Fruitcake Cookies Recipe

| December 15, 2019 | 18 Comments

Taste of Southern Fruitcake Cookies

Follow our easy, step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions to learn how to make our Fruitcake Cookies. You only need one mixing bowl. Printable recipe included.


Fruitcake Cookies, enjoy!
Santa loves a good cookie you know. Be sure to share a few with him when he visits.


Fruitcake Cookies, slider.

We’re just a few days away from Christmas at this point. Are you ready for it? I certainly hope so, and I hope that you have the opportunity to enjoy the holiday with all your family and friends.

Whether you have them coming to your house, or you plan to travel to theirs, here’s a great and simple cookie to help keep those smiles on their faces. Even if you claim you don’t like fruitcake, everyone loves a good cookie. Right?

I wanted to keep these as simple and easy as possible. So, you’re only going to need one bowl to mix everything in, and we’re going to mix it all up by hand, so you don’t even have to dirty up the beaters on your mixer. How cool is that?

Our fruitcake cookies are not overly sweet, which can be great after you’ve been filling up on chocolate for the past several days. They are soft in the middle, with a bit of a crispy-crunchy bottom edge that makes them that much better.

I made two batches, one with large cookies, and one with smaller cookies. Personally, I liked the larger cookies better, but that was just me. The big one’s would be great for a Christmas Bake Sale, while the smaller one’s would be perfect to pack into a tin to give as a homemade gift.

I love the vanilla flavor in these, and the pecans and candied fruit just all say C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S.

Let me know in the Comment section at the end of the recipe if you decide to try them. And, while we are at it, let me just wish you and yours a very MERRY CHRISTMAS. Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season. Smile.

Ready to give our Fruitcake Cookies a try? Alright then, let’s head on out to the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Cooking!


Fruitcake Cookies, ingredients.
Taste of Southern Fruitcake Cookies – You’ll need these ingredients.

Butter and eggs should be at room temperature before you start mixing everything together.


Fruitcake Cookies, add flour and sugars.
You’ll need a large mixing bowl to make your dough. Start by adding the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar and the light brown sugar to the bowl.


Fruitcake Cookies, add baking soda.
Add the baking soda.


Fruitcake Cookies, add the salt.
Add the salt.


Fruitcake Cookies, whisk dry ingredients together.
Whisk all the dry ingredients together. Watch for lumps, they’re probably lumps of brown sugar. Break them up as needed.


Fruitcake Cookies, add pecan pieces.
Add the chopped pecan pieces.


Fruitcake Cookies, add the fruitcake mix.
Add the fruitcake mix. This is usually available in grocery stores around the holidays. It’s the glazed fruit pieces but finely chopped. I added one cup, but the batter would easily hold two cups if you wanted more. Smile.


Fruitcake Cookies, toss to coat.
Grab a wooden spoon and toss everything together to fully coat the pecan pieces and the fruitcake mix.


Fruitcake Cookies, add the butter.
Add the two sticks of butter.


Fruitcake Cookies, mix by hand.
Mix the butter into the flour mixture. I put on a latex glove for this part and mixed it all together by hand. Just squish and mash it between your fingers until the butter has been fully worked into the dough.


Fruitcake Cookies, add the eggs.
Add the lightly beaten eggs to the dough.


Fruitcake Cookies, add vanilla.
Then, add the vanilla flavoring.


Fruitcake Cookies, mix again.
Again, I used a latex glove and mixed the eggs and flavoring in by hand. It’s easier to just use your hands than to try and mix it with a spoon. The dough is pretty thick at this point.


Fruitcake Cookies, cover and refrigerate.
Tear off a piece of plastic wrap and place it right down on top of the dough in the bowl. Press the wrap against the sides of the bowl to seal it in. And, don’t be like me, scrape down the bowl and be sure you have all the dough mixed in together. I’m not sure why I missed that part. Smile.


Fruitcake Cookies, refrigerate.
Place the covered dough in your refrigerator and let it chill for at least 30 minutes.


Fruitcake Cookies, scoop the dough.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat like I’m using here. Scoop the dough out onto the baking sheet being sure you space them a couple of inches apart. I’m using a regular ice cream scoop for my first batch. It’s about a 2 inch scoop and makes a cookie that is about 4 inches in diameter. The dough will spread a lot once it gets in the oven, so leave as much space as you can.


Fruitcake Cookies, decorate.
I pressed a candied cherry into the tops of each cookie. This part is optional, but it makes it pretty.


Fruitcake Cookies, baking time and temp.
Place the cookies in an oven that has been pre-heated to 350F degrees. I had mine on the middle rack in the oven. Let them bake from 8 to 10 minutes or until you see the bottom edges of the cookies beginning to brown. The top of the cookie should also be dry and lightly browned. Ovens vary, so keep a close eye on them and don’t let them burn.


