Skip to content

Buttery Jam Thumbprint Cookies

These melt-in-your-mouth jam thumbprint cookies are supremely tender and buttery – they’re also the easiest (egg-free!) version you’ll find.

These cookies have been crowned “The Most Pinned Holiday Cookie,” as featured on Good Morning America and ABC News.

Thumbprint Cookies
These thumbprint cookies are a holiday classic, but they’re welcome all year round.

Jam Thumbprint Cookies are still the classic favorite

The first time I had these tender, melt-in-your-mouth Buttery Jam Thumbprint Cookies was over a decade ago. A close friend of mine had graciously whipped up a delicious batch of these one night and shared a plate of them with us. I remember it being nighttime, and I was more tired than hungry, so I thought about declining.

For a nanosecond. I don’t actually decline cookies.

One bite and I was smitten.  I ended up eating more than a couple right then and there. Plus a few more to go. I didn’t stand a chance against the buttery, tender, melty goodness of these cookies. Similar to these Twix Thumbprint Cookies Recipe and these 3-Ingredient Buttery Shortbread Cookies …they always get recipe requests.

Watch us make these Buttery Jam Thumbprint Cookies:

Totally easy and irresistible, right? 👆🏼

I was so taken by these buttery jam thumbprint cookies that I immediately tore out a piece of paper and scribbled out the recipe by hand – this was well before iPhones and iPads. An era my children will never know.

These scrumptious cookies, however, said kids have come to know and love quite well.

Slightly softened butter

Super important: this is in the recipe instructions, but it’s worth mentioning because it makes all the difference — be sure your butter is slightly softened, but not slightly melty. This will determine the texture of the cookies. Butter should be just soft enough to give a bit when you gently press, but not too soft.

Then, beat the semi-soft butter with sugar for about 2 minutes, until mixture is light and “fluffy” as pictured above. Then add the remaining ingredients and beat only until dough comes together into a sticky ball that needs some time to chill.

Narrow, Deep Wells for Cookies
That Won’t Spread Too Thin

Once dough has fully chilled, you can easily work out your dough balls.

I trend toward smaller cookies, about 1-inch size dough balls. The center well should be deep but not too wide; this prevents the cookie from spreading out too thinly during baking.

You’ll be rewarded with adorably cute round cookies that are way better than anything store bought. The kind that’s perfect for bringing to a friend, for cookie exchanges, holiday gatherings, or just for you.

jam thumbprint cookies
Use high quality real fruit preserves, to ensure filling does not become runny during baking.

What’s your jam (Or Preserves)?

Be sure to use high quality, real fruit preserves, versus a sugary jam or “fruit spread” for these thumbprint cookies. Real fruit preserves will ensure that the filling stays nice and thick throughout baking. Sugary, thin jams or spreads tend to almost melt during baking, which causes filling to become runny.

If your finished cookies want a tiny top-off of fruit preserves after baking, feel free to oblige them. Just a little dollop of extra jam on top of freshly baked cookies will give them a special sparkle. Sprinkle with powdered sugar as you wish. Eat, share, repeat. Pass along the cookie joy.

Thumbprint Cookies
Commonly Asked Questions

What are thumbprint cookies made of?

Classic thumbprint cookies are made with pure, simple ingredients such as butter, sugar, flour, and your favorite real fruit preserves.

What kind of jam should I use for these thumbprint cookies?

Use high quality, real fruit preserves. Preserves are thick and will hold shape better during baking. Sugary, thin jams or “fruit spreads” often becomes runny during the baking process.

Why did my thumbprint cookies spread too much?

Be sure butter is only slightly softened, and not at all melty to start with. Ensure that your cookie dough is adequately chilled prior to forming cookies, as chilled dough keeps its shape during baking. Lastly, be sure to use real fruit preserves and not “fruit spreads” or thin jam in the center.

Can thumbprint cookie dough be made in advance and chilled or frozen?

Absolutely. Keep raw dough covered airtight and chilled for up to a week, or frozen up to a month. Let thaw just until dough is easy to work with, but still cool to the touch.

How do you store baked thumbprint cookies?

