This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

These vegan thumbprint cookies are made with a soft and buttery shortbread dough and filled with jam, then dusted with powdered sugar. They’re the perfect cookie for the holiday season, gifting, and sharing with friends and family. All you need is 8 ingredients.

Vegan Gluten-free Thumbprint Cookies with Apricot and Strawberry Jam

My absolute favorite cookies growing up were my Auntie Belinda’s thumbprint cookies. I remember she would always have a batch made when we went over to her house – it was heaven!

I was inspired by her to get into the kitchen and create a vegan version for our blog. After a few tests and a lot of trial and error, Chris and I finally nailed it! We were able to create vegan AND gluten-free thumbprint cookies using Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten-free baking flour and a whole lot of love.

Vegan Gluten-free Thumbprint Cookies with Apricot and Strawberry Jam

Ingredients You’ll Need 

  • Flax egg – Our go-to vegan egg substitute is a flax egg (ground flaxseed mixed with water). It’s affordable, quick to make, and very good at binding the cookie dough together.
  • Butter – We’ve made these cookies using Country Crock Butter Sticks and Earth Balance Butter Sticks. Any vegan butter sticks will work – salted or unsalted. Avoid using tubs of buttery spreads. These butters are too soft and will likely cause spreading.
  • Sugar – Classic cane sugar is used to sweeten the cookie dough. To ensure your cookies are vegan, opt for organic sugar. Conventional sugars can be made using non vegan processes. 
  • Vanilla – Adds the perfect hint of flavor to these shortbread cookies. If desired, opt for almond extract. It will change the flavor slightly, but still be delicious!
  • Flour – We wanted to make these cookies both vegan and gluten-free and made them successfully using Bob’s Red Mill’s 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour Blend. If you tolerate gluten, swap the GF flour for regular all-purpose flour. 
  • Baking powder – Baking powder is the optimal leavening agent in thumbprint cookies because it will lightly raise the dough while keeping it an ivory, light color. Baking soda would cause the cookies to brown quickly. 
  • Jam – Use your favorite jam! We love using strawberry and/or apricot jam. Raspberry jam would also be delicious.
  • Powdered sugar – Completely optional, but a final dusting of powdered sugar is the best finishing touch! 

Equipment Needed

Vegan Gluten-free Thumbprint Cookies Ingredients

How to Make Vegan Thumbprint Cookies

  1. Make the flax egg. In a small bowl, mix together the water and ground flax seed. Set aside to thicken and become gelatinous. 
  2. Cream the butter and sugar. In a large bowl with an electric mixer or stand mixer bowl, whip the vegan butter until smooth and creamy. Add in the sugar and cream until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
  3. Form the cookie dough. Add the flax egg, vanilla, and salt. Mix to combine. Gradually add the flour and baking powder and continue to mix until uniform. 
  4. Chill the dough. Transfer the cookie dough to the refrigerator and chill for 10 minutes. 
  5. Roll the cookie dough in sugar. Once chilled, using a 1-tablespoon scoop, scoop out a mound of cookie dough and roll the dough between your palms. Roll the ball in a small bowl of sugar to fully coat, then place the cookies 1 ½” apart on a lined baking sheet.
  6. Make “thumb prints” in the cookie dough balls. Using the back of a measuring spoon, your index finger, or end of a wooden spoon handle, gently make a small imprint in the center of the cookies. 
  7. Fill with jam. Start with ½ teaspoon in each, being careful not to overfill. 
  8. Bake! Bake the jam-filled thumbprint cookies for 13-15 minutes, or until lightly golden. 
  9. Cool. Allow to cool directly on the baking sheet, then dust with powdered sugar, if desired. 
  10. Enjoy! 
Vegan Gluten-free Thumbprint Cookies with Apricot and Strawberry Jam

Recipe FAQs

Can I freeze thumbprint cookies?

Yes, the unbaked thumbprint cookie dough and the baked cookies can be frozen. If you’d like to freeze the cookie dough, roll it into 1-tablespoon balls, then place the dough balls on a baking sheet. Flash freeze for 3-4 hours, or until the dough is frozen, then transfer the cookie dough to a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost the dough balls in the refrigerator, then fill and bake as normal.

To freeze baked cookies, allow them to cool completely, then place the baking sheet in the freezer to flash freeze. Once frozen solid (about 3-4 hours), transfer the cookies to a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost cookies in the refrigerator or on the counter, and enjoy!

Can thumbprint cookie dough be refrigerated overnight?

Absolutely! Follow the recipe steps 1 through 4, then refrigerate the dough overnight.

How do I stop my thumbprint cookies from spreading?

