Thumbprint Cookies


These thumbprint cookies are a Christmas tradition in my family. These sweet, buttery, walnut-crusted cookies are famous for their fruity, jam-filled centers. Use your favorite preserves (like raspberry, apricot, or strawberry) to add variety and visual interest to each batch.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
24 cookies

Buttery thumbprint cookies are coated in crunchy walnuts and filled with fruity jam. This thumbprint cookie recipe is impressive, delicious, and shockingly easy to make.

Thumbprint Cookie Ingredients

These are the ingredients you'll need to make this crowd-pleasing thumbprint cookie recipe:

· Egg: Mix the egg yolk into the cookie dough, then roll the dough in the egg white.
· Butter: A stick of butter adds richness and moisture to the cookie dough.
· Brown sugar: Brown sugar lends sweetness and warmth.
· Flour: All-purpose flour gives the cookies structure and helps bind the dough together.
· Vanilla and salt: Enhance the other flavors with ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.
· Walnuts: The cookies are rolled in crushed walnuts for flavor and crunch. You can substitute chopped pecans, almonds, or hazelnuts.
· Jam or preserves: Delicious jam flavor options include strawberry, apricot, raspberry, rhubarb, and blackberry. But you can use whatever jam or preserves you want!

five thumbprint cookies filled with jam

How to Make Thumbprint Cookies

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you make these top-rated thumbprint cookies:

1. Make the dough: Cream the butter, brown sugar, and egg yolk. Add the flour, vanilla, and salt. Mix until well-combined.
2. Coat the dough: Roll the dough into balls. Coat in egg white, then coat in walnuts.
3. Bake the dough: Bake the coated dough balls until slightly puffed.
4. Fill with jam: Use your thumb to press a dent into each cookie. Fill the thumbprint with jam.
5. Finish baking: Continue baking until set.

How to Store Thumbprint Cookies

Allow the thumbprint cookies to cool completely before storage. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to one week at room temperature.

Can You Freeze Thumbprint Cookies?

Yes, you can freeze thumbprint cookies — but it's best to freeze them before filling them with jam. Make and par-bake the dough, then use your thumb to press an indent into each puffed cookie. Once you've made the indent, stop!

Allow them to cool completely, then arrange the unfilled cookies on a baking sheet. Cover and freeze for at least a few hours or up to overnight. Transfer the now-frozen cookies to zip-top bags or another freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to two months and thaw in the refrigerator before following the rest of the recipe.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"I used Irish butter instead of traditional butter, and I used black raspberry and strawberry flavored jams for the filling," according to Sarah. "These are my new favorite, everyone was raving over them at my cookie baking party."

"My husband said it is his new favorite cookie," says stacey. I am allergic to nuts, so I supplemented walnuts with toasted coconut and raspberry preserves as filler. They turned out amazing!"

"Great recipe," raves GIMLIEN. "After making these a few times I tinkered with the recipe a bit. One time I left off the walnuts and instead of jam, I placed a chocolate kiss in the thumbprint."

EEditorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 1 large egg, separated, divided

  • ½ cup butter, softened

  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts

  • cup any flavor fruit jam


  1. Gather ingredients.

    a top down view of several small bowls containing, flour, butter, vanilla, brown sugar, chopped walnuts, baking soda, and jam.

    Allrecipes/Victoria Jempty

  2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Grease two cookie sheets and set aside.

  3. Whisk egg white in a small bowl. Place chopped walnuts in another small bowl.

    a top down view of egg whites whisked in a small glass bowl.

    Allrecipes/Victoria Jempty

  4. Cream butter, brown sugar, and egg yolk in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

    a top down view of butter and sugar creamed together in a glass mixing bowl.

    Allrecipes/Victoria Jempty

  5. Add flour, vanilla, and salt; mix until well combined.

    a top down view of flour added to creamed butter and sugar, and mixed until combined.

    Allrecipes/Victoria Jempty

  6. Scoop dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. Dip in egg white, then roll in walnuts until coated. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.

    a top down view of two baking sheets of walnut covered cookie dough balls sitting 2 inches a part.

    Allrecipes/Victoria Jempty

  7. Bake in the preheated oven until slightly puffed, about 5 minutes.

  8. Remove cookies from the oven. Use your thumb to gently press an indent in the center of each cookie. Spoon jam into each thumbprint, filling it to the brim.

    a top down view of partially baked cookies, indented, and being filled with jam

    Allrecipes/Victoria Jempty

  9. Return cookies to the oven and bake until set, about 8 minutes.

    a top down view of a dozen jam filled thumbprint cookies just set and out of the oven.

    Allrecipes/Victoria Jempty

  10. Remove from the oven and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

    a close up view of a plateful of jam filled thumbprint cookies.

    Allrecipes/Victoria Jempty

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

94 Calories
5g Fat
13g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 24
Calories 94
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 51mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 22mg 0%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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