Gluten-Free Thumbprint Cookies

By: Cassy Joy Garcia
Fed & Fit
Fed & Fit

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These easy gluten free jam thumbprint cookies have a buttery shortbread base that is topped with your choice of jam (we love raspberry and apricot!) or you could melt chocolate in side for a Christmas treat that will please everyone!

These Jam Thumbprint Cookies have an incredibly simple and delicious shortbread base that you will absolutely love, and they're gluten-free to boot!

gluten free thumbprint cookies

I'm most definitely more of a cook than a baker. I like to add a dash of this, a sprinkle of that, and sear, stir, or bake until I'm happy with the finished product. Cooking allows me to let my hair down and go where the wind blows me while baking usually involves rules that I have to carefully follow. For some reason, this time of year not only makes me want to wear earrings with bells on them …but it also makes me want to BAKE! It makes me want to pull out a flour-dusted recipe card, set out some chilled butter, and follow the directions carefully.

There's something especially soothing about a shortbread cookie recipe. It requires that we mix butter into flour, but not much else. I also feel like a total pro when I make shortbread, even though it's one of the easiest pastries to whip up. A gluten-free friendly shortbread eluded me for SO LONG that when we finally figured out a recipe, the aura of magic intensified even further.

metal bowl on a marble surface filled with a stick of softened butter and sugar
metal bowl filled with creamed butter, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla
metal bowl on a marble surface filled with creamed butter and sugar, vanilla extract, and an egg yolk
metal bowl on a marble surface filled with creamed butter and sugar

Ingredients

Because we went with store-bought organic jam here, you’ll just need ingredients for the shortbread cookies themselves. If you’d like to make your own jam, but feel free to add those ingredients to your list also! 

  • Butter – for this recipe, you’ll need 1 cup (2 sticks-worth) of softened butter,…
  • Vanilla Extract – …2 teaspoons of vanilla extract,…
  • Almond Extract – …this is totally optional, but ½ teaspoon almond extract adds a nice flavor to the cookies,…
  • Egg Yolks – …2 egg yolks,…
  • Granulated Sugar – …1 cup sugar (we tested several different sweeteners here, and granulated sugar was the best by far!),…
  • Gluten-Free Flour – …2 2/3 cup of flour (we used King Arthur Measure for Measure to make these gluten-free),…
  • Sea Salt – …¼ teaspoon of sea salt, and…
  • Jam – …1 cup of no-sugar-added jam or preserves. Our favorites are raspberry, blueberry, or apricot jam! If you’d like to make your own jam, we have a really yummy, easy triple berry jam here, or you could use our easy chia jams.
metal bowl filled with crumbly cookie dough on a marble surface
metal bowl filled with formed cookie dough on a marble surface
12 cookie dough balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet on a marble surface
woman's thumb pressing into a ball of cookie dough to make an indentation

How To Make Thumbprint Cookies

This recipe is about as easy as it gets, I promise! Here’s how you’ll whip up your very own gluten-free jam thumbprints:

  1. Preheat the Oven to 350°F.
  2. Cream the Butter and Sugar – in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with a handheld mixture until creamy.
  3. Add the Vanilla, Almond Extract, Sea Salt, and Egg Yolks – once the butter mixture is creamy, add the vanilla, sea salt, and egg yolk and mix until fully combined. 
  4. Mix in the Flour – next, mix in the flour a ½ cup at a time.
  5. Roll and Fill the Cookies – line two baking sheets with parchment paper, then roll the dough into one tablespoon-sized balls, make an indentation in the center of each ball with a teaspoon (or your thumb!), and fill with jam.
  6. Bake – bake the jam thumbprint cookies for 18-20 minutes, until the cookies brown around the outside.
  7. Let Cool + Serve – let the cookies cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

gluten free thumbprint cookies

Can these be made egg-free?

They can! The egg yolk in the dough adds a bit of richness, but if you need to be egg-free you can leave it out. Just know that the cookies will be slightly more crumbly than a cookie with eggs. You can also try using an egg replacer for just one egg. We tested the best egg substitutes for cookies and Bob’s Red Mill’s egg replacer or ¼ cup of applesauce would work great here.

Can I Freeze Thumbprint Cookies?

We recommend freezing these cookies unbaked and jam-free. You’ll need to make the cookie dough as directed, roll it into cookie-sized balls, make an indention in the middle, then lay flat on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet to freeze. Once the cookies are frozen, feel free to transfer them to a large Ziplock bag or airtight container of your choice (freezing them flat and separated first prevents them from clumping!). When you’re ready to enjoy the cookies, simply lay them out on a lined baking sheet, and let them thaw and come to room temperature before dolloping on the jam, and sticking them in the oven to bake!

I hope you enjoy this gluten-free jam thumbprint cookie recipe and that they bring you some satisfying holiday, baked-good cheer this season!

These easy gluten free jam thumbprint cookies have a buttery shortbread base that is topped with your choice of jam (we love raspberry and apricot!) or you could melt chocolate in side for a Christmas treat that will please everyone!

More Great Holiday Cookies

Print

Gluten Free Jam Thumbprint Cookies

These easy gluten free jam thumbprint cookies have a buttery shortbread base that is topped with your choice of jam (we love raspberry and apricot!) or you could melt chocolate in side for a Christmas treat that will please everyone!

These Gluten-Free Thumbprint Cookies have an incredibly simple and delicious shortbread base that you will absolutely love!

