These festive cookies are a great way to pack the flavour and texture of a Christmas fruitcake into a beautiful holiday cookie! Loaded with candied fruit and walnuts, these cookies are almost an exact replica of the most common Christmas confection of all time!
A few years ago, I published my Christmas Apricot and Walnut Fruitcake recipe and it has done quite well. In terms of popularity and views, it is one of the most viewed Christmas recipes on the blog. Not everyone has the desire to prepare a fruitcake though, so I thought why not make a cookie that has a fruitcake-like flavour, and is light and fluffy. Christmas Fruitcake Cookies are what would happen if a fruitcake and a biscuit collided.
I love how these are so easy to make and they make a larger batch. They’re great for a cookie exchange and great for freezing too. And just look at that recipe card! These cookies are full of candied fruit and nuts!
WHERE CAN I FIND CANDIED FRUIT?
The best place to find candied fruit is the Paradise Fruit Company. The company is located in Florida, but you can buy the products online. Whenever I bake with candied fruits or peels, I use Paradise product.
You can find candied cherries in grocery stores and baking supply shops, and I used to do that too. But the quality of the fruit, and especially the colour and taste, is so much better at Paradise.
MORE CHRISTMAS COOKIE RECIPES!
Did you know that I’ve been posting a 24 Cookies of Christmas series for a few years now? There are over 100 Christmas cookie recipes that you can find right here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen! To make it easier to find, I have created a page for each series. Just click on the image below and you’ll find the full series for that volume all one page!
THERE’S TOO MANY INGREDIENTS; CAN I LEAVE ANY OF THEM OUT?
Traditionally, fruitcake is packed full of what can be expensive ingredients. It’s quite the opposite of why fruitcakes became so popular in the first place, which was a cake made from common and cheap ingredients you’d find in a peasant’s pantry.
For my Christmas Fruitcake Cookies recipe, you can take a few shortcuts to cut cost. If you don’t already have cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg, and would prefer not to buy all of them, you can replace all four with apple pie spice or pumpkin spice.
You can also leave out the walnuts completely, or use something else if you already have nuts on hand. I would suggest cashews or pecans if you don’t already have walnuts.
The raisins can be optional too. You can leave them out completely, or substitute them with whatever raisins you have on hand. I used golden raisins, but you can use sultana or Thompson.
MORE CHRISTMAS CONFECTIONS!
In some cases, we want more than a cookie. That’s why I have two more Christmas-themed collections you might want to consider. The first, is my 12 Bundt Cakes of Christmas, and the second is my 12 Biscotti of Christmas. Click on the image below to see each collection all on one page with links to each recipe!
STORING, PACKAGING, AND FREEZING
These cookies will stay fresh for about 3-5 days in a covered container and in a cool place. But, if you plan to freeze these cookies, use a food-safe container that can be frozen. You’ll want to ensure a very tight fitting lid too. (I use these quite often when freezing baked goods.) I like to place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the container before pushing the lid on. This helps to create a better seal. The goal is to keep all of that cookie freshness locked in!
You can freeze these cookies for up to three months. They will come out of the freezer looking just like they did when you put them in there. Once you thaw them, they will taste just as fresh as the day you first made them. When thawing, place the cookies onto a wire cooling rack in a single layer. Wait about 20 minutes or so and they will be perfectly thawed and ready to devour!
Fruitcake. It’s just one of those things you either love or you love to hate. I used to hate it, but that was before I really gave it a chance. Now, I love it, but only if it’s served with a hot cup of tea or coffee. It’s just how I roll.
Make these cookies ahead of time and freeze them. They thaw quite well and keep their shape, and more importantly, freezing them will lock in their flavour and freshness.
And, don’t be afraid to experiment with different candied fruit or different nuts. As longs as you keep the ratios the same, you’ll end up with a delicious fruitcake cookie each and every time!
Christmas Fruitcake Cookies
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup light sour cream
- 3 tablespoons salted butter, softened
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup candied red cherries, chopped (plus 9 whole cherries, halved)
- 1/2 cup candied green cherries, chopped (plus 9 whole cherries, halved)
- 1/2 cup candied orange peel
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift and combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk together the egg, butter, and sour cream.
- Once mixed, add the dry ingredients, along with red and green cherries, orange peel, raisins, and walnuts. Stir with a spatula until the ingredients have come together.
- Portion the batter into 2 tablespoon mounds. Roll into a ball and place on the prepared baking sheet. Leave about 2 inches of space between each ball.
- Press half of a candied cherry into the center of each cookie.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cookies to rest for 3 minutes