Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

These easy jam thumbprint cookies are simple butter cookies made with flour, sugar, butter and egg yolks—and a dollop of jam on top. The best cookies are often the simplest ones!

These easy jam thumbprint cookies are simple butter cookies made with flour, sugar, butter and egg yolks—and a dollop of jam on top. The best cookies are often the simplest ones!

There are so many gluten free cookie recipes here on the blog, and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. Cookies are the very best place to start baking if you’re new to the kitchen or just new to baking gluten free, and they’re just so fun and festive. They’re always the first thing to go at any party. Bring a plate of cookies and just sit back and watch how quickly they disappear.

Since it is now cookie season (although to be honest, every single season of every single year is cookie season to me—including the middle of the summer I stop for no one), I figure it’s time for us to get a few things straight.

These easy jam thumbprint cookies are simple butter cookies made with flour, sugar, butter and egg yolks—and a dollop of jam on top. The best cookies are often the simplest ones!

The Blond Cookie Sisters: Butter, Shortbread, and Sugar

When you’re just a cookie eater, maybe it doesn’t matter to you which cookies are which? But here, we’re cookie eaters and cookie bakers and we have a need to know.

Butter cookies: Butter cookies are basically what today’s jam thumbprint cookies are. They’re made with just flour, sugar, butter and egg yolks. That’s basically how you make spritz cookies. But if you’re putting the dough through a cookie press, you’ll need something of a different balance of those ingredients. Here, we’re rolling the dough into balls, creating a hole in the center which we fill with jam, and then baking them right from room temperature.

Shortbread cookies: Shortbread cookies are the simplest cookies around, as they’re made with flour, sugar, and butter. That’s it. No eggs, no milk, no water. Case in point: whipped shortbread cookies. Those even have a delicate jam filling, too! But they way more delicate than these thumbprints.

Sugar cookies: Sugar cookies are more like “regular” cookies. They have a full egg, not just an egg yolk, and they also have a chemical leavener (baking powder, usually) in addition to butter, sugar, and flour.

Sugar cookies can be made as drop sugar cookies, or as cut-out sugar cookies, too. They’re heartier and much easier to ship for the holidays if that’s your thing.


These easy jam thumbprint cookies are simple butter cookies made with flour, sugar, butter and egg yolks—and a dollop of jam on top. The best cookies are often the simplest ones!

These delicate thumbprint cookies don’t have to hold their shape as readily as thumprint cookies that you fill after you bake them. The jam that’s placed in the center before the cookies go in the oven prevents the hole we’ve created in the dough from closing during baking.

Rolling these sweet little gems in granulated sugar before baking them creates a super thin, crackly shell in the oven. The cookie dough itself isn’t very sweet at all, so the jam and sugar shell balance everything perfectly.

Watch this 1-minute video and learn how to make these jam thumbprint cookies

Just click play ▶ to watch!

These easy jam thumbprint cookies are simple butter cookies made with flour, sugar, butter and egg yolks—and a dollop of jam on top. The best cookies are often the simplest ones!

Ingredients and Substitutions

As always, unless I specifically state otherwise, I haven’t tested these cookies with any substitutions. These are just my best-educated guesses, in an effort to make it possible for everyone to bake along, regardless of any other dietary restrictions.

Dairy-Free: I haven’t tried it, but I bet these cookies would work just fine with butter-flavored Spectrum non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening in place of the butter.

Egg-Free: That’s a tougher one. I’m afraid I don’t know of any proper substitution for the egg yolk. It doesn’t provide rise, but is there for texture and mouth feel. I haven’t tried it, but I’ve read that pureed silken tofu can be an effective substitute. If you have a better idea, please let us all know in the comments!

Sugar-Free: Good news! Swerve sweetener makes a confectioners’ sugar substitute, and a granulated sugar substitute. I haven’t tried them in this recipe, but if you’re avoiding sugar, that’s what I’d recommend trying. You’ll also need a sugar-free substitute for the sugary jam in the center of the cookies.

These easy jam thumbprint cookies are simple butter cookies made with flour, sugar, butter and egg yolks—and a dollop of jam on top. The best cookies are often the simplest ones! #glutenfreecookies #glutenfreerecipes #glutenfreeChristmas

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 12 to 14 cookies


8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup (38 g) confectioners’ sugar

1 egg yolk (25 g), at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar

Seedless strawberry or apricot jam, for filling


  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl with a handheld mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the butter and beat until light and creamy. Add the egg yolk, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and salt, mixing to combine well after each addition. Add the flour and xanthan gum, and mix until just fully combined. The cookie dough should be thick but not stiff.

  • Scoop the dough into portions about 2 teaspoonful each with a 1-inch cookie scoop or 2 spoons and place about 1 1/2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Roll each mound of dough lightly into a ball, without packing the dough, then roll each ball in the granulated sugar to coat on all sides, and replace on the baking sheet. Using an index finger, dowel or the back end of a wooden spoon, poke a deep hole in the center of each ball about 1/2-inch wide and 3/4-inch deep. Fill each of the holes with the jam. Do not chill the dough.

  • Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the cookies are set and just beginning to brown around the edges (10 to 12 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes or until firm.


Comments are closed.

  • Kelly
    December 7, 2017 at 6:59 AM

    Hi Nicole… so I also need this to dairy free but can not find the Buuter Flavored Spectrum Shortening, it seems to possibly have been discontinued. Do you have any other suggestions? What about the non Butter flavored version? Also have you ever used vegan cream cheese in any of your soft sugar cookies as sub for real cream cheese. Thanks so much.

    • Nicole Hunn
      December 7, 2017 at 7:03 AM

      Hi, Kelly, the butter-flavored Spectrum is still around. I have noticed that Spectrum in general seems to be out of stock in a lot of places. You could also try Nutiva brand, which is a blend of oils but is also solid at room temperature and lower in moisture than Earth Balance. And no, I haven’t tried vegan cream cheese in those sugar cookies. Vegan cream cheese has come a long, long way for sure, and I actually really like the Daiya brand, but I haven’t tried baking with it yet.

  • Nancy James
    December 6, 2017 at 5:12 PM

    Does this recipe double well? I need way more of these!

    • Nicole Hunn
      December 7, 2017 at 7:01 AM

      Yes, Nancy! It doubles great. Just be sure to measure your ingredients by weight, not by volume.

  • Judith Phelps
    December 3, 2017 at 2:12 PM

    For non dairy, you might try Earth Balance. It’s Vegan, No MSG, 0 Trans Fat, Gluten-Free, Non-Dairy, Lactose-Free, Expeller-Pressed Oils. We use it all the time. Works great and taste great!

    • Nicole Hunn
      December 3, 2017 at 4:20 PM

      Hi, Judith, I specify butter-flavored shortening as a nondairy butter replacement in this recipe, because Earth Balance is not generally what I recommend in cookies as a butter replacement. It has significantly more moisture than butter and for that reason tends to alter the recipe quite a bit.

  • Michele Kloth
    December 3, 2017 at 8:08 AM

    Would address pie crust some time please. I have tried several recipes but I am unable to roll them out without them falling apart. Thanks.

    • Nicole Hunn
      December 3, 2017 at 10:03 AM

      Hi, Michelle,
      I’ve definitely addressed pie crust! A number of times, actually, with videos. :) Just use the search function and you’ll find the recipes here on my blog. Whenever you’re looking for a gluten free recipe, always just use the search function. I probably already have it!

  • Holly
    December 2, 2017 at 4:39 PM

    Hi Nicole, I read the entire post. I always do that before I ask a question to make sure you didn’t address it in your post. I know that can be frustrating! I still don’t understand the difference between your Spritz cookies and these. I want to make one or the other for the holidays. I know you said the Spritz cookies are more delicate I just don’t know what that means in the way of taste and texture. Our cookies don’t need to travel or anything so we aren’t worried about them being delicate. I’m just trying to figure out the real difference. Also, how do you recommend storing these? Room temp I’m assuming…Thanks in advance.

    • Holly
      December 2, 2017 at 4:40 PM

      Love love Love your videos by the way ?

    • Nicole Hunn
      December 3, 2017 at 10:05 AM

      Hi, Holly,
      Are you referring to the spritz cookies recipe in my cookbook, or the whipped shortbread cookies here on the blog? If it’s the former, the balance of ingredients is slightly different in these, as the dough is meant to be handled, not pushed through a cookie press. If it’s the latter, shortbread cookies are simpler and a little less right than butter cookies, like these, because of the addition of an egg. They’re very similar, though. All of these cookies are very similar. You really can’t go wrong if you’re not traveling with them!

    • Holly
      December 3, 2017 at 10:06 PM

      I was referring to the recipe here on the blog that you posted a few weeks ago but I’ll just try this one! Thanks so much :)

  • Mare
    November 30, 2017 at 11:54 AM

    FYI for those who cannot do eggs, egg yolks: Better Batter has a vegan substitution for egg yolks on their site. If you use their flour, you most likely have all the necessary ingredients to make the recipe.
    Thanks for the information on Swerve, Nicole. I looked into it and am going to try it. Do you think it is okay to use for your bread recipes?

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 30, 2017 at 5:29 PM

      That’s a good question, Mare. I’m honestly not sure if Swerve would work in the bread recipes. I tend to think that it’s not a good idea, since it’s sugar alcohols. And I saw that recipe on Better Batter about an egg yolk substitute when I was googling the other day, looking for a good substitute. I didn’t feel comfortable linking to it, though, since it sounded a little out there and I hadn’t tried it myself. If anyone decides to try it, definitely let us know!

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