Santa’s Whiskers Cookies

Santa’s Whiskers Cookies are filled with festive red and green cherries and coated in coconut that toasts while they bake. These cheery Christmas Cookies are perfect for the holidays!

Santa's Whiskers Fruitcake Cookies on a plate

My mom got this recipe from a friend many years ago. She always added the pecans, so I never tried them as a kid due to my allergy. A few years ago I requested that she make some without nuts so I could try them. I had been missing out all these years!

These cookies consist of a buttery cookie base, and the chopped candied cherries give them a chewiness, which is nicely complemented by the crunchy coconut exterior. Plus, aren’t they so festive?! These cookies have now become a part of my Christmas baking tradition!

Recipe Details

The dough is a basic cookie dough with the addition of chopped red and green candied cherries. It is shaped into a log and rolled in coconut, then chilled for at least 2 hours.

log of cookie dough with coconut on outside

After being chilled, the log is cut into 1/4-inch thick slices.

slices of cookie dough

The cookies are arranged onto an ungreased cookie sheet. I used a silpat here.

cookie dough on a cookie sheet
unbaked cookie on a cookie sheet

When the cookies bake, the coconut gets toasted, and you’re left with a chewy yet toasted cookie with red and green colors!

Hope you have a wonderful holiday season!  

Santa's Whiskers Fruitcake Cookies on a plate
Santa's Whiskers Fruitcake Cookies on a plate

UPDATE: We’ve made these with only green cherries and called them Leprechaun Whiskers for St. Patrick’s Day and have talked about using only red cherries and calling them Cupid’s Whiskers for Valentine’s Day!

Gluten Free Candied Fruit Cookies

I have good luck using a measure for measure gluten free flour like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour in place of all purpose flour in baking.

Santa's Whiskers Fruitcake Cookies Pin

Looking for More Christmas Cookies?

Check out these other Cookie recipes perfect for Holiday baking:
Nut Free Linzer Cookies
Classic Butter Spritz Cookies
Chewy Oatmeal Cookies
Pastel Christmas Sugar Cookies
Snowflake Gingerbread Cookies
Dark Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies
Brown Sugar and Spice Cookies

Santa's Whiskers Cookies coconut candied cherries

Santa’s Whiskers Cookies

Buttery cookies filled with festive red and green cherries and coated in coconut that toasts while they bake.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 22 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 5 dozen


  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped red and green candied cherries (about 1/2 of small container of each)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 3/4 cup coconut


  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Cream butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla extract.
  • Add flour, cherries, and pecans (if using).
  • Form into 2 rolls each 2 inches in diameter and 8 inches long.  Roll in coconut.
  • Wrap in waxed paper.  Chill several hours.
  • Slice 1/4″ thick, place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 10 – 12 minutes.


You’re Gonna Bake It After All
Keyword cookies, dessert, holiday

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