Fruitcake Cookies

5 from 16 votes
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These fruitcake cookies have become one of my favorite holiday cookies. Even if you don’t like traditional fruitcake these are worth making. They are filled with lots Christmas color, flavor and chewy, yummy texture. A must make for the holidays.

Cookies on a plate


There are a few recipes that have become a family tradition to make every Christmas season, sausage balls, cream cheese stuffed peppers, bacon wrapped water chestnuts and these fruitcake cookies.

This fruitcake cookie recipe was passed down to me from my Nana many years ago. She would make them every Christmas and they were always a family favorite.

You don’t need to be a fruitcake lover to love these incredible cookies. There also isn’t any bourbon or rum added so they are perfect for adults and kids of all ages.

These classic cookies are always on our cookie making list during the holiday season. This has also become one of my go-to recipes to bring to a cookie exchange because people love them and they always bring back memories. They are also great for neighbor gifts all wrapped up in a nice tin or box.

What you need

This easy drop cookie recipe calls for similar ingredients to a fruitcake. I love the color, flavor, and texture each of these simple ingredients brings to these cookies.

Dry ingredients: You will need all-purpose flour, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, baking soda, and salt.

Eggs: This recipe calls for 3 large eggs.

Cherries: I like using red and green cherries. You can typically find them in the baking section of the grocery store, especially during the holiday season.

Dates and Dried Sweet Pineapple: These can usually be found in the dried fruit aisle of the grocery store. You can also add chopped golden raisins if you like.

Nuts: Nuts add a little crunch to this chewy cookie. This recipe calls for chopped pecans but you can substitute with walnuts.

Shortening: Shortening helps make these cookies stay light, and fluffy without spreading too much. You can substitute the shortening with butter but I would recommend refrigerating the dough for an hour if you use butter. This helps the cookies not spread.

flour, brown sugar, cherries, nuts, pineapple, eggs, shortening

How to make fruitcake cookies

Scroll to the bottom for the full printable recipe, ingredients and video.

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. You can also use a silicone mat.
  • Mix together shortening and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until combined. Add in eggs, cloves, and cinnamon.
  • In a separate large bowl, mix together fruit mixture and nuts using a spoon or spatula. Stir in flour and baking soda.
  • Pour shortening mixture in with flour mixture and stir on low speed until dough is formed.
  • Using a large tablespoon or small cookie scoop, scoop dough onto prepared cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes. Let cool on wire cooling racks.
Candied fruit in a bowl, sugar and shortening, everything combined in bowl.

Recipe tips

  • Be sure to take the cookies out of the oven once they just start to turn golden brown around the edges.
  • If you have a nut allergy in the family, you can leave out the chopped nuts and add extra fruit.
  • If you would like that rum flavor that fruitcakes often have, you can add 1 tablespoon of rum extract, dark rum, or bourbon.
  • You can also substitute the fruit for 3 cups of mixed candy fruit.
  • If giving as a gift, make sure to store in sealed containers.

How to store and freeze

Store: These chewy fruitcake cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Freeze: Place cookies in a freezer safe bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months. If possible, try to keep them in a single layer so they don’t stick together. Thaw in the refrigerator before eating.

Christmas cookies on a plate
  • Big Soft Ginger Cookies – Chewy, soft cookies made with ginger and molasses. These are always a holiday favorite.
  • Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies – Easy, cinnamon oatmeal cookies make a great gift. They make a large quantity to keep and give away.
  • Sour Cream Cookies – Use sour cream to make these delicious soft sugar cookies. Topped with an easy frosting that you can add color or keep white.
  • Brownie Mix Cookies – Super easy recipe that makes chewy, chocolate cookies with a brownie mix.

These cookies are sure to be a festive addition to any holiday table. If you made these holiday cookies please feel free to leave a comment and rating below.

Fruit cookies on a plate
5 from 16 votes

Fruitcake Cookies

By Heather
Chewy, delicious fruitcake cookies are a holiday classic.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 36 cookies


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup dates, chopped
  • 1 cup red cherries, chopped
  • 1 cup green cherries, chopped
  • 1 cup dried pineapple, chopped


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
  • In a large bowl, stir together cherries, pineapple, dates, and nuts. Stir in flour and baking soda.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together shortening, brown sugar and eggs. Mix in cloves and cinnamon.
  • Pour sugar mixture in with flour mixture and stir until dough is formed. Drop cookies by tablespoon on prepared cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes and let cool on wire rack.



Calories: 175kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 72mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 72IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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Recipe Rating


  1. I just took the first sheet of cookies out of the oven and I’m burning my mouth on a hot cookie but I had to tell you how great these are! I was concerned about the amount of cloves you used but it worked. These will definitely go into the Christmas cookie roster. Thank you.