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!
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.
How to make vegan thumbprint cookies
(This is simply an overview with photos, scroll down to find the complete, printable recipe.)
- 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.
- Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and place on a lined baking sheet.
- 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.
- Fill with about a teaspoon of jam, enough to fill the hole.
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.
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
- Vegan Snowball Cookies
- Vegan Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies
- Vegan Ginger Cookies
Raspberry Almond Vegan Thumbprint Cookies
Simple Almond Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2-3 teaspoons water, as needed
- 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.
- Gluten free - Use a gluten free flour mix. I haven't tried this myself, but it usually works quite well.
- 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.
- 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.