This healthy thumbprint cookies recipe is gluten free, naturally sweetened, and vegan-friendly! Almond flour gives these cookies a sweet, nutty flavor. Perfect for Christmas along with our other holiday favorites, Healthier Sugar Cookies and Healthier Candy Cane Cookies!
When you were a kid, did your grandma ever have a tin of assorted cookies at Christmas? Did you ever dig through the tin, to find that one cookie that was your favorite?
I sure did, and my favorite was always the one with the raspberry jam in the middle.
I haven’t had those cookies in YEARS, so this season, I made sure to include my version of healthy thumbprint cookies in our annual cookie tradition!
Healthier Thumbprint Cookies
I’m pretty sure those cookies didn’t use REAL jam… they were kind of glue-y and my grandma had that tin on her table for WAAAAY longer than jam should be left unrefrigerated, LOL.
And I’m pretty sure we can all agree that any cookie you find in a Christmas tin at TJ Maxx or Marshalls is probably not going to be the healthiest cookie, right?
But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy healthier thumbprint cookies this season! My version of this holiday classic is:
- Naturally gluten-free
- Refined sugar-free (naturally sweetened!)
- Just 8 pantry-friendly ingredients
But that’s not all you guys. When I told my kids we were making “the kind of cookies that have raspberry jam in the middle,” my daughter LITERALLY pumped her fists and said “YESSSS!! Those are my FAVORITE!”
And the fact that she kept walking into the kitchen WAY more than normal – just to sneak a cookie in passing – proved her right!
Classic Thumbprint Cookie Recipe Ingredients
I mentioned that you only need 8 ingredients to make this classic thumbprint cookie recipe, so let’s talk about what you need. (Be sure to read my note about the almond flour and almond extract after this list!)
- Almond Flour or Almond Meal. Required for the classic almond flavor of these shortbread thumbprint cookies. If you make your own homemade almond milk, you can use the leftover almond meal!
- Oat Flour or Whole Wheat Flour. Both are optional, but both help to offset the cost of almond flour – even if it’s just a little bit!
- Coconut Oil or Butter.
- Maple Syrup or Honey. Use either one here, but know that the honey flavor will come through.
- Vanilla Extract.
- Almond Extract. We don’t need much, but a little splash gives amazing flavor!
- Salt. A pinch brings out the nuttiness of the almonds.
- Raspberry Jam. You can also use strawberry jam (with this super easy recipe) or apple pie jam or blueberry jam… whatever flavor you want really!
Do you have to use almond flour (or almond meal) and almond extract?
- For the classic thumbprint cookie we know and love, yes. That’s how you get that almond flavor!
- I don’t always keep these ingredients on hand, but I also don’t make these cookies year-round. For me, Christmas cookies are a special tradition, and I’m willing to buy a couple things to make them. Not to mention, almonds are really beneficial for our health!
- I recommend buying a bag of almond flour and giving these a shot. If you have leftover flour, use it in almond flour pancakes or triple fudge Paleo brownies!
- We also tested several versions by substituting some of the almond flour with oat flour and whole wheat flour and found that you CAN substitute up to one full cup of flour with either one. However, my family picked the cookie made with mostly almond flour and some oat flour best, so that’s how the recipe is written.
There’s no rule that says you HAVE to use raspberry jam in these cookies – that’s just what is traditionally used. In the spirit of keeping things affordable, use whatever you happen to have.
If you want to splurge, cherry jam would be exceptionally good with the almond flavor in the cookie.
How to Make Jam Thumbprint Cookies
Step 1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
Step 2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, use the paddle blade attachment to combine all of the ingredients except the jam until it becomes a cohesive dough, about 1-3 minutes.
Step 3. Using a small cookie scoop OR a tablespoon measuring spoon, scoop the dough onto a baking sheet lined with a silpat mat.
Step 4. Wet your hands just a little bit and roll the dough into balls. Using a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon (tip: re-use the one you used to measure the almond extract!), make a small well in the middle of each cookie.
Step 5. Fill the wells with about 3/4 teaspoon of jam.
Step 6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are JUST slightly brown.
Step 7. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before removing to a cooling sheet to cool completely.
Step 8. Store the cookies at room temperature for one day, or covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Thumbprint Cookies FAQs
These cookies will be good for up to 10 days when stored in the refrigerator, covered.
If you don’t eat the batch the day they’re made, yes. The jam is not shelf-stable.
Yes! They’re good for up to 3 months.
More Healthy Cookie Recipes
This recipe is part of an on-going journey to make traditional Christmas cookies healthier. Here are a few other recipes we’ve already transformed:
- Healthier Sugar Cookies
- Healthier Candy Cane Cookies
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
- Dark Chocolate Almond Oatmeal Cookies
- Naturally Sweetened Pumpkin Cookies
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Healthy Thumbprint Cookies
This healthy thumbprint cookies recipe is gluten free, naturally sweetened, and vegan-friendly! Almond flour gives these cookies a sweet, nutty flavor. Perfect for Christmas!
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 40 mins
- Yield: 24 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour or almond meal
- 1/2 cup oat flour OR whole wheat flour (or additional almond flour)
- ¼ cup butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup jam of choice
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, use the paddle blade attachment to combine all of the ingredients except the jam until it becomes a cohesive dough, about 1-3 minutes.
- Using a small cookie scoop OR a tablespoon measuring spoon, scoop the dough onto a baking sheet lined with a silpat mat.
- Wet your hands just a little bit and roll the dough into balls. Using a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon (tip: re-use the one you used to measure the almond extract!), make a small well in the middle of each cookie.
- Fill the wells with about 3/4 teaspoon of jam.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are JUST slightly brown.
- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before removing to a cooling sheet to cool completely.
- Store the cookies at room temperature for one day, or covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
These cookies will be good for up to 10 days when stored in the refrigerator, covered.
Freeze thumbprint cookies for up to 3 months.
- Serving Size: 2 cookies
- Calories: 160
Keywords: Thumbprint cookies, Healthy Thumbprint Cookies, Jam Thumbprint Cookies, Thumbprint Cookies with Jam
Delicious cookies! I divided my dough into two separate batches. The first batch I filled with Polaner’s All-Fruit Seedless Raspberry Spreadable Fruit. The second batch I baked unfilled, then later piped full of Tiffany’s chocolate ganache, the recipe for which I also found on this site. Both varieties were absolutely fabulous!! Thank you!
This was great! I was looking for a lighter version of thumbprint cookies, and gluten free. I did half almond flour, half gluten free flour. Added a tablespoon or two of milk as a result. Also I used coconut oil and found they held their shape well! Delish
Kyare - Team Crumbs
So happy to hear this recipe worked so well for you!
These were fabulous! My daughter, who is 5, was diagnosed with Crohn’s and we are looking for healthier alternatives to familiar foods. These were a huge hit and SO YUMMY. I used homemade sugar free jam too!
YUM!! I’m so glad your daughter enjoyed these!
Delicious! I made them just as the recipe directed and used organic cherry jam. They are not too sweet but that is perfect for me!
The cookies turned out pretty good! The only two issues I had was that I used coconut oil, and that really over powered the flavor of the cookies in my opinion.
Second my cookies didn’t really hold the pretty shape, they sort of melted open and became blob-like. I think I could have possibly done something wrong? Otherwise these were good and easy to make!
I would def use butter next time!
Hi MM – it’s definitely the coconut oil! I’d love for you to try these again with butter, and possibly update your ranking. 😉
These were so good. I’m going to make them a yearly Christmas Tradition. Thank you!
You’re so very welcome!