I’m not a fan of fruitcake, but these Gluten-Free Fruitcake Cookies are fabulous. The secret? Soaking dried fruit in Southern Comfort!
Note: This recipe was first posted on my original blog, Celebration Generation, on December 14, 2011. It was transferred over to this blog - existing comments and all - on Feb 25, 2021
The fact that this Gluten-Free Fruitcake Cookies 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 was NOT a fan of anything that uses fake flours to make a regular recipe into a gluten free recipe.
I’ve always been a major "Gluten Free" Snob, and - at the time I developed this recipe in 2011 - pretty much stuck to treats that are inherently gluten free, such as coconut macaroons, Pavlova, and French Macarons.
This was in the days before I really started playing with gluten-free flours, and just always found anything made with the fake flours to be nasty, both in taste and texture.
(Spoilers: I would come to realize that it was a matter of avoiding “all-purpose” mixes, and using the RIGHT flours, in the right proportions to each recipe!)
You may be asking yourself, right about now, WHY I created this recipe. Well, I'll tell you - painkillers!
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 that 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 fruitcake cookies 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, and texture.
These gluten-free fruitcake cookies are so fabulous, my not-stuck-in-gluten-free-hell husband LOVES them. A few days after creating them, I was 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’ve also posted a recipe for Gluten-Free Fruitcake!
Alcohol Free Gluten-Free Fruitcake Cookies
While I LOVE Southern Comfort in this, I know that not everyone wants to have alcohol in their cookies. Also - contrary to popular belief - it does NOT cook off while baking, btw.
To make this alcohol-free, swap apple juice, white cranberry juice, or white grape juice for the Southern Comfort.
If you’d like to speed the process along: Rather than allowing the fruit to soak in the juice overnight, you can simmer it for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool before using.
More Gluten-Free Holiday Recipes!
Looking for something festive - for the whole family? Here are some great options!
Cranberry Jello Salad
Gluten-Free Candy Cane Cookies
Gluten Free Fruitcake
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Scones
Gluten Free Maple Pumpkin Pie
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Mini Doughnuts
Gluten Free Paska [Easter Bread]
Gluten-Free Sauerkraut Buns [Pyrizhky]
Gluten Free Stuffing Recipe
Pumpkin Cheese Ball - Classier Version
Pumpkin Cheese Ball - Trashier Version
Roasted Carrots & Parsnips
Sweet Potato Souffle
Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Glaze
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Now, on to that Gluten-Free Fruitcake Cookies recipe!
Gluten-Free Fruitcake Cookies
- 1 lb About 3 cups mixed dried fruit*
- 1 cup Southern Comfort **
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- ½ cup Sorghum flour
- ¼ cup White rice flour
- ¼ cup Coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon Xanthan gum
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ 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 flours, xanthan gum, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add most of it (reserve about ¼ 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!