Baked cookies should be kept airtight. They’ll keep for several days at moderate room temperature, up to a week in the fridge, or up to a month in the freezer.

More to Bake and Eat

Shop This Recipe

  • This is a must-have for anyone who loves to bake cookies. Non-stick, reusable, easy to clean.

  • Ever run out of counter space for all the cooling racks? This multi-tiered rack even collapses for further space saving.

  • No more stuck-on cookies, cakes, brownies, or pizza.

jam thumbprint cookies

Buttery Jam Thumbprint Cookies

4.74 from 284 ratings
These Buttery Jam Thumbprint Cookies are lightly crisp and melt-in-your-mouth-delicious! They're also super easy and need only a handful of ingredients. No eggs needed.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Servings: 24 cookies



  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment on low speed, beat butter and sugar 10 seconds, or until lightly combined. Switch to high speed and beat until creamy and light, 2 to 3 minutes – do not rush this part.
    Add extracts and salt. Beat on medium-low speed for 10 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed. Gently mix in flour, just until combined, about 1 minute.
    Dough will be somewhat sticky. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down sides; form dough into a ball, cover, and chill 30-60 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 325°F with rack on middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls. Place dough balls on lined baking sheets. Press down the center of each ball with round end of a wooden spatula or use your finger, making a deep well in the middle – deep but not very wide – it helps to hold the dough ball in palm of hand while forming the well.
  • Fill cookie centers with roughly 1/2 tsp preserves (easiest to use a piping bag or a 1/4-teaspoon-sized measuring spoon). Place sheet of cookies in fridge 5 minutes to re-chill before baking.
    Bake 20-23* minutes or until golden brown and puffy. Let cool 5 min. on baking sheet, then gently transfer to finish cooling on wire rack.
  • When cookies are completely cooled, dust with confectioners' sugar. Cookies can be kept in airtight container at room temp for a few days.


  • Butter should be softened at moderate room temperature for about 30 minutes; it should not be melty at all.
  • It’s important to measure flour accurately. We use the scoop and level method. 
  • If you’d like less sweet and compact-looking cookies, use 1/2 cup powdered sugar. If you’d like sweeter cookies that spread a little more, use 1 cup powdered sugar. 
  • Cookies will taste like the jam you use, so be sure to use high quality, thick fruit preserves (any flavor) – avoid thin jams or fruit spreads, as those can become runny during the baking process.
  • We’ve updated recipe to include almond extract, as it provides a wonderful depth of flavor. If you prefer, you can omit it and just use 2 tsp vanilla extract.
  • These cookies are not intended to brown much; they’ll be shortbread-colored. If you want more browning on top, bake on upper-middle rack.
  • We bake these 20 minutes for a melt-in-your-mouth texture. If you prefer a bit crisper/browned texture, bake up to 23 min.
  • If the jam settled more than you’d like during baking, feel free to top off finished cookies with a smidge of fresh jam on top.
** If you enjoyed these cookies, please come back and give them a rating ♡


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 112kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 61mg | Potassium: 3mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 236IU | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Amerian
Diet: Vegetarian
Method: baking

Did you make this?

Leave a comment below and tag @chewoutloud on Instagram

Add a comment

Recipe Rating


    • Pauline
    • 5 stars

    It’s so good! it was a little crumbly at the beginning, but I just went in with my hands and kneaded it until it was all incorporated. Really great recipe!

      • chewoutloud

      That’s great, Pauline! So happy you all enjoyed these 🙂

    • Vanessa

    I made them with Boysenberry preserves from Knott’s Berry Farm and they are beyond amazing. I would recommend this choice over raspberry or blackberry preserves because boysenberry is a mix of them both, even better!!

      • chewoutloud

      I remember going to Knott’s for their preserves when I lived 15 minutes away! Soo good 🙂 Awesome that you loved it in these jam cookies!

    • Heather

    Question! Sounds dumb, but I don’t have a hand mixer or a stand mixer. I do have a food processor…. or elbow grease lol. Do you definitely need a mixer to make this?

