Nutty Fruitcake Cookies

Fruitcake Cookies
Diana Rattray
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 48 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
82 Calories
4g Fat
11g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 48
Amount per serving
Calories 82
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 55mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 1g
Calcium 11mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A holiday staple, fruitcake is a classic treat that appears in traditional Christmas spreads and is gifted (and regifted) throughout the season. Dense, moist, and really flavorful, fruitcake has as many lovers as detractors, but our recipe for fruitcake cookies will convert the non-believers. Wine-free, the cookies are kid-friendly and a great snack or coffee time accompaniment. Make them with your family and box them in wax paper in colorful tins to make gifts no one would want to regift!

Filled with pecans, candied fruits, and dates, these cookies can take on any add-ons you'd like, from red and green cherries or dates to chopped dried apricots, tart cherries, and/or currants.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (sifted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup pecans (chopped)
  • 1 cup cherries (candied)
  • 1 cup dates (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup mixed candied fruits and peels

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

  3. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats, or grease them lightly with cooking spray or margarine.

  4. Put about 1 tablespoon of flour in a bowl and toss in the dried fruit and pecans.

  5. Place the sugar and shortening in a mixing bowl and with the help of an electric mixer, cream them together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well blended. 

  6. In a large bowl, combine the flour with the salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk until a moist dough has formed.

  7. Add the floured fruit and pecans into the batter and fold until well combined.

  8. Drop the batter onto the prepared baking sheets using a tablespoon or small cookie scoop. Leave about 1 1/2 inches of space between cookies.

  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 12 minutes or until the bottoms are browned. The cooking time will depend on the size of the cookies. 

  10. Let cool on a rack and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

  11. Enjoy!

Other Fruity and Nutty Cookie Combinations

Here are a few suggestions to spice up your batter:

  • Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon each of allspice and nutmeg to the batter.
  • For darker cookies, use all or part brown sugar, or remove 2 tablespoons of sugar and add 1 tablespoon of molasses. Use nuts and cranberries and 2 tablespoons of dark unsweetened chocolate chips.
  • Make a fruity cookie by skipping the nuts and adding instead cranberries, raisins, dates, and apricots.
  • Make an allergy-friendly cookie by skipping all the nuts and using sunflower seeds for crunch.
  • For people with dairy intolerance, use cream of coconut instead of buttermilk.