If your thumbprint cookies are spreading, the dough is likely too warm, or the butter is too soft. It is important to keep the cookie dough as chilled as possible. If you are new to baking with softening butter, you may find these 3 Ways to Soften Butter Quickly and Easily useful!

Expert Baking Tips

  • Remember to soften the vegan butter ahead of time. Depending on how cool your house is, the butter should take 30 minutes to 1 hour to soften, so plan ahead!
  • Use a 1-1 flour blend. Swapping the gluten-free flour blend for a single gluten-free flour, such as oat flour, almond flour, coconut flour, etc., would need additional testing and altered measurements. Please only use a gluten-free flour blend that is meant to be used cup for cup instead of wheat flour.
Vegan Gluten-free Thumbprint Cookies with Apricot and Strawberry Jam

Storage Instructions

These vegan thumbprint cookies will store best at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 7 days or longer in the refrigerator. Refrigerated cookies will be dense but will soften up again if brought to room temperature before enjoying. 

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you recreate any of our recipes, we love to see your photos!

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Vegan Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

  • Author: Jasmine @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: About 14 cookies


These vegan thumbprint cookies are made with a soft and buttery shortbread dough and filled with jam, then dusted with powdered sugar. They’re the perfect cookie for the holiday season, gifting, and sharing with friends and family. All you need is 8 ingredients!


  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal + 2 tablespoons water)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons vegan butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill organic cane sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten-free baking flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Strawberry and/or apricot jam
  • 23 tablespoons organic powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the flax egg by mixing together the flaxseed meal and water in a small bowl and setting it aside for 15 minutes to thicken.
  3. In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric standing mixer, whip the vegan butter until creamy and smooth. Add in the sugar and cream until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  4. Add the flax egg, vanilla extract, and salt, then mix until smooth. Gradually add flour and baking powder, then mix until it is fully incorporated and uniform, scraping down the sides as necessary. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. In the meantime, get your jam out along with a 1 teaspoon sized measuring spoon.
  5. Add 2-3 tablespoons of cane sugar into a small bowl. Using a 1-tablespoon sized scoop, scoop out a mound of dough and roll the dough between your palms to form a small ball. Roll the ball in the small bowl of sugar to full coat and then place the dough ball onto the baking sheet. Place dough balls on prepared baking sheets at least 1½ inches apart.
  6. Using the back of the measuring spoon, your index finger, or end the end of a wooden spoon handle, make imprints into the center of each dough ball. Be sure not to press too deep and puncture through the dough. Spoon a small amount of jam (start with 1/2 teaspoon) into the center of each dough ball. Do not overfill.
  7. Transfer the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until golden.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet.
  9. Once cooled, you can dust them with powdered sugar, if desired.
  10. Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days.


  • If needed, you can use Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose flour in place of the gluten-free flour. We have not tested this out but we are confident that it should work!
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dessert, Cookies, Christmas
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-free

Keywords: Dessert, Cookies, Christmas, Vegan, Gluten-free, Thumbprint, Jam, Strawberry, Apricot

Nutrition facts label provided by Nutri Fox.

Disclaimer: The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional’s advice. This page may contain affiliate links, which simply means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!

Meet The Bloggers

hey there! we’re jasmine & chris.

Hi, we’re Jasmine and Chris! We share fresh and fun recipes to show you that vegan cooking is easy, approachable and delicious. When we’re not blogging, you will probably find us enjoying live music, tending to our backyard garden or playing with our dogs Berry and Louie

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star


  1. It’s so hard finding gluten free recipes that my whole family can enjoy, but I made these for my family yesterday morning and everyone loved them! My family had eaten all of them by the time I went for seconds, which never happens when I bake gluten free! I’m going to make them again today or tomorrow, and was wondering if I made a double batch if I could freeze some of the batter? These are definitely a new family favorite. Thank you!

  2. Great recipe…back in the day my mom made chocolate filled thumbprints. So I made this dough, added allergen friendly chopped chocolate chips per her recipe. Baked them with no filling…then made her chocolate filling and filled them when cool. Also used the dough recipe without the chocolate chips in it and filled some currant jelly, cranberry jelly and apricot jam. My mom’s recipe used current and mint jelly. Takes me back to my childhood.

  3. Love the cookies, however I used 1/2 Cup of vegan butter when I think it should have been 1/4 cup. The sticks are 1/4 cup not 1/2. They came out crumbly.

  4. I just made these for the cookie exchange at my office, dusted them with baking spice and added a chocolate chip on top of the jam and they are INCREDIBLE! Thanks for an easy and equally impressive recipe!

  5. Just got done making these, and with all purpose flour, and OMG! These are so good girl! Absolute must make for my next family gathering.