bourbon fruitcake cookies on table decorated for Christmas

Bourbon Fruitcake Cookies

Cookies, Brownies, Bars, Southern Desserts

This isn’t your grandma’s fruitcake. These bourbon fruitcake cookies are crunchy and delicious, and have a festive look for Christmas.


Fruitcake gets a bad rap.

That weird guy down the street? He’s a fruitcake.

And what’s that joke about the best place to store a fruitcake? Oh yeah, in the trash?

Possibly the most mocked Christmas dessert, the traditional fruitcake is somehow both extremely common and hugely unpopular all at the same time.

Fruitcake: It CAN Be Great

There’s a lot of theorizing on why people hate fruitcake. This guy thinks the cherries are gross. But I think the cherry taste is the best part, complementing the bourbon and pecan flavors nicely.

The main problem though, is that folks receive the gift of a pre-packaged, mass-produced, awful fruitcake. If you’ve ventured to actually taste one of these, you know what I’m talking about. Those will turn anyone into a fruitcake hater.

But if you’ve had a freshly baked fruitcake, you know the other side of this – they can be amazing.

fruitcake meme

Fruitcake Cookies

Today we’ll avoid controversy and settle on a happy medium. We won’t make a traditional fruit CAKE.

We’ll make crunchy yet chewy, yummy and festive, fruitcake cookies!

These little munchies will delight even the staunchest anti-fruitcakers.

bourbon fruitcake cookies on a white plate from above

Our bourbon fruitcake cookie recipe makes about 8 dozen cookies, so scale down (or up!) as needed.

Making the Bourbon Fruitcake Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 pound candied cherries, quartered (red and green)
  • 1 pound candied pineapple, cut into small pieces
  • 8 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1 ½ cup flour, divided
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Place the candied fruit and chopped pecans in a very large mixing bowl. Coat with ½ cup of the flour.
  4. In a separate bowl, use a hand mixer or electric mixer to cream the softened unsalted butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt together, until fluffy. Add the eggs, remaining flour, and bourbon to the creamed mixture. Continue mixing until well blended.
  5. Pour the batter over the pecan and candied fruit mixture. Stir together until all fruits and pecans are well coated with batter.
  6. Use a small cookie scoop or spoon to drop the cookie dough onto the cookie sheet. (It’s best to make small, bite-size cookies. This will give each cookie a crunchy texture.)
  7. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes. 

Additions and Substitutions

This recipe is versatile, and other fruits and nuts can be used if you don’t care for cherry, pineapple, and pecan, or if you just want to add more flavor.

  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Dried cranberries
  • Dried cherries and dried pineapple (instead of candied)
  • Raisins (the golden raisin works well)
  • Dried apricots, diced small
  • Your favorite dried fruit
  • Walnuts

Rum or brandy can be used instead of bourbon, although I think the bourbon flavor is best.

Brown sugar can fully or partially replace the white sugar.

And if you like a spicy cookie, add nutmeg, cinnamon, and/or some ground clove to the flour coating per your taste preferences.

We hope you’ll enjoy our Bourbon Fruitcake Cookies recipe!

bourbon fruitcake cookies on table decorated for Christmas

Bourbon Fruitcake Cookies

This isn't your grandma's fruitcake. These bourbon fruitcake cookies are crunchy and delicious, and have a festive look for Christmas. Cherries, pecans, and bourbon give these cookies an incredible flavor.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 48
Calories 249 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb candied cherries quartered – red and green
  • 1 lb candied pineapple cut into small pieces
  • 8 cups pecans coarsely chopped
  • 1.5 cups flour divided
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter softened
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Place the candied fruit and pecans in a very large mixing bowl. Coat with ½ cup of the flour.
  • In a separate bowl, cream the softened unsalted butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt together, until fluffy. Add the eggs, flour, and bourbon. Mix until well blended.
  • Pour the batter over the candied fruit and pecan mixture. Stir together until all fruits and pecans are well coated with batter.
  • Use a small cookie scoop or spoon to drop the cookie dough onto the cookie sheet. (It's best to make small, bite-size cookies. This will give each cookie a crunchy texture.)
  • Bake the cookies for 15 minutes.

Notes

Makes about 8 dozen small cookies.

Nutrition

Calories: 249kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 3gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 31mgPotassium: 81mgFiber: 2gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 152IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg
Keyword christmas
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