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Thumbprint Cookies - The only cookie recipe you will need for the holidays!!!

Buttery Jam Thumbprint Cookies

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My thumbprint cookies are buttery, fruity and festive, perfect for gifting no matter what the holiday occasion. 

Hi Bold Bakers!

Thumbprint Cookies are one of my favorite Christmas Cookies to bake during the holiday season. Whether I’m baking up treats to give as gifts or just to have at my own family get-together, homemade sweets are a must, and these little cookies are always a big hit!

What are thumbprint cookies?

Thumbprint Cookies are an absolute classic, beloved by all, but not always homemade. These delightful sweet and fruity cookies are way easier to make than they look. These cookies are simply made with a super buttery and rich sugar cookie dough, filled with a touch of fruity jam, in this case raspberry. There really is nothing like the rich and flaky texture of this special cookie, with that soft, fruity, jammy center. You will love to give these cookies as gifts as they really are so impressive. No one will believe you made them at home.

[If you’re looking for a great recipe for jam you have to check out my 3 Microwave Jam Recipes.]

How to make thumbprint cookies

The best part of this Thumbprint Cookie recipe is that it is made from only 5 basic ingredients, butter, flour, sugar, almond extract and raspberry jam. Apart from the jam, all the ingredients are mixed up in one bowl, then formed into little balls. Next you press into them with your thumb, creating that perfect little well, this is where they get their name.

What to fill thumbprint cookies with

To each well, drop in the tiniest bit of raspberry jam, but you can really use any fruit jam your like. After each thumbprint is filled with jam these cookies bake for just 15 minutes. This makes them the perfect holiday cookie, they are minimal effort, maximum impact and of course full of flavor! Give these a try and I guarantee they will become an instant family favorite.

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Have you seen my Holiday Baking Headquarters page? You’ll find every recipe you could possibly need for the holidays including Christmas Cookies, edible gifts and my best holiday baking tips!

If you like these you’ll love these other classic holiday cookies!

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4.54 from 15 votes
Thumbprint Cookies - The only cookie recipe you will need for the holidays!!!
Buttery Jam Thumbprint Cookies
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins

My thumbprint cookies are buttery, fruity and festive, perfect for gifting no matter what the holiday occasion. 

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 18 -20
Author: Gemma Stafford
  • 1 cup (8oz/240g) butter, room temperature
  • cup (5oz/150g) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups (10oz/300g) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (21/2oz/75g) raspberry jam
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the butter, granulated sugar and almond extract.
  2. Beat at medium speed until evenly combined. Scrape sides of mixing bowl as needed.
  3. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour and salt. Mix until a dough is formed. Pull the dough together into a ball, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.
  4. After 1 hour preheat oven to 350oF (180oC). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on the prepared pan. Make an indentation in the center of each cookie with your thumb (The edges of the dough may crack slightly). Fill each with ¼ teaspoon jam.
  5. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let the cookies stand 1 minute before removing to a cooling rack.
  6. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days.


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Katherine Cowgill by Teren Oddo Oct. 2015

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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Write a Comment and Review

  1. Kearabetswe Mogopodi on March 26, 2019 at 5:15 pm

    Hi Gemma,I have made the recipe for the jam thumbs for my tea party,I really recommend the recipe as a pastry chef.THANKS A MILLION

    • Gemma Stafford on March 27, 2019 at 3:59 pm

      YAY, i’m delighted to hear that! Great job!

  2. Rubie singh on February 26, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    I loved and enjoyed baking jam thumbs…though I tweaked by rolling cookies in almond powder …this was fantastic.

    • Gemma Stafford on February 27, 2019 at 6:35 am

      Rubie, you are indeed a bold baking genius, now why did I not think of that, such a lovely idea, thank you,
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Faren Marée Ramos on February 2, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    Can I use your Crazy Cookie dough for this and then just add in the thumbprint and raspberry jam?

    • Gemma Stafford on February 2, 2019 at 6:20 pm

      Yes absolutely you can 🙂

      Great idea

  4. Eva on November 11, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    I wonder if the dough for this cookie can be made in advance and freeze until ready to bake.

    • Gemma Stafford on November 12, 2018 at 9:47 am

      Yes, great idea! Enjoy!

