Classic Hermit Cookies

These spicy, raisin and date filled hermit cookies are an old-fashioned favorite for a reason! 

Jump to RecipePinSave to Favorites

Site Index Christmas cookies Cookies Dates Dessert Raisins

This post may contain affiliate links. See my privacy policy for details.

Hermit Cookies are a classic cookie that are filled with raisins, dates and a host of spices to offer the perfect treat for any occasion. They are a household favorite during the Christmas season and, I bet you didn’t know they even had their own holiday!

hermit cookies stacked on a plate with Christmas decorations

National Spicy Hermit Cookie Day is a very real event. Every year on November 15th, cookie fans all over the world celebrate this old-fashioned wonder. I don’t know about you, but in my book, that’s basically a license to eat hermit cookies all day long! Then again, who needs an excuse?!

How to Make Hermit Cookies

While there are certainly plenty of ingredients in these cookies, they are still surprisingly easy to make.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or alternatively, you can grease it, if desired).
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl, then beat in the egg, sour milk, and vanilla until fully combined.
  3. Now it’s time to whisk together the dry ingredients, then add them to the wet mixture.
  4. Stir in the raisins and dates then drop onto the cookie sheet by tablespoonful.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until brown. Remove and cool.
hermit cookies stacked on a plate, surrounded by vintage Christmas decor

Hermit Cookie Tips

  1. If you want them flatter, slightly press them down after dropping them onto the cookie sheet.
  2. If you want your raisins to plump up a bit more, you can boil them in water, then drain them and set them aside before making these cookies.
  3. You can substitute chopped nuts instead of dates if desired

Storing or Freezing Hermit Cookies

These cookies are best kept in a Rubbermaid or similar container to ensure they don’t become stale. If you wish, they freeze beautifully as well. Just make sure you freeze them with parchment or wax paper between each layer to ensure they don’t stick to one another.

hermit cookies stacked on a plate

More Great Cookie Recipes

I hope you love these as much as we do!


Hermit Cookies

These spicy, raisin and date filled hermit cookies are an old-fashioned favorite for a reason! 
5 from 42 votes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Total Time
20 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


Wet Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup cold black coffee or sour milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Fruit Add-Ins

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped dates


  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
  • Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. You will have to bake in batches.
  • Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or a hand mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar. Beat in the egg completely, then add the coffee or sour milk and the vanilla. Mix until combined.
  • Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl until combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, then on low-speed beat until the ingredients are combined completely.
  • Stir in the raisins and dates by hand until mixed throughout the batter.
  • Drop by tablespoonful onto a cookie sheet. If you want them flatter, slightly press them down.
  • Bake in the oven until lightly browned and the edges are set. Remove and cool on the baking sheets completely.

Recipe Notes

  • Coffee gives these a darker flavor and is my favorite way to make them instead of the sour milk
  • These are best baked until the edges are browned and the middle just set. Overbaking them will make them hard.
  • Storing them in a closed container between sheets of parchment makes sure they retain their soft texture.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 142kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.001g, Cholesterol: 7mg, Sodium: 124mg, Potassium: 138mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 184IU, Vitamin C: 0.4mg, Calcium: 27mg, Iron: 1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

Made this recipe?

Share a photo of what you made on Instagram or Facebook and tag me @thekitchenmagpie or hashtag it #thekitchenmagpie.

Please rate this recipe in the comments below to help out your fellow cooks!

Learn to cook like the Kitchen Magpie

A Very Prairie Christmas Bakebook

Vintage Baking to Celebrate the Festive Season!

Learn More

a copy of Flapper Pie cook book

Flapper Pie and a Blue Prairie Sky

A Modern Baker’s Guide to Old-Fashioned Desserts

Learn More

The Prairie Table

Suppers, Potlucks & Socials: Crowd-Pleasing Recipes to Bring People Together

Learn More

Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

Site Index Christmas cookies Cookies Dates Dessert Raisins

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Suly says

    This is a really good recipe – I tried it with both the coffee and buttermilk versions, equally excellent results though i personally prefer the coffee. Delicious soft cookie even better the next day. Highly recommend5 stars

  2. Darlene says

    Do you just chop the dates or cook them as you do for matrimonial cake ..thank you

  3. Laurie Eagle says

    Don’t hermit cookies have molasses in them?

  4. Lois Popp says

    I omitted the dates.
    We made these when young and this recipe is identical. So good5 stars

  5. Garry J. Applelgate says

    My Mother made these for me all through my childhood. I can remember standing in the kitchen watching her make them and she added a “cup of cold black coffee” when she made them. Does anyone else know of this change in the recipe?

    • Janet Wetmore says

      My grandmother made them all the time for us. Her cookie jar always had them and we loved them. It was always straight to the cookie jar when we went to Grandmas! She used about 1 cup to 1-1/2 cups of STRONG black cold coffee.

    • Eileen Bedwell says

      What changes would you have to make to add a cup of coffee to this recipe? Asking for a friend!

        • Ken says

          You can make it with vinegar and milk. A small amount of vinegar 1 1/2 tsp to 1/2 cup milk. You just mix it and let it sit.

  6. Jackie says

    These turned out great for my first time making hermit cookies. In my oven it took 14 minutes to bake on a good quality cookie sheet. I did add walnuts and used cranberries instead of dates and a sprinkle of allspice.

  7. Angel says

    These were yummy. I didn’t have dates on hand so just used double the raisins. However, I really wish you had given a suggestion for the number of minutes to bake. I know ovens vary, but it was obnoxious to have to keep such an insanely close eye on the timing since I was unsure what would be a minimum “safe” baking time.5 stars

  8. Earlyne Wiebe says

    Hi! Just wanted to let you know that I just made the Hermit Cookies. Oh my! I’m trying not to eat them all at once. So delicious. Instead of sour milk I used sour cream. FYI to anyone. I love your recipes! Mmmgood ??5 stars

  9. Mark says

    Hi there, Australia commenting…..what is sour milk? Buttermilk?

    • Mr. Kitchen Magpie says

      You can sour milk by adding in a tsp of vinegar. Buttermilk is quite thick compared to just a plain soured milk.

    • Eugenia McNeely says

      I doubled it 😄
      and Baked it on a cookie sheet !!

  10. Eileen says

    Hi there, you might want to change the instructions where you say to add the sour egg and vanilla. I think you mean sour milk. Love your blog!

  11. Kim says

    Hi,your hermit cookies look so good and tasty but the raisons raise my blood sugar and i was wondering if i can just leave them out of your recipe or if i can add mini chocolate chips in this cookie recipe.Can this hermit cookie recipe be frozen after i make the cookies?
    Kim5 stars

    • Karlynn Johnston says

      They are great frozen and you can sub in mini chocolate chips, they won’t be as chewy but the spices would be delicious with chocolate!

      • Kathleen Falls says

        Very tasty hermit recipe…I will be making them again!😊

5 from 42 votes (37 ratings without comment)

Leave a Comment or Recipe Tip

Recipe Rating

Enter your email to get this recipe emailed to you, so you don’t lose it and get new recipes daily!