  • Author: Amber Goulden
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked Goods
  • Cuisine: Holiday
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of butter (2 sticks, or 16 tablespoons), softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 2/3 cup (329 g) gluten-free flour (we used King Arthur Measure-for-Measure)*
  • 1 cup no-sugar-added jam of your choice, such as apricot, raspberry, or blueberry

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 1 minute, until fluffy.
  3. Add the vanilla, almond extract, egg yolks, and salt to the bowl with the butter and sugar and beat for another 30 seconds, until just combined.
  4. Then, add the flour 1/2 cup at a time, beating constantly, until the dough is fully formed.
  5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, then roll the dough into one tablespoon-sized balls, make an indentation in each with a teaspoon, or your finger, and fill with jam.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the cookies brown around the outside, then let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • This recipe has been tested using King Arthur Measure-for-Measure flour, which is what we recommend for best results. Others have had success with Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1, but different flour blends may result in different outcomes.

Keywords: gluten free, holiday, cookie, snack, gift idea,

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Comments

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  1. Sarah says:

    Delicious cookies! I had to add 3 tsp of water to get them to come together, but otherwise a perfect recipe!

  2. Kelli says:

    Hi- thanks for the recipe. I’m getting ready to make these cookies. You say powdered sugar is best, but the recipe says granulated sugar. Just wanted to make sure which one to use. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    1. Cassy says:

      Thank you! Updated. Granulated is correct.

  3. alison says:

    Glad I stumbled on this recipe…..can’t stop eating the dough, which is delicious ! 8 more minutes til the first batch comes out of the oven. This should be a real treat, thanks !

  4. Faye says:

    How many cookies does this make?

  5. Gypsea says:

    Iʻm new to gluten-free baking and experimenting with different flours. I followed your recipe and the cookies just crumbled. First time using Bobʻs Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Flour and didnʻt read about adding xantham gum before baking. Can I ask what GF flour did you use? Thanks!

  6. Karla says:

    I’m not sure where i went wrong but my cookies just all melted into a puddle and looked awful. They tasted delicious but were so crumbly and flat! Lol… i’ve made regular thumbprint cookies several times but this was my first time trying a GF recipe…

    1. SJ says:

      Shortbread cookies will always spread out if not chilled. That instruction is missing.

  7. Carlin says:

    Overall good recipe but I thought the shortbread could have used a little more flavor. Next time I will use salted butter or add more salt. Also I started off with a tablespoon sized ball of dough and the cookies were larger than I was hoping for. I would recommend a smaller dough ball if you want bite sized cookies.

  8. Cindy says:

    Do you need to add zatham gum if your flour doesn’t have? If so, how much?

    1. Emily says:

      Yes, if your GF flour blend doesn’t have it you need to add xanthan gum. I’m not sure the exact amount but I use a little over half a teaspoon for mine and they came out great!

  9. Eugenia says:

    Hi, I was getting ready to make these cookies until I read the nutrition facts. Is it accurate that for 1 cookie there’s 3357 calories and 286% of cholesterol? It seems too much? Please let me know. Thanks

  10. Olivia McPhail says:

    yum, my family loved it! A little dry though is it my fault or the recipes?
    My fam did not care, THANK YOU!!!!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So glad your family enjoyed it! Without actually being there in the kitchen with you, it’s hard to tell what may have caused the dryness, but my first thought is the flour blend! We typically use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 or King Arthur Measure for Measure. I hope this helps!

  11. Mary says:

    Can I use almond flour with this recipe?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Not with this recipe, Mary…almond flour isn’t a good sub for regular/GF flour. We do have some other really yummy almond flour cookie options though – the Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies are a must-try!

  12. Violette says:

    Hello! Ide like to make my own jam special for some cookies, and I was wondering if I added sugar (about 1/2 a cup to every 2 cups of berry) how much the sugar would affect the baking process of the cookies? Thanks!

  13. Z Shorts says:

    We added a bit of almond flavoring to the dough and they turned out delicious.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Yum! Great idea!!

  14. Joan E. Wesolosky says:

    My recipe is too moist. How do I adjust to get a dryer dough?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Hi Joan! Add flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it reaches a dryer consistency! I hope this helps!

  15. Laura says:

    These turned out great! I love the taste, and they are very light. My whole family loved them. Thank you

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      We’re so glad to hear that, Laura! Thank you for the comment!

  16. sad cookies says:

    In one section of this recipe you say two sticks of butter and then lower you say one stick. I didn’t see the one stick until after when mine were too wet and ruined!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      The article/recipe card calls for 1 cup of butter which is 2 sticks, and that is the correct amount. We’re so sorry that your cookies turned out wet – we actually just retested this recipe and didn’t experience that at all!

  17. Danielle says:

    Can the butter be substituted with margarine or another non-dairy option?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      We haven’t tried it, Danielle, but it’s worth a try!

  18. Tina L says:

    I made these as printed and the cookies spread (even after refrigerating overnight) and they were quite dry. I added about 3/4 c of cream cheese and Instead of rolling into a ball I place it in my mini muffin tin and put a generous amount of jam in the center. The cream cheese made it more moist and extra jam made it more moist. Not exactly a traditional thumbprint cookie, but texture and flavor is much better!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Glad you enjoyed them, Tina!!

  19. Katie says:

    These are so good! I made them once with a different GF flour and they tasted great but I had major spreading issues. Using the King Arthur flour they came out exactly as pictured (and still taste great). Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      We’re glad you enjoyed them! Flour can be so finicky!