Old Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies are a fun, easy, and delicious twist on the traditional fruitcake. This recipe is perfect for your holiday dessert menu and the best Christmas cookies!
Admittedly, fruitcake isn’t always at the top of everyone’s holiday baking list. And honestly, I think the stuff gets a bad rap. Is there bad fruitcake out there? You bet there is. But, there’s some great fruitcake out there, too.
Despite all of the fruitcake hate, a recipe for fruitcake cookies is something that I get requests for pretty frequently. In fact, I get about 10 or 12 requests per week during the holiday season for these treats.
So, when I set out to create a recipe for fruitcake cookies, I knew I didn’t want to put a recipe out there that I wasn’t 100% behind. I’ve tried a handful of different recipes but was just never bowled over by any of them. That is until I made one simple change…
Nearly every fruitcake cookie recipe I found used shortening. And for good reason. Shortening has a higher melting point which means cookies spread less and bake up taller because it gives the eggs more time to set before it melts. But, the problem with shortening is that it doesn’t add any flavor. So I swapped the shortening for butter. And while the cookies might spread a little more and be a little chewier, those are things I am willing to risk to add flavor.
And add flavor it did! These adorable and fun little jokers are delicious! I can absolutely stand by this recipe and recommend it to you all! So enjoy!
How to find the right candied fruit:
One big issue I have found with making delicious fruitcake cookies is the actual fruit. A lot of the candied fruit in the grocery store is just not great. It’s been sitting on the shelf for a while and just doesn’t taste good. Finding the right candied fruit is super important.
You want to make sure you are buying candied fruit, not dried fruit. This is what you need to look for…
Some common brands you might find are Sunripe and Paradise. On several occasions, it’s been recommended that I buy the fruit from Nuts.com. They call it glazed fruit and apparently, it tastes much better. (If you’ve found some great candied fruit, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!)
Starting with better fruit is going to yield better cookies. However, I’ve added in more flavor via vanilla, almond, and lemon extracts to give these cookies a punch of flavor and sweetness that will make up for even the worst grocery store candied fruit.
What’s the best way to chop candied fruit or other sticky things when baking?
Chopping candied fruit and other sticky things, like raisins and other dried fruits, can be a real task! Here are my two best tips for making this process as easy as possible:
- Spritz your knife blade with a little nonstick cooking spray. It helps to keep the fruit from sticking to the blade.
- Sprinkle whatever you’re chopping with a little granulated sugar. The grit from the sugar allows your chopping utensil to slice sticky things finely while also keeping them separate.
If you tried this Old Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies recipe, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it turned out in the comments below.
Old Fashioned Fruitcake Cookies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup diced candied pineapple
- 1 cup diced candied red cherries
- 1 cup diced candied green cherries
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 300°F and line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
- Use a mixer to cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla extract, almond extract, and lemon extract and mix well.
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix well. Fold in the candied fruit and pecans.
- Drop the dough by heaping tablespoonsful onto the prepared cookie sheet about 3 to 4 inches apart. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until just golden brown. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for a few days or in the refrigerator for longer. Cookies can be wrapped tightly and frozen for a few months.
* If nutritional values are provided, they are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. The values do not include optional ingredients or when ingredients are added to taste. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.