Dec 12, 2013

Fabulous Fruitcake Cookies. Vegan, Grain-free and Oil-free.


Christmas Cookies: Day 4.

I don’t often label a post with the adjective “fabulous.” In fact, I don’t think I ever have. But these cookies are that and then some. They may very well be my favorite cookies of all time. And it’s not because there’s half a cup of booze in them either!

Fruitcake has gotten a bad rap over the years. I think it’s because most of it is made with these inedible, bleached and then food color-laden candied “fruits.” Ew. And then there is the texture issue. Fruitcakes can be too dense, making them more fitting as a football than a cake.

These cookies are made with organic, dried fruits and nuts, almond flour and mineral-rich sorghum molasses. And I replaced the traditional brandy with a dark rum. Of course the alcohol cooks off when baked but it adds a wonderful richness. They’re anything but heavy… they’re moist, crumbly, not too sweet and exploding with fruity, nutty flavor.

While I was experimenting with these cookies, I also adapted the recipe to an actual fruit cake. Watch for that recipe after the cookie craze!


~ the fruit mixture

½ cup of each:

  • raisins
  • chopped dried apricots
  • fruit-sweetened, dried cranberries
  • goji berries
  • fresh orange juice
  • dark rum

~ dry

  • 1½ cup all purpose gluten-free flour (I found some over at that’s great!)
  • 2 cups tightly-packed blanched almond flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp organic orange zest 
  • 1 cup chopped raw pecans
  • 1 cup chopped raw walnuts
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

~ wet

  • ¼ cup raw almond butter
  • 1 TBS ground flax + 3 TBS fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup sorghum molasses (you can use any molasses, I happen to love the smooth flavor of sorghum)
before baking


  1. Soak the fruits in ½ cup orange juice plus ½ cup rum overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  5. Mix all wet ingredients together in a small bowl or measuring cup.
  6. Add the wet ingredients and the soaked fruits (including all of the remaining soaking liquid) to the dry ingredients and mix well. The batter will be pretty stiff and a little sticky.
  7. Use a small ice cream scoop or your hands to scoop out the dough into the size of golf balls. Drop them onto the cookie sheet. 
  8. Flatten each cookie a little bit with moist fingers. Don’t make them too flat. They should be about ½-¾” tall. Reshape the edges a bit if needed.
  9. Bake for 18-20 minutes. The cookies should be a golden brown on the edges when done.
  10. Let cool and serve!

Makes 38 fabulous cookies. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,


10 responses to “Fabulous Fruitcake Cookies. Vegan, Grain-free and Oil-free.”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Recently introduced to your Blog in Dreena Burton's newsletter and love, love, love it!!! Instead of "gluten-free" flour, could I use spelt, whole wheat pastry, or brown rice flour?

    Can't wait to see what you have in store for the next 8 days of Christmas Cookies!

  2. Helyn says:

    Thank you! Yes, you could sub ww pastry or spelt for the GF flour. Enjoy!!

  3. Tracy says:

    Wow, these look delicious!!! I can't wait to make them. I just made your German Chocolate Mousse Bars and they are amazing. Thank you for posting all the wonderful recipes 🙂

  4. Helyn says:

    You're welcome, Tracy! Thanks for the feedback!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Oh my gosh. This is great. My mother loves fruitcake, and I've been trying to find a good vegan version that she'll actually eat. I think you may have just solved my problem!!!!! Thanks so much!!!

  6. Helyn says:

    You're so welcome! Enjoy!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    These were delicious! You mentioned you had an adaptation for an actual fruit cake version. Would love to try that! Will you post it soon?

  8. Helyn says:

    Thank you! Yes, I will post the fruitcake recipe soon 🙂

  9. I can't find sorghum molasses locally. Is there a source online that you recommend?

  10. Helyn says:

    Hi Kathryn,
    There are plenty of different ones available on Amazon. Here is a link to one of them:
    You could also replace with blackstrap molasses to keep it simple if you want 🙂

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