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Vegan Thumbprint Cookies

These are truly the easiest vegan thumbprint cookies ever. With just 6 simple ingredients you can whip up a batch of these buttery shortbread cookies filled with jam in less than 30 minutes!
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These soft, buttery shortbread cookies filled with a delicious jam are the perfect gift to share with family and friends for any occasion! You can creatively position the thumbprints to create fun shapes like hearts for Valentine’s Day! Or you can stick with the classic round thumbprint cookie shape.

You don’t even need a special occasion to enjoy these vegan cookies! With six simple ingredients, these cookies come together quickly for whenever you want a sweet treat without much effort. They’re also great for including kids in the kitchen! Shaping, pressing, and filling the cookies is a fun activity for the whole family.

This recipe comes from The Friendly Vegan Cookbook by Michelle Cehn and Toni Okamoto and

Hands holding a heart shaped vegan thumbprint cookie.
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Why You’ll Love These Vegan Thumbprint Cookies

  • Perfect for any holiday. These jam-filled cookies are the perfect treat to gift to family and friends for any occasion! Anyone who tries these buttery shortbread cookies filled with jam can’t get enough. The only downside is you may be expected to make these cookies every year! Make them heart shaped for valentine’s day, or egg-shaped for Easter. This recipe is versatile for any season and holiday!
  • Quick and simple to make. You just need six simple ingredients to make these vegan thumbprint cookies. There’s a good chance you already have all the ingredients on hand, making them easy to whip up in a moment’s notice.
  • Easy to customize with different fillings. There’s no limit to the flavor variations with these cookies. Any jam or preserve with your favorite fruity flavor perfectly pairs with the shortbread cookie base. Whether that’s strawberry, cherry, raspberry, blueberry, or any other jam flavor you desire, it’s sure to be a winner with these cookies!
  • Family-friendly. These cookies are fun to make and a great way to get the kids involved in the kitchen. Whether that’s mixing, rolling and shaping, or making little thumbprint designs, it’s sure to be a fun activity for all!

Key Ingredients

The beauty of these vegan thumbprints cookies is how short and sweet the ingredient list is. All you need are six simple ingredients:

  • Vegan butter: Any brand will work, the most important note is that it must be at room temperature before using. When you’re about ready to make the cookies, remove the butter from the fridge 30 minutes beforehand to soften.
  • Granulated sugar: Regular granulated sugar is all you need! If you’re unsure whether your sugar is vegan, here’s our take on vegan sugar.
  • Vanilla and almond extract: Together these two extracts add a delicious aroma and flavor to the finished cookies that goes great with any sweet filling!
  • All-purpose flour: It’s important to use all-purpose flour in this recipe for best recipes.
  • Jam or preserves: You can use your favorite store-bought brand or try this easy 3-ingredient strawberry chia jam.

How To Make Vegan Thumbprint Cookies

These cookies come together in less than 30 minutes with just a few simple steps! Here is a step-by-step guide so you know what to look for when making the dough. For full recipe details, check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Step One: Add the vegan butter and sugar to a large bowl and beat together with an electric mixer until fluffy.

Step Two: Add the vanilla and almond extracts and beat again to combine, then slowly add flour 1⁄2 cup at a time, beating until fully incorporated. The dough will look crumbly but should hold shape when molded into a ball. If not, add 1 teaspoon of water at a time and mix again, until a more pliable dough forms.

Hand rolling thumbprint cookie dough into a ball.

Step Three: Take a heaping tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball. Place it on a greased cookie sheet and flatten with the palm of your hand. Using your thumb, press two thumbprints in the center forming a heart. Repeat with remaining dough, leaving one inch between each cookie. Spoon jam or preserves into the dents on each cookie.

Step Four: Place cookies in a preheated oven and bake for about 17-19 minutes, until the cookies just start to get very lightly golden. Allow to cool on the pan for 30 minutes before removing.

Baked vegan thumbprint cookies on a cookie sheet with a spatula.

Tips For Success

Use room temperature butter: You don’t want melted butter but you don’t want it to be cold right out of the fridge. Allow the vegan butter to sit on the counter until softened, or microwave for just a few seconds. The microwave can melt it fast so be careful not to leave it in for too long. If your butter is too soft, the cookies will spread too much.

Check dough for consistency: The dough should be crumbly but hold its shaped when pressed. To check if your dough is of the right consistency, squish a small amount in your hand. If it’s too crumbly and falls apart, add water 1 teaspoon at a time until a more pliable dough forms (it should still look slightly crumbly).

Allow cookies to cool: I know it’s tempting to enjoy these vegan thumbprint cookies right out of the oven but it’s best to allow them to cool on the pan for 30 minutes before removing. This helps them to finish setting up so they hold their shape.

