Fruit Cake Cookies

Fruitcake Cookies are an easy, festive treat you need to try! Buttery brown sugar Christmas cookie filled with candied cherries, golden raisins, and pecans.

If you’ve tried my Fruit Cake and Fruit Cake Bark recipes, I know you’ve been converted to how delicious this vintage Christmas dessert can be! Giving classic Christmas Recipes a twist makes holiday baking so much fun!

Fruit Cake Cookies in stack


What do you get when you take all the best parts of a traditional vintage Christmas cake and combine it with a buttery sugar cookie? These amazing, sweet Fruit Cake Cookies that will convert even the most skeptical of Fruit Cake.

My Fruit Cake Cookies are chewy, melt in your mouth shortbreads packed with fruit and nuts. These cookies have just the right amount of sugary candied cherries and pineapples, plus lots of delicious golden raisins and crunchy pecans. They are packed with classic holiday flavor that everyone will love.

This recipe is family friendly and doesn’t use rum or brandy, however you can adjust it slightly using my variation for adding spirits to you cookie dough. I also included a tip on how to simmer your raisins in brandy or rum to get them nice and plump (and boozy). You can also swap orange juice for added flavor without the kick.

Fruit Cake Cookies are actually best if you make them ahead of time! They are an ultimate holiday gifting cookie because they don’t need to be eaten right away. Whoever you gift them to gets to enjoy them at their peak flavor with slightly softer fruit pieces.

These cookies are so easy to make and are perfect for cookie exchanges, holiday parties, or just enjoying with a cup of coffee (or cocoa). To make them even easier, I’ve included a cake mix hack in this post, because who doesn’t like to save a little time and work during the busy holiday season?

How to Make Cake Mix Fruitcake Cookies 

To make Fruit Cake Cookies with cake mix, you will need one box of yellow cake mix to replace dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda). Adjust your butter and brown sugar to ½ cup each and add 2 tablespoons water to your wet ingredients. All the other remaining ingredients in the recipe will stay the same. Bake  Cake Mix Fruitcake Cookies at 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes.


Fruit Cake Cookies on cookie sheet


  • Chocolate: Dip halfway in melted white chocolate chips and sprinkle with a cinnamon-nutmeg-sugar mix.
  • Nuts: Add in your favorite nuts like walnuts, slivered almonds, or toasted hazelnuts, either by replacing ½ or all of the pecans.
  • Fruit: Use a mixture of different dried fruits like dates, apricots, cranberries, cherries (not candied). You can also cut back on the candied fruit if you don’t like your cookies as sweet.
  • Spices: Fill your cookies with holiday spices like cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, or use a tablespoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice.
  • Spirits: Make boozy Fruitcake Cookies by adding 2 tablespoons Brandy or Dark Rum to your cookie dough when you add in the vanilla and eggs. Or top with a Rum glaze made from powdered sugar, rum, and milk.

Tips for Fruit Cake Cookies

  • Simmer raisins (or other fried fruit) in brandy or orange juice. Bring to a simmer and let sit for 15 minutes before draining. Soaking the dried fruit will plump and soften them up as well as add extra flavor to your Fruit Cake Cookies.
  • Toast nuts before chopping and adding them to your cookie dough. To toast, spread nuts in a shallow pan and bake for 7-10 minutes at 350 degrees, or until fragrant and browned.
  • Bake cookies on the middle rack to get even heat surrounding them and only bake one sheet of cookies at a time.
  • Use a cookie scoop for even cookies every time. Plus not handling them with your hands will keep the dough cool and your hands free from sticky dough.

Can you make Fruit Cake Cookie Dough ahead of time?

Making Fruit Cake Cookie dough ahead of time allows the candied fruit and spices absorb for maximum flavor. To freeze dough, scoop on to a cookie sheet and place in freezer for 1 hour. Transfer to a freezer safe bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake directly from the freezer, no need to thaw!



  • Serve: These cookies can be stored at room temperature in a sealed container for up to a week.
  • Store: Keep Fruitcake Cookies in the refrigerator in an airtight container for about 2 weeks.
  • Freeze: Freeze cookies on baking sheet for one hour before transferring to a freezer safe bag. Freeze up to 3 months.

Fruit Cake Cookies on cookie sheet

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Fruitcake Cookies

Fruitcake Cookies are an easy, festive treat you need to try! Buttery brown sugar Christmas cookie filled with candied cherries, golden raisins, and pecans.
Yield 40
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar , packed
  • 1 large egg , room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces candied red cherries , chopped
  • 4 ounces candied green cherries , chopped
  • 4 ounces candied pineapple , chopped
  • 3/4 cup  golden raisins
  • 1 cup pecans  , chopped


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • To your stand mixer add the butter and brown sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add in the egg and vanilla extract.
  • Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.
  • On the lowest speed setting add in the flour mixture until just combined.
  • Add in the candied fruits, raisins and pecans.
  • Scoop 1 tablespoon sized scoops of dough 2 inches apart on your baking sheets.
  • Bake for 13 - 15 minutes, until just barely browning on the bottom.


Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 72mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 154IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Fruit Cake Cookies

Fruitcake Cookies

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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