      • chewoutloud

      Heather, it does make these cookies a lot easier and more consistent with a mixer. If you must mix by hand, be sure to get batter to same consistency as you see on video demo. Requires more elbow grease, but can be done! Enjoy 🙂 🙂

    • HGirl
    • 4 stars

    I’ve made these 3 times in the last month. Very easy even for a novice like me. They are super tasty but the first couple times the dough was dry and crumbly. I just tried reducing the flour by 1/4 cup and the dough was definitely smoother, pliable, and more sticky.

      • chewoutloud

      Awesome!! Thanks for coming over to let us know you’ve liked these cookies 🙂 🙂 Yay! Have a wonderful Christmas!

    • Carmen

    Can the thumbprint cookie dough be frozen? Or should it only be refrigerator?

      • chewoutloud

      Hi, Carmen! Yes, the unbaked dough can be wrapped airtight and frozen, if you’re storing it longer than a few days. Happy baking!

        • Carmen
        • 5 stars

        Thank you for the quick response. I’ve made these for the last two years! They have become so popular with family and friends that I need to make extra batches. So happy to be able to freeze the dough and have it ready when I need it. Saves me some time! Thank you for sharing the delicious recipe!

          • chewoutloud

          Aww, that’s wonderful, Carmen! I’m so happy you love these cookies so much 🙂 🙂

    • Robyn

    Hi, I live in Australia so our measurements are different and we don’t have sticks of butter. Would it be possible to get recipe in grams please. I’m not happy with my current recipe and would love to try these. Thanks in advance

    • Rene
    • 5 stars

    Getting ready to make my christmas cookies and these jam thumbprints are a favorite. I read the reviews this morning and was surprised a few people found them dry. I’ve been making these cookies for the past three years, I’ve probably made 50 batches. I follow the recipe exactly and they are always buttery and moist with a texture close to a shortbread cookie. If you know what a great jam thumbprint should taste like then this recipe gets an A+

      • chewoutloud

      Oh, that is SO great to hear, Rene! We appreciate your coming over to let us know these cookies work out so well! Thank you and happy continued baking. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • LEES

    These look so amazing! I love these kind of cookies, they are so easy to make and delicious!

    • Amy H
    • 5 stars

    I love thumbprint cookies, but have never tried making them! I will have to try these. They sound so good! I’m so glad that it’s almost December, my baking month.

    • Pati Robins

    these look so yummy ! and i be trying to make them very soon , i am bookmarking your recipie

    • kumamonjeng
    • 5 stars

    I have to start making these for preparation for Xmas parties. I think my guests will enjoy these cookies.

    • Jasmine M

    I’ve never had cookies with jam in them. IT sounds like it’d be pretty good. I’ll have to make these soon.

    • Natasha Romero Salas
    • 5 stars

    I love cookies! The buttery jam thumbprint cookie not only looks so tasty, but fun to make! Thanks for adding the video, too! It will be so helpful.

    • Cyndi Buchanan

    These look delicious! Perfect for holiday parties!

    • Candy Rachelle

    You always have the BEST looking recipes!! I know it’s not the time to be trying new recipes, BUT I’m trying out you Creamiest Mac & Cheese recipe for T-Day and just PRAY it turns out perfectly! Thanks!

    Candy Rachelle
    Keeping Up With Candy

      • chewoutloud

      Yay, Candy! Hope you love it!

    • AShley R
    • 5 stars

    I have to bake everything with gluten free flour since my MIL has Celiac. Wondering if it would be as good?

    • Catherine
    • 5 stars

    I love jam cookies. They are one of my favorite holiday cookies and these look so lovely!

    • Chad

    These look out of this world!!! There is a french version of these cookies called Sable which i love!!! Will make these and compare.

    • Gervin Khan
    • 5 stars

    These Buttery Jam Thumbprint Cookies looks really delicious and it look so easy to make.
    I will definitely try this at home and possibly making this recipe as a a holiday presents for my friends and loved ones.

    • Catherine
    • 5 stars

    I love thumbprint cookies and these look absolutely delicious! Perfect for the holiday season.

Get our free email series: 5 Easy Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less

Plus our newest recipes each week