  5. Eva K on November 10, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    I wonder if I can make the dough in advance and freeze it for baking later.


    • Gemma Stafford on November 12, 2018 at 5:59 am

      Hi Eva,
      Cookie dough is really forgiving. I regularly freeze it in logs/sausage shapes, formed with the help of cling wrap, easy to cut into pieces for baking. Go for it, it is easy peasy!
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Toonksties on November 8, 2018 at 7:29 am

    Hi Gemma
    I was wondering can you use any type jam. I make homemade strawberry/cranberry jam also called Christmas jam. Love all your receipes.
    Thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on November 11, 2018 at 4:51 pm

      Yes you can use any jam you like 🙂


  7. Marina on June 11, 2018 at 7:51 am

    Hi Gemma
    I’m really excited to try it. But I just wanna know,the texture crunchy or soft? I’ve tried once with other recipe but my cookies looked too soft. So, how about the temperature?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 12, 2018 at 4:15 am

      Hi Marina,
      This is a buttery cookie. I think it is impossible for me to describe the texture to you. It will depend on you following the recipe exactly, and baking in the correct temperature.
      Try a reduced recipe, a sample if you will, see how that works for you. Experience is the best teacher of all,
      Gemma 🙂

  8. Nanann on May 6, 2018 at 6:09 am

    I made these for a street stall yesterday. They were very popular. My mother used to make them – instead of using her thumb she used the handle of the wooden spoon to make a deep imprint. I loved your recipe, they were so easy to make and absolutely delicious! I will be making them again and again.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 6, 2018 at 10:00 pm

      Delighted you like it!!! Thanks for your lovely comment 🙂


  9. Finchmister on January 21, 2018 at 4:37 am

    what can you use instead of almond extract? can you use strawberry jam instead??

    • Gemma Stafford on January 21, 2018 at 5:19 am

      Hi there,
      No, not really, this wil not be the same thing.
      You can leave it out, or use vanilla, or swap out some of the flour for almond meal/almond flour. All of these will work well for you,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Nicole Ghandour on December 15, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Hi Gemma
    I’m definitely planning to make these. But i have 2 questions. 1: can i use vanilla extract instead of almond extract? 2: Next Friday at school, we’re making something called “secret santa” and I got my classmate, I want to get him beats or earphones with a homemade desert recipe. What would you recommand for me to get to school that I can keep in my backpack without it getting ruined? Love you sooooooooo much and hope you reply soon.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 16, 2017 at 6:26 am

      Hi Nichole,
      What a lovely idea. Yes, you can use vanilla if you wish, all will be well.
      I think any cookie will work well for a boy, they just love to eat! Cookies also hold up really well, and you could make him a giant one! ( take a look at this recipe!
      Try to use a box to protect it, but if you wrap it with a nice ribbon, in a plastic bag/cellophane bag, it will be delightful!
      Have a lovely party, I love secret Santa too, great fun,
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Amanda Rodrigues on December 15, 2017 at 1:08 am

    Hi! Just wanted to know, how long will these stay fresh once baked? 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on December 15, 2017 at 3:59 am

      Hi Amanda,
      this depends on how you store them. They will keep really well for at least a week if stored in an airtight container, protected with grease proof/baking paper. Just like a bough cookie really,
      Gemma 🙂

  12. Lety on December 14, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    These look yummy ! can these cookies be stacked when stored or will they stick to each other due to the jam ?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 15, 2017 at 4:20 am

      Hi Lety,
      They will probably stick, but it depends on the jam, and how deeply they are filled.
      Thank you for being with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  13. Hepzy Solomon on December 12, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Ooo…GOD… It luks very awesome…. I will try it soon.. Thanku.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 13, 2017 at 2:13 am

      Hi there,
      Good, these are an easy little cookie, go for it Hepzy,
      Gemma 🙂

  14. SmritiJhamb on December 12, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    Hi Gemma
    Nice and easy recipe.
    Can we use almond essence instead of almond extract?
    And if yes, then how much essence should we use?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 13, 2017 at 2:14 am

      Hi there,
      Sure you can use an essence, just a few drops though, essence is manufactured anf can be very strong,
      Gemma 🙂

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