These vegan thumbprint cookies are soft, sweet, and perfect for winter. They’re super buttery, despite being entirely vegan. Plus, they’re gluten-free and grain-free!
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The Best Gluten-Free, Vegan Thumbprint Cookies
Cookies are one of our favorite things to make during the winter. There’s nothing better than curling up on a cold day with a warm cookie and a cup of tea. And there’s nothing cozier than the smell of fresh-baked cookies wafting through your home. These vegan thumbprint cookies are some of our favorites to make. The cookies are tender and buttery, despite being dairy-free and egg-free. They’re filled with a rich and luscious chia seed jam, and they’re super easy to make.
And did we mention that they’re also gluten-free? It’s hard to believe these thumbprint cookies are gluten-free and vegan when you taste the recipe. They’re that good. We can’t wait for you to make them!
What You’ll Need
Here are all the ingredients you need to make these gluten-free, vegan thumbprint cookies. Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the page to see the exact amounts for each ingredient.
For the Cookies:
- Almond flour – Be sure to use superfine blanched flour.
- Vegan butter – You can use any type of dairy-free butter, just make sure it’s unsalted. You can also use organic refined coconut oil.
- Maple syrup – Use a 100% pure maple syrup for this recipe. You can also substitute it with the sticky sweetener of your choice, such as agave or date syrup.
- Vanilla extract – Make sure you use 100% pure vanilla extract.
- Almond extract – This is an optional ingredient, but it really adds a lot of flavor to the cookies.
- Coconut sugar – You can also use any other type of brown sugar replacement.
- Jam – This recipe includes a recipe for chia seed berry jam, but if you don’t feel like making your own, you can use your favorite store-bought, sugar-free jam.
For the Jam:
- Berries – You can use raspberries or strawberries for this jam, and they can be fresh or frozen.
- Maple syrup – Feel free to replace with your favorite sticky sweetener.
- Chia seeds
- Lemon juice – Make sure to use freshly-squeezed lemon juice for this recipe.
How to Make Thumbprint Cookies
Here’s how to make fun, easy, and buttery cookies.
- Make the jam. If you’re using homemade jam for this recipe, start by placing the berries in a saucepan and heating until they break down, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and maple syrup, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the chia seeds, and let the jam cool to room temperature before using.
- Mix the cookie ingredients. Place the almond flour, vegan butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and almond extract in a bowl, and mix together until a dough forms.
- Chill. Cover the mixing bowl, and let the dough sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough into balls. Remove the dough from the fridge, and form it into 1 ½-inch balls.
- Cover the dough in sugar. Roll the dough balls in the coconut sugar to coat them.
- Make an indentation. Use the back of a ¼ teaspoon, or your finger, to make an indentation in each dough ball.
- Chill. Place the dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and place it in the freezer.
- Heat the oven. Turn your oven on to 360F.
- Bake. Place the cookies in the oven, and bake until they’re completely set, about 10-11 minutes.
- Cool. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet. Once they’re cool, transfer them to a wire rack.
- Fill. Fill the indentation of each cookie with jam, then devour!
Tips for Success
Here are a few tricks and tips for this festive cookie recipe.
- Prepare ahead of time. One of my favorite things about this recipe is that you can make the separate parts ahead of time. Not only is this convenient, but it gives the flavors more time to meld together. You can store the unbaked cookie dough, rolled out into balls, in the fridge for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. And you can store the chia berry jam in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Use softened butter. Make sure to use vegan butter that is softened for this recipe. If the butter is melted, the dough won’t form together, and the cookies will be greasy and fall apart. If the butter is still cold, the dough will be impossible to make. Use vegan butter that is soft enough to be easily stirred in with the other ingredients. If you substitute coconut oil for the vegan butter, make sure that it is solidified, but soft.
- Let the cookies cool fully. After the cookies come out of the oven, let them cool fully before assembling them. If you put the jam on the cookies while they’re still warm, the jam might melt.
How to Store
You can keep these gluten-free, vegan cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also store them in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Can You Freeze Thumbprint Cookies?
You absolutely can! Freeze the cookies on a baking sheet, then transfer to an airtight bag. They’ll last in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or in the fridge, or heat in the oven or toaster oven.
More Must-Try Vegan Cookie Recipes
Here are a few of my other favorite vegan cookies to bake.
- Vegan snickerdoodles
- Vegan sugar cookies
- Vegan skillet cookie
- Vegan chocolate chip cookies
- Easy vegan gingerbread cookies
These vegan thumbprint cookies are soft, buttery, and filled with a chia seed berry jam. They're fun and easy to make, and gluten-free!
- 1 1/2 cups superfine blanched almond flour
- 1/4 cup softened vegan butter OR solid organic refined coconut oil (not melted – you want the consistency to be similar to softened butter)
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup OR preferred sticky liquid sweetener. Agave, date syrup, coconut nectar syrup or Lakanto sugar-free maple syrup
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp pure almond extract optional but adds flavor and gives it that signature sugar cookie taste
- 3 Tbs. coconut sugar OR brown sugar substitute such as golden monk fruit sweetener
- 1/4 cup Homemade sugar-free strawberry jam / raspberry jam OR your favorite sugar-free preserves such as Walden Farms, Smuckers or Crofters
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries or strawberries
- 1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup OR preferred sticky liquid sweetener. Agave, date syrup, coconut nectar syrup or Lakanto sugar-free maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, vegan butter, maple syrup, vanilla and almond extract, if using. Mix well with a fork until dough is combined.
- Cover bowl and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Remove dough from fridge. Form the dough into 1.5 inch balls and roll into brown sugar substitute or coconut sugar. Make an indentation using your thumb or a 1/4 teaspoon in the center of each dough.
Place on a large parchment lined baking sheet about 1.5 inches apart. Place the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 360F. Bake for 10-11 minutes, until just set. Be careful not to overbake as the cookies will continue to bake after you remove them from the oven.
- Remove from oven and indent into the center of each cookie again, if necessary.
Allow to cool completely and fill with jam. Transfer to wire rack or cookie tray – do not transfer warm cookies, otherwise they will break apart.
Cook your berries of choice in a saucepan over medium heat until they begin to break down, about 5 minutes.
Mash it down or leave it chunky. Stir in the lemon juice and maple syrup. Cook for 5 more minutes, remove from heat and stir in the chia seeds. Let stand until it begins to thicken, adding water if needed to thin out until desired consistency is reached. Allow to cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or two and in the freezer for up to three months.
How to Store
Store cooled cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
How to freeze:
You can either freeze the unbaked dough balls or the baked cookies.
To freeze dough balls, simply place the dough balls in a baking sheet and freeze for 20 minutes. Then transfer the dough balls to a large zip-lock bag.
To freeze baked thumbprint cookies, simply place the keto cookies on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze for 20 minutes. Then transfer the cookies to an airtight resealable container and freeze for up to 3 months.
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