How To Make Thumbprint Cookies

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Lisa Thurston Modified: February 1, 2024
How To Make Thumbprint Cookies

How to Make Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint cookies are a delightful treat that are not only easy to make but also customizable to fit your taste preferences. These cookies are named after the signature “thumbprint” indentation that is made in the center of each cookie, where a delicious filling is then added. In this article, we will guide you through the process of making thumbprint cookies that will surely impress your friends and family.


  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt
  • Your choice of filling (e.g., jam, chocolate, caramel)


  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and salt to the mixture and mix well.
  3. Gradually add the flour to the mixture and mix until a dough forms.
  4. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Take small portions of the dough and roll them into 1-inch balls.
  6. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet, leaving enough space in between for spreading.
  7. Using your thumb, gently press down in the center of each cookie to create an indentation.
  8. Fill each indentation with your choice of filling – whether it be a spoonful of your favorite jam, a piece of chocolate, or a dollop of caramel.
  9. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden.
  10. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.


One of the best things about thumbprint cookies is that you can get creative with the fillings. Here are some ideas to inspire you:

  • Classic jam fillings like strawberry, raspberry, or apricot.
  • Indulgent fillings such as Nutella, peanut butter, or caramel.
  • Fruit preserves like blueberry, peach, or cherry.
  • For a unique twist, try filling your cookies with lemon curd, chocolate ganache, or even a small piece of your favorite candy.

Remember to experiment and have fun with different fillings to find your favorite combination.


Now that you know how to make thumbprint cookies, you can enjoy baking these delicious treats anytime you crave something sweet. With their buttery texture, customizable fillings, and attractive presentation, thumbprint cookies are sure to become a favorite among your family and friends. So why not gather your ingredients, put on some music, and embark on a delightful baking adventure?

Happy baking and enjoy your homemade thumbprint cookies!

How long should I bake Thumbprint Cookies for?
The baking time for Thumbprint Cookies typically ranges from 10 to 12 minutes. However, it may vary depending on your oven and the size of your cookies. Keep a close eye on them towards the end of the baking time to ensure they don’t overcook or burn.
Can I use any type of jam for Thumbprint Cookies?
Absolutely! Thumbprint Cookies are versatile and can be filled with different types of jam. Popular choices include raspberry, strawberry, apricot, and even citrus marmalade. Feel free to experiment and find your favorite flavor combination.
How do I prevent my Thumbprint Cookies from spreading too much?
To prevent your Thumbprint Cookies from spreading too much, make sure your dough is properly chilled before baking. Additionally, avoid overmixing the dough, as this can result in a more tender texture that spreads more during baking. Lastly, be sure to space the cookies apart on the baking sheet to allow for proper airflow.
Can I freeze Thumbprint Cookies?
Yes, you can freeze Thumbprint Cookies! After baking and cooling the cookies, place them in an airtight container or freezer bag, separating each layer with parchment paper. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw them at room temperature before serving.
Can I substitute the nuts in Thumbprint Cookies for something else?
Certainly! If you have a nut allergy or simply prefer to omit them, you can substitute the nuts in Thumbprint Cookies with different ingredients. Rolled oats, shredded coconut, or even crushed pretzels can provide a delightful and crunchy alternative to nuts.
How can I ensure my Thumbprint Cookies have a perfect indentation?
To achieve a well-defined indentation in your Thumbprint Cookies, use a rounded measuring spoon or your thumb to press gently into the dough before baking. Make sure not to press too hard to avoid creating holes all the way through the cookie. If the indentation loses shape during baking, remove the cookies from the oven briefly and reshape while they are still warm.
Can I add other toppings in addition to jam on Thumbprint Cookies?
Absolutely! While jam is the traditional filling for Thumbprint Cookies, you can get creative with additional toppings. Consider adding chocolate ganache, Nutella, caramel, or even a dollop of cream cheese frosting to create unique and delicious flavor combinations. Just be sure not to overload the cookies, as excessive fillings can cause them to become soggy.