Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint cookies are buttery little cookies filled with jam and rolled in nuts. They’re a classic cookie recipe to make for any holiday party or cookie exchange!

Classic thumbprint cookies and a jar of jam and a spoon in the middle of them.
Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek

Thumbprint cookies are one of those classic cookies that seem to make an appearance at any event regardless of what the occasion is!

I think it's because they combine so many things people love: buttery cookies, nuts, and jam. How much more homemade can you get?

Throw a Cookie-Making Party!

Feel free to get family and friends involved with this recipe and do it in an assembly line. Thumbprint cookies are also perfect for any party or get together since people can customize cookies with their favorite nuts and jams or jellies.

Just turn up the music, get your hands a bit dirty, and have a baking party!

Classic thumbprint cookies on a platter.
Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek

How to Store Thumbprint Cookies

Store your baked thumbprint cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. There's no need to refrigerate. These cookies will keep for at least a week before starting to dry out and get crumbly.

How to Freeze Thumbprint Cookies

These cookies freeze best unbaked and unfilled. Prepare the rounds of cookie dough and press with your thumb to create a depression, and then freeze on a tray. Once frozen, transfer the unbaked cookies to a freezer bag or other airtight container. Store in the freezer for up to a month.

When ready to bake, arrange the cookies a few inches apart on a baking sheet and allow to thaw while the oven reheats. (It's okay if they're still partially frozen when you put them in the oven.) Add the jam and bake as directed.

Close up of a variety of thumbprint cookies.
Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek

Tips for Shaping Thumbprint Cookies

  • Be sure your butter is softened but not melted. It should be soft enough to cut through easily enough with a knife, but not so soft that it's like lotion.
  • The dough should be chilled for at least 30 minutes, so that you can shape it into balls and indent without falling apart.
  • Check that your oven temperature isn't too high.

Thumbprint Cookie Filling Options

Don't like jam? You can also fill them with lemon curd, marmalade, melted chocolate, or even some dulce de leche or other caramel filling.

Looking for More Cookie Ideas? Try These!

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Thumbprint Cookies

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Chilling 30 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 30 servings

Have leftover egg whites? Make some meringue cookies to go with your thumbprints!


  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

  • 3/4 cup jam, any kind


  1. Make the cookie dough:

    Beat the butter and sugar on high speed with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes.

    Separate the eggs. Add the yolks and vanilla extract to the butter mixture. Set aside the egg whites in a separate shallow bowl.

    Add the flour and salt to the mixing bowl and mix until just combined.

    Making thumbprint cookie recipe in a mixing bowl.
    Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
    Adding dry ingredients to a bowl to make thumbprint cookie recipe.
    Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
    Dough in a glass bowl for thumbprint cookie recipe.
    Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
  2. Chill the dough:

    Place the dough in the fridge and chill for at least 30 minutes.

  3. Preheat the oven:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  4. Shape the cookies:

    Roll the dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Place the balls on the parchment-lined cookie sheets spaced a few inches apart.

    If using nuts, whisk the reserved egg whites until frothy. Dip the dough balls into the egg whites and then, roll them into the nuts until covered. Arrange them on the baking sheets a few inches apart.

    Balls of dough on baking sheet to make thumbprint cookies.
    Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
    Rolling balls of dough in egg whites to make thumbprint cookies..
    Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
    Rolling thumbprint cookie dough ball in nuts.
    Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
    Thumbprint cookie dough rolled into balls and some of them rolled in nuts.
    Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
  5. Thumbprint the dough, and add the jam:

    Press down on each ball of dough with your thumb to make a small well in the center of the cookie. Do not press too hard or the cookie will fall apart. Fill each cookie with 1/2 teaspoon of jam.

    Thumbprint cookies on a cookie sheet and ready to be filled.
    Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
    Thumbprint cookies on a baking sheet and filled with a variety of jams.
    Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
  6. Bake, then let cool:

    Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until slightly firm. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet to firm up before moving them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Thumbprint cookies on a baking sheet and filled with a variety of jams.
    Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
    Overhead view of thumbprint cookies on a cooling rack.
    Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
125 Calories
7g Fat
15g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 30
Amount per serving
Calories 125
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 8%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 29mg 10%
Sodium 26mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 22mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.