Fruitcake Cookies, cool for ten minutes.
When they are done, remove the pan from the oven and place on a folded towel to cool. Let the cookies cool for about 10 minutes before you try to remove them from the pan. They need time to cool and firm up so you can handle them easily without fear of them breaking.

I made 12 of the larger cookies in the first batch.


Fruitcake Cookies, smaller batch.
I switched to a one inch scoop and made the second batch of cookies. As you can see, they spread out a good bit and the sides ended up touching. I should have only baked 15 at a time, but I was trying to get all of them in on the second batch.

The smaller scoop made 20 cookies.


Fruitcake Cookies, enjoy Santa.

I thought the larger cookies were much better than the smaller ones. They were more chewy in the centers but still had a slightly crunchy bottom. Larger cookies would be good for a bake sale while the smaller one’s would be better suited for packing in a tin for gift giving. Try both ways and let me know which way you liked them best.

And, be sure to leave a few out for Santa on Christmas Eve. He loves a good fruitcake cookie you know. Smile.



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Fruitcake Cookies Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 24-48 cookies 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American, Southern


One bowl Fruitcake cookies are easy to make and would be great for your Christmas bake sale or for giving as homemade gifts. These are mixed by hand so it doesn’t get much easier and simpler.



21/2 cups All Purpose Flour
3/4 cups Granulated Sugar
3/4 cups Light Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Pecan pieces
1 cup Fruitcake Mix, chopped fine
2 sticks Butter, at room temperature (1cup)
2 Medium Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Flavoring
Candied cherries for decorating, if desired.


Place flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Add baking soda.
Add salt.
Whisk the dry ingredients together.
Add the pecan pieces.
Add the fruitcake mix candied fruits.
Toss with a large wooden spoon to fully coat the fruit and pecan pieces.
Add the butter.
Using a gloved hand, mix everything together to fully incorporate the butter.
Add the eggs.
Add the vanilla flavoring.
Using a gloved hand again, mix well to incorporate the eggs.
Cover the dough with clear plastic wrap.
Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or use a silpat.
Scoop the dough out onto the baking sheet, leaving a couple of inches space between each one.
Bake at 350F degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until bottom edges are lightly browned.
Tops should be dry looking and lightly browned as well.
Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.


A 2 inch scoop will make about 24 large cookies. A smaller one inch scoop will make about 48 cookies. These are perfect for Christmas bake sales or to give as homemade gifts.

Keywords: fruitcake, cookies, easy, one bowl cookies, Christmas, bake sale cookies

Your Comments:

Have you tried our Taste of Southern Fruitcake Cookies Recipe?  How did you like it?

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Be Blessed!!!


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Category: Desserts

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (18)

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  1. Pat Miller says:

    My mom and I love fruitcake, but no one else in the family does. This recipe is just what I need for the two of us!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Pat, How can anyone not like fruitcake. Am I right? I hope you enjoy the cookies. Thank you for trying them. Merry Christmas to you and yours. I appreciate your visits and I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  2. Dorothy Berry says:

    Oh dear, I’m afraid I made a blooper! The fruitcake mix I’ve always known is a mixture of raisins, sultanas, currants and mixed peel. I have always hated mixed (candied) peel and so I used a third of a cup each of seedless raisins, sultanas and currants soaked in orange juice. As I only get your newsletter in the very late afternoon it was getting quite late by the time the dough was ready, so I refrigerated it overnight (too scared I’d fall asleep while the oven was on!)and finished the job this morning. They look and smell very nice but when I came to check the picture on my computer I realised yours had red and green bits in them – so I googled fruitcake mix and discovered that yours is very different! Well, these will, as intended, be taken to the next dog show as part of our shared snacks and I hope they go down well! In the meantime, I intend to make more in the way that you intended – we buy our glacé cherries in jars, but also I can get some of the other ingredients in small packets called “padkos”; pad = road and kos = food, thus they are intended as snacks on a long journey. I can get pineapple (natural coloured), also dried mango, peach, apricot, apple, pear. I can also get coconut chips, dried banana slices and candied ginger which might make a nice variation on individual batches. What do you think? Now I think I must even make a fruitcake using the American ingredients (minus the peel, of course!) Our fruitcakes are always of the heavy kind using the dried fruit and are most popular for weddings, birthdays and Christmas, always coated in marzipan and icing. Using the American mix sounds as though it would be lighter.

    Well, before I wind up, I must wish you and all your Christian readers a very Happy Christmas and all of the best for the coming New Year. I look forward to many more traditional recipes.

