Thumbprint Cookies are a traditional Christmas cookie made from a soft sugar cookie recipe and filled with jam. Perfect for your holiday cookie exchange or to bake with the kids!

It’s so easy to make this Thumbprint Cookies recipe. These one of a kind cookies are made by indenting the cookie dough before baking, and filling it with your choice of topping. Whether you are filling them with jam, chocolate, or caramel they are sure to be chewy and delicious.

Thumbprint Cookies on a plate featured image
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Classic Thumbprint Cookies

One of the best things about the holiday season is all of the yummy baked goods that we get to enjoy! I love doing cookie exchanges or just having get-togethers where everybody brings their favorite dish or dessert to share. Cookies are a go-to for me.

I like trying out new recipes every year, but I also love to stick to the traditional, classic cookies. Thumbprint cookies are a must for me. I make them every year! While they are super classic holiday cookies, they can also be made into something new each year as well, since the filling can be swapped out.

These yummy cookies are delicious and easy to make. Make jam-filled thumbprint cookies or fill them with caramel or chocolate, whatever you like! Either way, these are bound to be a delightful treat for this season.

Thumbprint Cookies close up

Watch: Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Why You’ll Love these Classic Thumbprint Cookies

  • Soft & Chewy
  • Thumbprint cookies can be made to everyone’s liking! Chocolate, jam or caramel…everyone gets their favorite!
  • Sometimes we roll the dough in sugar for some extra sweetness!
  • Perfect for holiday Christmas cookie exchange!
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup jam
Thumbprint Cookies on a rack

How to Make Thumbprint Cookies

  1. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Beat butter, white sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add in egg and vanilla.
  3. Beat in the dry ingredients until well mixed.
  4. Roll cookies and place 2 inches apart on a lined baking sheet.
  5. Press the back of a teaspoon about halfway down on each cookie to make a small indent for the spoon into cookie
  6. Fill in each cookie with the jam or filling of your choice.put jelly onto cookie
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes or until the bottom edges start to brown.

Jam Thumbprint Cookies variations

Jam: You can use any type of jam or jelly in your cookies. My favorite is raspberry, but you could try using grape, strawberry, peach, or apricot. You can use store-bought or homemade jam.

Chocolate/Caramel: For a different flavor, try filling the indent with chocolate or caramel topping. If adding caramel, I recommend sprinkling a few with sea salt for a salted caramel cookie!

Icing: For a bit of extra sweetness, you can drizzle your cookies with icing when they are finished baking and cooling.

Tip 1: This dough is thick enough that you shouldn’t have to chill it at all before rolling it into balls to bake. However, when rolling the balls, you will want to make sure to get them nice and smooth. No cracks! Having very smooth texture when rolling, will also ensure that your cookies are smooth and not cracked once baked.

Tip 2: It is definitely best to add the jam to your cookies before baking. If you’re having trouble with the jam (or another filling) being too firm, just pop it in the microwave for a bit to soften it up before adding to the indented cookies.

Tip 3: Make sure that your cookie sheet is completely cooled off when you’re putting the next batch of cookies on it. You never want to put these cookies on a warm cookie sheet.

Thumbprint Cookies on a wire rack

How to Store Thumbprint Jam Cookies

Store leftovers in the fridge or on the countertop at room temperature. Be sure to store them in a sealed food container for up to one week for maximum freshness.

Can I freeze thumbprint cookies?

Like most cookies, thumbprint cookies freeze well. Make sure that they are completely cooled before placing them in the freezer in a Ziploc bag or airtight container. Before serving, allow them to sit at room temperature so that the filling can thaw.

Jam Thumbprint Cookies FAQ

How do I keep my thumbprint cookies from cracking?

To prevent thumbprint cookies from cracking, make sure the dough is well-mixed and at room temperature, and gently press the thumb indentations.

Why are Thumbprint Cookies falling apart?

Thumbprint cookies may fall apart due to an imbalanced dough ratio, lack of binding agents like egg, or overbaking.

More like these Classic Thumbprint Cookies

Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups | Chocolate Christmas Tree Pretzels | Christmas Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies | Christmas Pinwheel Cookies | Cinnamon Roll Cookies | Chocolate Covered Oreo Reindeer Cookie | Christmas Truffles | Old Fashioned Christmas Sugar Cookies | Snowball Cookies | Peppermint Meltaways | The Best Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe | Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

5 from 4 votes
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Thumbprint Jam Cookies Recipe

Serves — 24
Thumbprint Cookies with jam and other sweet fillings, a classic Christmas cookie recipe!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup jam


  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter, white sugar and brown sugar together on high speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
  • Beat in egg and vanilla until well mixed.
  • Pour dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and beat just until well mixed.
  • Drop rounded cookies (1.5 tablespoon in size), 2 inches apart, onto parchment paper lined baking sheets.
  • Using the back of a teaspoon (dusted in flour to prevent sticking), press back of teaspoon about half way down into each cookie to create an indent for the jam.
  • Using a small spoon, fill each indent with jam of your choice (raspberry and peach shown here in photos).
  • Bake for 13-15 minutes or until bottom edges look slightly browned.
  • Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing and placing on wire racks to cool completely.

Jenn’s Notes

Store leftovers at room temperature in a sealed food storage container for up to one week for maximum freshness.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 58mg | Potassium: 41mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 246IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg

Our Thumbprint Jam Cookies recipe is fun and easy to make. Mix up your dough, make the balls, give them an indent, and fill them with your desired filling. Be sure to add these tasty cookies to your baking list this holiday season.

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5 from 4 votes (1 rating without comment)

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  1. 5 stars
    I’ve made these at least a dozen times since the pandemic hit. My whole family loves them, in fact, I just pulled a batch out of the oven that I made with my four year old son.