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Glazed Fruitcake Shortbread Cookies

These fruitcake shortbread cookies combine butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and flour to make one delicious cookie! The glaze on top softens up the shortbread which creates a delicious flavour and texture.


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Crisp edges with soft middles, these cookies are perfect for your cookie exchange or your holiday baking tray.

My husband and his family who love traditional English fruitcake enjoy these as a fun shortbread alternative and eat these and my mini fruitcakes in batches.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Rich and buttery flavour of the shortbread combined with the sweetness and fruity flavors of the fruit peel is so delicious
  • Use rum for a classic fruitcake flavor
  • Festive traditional addition for many holiday gatherings
  • Visually stunning addition to any holiday dessert platter
  • Make a perfect homemade gift for fruitcake lovers and sturdy enough for packaging into gift boxes for cookie exchanges

Ingredients & substitutions for fruitcake shortbread cookies

Labelled ingredients for fruitcake shortbread.

For full recipe & instructions, scroll to the bottom of the page for recipe card. Below, you will find a few notes about the ingredients:

  • Butter should be at room temperature
  • Glacé (glazed) cherries and peel. I like to use a mixture of both. You can also use just one or the other.
  • Rum is completely optional for the glaze. You can also use the same amount of milk to make the glaze.
  • All purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract
Butter, powdered sugar and vanilla in mixing bowl of stand mixer.

STEP ONE – In a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or by hand with wooden spoon, beat together butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.  

Flour is added to butter mixture in bowl from stand mixer.

STEP TWO – Gradually add in flour and stir just until combined. Over mixing the dough will alter the texture of the cookies.

Fruit is folded into the cookie batter.

STEP THREE – Fold in the fruit just until it is mixed into the dough. I like to mix the fruit in with clean hands, working the dough as little as possible.

Dough is divided in half and shaped into two squares.

STEP FOUR – Divide the dough in half and shape into two 7-inch squares. The shape doesn’t have to be perfect! The dough is easier to work with between two sheets of plastic wrap.

STEP FIVE – Wrap both squares of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 25 minutes.

STEP SIX – Preheat oven to 325°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Glazed shortbread fruitcake cookies in red baking dish.

STEP SEVEN – Remove dough from refrigerator and cut into 1 and 3/4″ wide strips.

Cut each strip into three or four pieces. I make my cookies a little on the larger size but you can certainly make them shorter. I found 2 inches to be a great length.

A pizza cutter makes slicing easy. Otherwise, you will need a sharp knife.

Place on prepared baking sheets.

STEP EIGHT – Bake in 325°F oven for 23 to 25 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire cooling racks.

Fruitcake shortbread stacked on red plate.

TIP: Place parchment paper under cooling racks to catch the drizzle from the glaze.

STEP NINE – MAKE THE GLAZE: whisk together powdered sugar and milk (or rum). You may need to add either a little more milk or rum & powdered sugar to achieve a consistency that can be brushed onto the cookies.

STEP TEN – Brush glaze over top of cookies. The glaze should set up quickly and you will be able to stack the cookies within an hour.

Stacked cookies on red plate.

Variations for glazed fruitcake cookies

  • You can use a cookie cutter to cut out into shapes, gently press the remaining dough back together and press into a square and cut for more shapes
  • For an even more classic fruitcake flavor, consider adding a teaspoon or two of brandy or dark rum extract to the dough, glaze or soak the fruits
  • Add the zest of citrus fruits like orange or lemon for a bright and zesty twist
  • Use crushed fruitcake cut up into small pieces in the cookie dough for an authentic fruitcake twist in the cookie.

Top tips for making the best English fruitcake shortbread glazed cookies

  • The flavors meld together after they sit for a day or two making them taste even better!
  • Place parchment paper under the cooling racks to catch any drizzle while glazing
  • Line the baking trays with parchment paper to prevent the bottom of the cookies from browning too much
  • Be sure to chill the dough for 25 minutes
  • Using a pizza cutter makes it easier to cut.

Storage and freezing instructions for fruitcake shortbreads

Use parchment paper to line between any layers in an airtight container for up to 3 – 5 days or in the fridge for 7 – 10 days.

Freeze using a freezer-safe container layered between parchment paper for up to 3 months.

Thaw completely in the fridge overnight before serving.

More Christmas recipes to try

  • Miniature Christmas fruitcakes
  • Cranberry and pistachio shortbreads
  • Empire cookies
  • Maraschino cherry thumbprint cookies
  • Cherry shortbread cookies
  • Cranberry magic bars
Print
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Fruitcake shortbread on a red plate.

Glazed Fruitcake Shortbread Cookies


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5 from 3 reviews

Description

These fruitcake shortbread cookies combine butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and flour to make one delicious cookie! 


Ingredients

1 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup glazed fruits and glazed cherries, mixed

1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons rum or milk


Instructions

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or by hand with wooden spoon, beat together butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.  
  2. Gradually add in flour and stir just until combined. Over mixing the dough will alter the texture of the cookies. 
  3. Fold in the fruit just until it is mixed into the dough. I like to mix the fruit in with clean hands, working the dough as little as possible. 
  4. Divide the dough in half and shape into two 7-inch squares. The shape doesn’t have to be perfect! The dough is easier to work with between two sheets of plastic wrap.
  5. Wrap both squares of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 25 minutes.

  6. Preheat oven to 325°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

  7. Remove dough from refrigerator and cut into 1 and 3/4″ wide strips. 

    Cut each strip into three or four pieces. I make my cookies a little on the larger size but you can certainly make them shorter. I found 2 inches to be a great length. 

    A pizza cutter makes slicing easy. Otherwise, you will need a sharp knife. 

  8. Bake in 325°F oven for 23 to 25 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire cooling racks.
  9. MAKE THE GLAZE:  whisk together powdered sugar and milk (or rum). You may need to add either a little more milk or rum & powdered sugar to achieve a consistency that can be brushed onto the cookies.
  10. Brush glaze over top of cookies. The glaze should set up quickly and you will be able to stack the cookies within an hour. 

10 Comments

  1. I made these last Christmas and they ended up being my favorite Christmas cookie. I have been through this page countless times and now cannot find the recipe. Could you please give me the ingredient amounts? Thank you.

    1. I had a small glitch when I moved this post from one website back to this one. All fixed now. Jump to recipe button at the top of the page and you can print too! Thanks!

  2. I’m looking forward to making these cookies! But a quick question: Step 1 says to mix in the powdered sugar. And Step 9 also says to mix in the powdered sugar. The ingredients list has 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar. How much is used in Step 1 and how much is used in Step 9?

    Thanks!

  3. These were gobbled up by everyone! i used half the amount of fruit (finelyi chopped) and added a 1//2 tsp lemon juice to the rum/sugar glaze! Everyone wanted the recipe!!






  4. Loved the taste and appearance of these cookies. My husband liked them better without the glaze and ate 3/4 of the batch in one day. He keeps asking when I will make him more of these cookies as these are the best that I have ever made.






      1. I made these and loved them, but now I don’t remember if the powdered sugar was 1 cup for the shortbread, and ½ cup for the glaze, or what?
        Please help 😂






  5. Is the cup-and-a-half of powdered sugar supposed to be divided between the dough and the glaze, or does it all go into the dough? I want to try these but wasn’t sure about the sugar.

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