    As always, kind regards

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Dorothy, I had to laugh when you said you were going to take your cookies to the next DOG show. But, I think you meant you were going to share them with your friends and not with the dogs. Smile. I always enjoy how different things are for you in South Africa as opposed to here where I live. I learn new stuff from you all the time. Thank you for sharing your comments. I used the very small diced fruits that I can purchase here. Next time, I think I’d use the larger glazed fruits and chop them up just a bit. The small one’s were good, but some of the pieces were a bit hard from the baking. Larger pieces might not do that. Still, I enjoyed them ALL. Smile. Thank you for your visits. I do wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas as well. Thank you for your friendship and your visits over the years. The door is always open for you so feel free to stop by any old time. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Dorothy Berry says:

        Hi again Steve
        Wonder whether with the smaller pieces being hard after being baked would be obviated by soaking them first in fruit juice? I can remember Mama soaking things but can’t remember the details. And yes, at the shows we share with our fellow exhibitors but I have to say that often the dogs get little pieces – and they always seem to go down well (big laugh), the Dalmatians will eat anything anyway and the Cavaliers just pretend to be fussy! And now, just to come back to Christmas, we are not particularly fond of turkey (don’t find it all that flavoursome) and grew up with chicken which are so small nowadays they won’t serve a family; one Christmas an Austrian friend served goose – and WOW. Did you ever have that in the South? If so, would you publish a recipe please?
        Kind regards, Dorothy

        • Steve Gordon says:

          Hi Dorothy. I’ve never prepared a goose. I think I’ve only tried it once and that was at a Chinese Restaurant, so only a bite or two. Smile. I’m sorry I can’t help you there. I don’t know about soaking the pieces of glazed fruit. The pieces were very small and I think it might have been the pineapple pieces that turned out hard from baking. I’m in hopes I might get to try some again with the larger fruit just to test the difference. I hope Christmas was great for you and yours. Thank you again for all of your visits. I hope you’ll continue to do so. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  3. Martha in Tennessee says:

    I so appreciate this recipe! I plan on making the cookies this weekend and will probably use the two cups of fruit as you said could be use. I know they will be so delicious. Wishing you and your family a blessed Christmas season and a Happy New Year.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Martha in Tennessee. I hope you get to try the cookies and I look forward to hearing how they turn out for you. I also wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas as well. I appreciate your visit and do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  4. These are fabulous!! I guess I’m maybe one in a million that still loves fruitcake. Thank you for the wonderful newsletters you send our way every week, I so do enjoy reading them and trying all the recipes. You make us all feel like a part of your family. God bless you and yours this holiday season and do have a “Very Merry Christmas”

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Susan, It’s great folks like you that make the Newsletters and the recipes all worth it. Thank you for being a subscriber and for all of your support. It will always be appreciated. I’m most grateful. I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas as well. The door is always open for you, feel free to stop by any time. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  5. Lori Dom says:

    Sounds delicious, I am going to try them this weekend. Glad I read this before I went to the store. Your recipes also sound so good. Wishing you and yours the most Blessed, Merry Christmas ever. God bless and prayers.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Lori, Merry Christmas to you and yours. I do hope you’ll get to try the cookies. Please let me know what you think about them if you do. I’m always interested in the Comments. Thank you for your visits and your support of our recipes and Newsletter. I do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  6. Larry Earles says:

    Not a large fruitcake fan. There is a cake called Texas Pecan Fruitcake my mother—in-law makes that I love, even though it has candied fruit in it. Look forward to it every year at Christmas. Don’t really know what sets it apart from other fruit cakes. It’s just different is all I can say. Love your site Steve. Have used many recipes here of my intrest and never disappointed yet. Merry Christmas to you, Larry

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Larry, Merry Christmas to you and yours as well. I bet that’s a really good cake. Just sounds good. Thank you for sharing your comments. I do appreciate your visits and your support of our recipes and our Newsletter. I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  7. Joyceb says:

    Merry Christmas Steve!!!

    I received a very similar recipe years ago from a co- worker. They called them Russian Rocks. Since that time my Christmas baking is never complete without thes delicious and beautiful cookies. Thanks for sharing. Sending best wishes to you and yours for a lovely holiday.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Joyce, Merry Christmas to you and yours as well. I’d never heard of Russian Rocks. What a name for a cookie. Smile. Thank you for your support of our recipes and the Newsletter. I hope you have a great Christmas. Enjoy those “Rocks.” I do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  8. Karen Miller says:

    I love fruitcake. My mom always made the best fruitcake. She would start in October and baste it with orange juice or brandy. She always gave it as gifts to family and friends. I wish I still had her recipe. I’ve made fruitcake several times. My favorite is the one that uses dried fruits instead of candied fruits.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Karen, I don’t understand why so many folks don’t like fruitcake. Smile. I’ve never had one with dried fruit. It sounds like it would be good though. The Icebox Fruitcake is about the only one I try to make each year, but I like the Japanese Fruitcake too. Thank you for sharing your comments. I do hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas. Thank you for all of your support of our Newsletter and our recipes. I will always be grateful. Be sure to stop by for another visit… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

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