Chock full of candied red and green cherries, pineapple, dates, and nuts, these Fruitcake Cookies are a delightful addition to any Christmas cookie platter and a nod to traditions of old! We enjoy both the glazed and unglazed versions of these chewy, tasty treats!

A close image of fruitcake cookies made with candied fruit and nuts.
Table of Contents
  1. What You'll Need
  2. How to Make Fruitcake Cookies
  3. Recipe FAQ's
  4. Tips for Success
  5. How to Store
  6. More Cookie Recipes
  7. Fruitcake Cookies Recipe

Poor fruitcake. It has been the butt of many Christmas jokes for years. Traditional fruitcake has been around since the Middle Ages, although the European versions are more like fruit-studded breads (think Italian pannetonne or German stollen). British and American fruitcake are more like the dense cake-like loaves that most of us are more familiar with today that have a reputation for being bricklike, indestructible, and lasting for years.

We're skipping the alcohol in these cookies that were the surprise hit of my holiday baking this year, although some folks add a bit of bourbon or whisky to the batter. I loved these cookies that are laden with so much candied fruit and nuts that they are a texture-lover's dream. They were sweet but not cloying and very soft to the point of being almost cake-like in the best possible way.

I have also seen these called "fruit Lizzies" or "Christmas Lizzies" although I don't know where that name came from. We just call them fruitcake cookies.

What You'll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • All-purpose flour
  • Salted butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Eggs
  • Candied cherries - You can buy these at the grocery store during the month of December or order them online other times of the year. You can get them mixed or separate and you can use one or both colors since they taste the same.
  • Candied pineapple - This is easier to find year round and I can typically locate it in the bulk area or next to the dried fruit like raisins and dried apricots.
  • Dates
  • Raisins
  • Nuts - I used a mix of walnuts and pecans for variety but you can use one or the other.
  • Cinnamon
  • Baking soda
  • Vanilla extract
  • Milk
Ingredients for fruitcake cookies.

How to Make Fruitcake Cookies

  1. Combine wet ingredients. Beat butter and brown sugar in a large bowl for 1-2 minutes until creamy and light. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla. Beat again.
  2. Add dry ingredients. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix just until combined, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl. This dough is unlike most other cookie doughs and it will be very soft.
  1. Add chopped nuts, candied cherries, raisins, pineapple, and dates. Stir just until the fruit and nuts are evenly dispersed throughout the cookie dough. This can be done by hand with a rubber spatula or using your mixer on low speed.
Adding chopped red and green candied cherries, pecans, dates, and raisins to cookie dough batter in a large glass bowl.
  1. Transfer to cookie sheets. Use a small cookie scoop to drop about 2 tablespoons-sized mounds of the dough onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing them a couple inches apart.
  2. Bake. Bake for 12-15 minutes in a preheated 325 degree F oven until golden brown and no longer glossy on top. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  1. Glaze (Optional). To glaze the cookies, whisk powdered sugar and milk to create a thin glaze that drizzles off the whisk and melts in on itself immediately. Dip the top of each cookie in the glaze, then return them to the wire rack so the excess glaze can drip off. Let the cookies dry for 2-3 hours so the glaze can set up.

Recipe FAQ's

Can I add alcohol to these fruitcake cookies?

Yes, if you want to add some alcohol for flavoring, you could add 1-2 tablespoons of brandy, whisky, rum, sherry, or bourbon at the same time you are adding the milk. Another option would be to add a teaspoon of rum extract with the vanilla extract for the flavor without the alcohol.

Are these better glazed or unglazed?

That's totally personal opinion! I love them both ways, although the glazed ones did get eaten first at our house. They are a little prettier without the glaze though, because you can see the color of the candied fruit peeking through more easily.

A close image of fruitcake cookies with candied cherries and dates in a white pie plate.

Tips for Success

  • Feel free to customize. If you don't like one or more of the fruits, feel free to leave them out and replace them with more of another type of fruit. Any mix of chopped, dried or candied fruit will work in this recipe. The candied cherries, dates, raisins, and pineapple are traditional for fruitcake, but dried apricots and mangoes would work just as well.
  • Don't overbake. You don't want to dry these cookies out or they won't be soft and moist. They should just be browned around the edges and no longer shiny on top when they are done and they will continue to set up on the cookie sheet after they are removed from the oven.

How to Store

These cookies will keep well in an airtight container on the countertop for at least a week. The sugar in the candied fruit helps them last quite a while tasting fresh. If you glazed the cookies, I would recommend placing a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper between layers so the cookies don't stick.

You can also freeze the cookies for 3 months. Just thaw on the counter for a couple hours before serving.

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

Stay in the know

Fruitcake Cookies

5 from 1 vote
Amy Nash
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 36 cookies
Chock full of candied red and green cherries, pineapple, dates, and nuts, these Fruitcake Cookies are a delightful addition to any Christmas cookie platter and a nod to traditions of old! We enjoy both the glazed and unglazed versions of these chewy, tasty treats!

Ingredients
  

Cookies

  • ½ cup salted butter, softened
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts and/or pecans (we like ½ and ½)
  • 1 cup candied cherries, sliced in half (we did a mix of red and green)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • ½ cup dried pineapple, chopped
  • ½ cup dates, roughly chopped

Optional Glaze

  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2-4 Tablespoons milk

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Beat butter and brown sugar in a large bowl for 1-2 minutes until creamy and light.
  • Add eggs, milk, and vanilla. Beat again.
  • Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix just until combined, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl. The mixture will be very soft.
  • Add chopped nuts, candied cherries, raisins, pineapple, and dates. Stir just until the fruit and nuts are evenly dispersed throughout the cookie dough.
  • Use a small cookie scoop to drop mounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them a couple inches apart.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown and no longer glossy on top. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To glaze the cookies, whisk together powdered sugar and enough milk to create a thin glaze that drizzles off the whisk and melts in on itself immediately. Dip the top of each cookie in the glaze, then return them to the wire rack to dry for 2-3 hours so the glaze can set up.

Notes

  • Optional: Add 1 Tablespoon bourbon, whisky, brandy, sherry, or rum along with the milk, if desired.
  • Substititions: If you don't like one or more of the fruits, feel free to leave them out and replace them with more of another type of fruit. Any mix of chopped, dried or candied fruit will work in this recipe. The candied cherries, dates, raisins, and pineapple are traditional for fruitcake, but dried apricots and mangoes would work just as well.
  • Storage: These cookies will keep well in an airtight container on the countertop for at least a week. The sugar in the candied fruit helps them last quite a while tasting fresh. If you glazed the cookies, I would recommend placing a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper between layers so the cookies don't stick.
  • Freezing: You can also freeze the cookies for 3 months. Just thaw on the counter for a couple hours before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 151kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 58mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 98IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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