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

This recipe is…

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.

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.

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:

metal bowl on a marble surface filled with a stick of softened butter and sugar
metal bowl on a marble surface filled with creamed butter and sugar
12 cookie dough balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet on a marble surface
metal bowl filled with creamed butter, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla
metal bowl filled with crumbly cookie dough on a marble surface
12 indented circles of cookie dough on parchment paper on a marble surface
metal bowl on a marble surface filled with creamed butter and sugar, vanilla extract, and an egg yolk
metal bowl filled with formed cookie dough on a marble surface
Jam Thumbprints-10
  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!

Gluten Free Jam Thumbprint Cookies

4.35 — Votes 23 votes
By Cassy Joy Garcia
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
These Gluten-Free Thumbprint Cookies have an incredibly simple and delicious shortbread base that you will absolutely love!


  • 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


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 1 minute, until fluffy.
  • 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.
  • Then, add the flour 1/2 cup at a time, beating constantly, until the dough is fully formed.
  • 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.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the cookies brown around the outside, then let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Recipe 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.


Calories: 184kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 1.1g | Fat: 8.1g | Saturated Fat: 4.9g | Cholesterol: 35.7mg | Sodium: 106.8mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 14.8g

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories: 184
Keyword: cookie, gift idea, gluten free, holiday, snack

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    These cookies were a huge hit in our house, they were a little crumbly but I think that was because I made them too thin, I used three different kinds of jam and they turned out beautifully! I couldn’t be happier. Thank you so much for a lovely recipe!

    1. Aw that’s awesome, Ray! We’re so glad everyone loved them!

  2. 5 stars
    The cookies came out perfectly! My 8 year old wouldn’t stop commenting on how good the cookies were. Thank you for recipe. I have been craving these type of cookies for a long time. Being gluten free is a challenge but recipes like yours make things a little easier. Thank you you!

  3. 5 stars
    Made these for my family’s Christmas and they were a hit!! the recipe was super easy and tasted amazing. Will definitely make again!

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with us, Molly! We’re so glad they were a hit!

    1. We’re so glad you enjoyed these, Carissa. Thanks so much for letting us know!

  4. 5 stars
    Been making different GF cookies all day and this was the best!! Accidentally added the egg whites and they came out light and delicious.

    1. How fun! We are so glad you loved these cookies. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us! -Team FF

  5. Excellent. Easy recipe. Used Bob’s red mill, and excluded the almond extract. They did have to cook a little longer than the estimated, though

    1. We are so glad that you found the recipe easy to follow. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful substitutions! -Team FF

  6. Thank you for this great recipe! I made a double batch for Christmas and filled them with 5 different kinds of jam so they were Jam Surprise cookies!

    1. Jam Surprise cookies sound like so much fun! Thank you for taking the time to share this with us! ~Melissa

  7. Hi!
    Can these be made by subbing regular flour if gf is not needed? Also, is the texture more crumbly/crunchy or is it a semi soft cookie?
    Thanks so much!!

    1. We used a 1-for-1 gluten-free flour, so regular flour should work great! We haven’t actually tested it (our kitchen is 100% GF), but it should work!!

  8. 5 stars
    These cookies are easy to make and delicious! We chested and didn’t wait for the 15 minute cooling period. We gobbled them up Will definitely make these again and soon.

    1. So glad you enjoyed these, Janie. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

  9. 5 stars
    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. We’re glad you enjoyed them! Flour can be so finicky!

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

  11. 1 star
    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. 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!