Jam Thumbprint cookies are super easy to make and light and delicious. Each cookie is topped with the jam of your choice for a tasty treat.

Thumbprint cookies stacked together.
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These yummy shortbread style cookies are simply gorgeous and of course very delicious! While they look a little fancy, these cookies are actually very easy to make.

The options are endless with thumbprint cookies and we also make Twix Thumbprint Cookies for the cookie tray.

What are thumbprint cookies?

Thumbprint cookies are an easy sugar cookie recipe that is rolled into balls and then rolled into sugar. You then leave a thumbprint in the cookie before baking.

That thumbprint is later filled with jam. These cookies are perfect for Christmas, tea parties and other special occasions.


Ingredients for Thumbprint cookies - butter, flour, sugar, jam, eggs, vanilla extract.
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Large Egg Yolk 
  • Vanilla Extract 
  • All Purpose Flour 
  • Jam or Preserves

Scroll to the bottom of the recipe card for the complete instructions and ingredients.


  • Jams to try: raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, lemon and more. If you have a family that divided, feel free to make several different cookies with various toppings. Lemon Curd is another tasty option.
  • Nuts. Add chopped pecans, almonds or walnuts to the batter if you prefer.
  • Almond Extract. For a different flavor, use almond extract.

How to make thumbprint cookies

Mixing bowl with butter and sugar.

Step 1. After you preheat the oven to 350 degrees, get out a mixing bowl. Combine the butter and sugar using a stand mixer with paddle attachment.

Mixing bowl with butter mixture combined.

Step 2. Cream this together until it is well combined.

Mixing bowl with egg added into mixture.

Step 3. Add the egg yolk, and vanilla extract.  Combine this until it all mixed together good.

Dry ingredients and wet ingredients combined together.

Step 4. In a small bowl, add the flour and whisk together the salt. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

Mixing bowl with cookie scoop forming balls.

Step 5. Scoop the cookie dough into balls, roll in the sugar and put on the prepared baking sheets with parchment paper.

Baking sheet with cookies on it.

Step 6. Once the cookies have been placed on the baking sheet, use your thumb to press into each cookie. You want to make an indentation in the middle of each cookie for adding the jam.

Baking sheet with cookies being filled with jam.

Step 7. Then fill each indentation with the raspberry jam or jam of choice. I used about ½ teaspoon of jam per cookie. Use a measuring spoon so you make sure you do not use too much jam.

Baking sheet with cookies cooling.

Step 8. The cookies are ready to bake until golden brown for 12 to 14 minutes. This may vary. You just want the cookies to set and be lightly browned.

Once finished baking, leave the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then move to a wire rack so they can cool completely.

Thumbprint cookies arranged on the counter.

Tips for perfect thumbprint cookies:

  • Don’t put too much jelly on each cookie. It only takes about ½ teaspoon on each cookie.
  • Silicone baking mat. I like to use these because it helps to prevent the cookies from spreading.
  • Allow the cookies to cool. They need to cool a few minutes on the baking pan before transferring to the cooling rack. Rushing this step can cause your cookies to crumble.
  • Cookie Scoop. This helps to make the cookies uniform. It also helps to make them quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to store the cookies?

Place the cookies inside an airtight container at room temperature. They do not need to be refrigerated.

Can you freeze the cookies?

If you need to store thumbprint cookies longer, freeze thumbprints up to 2 months. However, I suggest freezing the cookies unbaked prior to adding jam.

Make the cookies as normal and flash freeze on a cookie sheet. Then transfer to a freezer container.

When ready to enjoy, add the jam and bake as normal. You may need to add 1-2 minutes to the baking time if frozen.

Try this easy thumbprint cookie recipe for a sweet surprise. Then please leave a comment and star recipe rating once you do.

Thumbprint Cookies 

4.88 from 8 votes
Thumbprint cookies are super easy to make and light and delicious. Each cookie is topped with the jam of your choice for a tasty treat.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Cool 5 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes
Servings 24
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 148


  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter softened at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup Sugar plus 3 Tbsp for rolling the cookies in
  • 1 Large Egg Yolk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup Jam or Preserves flavor or your choice, I love using Strawberry, Raspberry or Apricot
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  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a stand up mixer or a hand held mixer.
  • Then mix in the egg yolk, vanilla extract and salt.  Mix until well combined.
  • Then mix int the flour until well combined.
  • Scoop the out the cookie dough with a cookie scoop or tablespoon and roll the dough into balls. Then roll the balls into the sugar and place them on the baking sheets.
  • Then use your thumb to press an indentation into each cookie and spoon the jam into the indentation of each cooke (approximately ½ tsp per cookie).
  • Then bake for 12-14 minutes or until the cookies are set.
  • Let the cookies set on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Then enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Calories 148kcal, Carbohydrates 18g, Protein 1g, Fat 8g, Saturated Fat 5g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 28mg, Sodium 52mg, Potassium 20mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 8g, Vitamin A 247IU, Vitamin C 1mg, Calcium 6mg, Iron 1mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Desserts on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you create delicious desserts on a budget and do not require a ton of time. Together, we are going to make something sweet that the entire family will love!

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