A spatula holding one vegan thumbprint cookie.

How To Store

These vegan thumbprint cookies are best stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days. For longer storage you can keep them in the refrigerator, just allow them to soften up at room temperature for 15-30 minutes before enjoying.

Flavor Variations

The sky’s the limit with these vegan thumbprint cookies! You can use whichever fillings you fancy and mix ’em up for a fun and beautiful plate. Here are just a few ideas of how you can make the most of your baking adventure:

  • Awesome Apricot – Apricot preserves pair beautifully with these cookies and have the benefit of being high in antioxidants, potassium, and fiber!
  • Beautiful Blueberry – Blueberry preserves are a delicious and wonderful choice for bringing your cookies from boring to thrilling and also feature a deeply beautiful color. Want to bring it up a little? Mix in some blackberry preserves for some delightful texture.
  • Rad Raspberry – Raspberry preserves offer a delightful sweetness and fun crunch. Raspberries are naturally high in vitamin C and manganese, which aids in bone health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did my thumbprint cookies spread so much?

Most likely the butter was too soft. If timing the softness of butter is a struggle, you can chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes before baking.

Why are my cookies crumbly?

Most likely the dough was too dry which can be caused by butter that wasn’t soft enough. To counteract this, you can add a teaspoon of water at a time to the dough and mix again until the dough can hold its shape when rolled into a ball. The dough will still look crumbly after mixing but should roll into a smooth ball.

What is another name for thumbprint cookies?

They’re a common Swedish cookie known as Hallongrotta which means “raspberry cave.” In Australia they’re known as “jam drops.”

Vegan thumbprint cookies on a plate with a cloth napkin and a glass of non-dairy milk beside it and a hand reaching for a cookie.

More Delicious Vegan Cookies And Recipes

Store-Bought Vegan Cookies and Baked Goods

  • Online Vegan Bakeries—these fantastic bakeries can ship vegan treats directly to your door!
  • Oreos—yes, they’re vegan!
  • Vegan Girl Scout Cookies—thin mints are always vegan, and several other girl scout cookies can also be vegan, depending on the bakery.

Vegan Thumbprint Cookies

Author: Michelle Cehn | World of Vegan
5 from 8 votes
These are the easiest thumbprint cookies ever! With just 6 simple ingredients you can whip up these sweet thumbprint cookies from my book, the FriendlyVeganCookbook, in under an hour.
A plate of vegan thumbprint cookies with jam filling.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegan butter, at room temperature
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup jam, or preserves of your choice

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, beat the vegan butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla and almond extracts and beat to combine. Add flour 1⁄2 cup at a time, beating until the dough is well mixed. This will create a crumbly-looking dough that you should be able to mold together with your hands. If the dough is too crumbly to hold together, add water 1 teaspoon at a time until a more pliable dough forms (it should still look slightly crumbly).
  • Take a heaping tablespoon of dough, roll it into a ball, and place it on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten with your hand and using your thumb, press two thumbprints in the center forming a heart. Repeat with remaining dough, leaving one inch between each cookie. Spoon preserves into the dents on each cookie.
  • Bake for 17 – 19 minutes, until the cookies just start to get very lightly golden. Allow to cool on the pan for 30 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 287kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 3g | Sodium: 121mg | Potassium: 38mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 0.4IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword easy thumbprint cookies, thumbprint heart cookies, vegan thumbprint cookies
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Recipe Rating




8 comments
  1. Beatriz Buono-Core says:

    5 stars
    These are my kiddos favorites and we make them religiously!

  2. Andrea White says:

    5 stars
    Love how easy these thumbprint cookies are to whip up! So tasty!

  3. 5 stars
    These vegan thumbprint cookies are so good! Love that there are only six ingredients. They were also fun to make!

  4. Beatriz Buono-Core says:

    5 stars
    We make these cookies with the kids ALL the time! It’s become one of our Christmas traditions and we couldn’t love it more!

  5. 5 stars
    One of my favorite cookie recipes!! I don’t know what it is about jam and baked goods, but it’s a heavenly combination in my book. I also have a peanut butter obsession, so this recipe is like it’s made just for me. My favorite jam to use is raspberry, but I’ve always wanted to try a savory jelly, like hot pepper jelly. Might be tasty!

  6. 5 stars
    These are definitely more on the “healthy” side for cookies than I’m used to, but they do hit the spot and are also wholesome enough to feel okay about sharing with my toddler!

  7. 5 stars
    Cookies are one of my favorite treats and it’s nice to have a recipe to switch it up from the usual chocolate chip! I also love that it calls for oat flour which I have plenty of 🙂