
Cookies
American
Yield: about 40 cookies
Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies

Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies

Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies are loaded with candied cherries, candied pineapple, pecans and the fabulous flavors and colors of Christmas, making them a fun and festive addition to any Christmas cookie tray. And hey, even if you don't like fruitcake, we'd venture to bet you'll love these delicious little beauties!
Prep time: 40 MinCook time: 12 MinTotal time: 52 Min

Ingredients

  • 1 c. candied cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 c. candied pineapple, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 c. chopped dates (or raisins)
  • 3/4 c. chopped pecans
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 & 3/4 c. all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. Combine chopped candied cherries, candied pineapple, dates, and pecans in a bowl. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the flour; mix well to coat. Set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add egg, buttermilk, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Beat on medium speed until well combined, light, and creamy.
  3. By hand, stir in fruit mixture, remaining flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Drop approximately one tablespoon of dough 2 inches apart onto cookie sheets. Bake at 350℉ for 10-12 minutes until the edges and centers look cooked through.
  5. Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
TRACEY'S NOTES:
  1. For the candied cherries, you can use red, green, or a combination of 1/2 cup of each. We always use a combination of both colors.
  2. We do not recommend substituting fruit cake mix for the candied cherries and candied pineapple. Though it's already chopped (which is nice), fruit cake mix also contains lemon peel/citron, which is strong flavored and overpowering in these cookies. (If you find a mix without lemon peel/citron, go for it!)
  3. If you're like me and like to under-bake your cookies, note that these fruitcake cookies do not lend themselves well to under-baking. Fruitcake cookies get more moist as they sit, and will turn too gooey if under-baked.
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Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies ~ Loaded with candied cherries, candied pineapple, pecans and the fabulous flavors & colors of Christmas, these fruitcake cookies are a fun & festive addition to any Christmas cookie tray. They may just be the perfect little Christmas treat!  www.thekitchenismyplayground.com


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8 comments

  1. I first had fruit cake cookies last year. My girl friend said it was her mom's recipe. I now have it and it is certainly a recipe that I will make for Christmas sharing. The are just delicious.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing your fruitcake cookie experience with us! They are indeed delicious, aren't they? Merry Christmas!

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  2. These look delicious and so festive!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Michele. We sure love their flavor and festive look, and truly hope you will, too.

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  3. Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party. Have a great week! I'd love it if you shared this at the cookie exchange too! https://lazygastronome.com/great-cookie-exchange/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, these look wonderful and delicious! Pinning! Thanks for sharing at the TFT party. :)

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  5. how many cookies does this recipe make?

    ReplyDelete

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