Bake these highly adaptable ambrosia cookies for your next holiday cookie swap

Southern Kitchen
Ambrosia Cookies

This is part of Southern Kitchen's 12 Days of Cookies and Cocktails series, which runs daily through Christmas Eve. Each day, we'll pair fun and festive cocktails with classic cookie recipes. These ambrosia cookies would be lovely with a refreshing Moscow Mule. Get the recipe.

About the recipe

In these cookies, you can alter all of the mix-ins as you see fit, but to keep the spirit of ambrosia, you should leave in the coconut and citrus zests. You can, if you must, use sweetened coconut flakes instead of unsweetened.

Makes: 4 dozen

Hands On Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes


2 cups quick oats

1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes

1 cup chopped pecans

2/3 cup golden raisins

2/3 cup chopped dried cherries

1/3 cup chopped dried pineapple

1/3 cup chopped pitted dates

2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla

Zest of 1/2 navel orange

Zest of 1/2 lemon

2 cups tightly packed light brown sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature


Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line four baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, pecans, raisins, cherries, pineapple and dates. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the oil, egg, vanilla and citrus zests.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the sugar and butter on medium-high speed until beginning to lighten in color, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the oil mixture. Increase the speed back to medium-high and continue to beat until thoroughly combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour mixture until just combined. Add the oat and dried fruit mixture and beat until just incorporated.

Shape the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and place them about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Press down to flatten the balls slightly. Bake the cookies, two trays at a time, until lightly golden brown around the edges, about 15 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets about halfway through the baking time. Let cool completely on the baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough. Serve, or store in a zipper lock bag for up to three days.