These vegan thumbprint cookies are soft, slightly chewy, nutty, and sweet, made with almond flour, a hint of maple flavor, and topped with raspberry jam (or the jam of your choice). Even better, these holiday cookies require just 8 simple, healthy ingredients and are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, and optionally sugar-free too!
Vegan Almond Flour Thumbprint Cookies with Jam
Christmas is on the horizon, so it’s time to grab your aprons and head to the kitchen for the annual Christmas cookie baking. I made a small batch of mulled wine last night, ready to sip on while baking cookies (to truly get in the holiday spirit, of course!). This year, I’m bringing back some of my favorite vegan Christmas cookies like Zimtsterne (cinnamon stars) and German hazelnut cookies alongside these gluten-free, vegan thumbprint cookies with raspberry jam!
Regular raspberry thumbprint cookies contain refined sugar, butter, eggs, and wheat flour (and a lot of empty calories). In comparison, these almond flour thumbprint cookies are refined sugar-free, gluten-free, oil-free, and 100% vegan, but still wonderfully soft, sweet, and slightly chewy. The abundance of nuts also makes them surprisingly packed with plant-based protein and several other nutrients (the perfect excuse to eat more!).
This recipe is so simple that you can even get your children involved! All you need is just a handful of ingredients and a few simple steps. Plus, they’re super versatile, too! Can’t eat nuts, on a sugar-free diet, or want to experiment with other fillings? No problem, keep reading for all my recommendations.
Bake these raspberry almond thumbprint cookies for family, as an edible Christmas gift or to take to potlucks, picnics, and parties – either way, they’ll manage to fit right in and stand out, for all the best reasons!
The Raspberry Thumbprint Cookie Ingredients
- Almond flour: It’s best to use fine/superfine blanched almond flour for these vegan almond cookies, though you can make your own (check recipe notes for method). Other nut flours may also work, like hazelnuts or walnuts. For a nut-free version, use ground sunflower seeds.
- Tapioca flour: This will work as a binder in this gluten-free thumbprint cookie recipe. Cassava flour/all-purpose flour (with gluten) may work instead, but I haven’t tried.
- Sugar: Use organic sugar or the sugar of your choice. I use a sugar-free option, Erythritol.
- Baking powder: To help provide texture and lift to the eggless thumbprint cookies.
- Nut butter: I’ve tried cashew and almond butter. For a nut-free version, tahini would work (runny, not firm).
- Vanilla: Use natural/pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Maple syrup: Use regular or sugar-free ‘maple syrup.’ Or another liquid sweetener like date syrup, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, etc.
- Water: To help bring the vegan thumbprint cookie dough to the correct consistency.
- Jam: Use the jam (with or without seeds) of choice, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, apricot, etc. I used raspberry chia jam. A sugar-free jam will work.
- Spices: Add a pinch (1/4-1/2 tsp depending on the spice and flavor preference) of cinnamon, cardamom, or ground ginger in the almond thumbprint cookies.
- Salt: A pinch of salt added to the cookie dough will help to enhance the flavors.
- Cacao powder: For chocolate thumbprint cookies, add some cacao/cocoa powder to the dough. You will need a little more water to make up for the dry ingredient.
- Zest: ½ – 1 teaspoon of lemon or orange zest will add subtle citrusy flavor to the raspberry cookies.
- Chopped nuts/shredded coconut: Brush the dough balls with dairy-free milk and roll in the nuts/coconut (before creating indent) for extra texture and crunch.
- White chocolate drizzle: Use some store-bought or homemade vegan white chocolate to drizzle over the raspberry shortbread cookies.
- Icing glaze: Combine powdered sugar or powdered sweetener (like Erythritol), a drop of vanilla/almond extract (optional), and dairy-free milk, orange juice, or water, into a drizzle consistency.
- Vegan Nutella: Instead of jam, you can fill some of these with homemade vegan Nutella.
- PBJ: Use half jam and half peanut butter (or nut/seed butter of choice).
- Nut Butter Filling: Combine your nut butter of choice with a little sweetener and, optionally, vanilla. I particularly love using pistachio butter.
- Caramel sauce: Another optional filling would be vegan caramel sauce (added before or after baking).
- Chocolate ganache: Use the melted chocolate of your choice (white, dark) with canned coconut milk to make a simple ganache. Add it after baking the vegan thumbprint cookies.
Please read the recipe card below for the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information.
How to Make Vegan Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
- First, add all the dry ingredients (almond flour, tapioca flour, sugar, and baking powder) to a large bowl and mix.
- Then add the nut butter, vanilla, and cold water. Stir using a spoon to begin, then your hands, to form into a dough ball.
If your nut/seed butter is firm, first heat it until runny, either using a double boiler or in the microwave (around 30 seconds).
- Next, add the maple syrup and mix. If the dough is quite sticky, allow it to rest for a couple of minutes.
