Thumbprint Cookies

These thumbprint cookies are the ultimate holiday treat! Filled with vibrant pools of apricot and raspberry jam, they're melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

thumbprint cookies recipe

It’s holiday baking season! I can’t think of a better way to kick it off than with these jam thumbprint cookies. Of course I’m biased, but I think this could be the best thumbprint cookie recipe out there. The cookies have a delicious melt-in-your-mouth texture and warm, buttery flavor. They’re rich and delicate, with a pop of brightness from the melty jam. As an added bonus, they’re super easy to make! This thumbprint cookie recipe calls for just 8 ingredients, and there’s a good chance you have all of them on hand already.

Thumbprint cookie recipe ingredients

Thumbprint Cookie Recipe Ingredients

Ready to bake? Check to make sure you have these ingredients in your pantry first:

  • All-purpose flour and almond flour – This combination makes the cookies extra-rich and tender.
  • Butter – It adds rich, buttery flavor and gives the cookies a yummy crumbly texture.
  • Sugar – For sweetness.
  • Vanilla and almond extract – They fill the cookies with warm flavor.
  • And sea salt – Don’t skip it! Even though these cookies are sweet, the salt is essential for sharpening their delicious buttery flavor.
  • Jam – Choose your favorite flavor of jam, or use a mix. I love to make my thumbprint cookies with apricot and raspberry jam.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Balls of dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet

Start by whisking together the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the vanilla, almond extract, butter, and sugar until fluffy. Gradually add the flour and mix until combined.

Next, shape the cookies. Use a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop rounded tablespoons of the dough, and roll them into balls. Place the balls on two large bakings sheets lined with parchment paper. Use the back of a 1-teaspoon measuring spoon to make an indentation in the middle of each cookie. Finally, spoon a little jam into the indentations.

shaping thumbprint cookies

Bake one sheet at a time in a 350° oven until the bottoms of the cookies are lightly browned. They’ll be fragile when they come out of the oven, so let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Jam thumbprint cookies

Best Thumbprint Cookies Tips

  • Plan ahead. This recipe calls for room temperature butter, so when you make it, you’ll need to plan ahead. Remove the butter from the fridge or freezer a few hours before you start baking. Yes, a few hours. Don’t try to speed up the process in the microwave. If you do, there’s a good chance that the butter will start to melt, and your cookies will spread. Trust me, I speak from experience!
  • Don’t use your thumb. Maybe it’s just me, but whenever I press these cookies down with my thumb, I end up with funky-looking indentations. In order to get even indentations that can hold a good amount of jam, I like to press them down with the back of a 1-teaspoon measuring spoon instead. It creates a round, wide cavity for the jam, making for prettier and more evenly filled cookies.
  • Think about the jam:cookie ratio. There’s nothing sadder than thumbprint cookies with a tiny smidgen of jam inside! When you’re considering the jam:cookie ratio, two things matter: the size of the cookies and the amount of jam. I keep these cookies on the small side, using a rounded tablespoon of dough for each one. Then, I fill them with 1/2 teaspoon jam. That way, there’s plenty of jam for the amount of dough. Yum!

thumbprint cookies

More Favorite Cookie Recipes

If you love these thumbprint cookies, try one of these yummy cookie recipes next:

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Thumbprint Cookies

rate this recipe:
5 from 73 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves 30 cookies
These easy thumbprint cookies are perfect for the holidays! I love to make them with apricot and raspberry jam, but feel free to substitute any flavor of jam you like.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract until fluffy. Gradually add the flour and mix until combined.
  • Scoop rounded tablespoons of the dough, roll into balls, and place on the prepared baking sheets. Gently press down to form disks and use your thumb, or the back of a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon, to make an indentation in the middle of the cookies. Spoon ½ teaspoon of jam onto each cookie.
  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the bottoms are lightly browned. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

88 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Tina
    02.21.2024

    5 stars
    Just made these gluten free. Used 1 ½ C Almond flour and 1 ½ C King Arthur GF Measure for Measure. Added one egg yolk as a binder. Perfect. Filled with homemade cherry, berry filling made from cooked dried berries. Chilled before baking. Drizzled with melted white chocolate when cool.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.21.2024

      thank you for the GF tips!

  2. Bzk
    12.30.2023

    What can I use instead of almond flour? I don’t like the taste and I don’t have it. Would rice flour work?

  3. Margo
    12.23.2023

    5 stars
    The recipe I remember as a kid (sans the almond flour, which I think is a great addition). I did not find the dough to be dry, but I did a few things that are not expressly mentioned in the recipe. Make sure you really cream the butter and sugar. I don’t do it by time… I do it by the look and taste of it. For me, it took a little longer than what is in the recipe. Fully incorporate the dry ingredients. This took also longer than the recipe says. My mixer definitely got a work out! And I set it on my porch for about an hour before I used it (you can use your frig). This made it a little easier to roll into balls. Get creative with the fillings! I used fig jam, jellied cranberry sauce, pear preserves and strawberry jam this time. Other times I’ve used lemon curd or the cherries out of canned pie filling. Yum!

  4. Carol Rommelare
    12.21.2023

    5 stars
    Excellent! Made as directed with minor substitutions….Used vegan Miyoko butter and gluten free flour. I was a bit concerned using the gluten free flour as it can be a bit tricky at times but the dough worked up well…..I think that almond flour makes a big difference (which is what attracted me to this recipe). Cookies were very tender, flavorful, easy to make…..definitely a keeper!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.22.2023

      Hi Carol, thanks for letting us know that they worked with these substitutions!

  5. Heather
    12.20.2023

    For me also, the crumbly dough was very frustrating.

  6. Donna
    12.20.2023

    Ialso found the dough crumbly and yes I used the exact measuring method as specified

  7. Sam
    12.18.2023

    I followed the recipe as-is (except I left out the almond extract which I did not have on hand) and the dough came out crumbly and dry. I had to really smush it together in my hands to form the dough balls. Would chilling the dough help?

  8. Adella
    12.16.2023

    I thought the dough was crumbly and difficult to work with, but they tasted good!

  9. Zoë
    12.15.2023

    Can you use almond meal instead of flour?

    • Tania
      02.02.2024

      5 stars
      I did! My dough was a bit crumbly but they still came out pretty well intact and tasted great!

  10. Vi
    12.14.2023

    5 stars
    I don’t have almond flour so I took some oatmeal and blitzed it in the grinder to make substitute flour. It worked nicely, still good flavor and texture. Thanks for this recipe.

  11. Chris
    12.13.2023

    5 stars
    Delicious little cookie!
    I used Country Crock plant based butter to make them vegan and I loved them!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.13.2023

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  12. Susan
    11.28.2023

    Do they need to be refrigerated after baking?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      12.01.2023

      Hi Susan, you can store these cookies in an airtight container at room temp.

  13. Hind
    11.19.2023

    Hi,
    Thanks for sharing this recipe and happy thanksgiving!
    Do you think it’s safe to use thumbprint cookie molds on this one (I got them from William Sonoma)?

    Thank you

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.23.2023

      that should be fine!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.