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Fruitcake Christmas Cookies

As holiday gifts, these rich fruit-and nut-filled cookies are pretty and practical. These are great make ahead Christmas cookies —the taste actually gets better over time! —Julia Funkhouser, Carson, Iowa
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 15 min./batch
  • Makes
    about 3-1/2 dozen


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups dates, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces red candied cherries, halved
  • 4 ounces candied pineapple, diced
  • 1/2 cup whole hazelnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts


  • Preheat oven to 325°. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  • Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Store in an airtight container. (Cookies are best after a few days.)
Editor’s Note: To toast whole hazelnuts, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven until fragrant and lightly browned, 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. To remove skins, wrap hazelnuts in a tea towel; rub with towel to loosen skins.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 265 calories, 15g fat (6g saturated fat), 33mg cholesterol, 168mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate (23g sugars, 2g fiber), 3g protein.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

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  • tbrasher
    Dec 22, 2019

    There were so many recipes, but decided on this one. I added 3 big Tablespoons of buttermilk to the creamed butter and sugar, before adding my flour and fruit. This was my first time making the cookies and they were so delicious!!

  • tinarm
    Jan 1, 2019

    Agree, with adding fruit cake pre-mix..l used instead of the nuts. Great recipe!

  • JulieGr
    Dec 24, 2018

    I used a pre-mix of candied fruit (orange peel, lemon peel, pinapple, red and green cherries), very tasty cookies. I used Trucia Brown Sugar blend, (half of the 3/4 c). I will make these again, for sure.

  • Melissa
    Dec 20, 2017

    Undoubtedly the BEST fruitcake cookie! Even my picky daughter, who hates candied fruit, loves these cookies!

  • nicolastone
    Dec 26, 2015

    These were soooo yummy...the only difference is I used the ultimate fruitcake fruit mix...I won second place in a cookie contest at work...only missing it by one vote..(it was biased lol )...I had to make them three times this holiday season...once for for Christmas cookie exchange...and again for Christmas..they are actually better if you make them a few days ahead of time and store them in a tight container..its like the juice from the candied fruit sinks in and gives it an incredible taste...definitely a keeper

  • sonicbill11
    Dec 22, 2015

    Hazelnuts are also called Filberts. I've seen both names in the supermarket. These cookies are absolutely delicious. I make them every year during Christmas.

  • cantremember
    Dec 19, 2015

    I used fresh dates which were hard to cut up and made a gooey mess in the dough. wished they had more candied pineapple but tasted good. should I used a different kind of dates? also only used walnuts and pecans. think hazel nuts have another name so couldn't find them.

  • christine8520
    Dec 19, 2015

    I used 7 oz of dried fruit (apples, plums, apricots) and diced it in small pieces in place of candied fruit. I also only used peacans that my daughter curshed in a sandwich bag. My daugher doesn't eat fruit cake of any kind, but ate these cookies. There is only a dozen left. A definate add to my recipe list.

  • Daisy714
    Dec 8, 2013

    This recipe is a keeper! I didn't have candied pineapple or hazelnuts and they were delicious! Will try this again using all of the ingredients. I got 4 1/2 dozen from this recipe.

  • jacqnjill
    Apr 8, 2012