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Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Jam thumbprint cookies are a classic Christmas cookie. A soft, shortbread cookie is filled with homemade jam to make these festive holiday cookies.

jam thumbprint cookies on glass cake stand

What ingredients are in thumbprint cookies?

  • flour, baking powder, salt
  • butter, sugar, egg, vanilla
  • jam

How do you make thumbprint cookies?

  1. Gently whisk together the dry ingredients of flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla. Continue to mix with the electric mixer.
  3. Fold the wet and dry ingredients together. Mix until just barely combined. 
  4. Scoop out balls of dough, roll them in sugar and place then on a parchment lined baking tray. Make a well in the middle of the cookie by pressing with your thumb. Fill the middle with jam then bake.

Do you fill thumbprint cookies with jam before or after baking?

Recipes suggest both methods– filling the cookies with jam before baking or after baking. I prefer to fill them with jam before baking so that the jam bubbles up and then settles firmly in the cookie. If you fill the cookies with preserves after baking, the jam filling will not be set and may jiggle around or pour out if the cookies aren’t kept flat.

Jam thumbprint cookies are a simple cookie that can change with the seasons. Add red strawberry preserves to make this a holiday cookie or use lemon curd to make this perfect for welcoming spring. In the fall a filling could be pumpkin butter and in the summer a fresh puree of berries.

Chocolate thumbprint cookies are made with this same thumbprint technique then filled with caramel– yum!

Other Christmas cookies you’ll love include snowman cookiesnutty chocolate crunch cookies, and coffee chocolate crinkle cookies

Homemade jam or store bought?

You’ll find fresh fruit in the grocery stores year round but don’t worry if the jam you use for these thumbprint cookies is homemade or store bought.

Yes, of course, you can find berries nearly all year long at the grocery store but not all strawberries are created equal. December strawberries often don’t compare in quality to spring and summer berries. I made a quick jam with strawberries, although you could add any type of berry to your jam– blueberries and raspberries would work nicely too. The freshly made jam then joined these buttery thumbprint cookies for a tasty bite.

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

tray of strawberry filled jam thumbprint cookies

Jam thumbprint cookies are a simple cookie that can change with the seasons. Add red strawberry preserves to make this a holiday cookie or use lemon curd to make this perfect for welcoming spring.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup raspberry, cherry or strawberry jam

Optional: make your own jam:

  • 2 cups of berries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Puree berries (add a few tablespoons of water if necessary). Add berries, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir continuously as the mixture bubbles for about 3-4 minutes. Mixture will thicken slightly and darken in color. Set aside and cool. Store in the refrigerator.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two baking pans with parchment.
  2. Gently whisk the dry ingredients in a small bowl: flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until well combined. The mixture will lighten in color and will look fluffy. Add the egg and the vanilla.
  4. On low speed add the dry ingredients. Only mix until just barely combined.
  5. Make 1-inch balls of dough then roll them in sugar to coat. Place on your prepared baking sheet. Lightly press into the middle of the balls of dough to make space for the jam. Make sure your edges are high enough compared to your indentation so that the jam will stay in the middle while baking. Add a small amount of jam to each cookie.
  6. Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cookie

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 140Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 59mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 2g

This data is provided by Nutritionix and is an estimate only.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Laura@ Baking in Pyjamas

Wednesday 25th of May 2016

There's nothing better than summer strawberries and freshly made jam. Holly, these cookies are wonderful!

Abbe@This is How I Cook

Thursday 19th of May 2016

Love these cookies! I love jam filled cookies and strawberry is my favorite. In answer to you above question...We used to grow strawberries and they were delicious. However it is very hard to beat the squirrels and they do spread so you need a contained area. Never did get enough to do anything with them but it sure was fun getting a bite!

Holly F

Monday 23rd of May 2016

Ah, yes, the dreaded squirrels! Sneaky little characters.

Linda @ 2 Cookin' Mamas

Thursday 19th of May 2016

I haven't made thumbprint cookies in ages! Thanks for reminding me how good they are. And homemade jam is the best! Bet these went fast!

Karen Harris

Tuesday 17th of May 2016

You are so right about the strawberries. They are definitely not all created equal. These cookies look wonderful.

Holly F

Tuesday 17th of May 2016

I'd like to plant some strawberries in a container garden this summer and then really enjoy the freshest berries at peak season. Have you had any luck growing strawberries here?


Tuesday 17th of May 2016

Homemade strawberry jam and buttery cookies sound like a match made in heaven!! The thumbprints are so pretty!

Holly F

Tuesday 17th of May 2016

Thanks so much! It's great baking with this group each month.

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