Recipe summary

Hands-on time:
20 mins. to 30 mins.
Baking time:
20 mins. to 23 mins.
Total time:
40 mins. to 53 mins.
5 1/2 dozen cookies
Didn't feel like making fruitcake this year, did you? Or maybe you forgot to start it on time, and it's just not the same if you don't let it rest for weeks and weeks, brushing it with brandy every few days or so? Or maybe your best friend has just now revealed, for the very first time, her obsession with fruitcake?

Whatever, if you now find yourself in the position of wishing you'd made fruitcake, here's an easy out: fruitcake cookies, moist little nuggets of fruit bound with the merest bit of spice-scented batter and baked to chewy perfection.
Volume Ounces Grams

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup bourbon, rum, brandy, or apple juice
  • 1/4 cup boiled cider, apple juice concentrate, or cherry concentrate
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
  • 1 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 9 cups chopped dried fruit
  • *Use your favorite combination of dried and/or candied fruits. We like to use 1/2 to 3/4 pound candied cherries, snipped into pieces; and for the remainder, our Favorite Fruit Blend.


  1. 1) Preheat the oven to 325F. Lightly grease (or better yet, line with parchment) a couple of baking sheets.
  2. 2) In a large bowl, mix together the butter, sugar, salt, and baking powder till smooth.
  3. 3) Add the eggs, and beat till smooth and creamy.
  4. 4) Add the liquor and boiled cider/juice/concentrate and mix, scraping the sides of the bowl. The batter will appear curdled; that's OK.
  5. 5) Add the spices; the espresso powder and the flour. Mix until smooth.
  6. 6) Stir in the fruit. The batter will be heavy and sticky; this is best done in a stand mixer, or using a heavy spoon and lots of muscle power.
  7. 7) Using a tablespoon cookie scoop, or a spoon, scoop out balls of dough about the size of a ping pong ball. Space them on the baking sheets, leaving about 1" to 1 1/2" between them; they won't spread much.
  8. 8) Bake the cookies for 20 to 22 minutes. They'll appear fairly set, but may still be very slightly shiny/wet looking when you remove them from the oven. The bottoms will be lightly browned.
  9. 9) Let the cookies cool, then loosen them from the parchment or pan using a spatula.
  10. 10) Store at room temperature up to several weeks, in an airtight canister in layers, with parchment or waxed paper between the layers to keep the cookies from sticking to one another. For longer storage, freeze.
  11. Yield: about 5 1/2 dozen cookies.

Tips from our bakers

  • Want to make smaller cookies? Use a teaspoon cookie scoop to make 1" balls. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Yield: about 11 dozen 1 1/2" cookies.
  • This recipe is an easy one to cut in half, should you want fewer cookies.