- Then, it’s time to shape. Divide the almond flour cookie dough into 14 pieces, roll each into a ball, and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet (or a silicone mat).
- Using the back of a ½ tsp measuring spoon, press an indent carefully into each vegan almond cookie (where the jam will go).
You could also use your thumb (hence ‘thumbprint’ cookies), but the indents won’t be perfectly even. Don’t rush this step, as it can lead to extra cracking.
- Fill each indentation with your jam of choice, and then transfer the tray of jam-filled cookies to the refrigerator for a 30-minute chill (up to overnight if needed).
- When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F/175C and bake the cookies for between 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven, allow cooling slightly (the jam will be HOT), and enjoy!
How to Make Ahead and Store
Make ahead: You can prepare the almond flour thumbprint cookie dough a day in advance and store it overnight in the fridge. Allow it to come to room temperature for just a few minutes before continuing with the recipe. Alternatively, prepare the cookies up until right before adding the jam, then freeze for up to 3 months. Bake from frozen, adding one to two minutes to the baking time.
Store: Store the cooled raspberry jam thumbprint cookies loosely on the counter (away from humidity) for 3-4 days or in a covered container in the refrigerator for 7-10 days. The latter will be softer but still taste great.
Can you freeze thumbprint cookies? Yes! Stack them in a freezer-safe airtight container with parchment paper between the layers. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you want a cookie, just pop it onto the kitchen counter for just a couple of minutes to thaw, then enjoy!
Can I use almond meal instead of almond flour?
Technically, you can. However, because it’s grainier, the cookies will also be grainy. So, I prefer to use fine almond flour.
Can I add the jam to the thumbprint cookies after baking?
Yes, it’s entirely up to your preference. Baking the cookies unfilled is great if you want to make multiple flavors. However, unbaked jam thumbprint cookies will have a wetter, unset filling (not great for traveling) instead of a slightly set, super jammy filling.
How do you stop thumbprint cookies from spreading?
Don’t skip the dough chilling stage; this is vital to stop spreading.
Does almond flour change the taste of cookies?
Yes, but the nutty flavor is actually fairly subtle in these vegan thumbprint cookies.
Recipe Notes and Top Tips
- To make almond flour: Use blanched almonds and process them in a coffee/spice grinder or high-speed blender until floury. Be careful not to over-process the nuts, or they’ll begin turning into nut butter.
- If the dough cracks: Don’t worry; this is normal (especially for gluten-free dough). Pinch or smooth away any large cracks and either leave smaller ones be or gently smooth them with a slightly dampened finger.
- The baking time varies: It can differ from oven to oven, so monitor the cookies from the 8-minute mark.
- Mix the dough well: As these are gluten-free thumbprint cookies, there’s no worrying about overworking the flour. Instead, working the almond flour into the dough well with your hands can help it to release some oils and won’t crack as easily when indenting.
- Use a thick jam/ preserve: That way, it won’t be runny and risk overflowing or seeping into the cracks in the jam thumbprint cookies.
More Vegan Christmas Sweet Recipes
- No-bake chocolate salami
- Baked coffee cheesecake
- Vegan fruit cake
- Vegan Snickerdoodles
- Homemade Ferrero Rocher
- Homemade Marzipan
- 2-Ingredient condensed milk chocolate truffles
If you try this recipe for raspberry thumbprint cookies, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating below. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan and #elavegan—I love seeing them.
Vegan Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
- 1 1/4 cup (120 g) almond flour (see notes)
- 4 tbsp (32 g) tapioca flour (see notes)
- 3 tbsp (40 g) granulated sugar of choice (I used Erythritol)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup (64 g) cashew butter or almond butter, or tahini (runny, not firm)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp cold water
- 4 tsp maple syrup
- Jam (I used homemade raspberry)
- You can watch the video in the post for visual instructions.Add all dry ingredients (almond flour, tapioca flour, sugar, and baking powder) to a bowl and stir with a spoon.
- Add the cashew butter, vanilla extract, and cold water. First stir with a spoon, then use your hands to shape the dough into a ball.Note: The nut/seed butter should be runny, not firm. If yours is firm, I recommend heating it in a double boiler or in the microwave beforehand.
- Then add the maple syrup and mix again. If the dough is a little sticky at first, just let it rest for a couple of minutes.
- Shape the dough into 14 balls and place them on a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper, or use a silicone mat.
- Using your thumb or a 1/2 tsp measuring spoon, make an indentation into each ball (watch the video for visual instructions).
- Fill 1/2 tsp of jam into each indentation. Transfer the cookie sheet into the refrigerator and chill the cookies for at least 30 minutes (or up to overnight).
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C) and bake the cookies for about 12-15 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Enjoy!
- Almond flour: Use ground sunflower seeds instead of almonds if you prefer.
- Tapioca flour: You can most likely use any other starch.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically