Gluten Free Fruitcake Cookies Recipe

The fact that this recipe even exists… it’s sort of a miracle.

You see, I’m one of those people that hate fruitcake. It’s not that I buy into mass “ew!” hysteria (I love broccoli and Brussels sprouts, for instance!), it’s that I find glaceed / candied fruit to be one of the nastiest things on the planet. I mean, right up there with Velveeta. Gross.

Then, there is the “gluten free” issue.

As I mentioned in my recipe for an Easy way to make French Macarons, I am NOT a fan of anything that uses fake flours to make a regular recipe into a gluten free recipe. I’m a major “Gluten Free” Snob, and pretty much stick to treats that are inherently gluten free, such as coconut macaroons, Pavlova, and French Macarons.

I’ve just always found anything made with the fake flours to be nasty, both in taste and texture.

You may be asking yourself, right about now, WHY I created this recipe. Well, I’ll tell you – painkillers!

gluten free fruitcake cookies recipe

I really hate taking painkillers, as they make me feel really gross. I have to be in really rough shape to even consider it – and making tamales this weekend really beat me up. When I couldn’t move my arm/shoulder without screaming pain for a few hours, I finally caved in.

45 minutes later, I was sorta woozy and craving fruitcake. Yes, I know – I *HATE* the stuff.

So, I did what one would expect an ADD, creative baker with gluten allergies to do when high as a kite – I designed a gluten free recipe, and demanded nicely asked my husband to drive me shopping for the ingredients I would require.

I chopped the fruit and soaked them in booze overnight, looking forward to baking them the next day.

OH. WOW. These are amazing! I mean, amazing-amazing, not “amazing – for a gluten free cookie”. The substitution of dried fruits for glaceed, the Southern Comfort… it just created this vivid palette of flavor, which *completely* hid any gluten-free nastiness! With so much texture from the fruit and nuts, the cookies COMPLETELY lack any of the weird texture issues I have with normal gluten free cookies.

These were so fabulous, my not-stuck-in-gluten-free-hell husband LOVES them. A few days later, and I’m already putting on a second batch! So good!

We used a mix of raisins, cranberries, cherries, apricots, and pineapple, but you can use a combination of whatever dried fruit you love. Oh, and don’t worry about buying too much – not only will you want to put on another batch once you try these… but I’ll be posting a recipe for gluten free fruitcake tomorrow!

For a HUGE variety of dried fruits, there’s no beating Nuts Online. Apples, blackberries, cantaloupe – so much variety! Just go for the more natural, chewy type dried fruit. Banana chips, freeze dried, etc – they won’t work as well.

gluten free fruitcake cookies

Gluten Free Fruit Cake Cookies Recipe
(This makes about 20-24 LARGE cookies… probably a good idea to double the recipe!)

1 lb (About 3 cups) mixed dried fruit*
1 cup Southern Comfort **
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 cup gluten free all-purpose “flour”
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 lb. pecans, chopped

A day or two before baking the cookies, chop dried fruits into pieces, mix in Southern Comfort, and cover.

Preheat oven to 325F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, or coat well with baking spray. Strain dried fruit mixture, leaving it in your sieve to drain while you prepare the rest of the cookie batter.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and zests, continue beating until eggs are fully incorporated and mixture is once again smooth and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add most of it (reserve about 1/4 cup) to the butter & sugar mixture, beat gently until well combined.

Add strained fruit to the reserved flour mixture, toss well to coat the pieces (to separate them a bit). Add coated fruit and pecans to the cookie batter, mix well.

Use a tablespoon, cookie scoop, or small ice cream scoop to drop rounded spoonfuls of the batter onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool on sheets for 5 minutes or so, before gently transferring to baking racks to finish cooling.

Once cookies are cool, keep them stored in airtight containers. Much like actual fruitcake, these tend to get even better with age!

* Although I’ve been a happy repeat customer for years, I am required by FTC law to disclose: Nuts Online actually gifted me a few ingredients for the development of some recipes several months ago. I would never in a million years recommend a company that I wasn’t thrilled with. It was my history as a BIG FAN of theirs, that prompted me to work with them in this manner in the first place. I receive no compensation for this endorsement – I just love em!

** If you’re not a fan of Southern Comfort, use Jack Daniels, Rum, or Brandy. Also, add a pinch each of cloves and nutmeg – it’ll work fabulously with these other spirits.

gluten free fruitcake cookies

Entering this recipe in the Food Bloggers of Canada “Christmas in July” Cookie Contest!

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Author:Marie Porter

Marie is an award winning cake artist based in Minnesota's Twin Cities. Known as much for her delicious and diverse flavor menu as for her sugar artistry, Marie's work has graced magazines and blogs around the world. Having baked and designed for brides, celebrities, and even Klingons, Marie was proud to share her wealth of baking knowledge in her two cookbooks: "The Spirited Baker" and “Evil Cake Overlord”. Marie has also authored a book about her experiences surrounding the 2011 Minneapolis tornado: "Twisted: A Minneapolis Tornado Memoir"

2 Responses to “Gluten Free Fruitcake Cookies Recipe”

  1. Teresa
    October 30, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    Does the alcohol cook out? Hubbie is in recovery so I thought about soaking them in Vanilla extract maybe. I know that has alcohol in it as well but I do not purchase any alcohol. Ideas?

    • October 31, 2013 at 9:43 am #

      No, it doesn’t really cook out. I wouldn’t recommend soaking in vanilla, as that would be WAY too strong a flavour.

      Instead, I’d pick a mild fruit juice or non alcoholic sparkling wine and simmer the dried fruit in it just until the fruit softens up and soaks up most of the liquid.

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