These Vegan Thumbprint Cookies are insanely addictive and perfect for the holiday season. With a buttery shortbread cookie base, a sweet raspberry filling and a drizzle of almond flavored glaze, just try to stop at one!

bite taken out of a cookie stacked on more cookies

These little cookies are the most delicious holiday treat, and they must be made at least once every year! They are so vibrant, thanks to the raspberry center, and have that perfect shortbread cookie crunch in every bite.

Made with very few ingredients, this is about as simple as a cookie recipe gets. I adapted these raspberry almond thumbprints from my vegan shortbread cookies, by adding a little almond extract, making an indentation and filling with raspberry jam.

The icing drizzle is completely optional, but it makes them fancy without much effort. Everyone will adore them! I have a similar recipe for lemon shortbread cookies made with lemon curd that are perfect in the spring or summer.

If you love raspberry flavored desserts, you should check out this simple recipe for Vegan Raspberry Bars, one of my personal all time favorites.

lots of vegan thumbprint cookies with jam and glaze

How to make vegan thumbprint cookies

(This is simply an overview with photos, scroll down to find the complete, printable recipe.)

  1. In a large bowl, stir the flour and powdered sugar together. Add the softened vegan butter and almond extract and beat with a hand mixer (or stand mixer) until well combined. It may look crumbly, especially if your butter was too cold. Use your hands to mush it all together if necessary, the warmth will help the dough come together.
  2. Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and place on a lined baking sheet.
  3. Make an indentation with your thumb or forefinger in the center of each ball. You can also flatten the balls first a bit for a flatter cookie. Either way is just fine.
  4. Fill with about a teaspoon of jam, enough to fill the hole.

Pinterest collage with text of raspberry almond cookies

Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 10 minutes, then bake in the oven for 15-16 minutes. Freezing first helps the cookies not spread while baking, so i don’t recommend skipping it. The cookies won’t look done and they will be very light in color still, not brown at all. They firm up a ton as they cool, so don’t over bake and burn them.

Let them cool on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Once cool, drizzle with easy icing.

Tips for success

  • Use vegan butter that is softened, but not at all melted. If it’s too cold, the dough will have a hard time coming together, but if it’s melted, your cookies will spread in the oven. Just softened is what you want.
  • Measure your flour correctly, by using the spoon and level method. Spoon flour into a measuring cup, don’t shake it down or pat it, then level off the top with a knife.
  • Use seedless jam – Unless you don’t mind seeds. You can also use a variety of jams or fillings, such as apricot, strawberry, blueberry or even vegan caramel or ganache.

glazed cookies with jam on a cooling rack

How to store

Store leftover cookies in a covered container at room temperature for 5-6 days. Or freeze them for longer, they are wonderful straight out of the freezer.

More vegan Christmas cookies you’ll love

stack of cookies with red jam, marble background

Pinterest collage with text of raspberry almond cookies
4.93 stars (13 ratings)

Raspberry Almond Vegan Thumbprint Cookies

These Vegan Thumbprint Cookies are insanely addictive and perfect for the holiday season. With a buttery shortbread cookie base, a sweet raspberry filling and a drizzle of almond flavored glaze, just try to stop at one!
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Chilling time: 10 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 26 cookies

Ingredients 
 

Thumbprint Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups vegan butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • *if butter is unsalted, add a tiny pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

Simple Almond Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2-3 teaspoons water, as needed

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, stir the flour and powdered sugar together. Now add the softened butter and almond extract and mix with a hand mixer on low-medium speed until combined. The dough will look crumbly and soft but should smush together when squeezed in your hands. If it looks really crumbly, that means your butter was too cold. Use your hands to mush the dough together, the warmth from your hands will help it come together.
  • Shape the dough into 1 inch balls, about a tablespoon each, and place on baking sheets. 
  • Make a small indentation with your thumb or finger in the center of each cookie, then fill with about a teaspoon of jam. For flatter cookies, flatten the balls a bit first, then make the indentation.
  • Place the baking sheet with the cookies in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking, then place in the preheated oven and bake for 15-16 minutes. This helps the cookies bake perfectly and not spread or flatten. The cookies will still be light in color and appear a bit underdone when you take them out of the oven, but they firm up as they cool.
  • Let cool for a few minutes on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Make the glaze: Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth, adding water as needed to thin the icing. You want it to be pretty thick and not too thin. Add the glaze to a small bag, cut a small tip from a corner and drizzle over the cooled cookies. Let them set, then store cookies in an airtight container.

Notes

  1. Gluten free - Use a gluten free flour mix. I haven't tried this myself, but it usually works quite well.
  2. Different flavor - Feel free to use a different jam in the center, if desired, such as apricot, strawberry, cherry, blueberry or omit the almond extract and fill with vegan caramel or ganache.
  3. Butter - I used Country Crock brand, but have used Earth Balance as well. Any brand of vegan butter should work well. If you happen to get the unsalted sticks, add a tiny pinch of salt to the dough. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 139kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 71mg | Potassium: 16mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 415IU | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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Comments

  1. Do these freeze well? I want to start making cookies for christmas and would like to be able to freeze them then thaw for Christmas day celebrations.

  2. Hello!
    I would love to try these cookies, though I’m wondering if there’s a way to swap the buttery sticks for coconut oil?

    Thanks for your help!

  3. So easy to make and delicious. I used Cranberry Lemon jam and Boysenberry Jam and both were amazing! I didn’t do the glaze and they were the perfect amount of sweet.  

  4. does anyone know the weight of the butter? I don’t have sticks, just the tubs so a weight would be very helpful 🙂

  5. These cookies are great. I made them with vanilla extract instead of almond, and I used a passionfruit jelly that was given as a gift. I didn’t use a hand mixer; I mixed together with a spoon and then with my hand. I’m looking forward to sharing them with friends.

    1. I am so glad you love the cookies! I love the way the flavors can be changed, and yours sound delicious! Thank you for sharing your wonderful comments!

      1. Hi, Nora! I loved the blueberry muffins and the Thumbprint cookies. They were so good! Thank you, Nora, for the recipe!

        PS I’m 8 years old.

  6. Nora, these were amazing! I swapped out the raspberry jam with vegan chocolate ganache. These for sure will be my go-to Christmas cookie. We can’t stop eating them! All of your recipes that I have tried have just been perfect, thank you!

  7. These were amazing! I made them and gave them to my neighbors for Christmas – none of them knew they were vegan. At first, I thought the amount of jam was going to be too much, but it wasn’t at all. I also used Cherry jam that I had and they were great.

  8. Hi Nora, I made the thumbprint cookies and they spread in the oven. My butter is as very soft, do you think that was the issue? I used peach preserves- it’s what I had in my pantry. 

    1. Yes, if you start with very soft or melty butter, they are more likely to spread in the oven. Try to start with it colder next time, or chill the dough for 30 minutes before baking, that will help as well if your butter is too soft. Thanks!

  9. Delicious! My brother in law said it reminded him of the non vegan recipes his mom used to make as a kid. Can’t wait to use it again this Christmas. Thank you, Nora!

  10. Our first time making these cookies. My 10 year old boys and I love them!! They couldn’t believe how yummy they were :)) Thank you Nora!:-)

  11. I made these for the first time last Christmas. This year my family is begging for them again. The only problem? I can’t stop eating them! YUM! 

  12. Made the raspberry thumbprints using Country Crock sticks of vegan plant butter. They taste amazing! I will definitely make these again.

  13. Made these this evening. Forgot to freeze them pre-bake but they still turned out excellent! Lovely buttery shortbread! My only change is I made two different flavors – fig and pomegranate.

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