Fruitcake Cookie Bars have all of those holiday flavors you love in an easy-to-make cookie bar! This simple recipe comes together quick and is great to include in your Christmas baking list.

Fruitcake cookie bars stacked high on a cutting board with powdered sugar sprinkled on them.

For another delicious holiday bar recipe, be sure to try these Cranberry Shortbread Bars!

Why you should make this recipe!

These cookie bars will give even fruitcake haters a reason to smile. I know that the word “fruitcake” is polarizing, but I promise this recipe will have you reconsidering your thoughts of fruitcake past.

While traditional fruitcake is a dense and often alcohol-infused cake, these fruitcake cookie bars are soft and palatable with a hint of candied fruit and Grand Mariner flavors.

This recipe is also super make-ahead friendly. As with traditional fruitcake, these bars can be made in advance. It’s a great way to get a jump start on your holiday baking.

Plus, this recipe is totally customizable. There are plenty of substitutions available and ways to customize to your tastes. And, if you love holiday desserts, be sure to check out this Cranberry Ricotta Cake or Cranberry Magic Bars. For a simple sweet treat, don’t miss these Peanut Butter Shortbread Bars!


overhead photo of ingredients needed for recipe including candied fruit, butter, Grand Marnier, and spices.

The ingredients for the recipe are simple and you probably have most on hand. They include: flour, baking powder, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, allspice, eggs, pecans, Grand Marnier, and candied fruit. Many substitutions and customizations are available. See the ingredient notes below:

  • Candied Fruit – for this recipe I used a 1 pound store-bought container of Paradise Fruitcake Mix containing candied cherries, pineapple, citron, lemon peel and orange peel. However, you can use whatever combination of candied fruits you like. You will need a pound of candied fruit total.
  • Grand Marnier – soaking the fruit and nuts in liqueur is a necessary step when making fruitcake. Traditionally, the candied fruit is soaked in rum, brandy, or whisky. I like the subtle orange flavor of Grand Marnier, but you can use whatever liqueur you like.
  • Pecans – diced pecans give this recipe a festive feel. Walnuts, almonds, or any combination of nuts are suitable substitutes in this recipe.

Read on to see how simple it is to make this festive holiday recipe!

Gone are the days of having to prepare fruitcake a month in advance! This recipe comes together fast and is ready to eat in an hour.

process shots 1 to 4 showing how to prepare the recipe.

To start, combine the candied fruit, diced pecans, and Grand Marnier together in a microwave safe bowl (step 1). Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 2 minutes (step 2). Let sit for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

For the dry ingredients, in a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice and salt (steps 3 and 4). Set aside while you prepare the rest of the batter.

process shots 5 to 8 showing how to make the recipe.

Then, in a large bowl, use a handheld mixer to beat together the brown sugar and eggs, about 2 minutes. Add in the melted butter and mix to combine (step 5). Pour in the flour mixture and mix until batter is fully combined (step 6).

Lastly, fold in the fruit and nut mixture and use a rubber spatula to combine (step 7). Pour the batter into a prepared baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper (step 8).

Bake your fruitcake cookie bars for about 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bars comes out clean. You will know the bars are done when they start to pull away from the edges of the pan. Let cool before slicing.

Fruitcake cookie bars sliced and stacked on each other on a piece of parchment paper.

You can serve as is or top with a sprinkle of powdered sugar for a more festive look. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or in the freezer for up to three months.

Recipe Tips and FAQs

To ensure the most delicious and moist fruitcake cookie bars, be sure to check out these tips and FAQs.

  • You can find candied fruitcake mix in the grocery store during the holiday season. You can also use your favorite mix of candied fruit such as pineapple, lemon, cherries, or oranges.
  • Be sure to line the baking pan with parchment for easy bar removal and cutting.
  • This is a great recipe to make ahead of time. Like fruitcake, it gets better as it sits. Feel free to bake up to two weeks in advance and refrigerate until ready to serve.
What kind of alcohol is used for fruitcake?

Rum, brandy, or whisky are commonly used to soak the candied fruit in fruitcake. Orange flavored liqueurs such as Grand Marnier are also a delicious option. The alcohol cooks off during baking and you are left with the essence of the flavor.

What kind of fruit is used in fruitcake?

Fruitcake is a mix of candied fruits. You can find candied fruitcake mix in the grocery store or online. Fruitcake usually consists of candied pineapple, cherries, citron, lemon peel and orange peel. You can use your favorite candied fruits for fruitcake rather than using a mix.

Fruitcake cookie bars piled on a white pedestal.

If you love simple and festive desserts, be sure to check out these other favorites:

Fruitcake cookie bars on a white pedestal covered in powdered sugar.

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or review in the comments section further down the page.

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fruitcake cookie bars on a white pedestal dusted with powdered sugar.

Fruitcake Cookie Bars

Fruitcake gets an update with these delicious and easy-to-make cookie bars. You are going to love the blondie batter and spices in this nostalgic Christmas treat.
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 185kcal
Cost: 8-9


  • 9 x 9 inch baking pan


  • 16 ounces mixed candied fruit (about 3 cups)
  • ½ cup pecans, diced
  • cup Grand Marnier
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup butter, melted


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9 x 9 inch baking pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment; set aside.
  • In a microwave safe bowl toss together the mixed fruit, pecans, and Grand Marnier. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 2 minutes, then let sit for 10-15 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, allspice, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, use a handheld mixer to cream together the brown sugar and eggs until light and fluffy; about 2 minutes. Beat in the melted butter to combine. Stir in the flour mixture until well combined. Add in the soaked fruit mixture and stir until well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bars comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Remove the bars from the pan using the parchment paper. Use a serrated knife to cut into bars.



  • You can find candied fruitcake mix in the grocery store during the holiday season. You can also use your favorite mix of candied fruit such as pineapple, lemon, cherries, or oranges.
  • If you don’t have Grand Marnier, you can use either rum, brandy, or whisky in its place. 
  • To dress up these bars, dust with powdered sugar just before serving. 
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Could also freeze for up to three months. 


Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 115mg | Potassium: 38mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 157IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Such a delicious treat for the holidays! This will be great for gift giving; excited to give this a try, indeed!

  2. 5 stars
    I love fruit cake..what a fun twist on a holiday classic! These looks so moist and delicious. I cannot wait to try this for Christmas!

  3. 5 stars
    We love fruit cake and it is such a great idea to make this bars since you can have a little portion at a time. Perfect for portion control during the holidays.