I love making this Fruit Filled Cookie Cups recipe for holiday parties and cookie exchanges.
They’re so tasty that no one will notice that this cookie cup recipe is gluten free.
I love how elegant these treats look on a serving tray at a Christmas cookie swap.
Yet, there’s no need to worry about the filling taking hours to make or being very expensive to do.
With a few shortcuts, like using your favorite premade fruit filling, baking a batch of these cookies is easier than you think!
How to make cookie cups
Special equipment: You’ll need a few things to make this cookie recipe a success:
● enough mini cupcake/muffin pans to make 60 cookies,
● a stand mixer,
● and some piping bags.
Don’t have piping bags? Then place the fruit filling in a locking baggie. Press out the air and zip the bag shut. Snip off one end of the baggie to make a small hole.
Then carefully pipe the fruit filling into your cookie cups. You can also spoon the filling in to the cookie cups, but I find piping to be quicker and tidier.
Food processor or blender: If there are fruit chunks in your fruit filling, you’ll need to puree it in a mini or full sized food processor or high speed blender before piping it into the fruit cookie cups.
Tips for baking the fruit filled cookie cups
Butter: Make sure you use UNSALTED and not salted butter. Salted butter won’t bake up the same way.
You can soften butter by placing it in the microwave for 10 seconds at 50% power.
Or place the stick of butter in your pocket or bra for half an hour. Seriously, it works!
Making a dairy free cookie dough: While I haven’t tried it, you could try using a dairy free buttery spread like Earth Balance instead of butter.
If you do try it, let us know how it goes by commenting below!
Gluten free flour: I swear by Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, which cooks up just like regular flour.
The best way to measure GF flour: Don’t scoop gluten free flour directly out of the bag as it packs down the flour and you end up with a bit too much in your cup.
Instead, spoon the flour from the bag (or the container you keep your flour in) into your measuring cup. Then use the back of a spatula to level off the top of the cup.
That way the flour is isn’t packed down and you have a more accurate measure.
Fruit filling: I used two kinds of store brand fruit filling for pie – tart cherry and white peach just to have variety in the pictures. You may want to do that for your party or cookie swap.
However, for the sugar cookie cups recipe, you only need one 22-ounce jar of fruit filling.
You can also use my Easy & Healthy Apple Pie Filling to make apple pie cookie cups. Just remember to puree the filing so it’s easy to pipe it into the cookie cups.
No brandy? Don’t have any brandy “holiday up” your sugar cookie cup filling? You can substitute masala wine, cognac, an orange liquor for brandy.
Or skip the liquor if you don’t imbibe or don’t feel comfortable putting alcohol in something the kids may be eating.
Shaping the cookie cups: Use the back of a round metal teaspoon to shape the sugar cookie cups. I found that I had to re-press the sugar cookie cups when they come out of the oven, so my metal teaspoon started to get hot!
If you have a metal teaspoon, be careful not to burn yourself. If you have a plastic teaspoon, be careful not to melt it!
If you have a mortar and pestle, the pestle may work just as well. (Mine was too thick.)
Or you can try the bottom of a small shot glass to make the indentations.
Garnish: The mint garnish adds a wonderful holiday flavor to the cookie cups. It’s seriously scrumptious and so pretty, too.
Other ideas for fillings: Besides making sugar cookie fruit cups, you can make other types of cookie cups by changing up the fillings.
Here are some yummy ideas:
● chocolate mousse
● whipped cream and sprinkles
● cake frosting
● dulce de leche
● lemon curd
● peanut or sunflower butter
● whipped strawberry cream cheese
The possibilities are endless!
More gluten free cookie recipes
Bake up these gluten free cookies for your Christmas cookie exchange:
For cookie cup dough:
- canola oil cooking spray
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 3 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour
For cookie cup jam filling:
- 1 22-ounce jar fruit filling
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Mint, chopped for garnish
To make cookie cup dough:
- In a stand mixer, beat butter for 30 seconds on medium. Add brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat 10 seconds on medium. Scrape bowl and beat another 10 seconds on medium.
- On low, beat in eggs, vanilla, and orange zest. Then add in flour by the cupful until thoroughly mixed in.
- Form sugar cookie dough into a ball. Cover and chill dough for 30 minutes.
To make cookie cup filling:
- If using cherry and peach fruit filling, puree in a food processor or high-speed blender to finely chop up any fruit pieces.
- Add brandy, cinnamon, and nutmeg to fruit filling and stir until thoroughly blended.
To bake cookie cups:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Coat 1 1/4-inch mini cupcake pan with cooking spray.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator. Using a small cookie dough scooper, scoop enough sugar cookie dough to make 1 1/4-inch balls. Place balls into prepared cupcake/muffin pans and flatten. Then take the back of a round teaspoon measuring spoon to press the dough into a cup.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees F until the edges of the sugar cookie cups begin to brown. Remove mini cupcake/muffin pans from the oven and quickly re-press the back of a round teaspoon in the center of each cookie cup. (Be careful not to burn yourself.)
- Let the cookie cups cool in the pans for 10 to 15 minutes. Run a small knife around the edge of each cookie cup to release it from the pan, if needed. Cool completely on wire racks.
To fill cookie cups with fruit filling:
- Place fruit filling in a piping bag or a resealable plastic baggie with a hole snipped from one corner. Squeeze fruit filling into each sugar cookie cup.
- Garnish with chopped mint and serve. Refrigerate any leftover filled sugar cookies.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 36Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 70mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g
Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.
Originally published on December 12, 2016. Updated with new pictures and information.