These easy vegan thumbprint jam cookies are classic holiday cookies that you can eat all year long! Sweet jam baked in a shortbread cookie that is totally dairy free, egg free, and so easy to make.
Jam cookies are some of the favorite Christmas cookies that my family makes. Every year we have a big debate about which is better: Raspberry jam or Apricot jam. Well, this year, it’s a surprise favorite jam that came outta nowhere: Wild Blueberry Jam!
No matter what flavor you like, this is honestly one of my favorite cookies to make. The dough comes together so easily, bakes up beautifully into a melt-in-your-mouth texture, and gets the balance of sweet just right.
Why You’ll Love these Cookies
- Easy recipe to make
- Fill them with so many different fillings
- Rolled in sugar so they are perfectly sweet
- Soft cookie that still holds its shape
- Classic cookie for the holidays
Here is a quick rundown of what you’ll need to make these jam cookies. For the full list of ingredients, complete with recipe measurements, please see the recipe box below.
- Vegan butter: Softened a bit to room temperature to make mixing it together easier.
- Sugar: Both for in the cookie dough and a bit extra for rolling the cookie dough balls in before baking.
- Applesauce: This helps to replace the egg and gives a wonderful tender crumb to the cookie after baking.
- Vanilla: You can use almond extract as well, which is more traditional, but I love vanilla extract in this cookie as I find it compliments all flavors of jam better.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch not only helps to hold the cookies together, but also helps to give the cookies a bit of a cake flour type of feel.
- Flour: Regular all purpose flour is all you need for this recipe.
- Jam: You really can’t go wrong here in what type of jam you want to use. Any flavor tastes great! Some of our family favorites include: Wild Blueberry, Raspberry, Apricot, Blackberry, Strawberry, or Apple Butter.
Make sure to check out the recipe card below for the full recipe and ingredient list.
- Make the dough by first combining the vegan butter and sugar together in a large bowl with a hand mixer or stand mixer. Mix til it’s fluffy. Then add the apple sauce and vanilla extract. Mix again for about 30 seconds.
- In a small bowl, sift together the dry ingredients of cornstarch and flour. Then, add it to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed again until the dough begins to form. You can increase the speed to low-medium to really incorporate all the ingredients, but don’t over mix this!
- Now it’s time to make the cookies. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the dough into a ball and roll it between your hands. Gently roll this in the small bowl of sugar before placing it onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
- To make the indent, use either your thumb (hence the name thumbprint cookies!), your index finger, or use the back of a teaspoon to make a small divot in the cookie. Fill the indent with a little less than a teaspoon of jam. Repeat until no more cookie dough remains.
- Chill the dough for about 10 minutes while you preheat the oven to 375F/190C.
- Bake the cookies for 17 minutes or until they are lightly golden brown on the edges. If you are placing a cold cookie sheet directly into the oven, you’ll need to increase the time to 22-24 minutes to warm up the tray.
- Remove from the oven and allow the baked cookies to cool completely before enjoying. Be careful of the hot jam!
- PB&J Cookies: Replace a quarter cup of the vegan butter with a peanut butter for a delicious PB&J cookie!
- Chocolate: Add the indentation in the cookie and bake as directed but don’t fill them with jam. After baking, add a teaspoon of chocolate ganache to the center of each cookie for a chocolate thumbprint cookie.
- Need to make these gluten-free thumbprint cookies? You can! Use a good quality 1:1 gluten free flour blend to replace the wheat flour. I recommend King Arthur Measure for Measure. Don’t use a single ingredient flour like coconut flour or oat flour. Depending on the brand of flour you use, you may need to add a spoonful of plant based milk to help get the right moisture in the dough as gluten free flours are more drying than wheat flour.
- This cookie works best if you chill the dough for 10 minutes while the oven preheats. If you are baking them on the same cookie sheet you chilled them on, add about 5 extra minutes of baking time to accommodate the chilled baking sheet. The total bake time will be 22-24 minutes.
- Use jam in place of jelly as jelly has more liquid since it is made from fruit juice. Preserves work just as well as jam.
How to Store
Countertop: Keep these cookies in an airtight container on the countertop for about 1 week.
Freezer: Freeze these cookies after baking and fully cooling in a freezer safe container in multiple layers. Use parchment paper in between each layer. Frozen, these cookies will keep for up to 2 months.
How to Serve after Freezing: Allow cookies to come to room temperature directly from the freezer for 1 to 2 hours before serving.
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- Mixing bowls
- Mixing spoons
- measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Hand mixer or stand mixer
- parchment paper
- Cookie trays
- ½ cup vegan butter
- ½ cup sugar plus a few spoonfuls extra for rolling
- ⅓ cup applesauce unsweetened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup jam any flavor
- Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Make sure the oven rack is in the middle of the oven.
- Make the dough. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, begin to mix the vegan butter and sugar together. Add in the applesauce and vanilla extract, mixing again. Sift the flour and cornstarch together before adding this to the wet ingredients. Mix well on low speed until the ingredients come together, then mix on medium speed until the dough forms.
- Shape and fill the cookies. Using a cookie scoop, scoop the dough and roll the dough ball in your hands. Roll the cookie dough ball into a small bowl of sugar until the dough ball is fully covered. Transfer to the prepared cookie sheet. Using your finger or the back of a small teaspoon, create a divot in the cookie. Fill with a little less than 1 teaspoon of the jam of your choice. Repeat until all the cookies are made.
- Chill. Let the cookies chill for 10 minutes while the oven is preheating.
- Bake. Bake the cookies for 17 minutes. If you are baking them on the same sheet you have chilled them on, you will need to accommodate for the cold tray, making the baking time closer to 22 to 24 minutes. Cookies are done when they are set and slightly golden brown in color. Be careful not to tip them over while hot from the oven to avoid burning yourself with hot jam!
- Cool and serve. Let the cookies cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
- How to Store
- Countertop: Keep these cookies in an airtight container on the countertop for about 1 week.
- Freezer: Freeze these cookies after baking and fully cooling in a freezer safe container in multiple layers. Use parchment paper in between each layer. Frozen, these cookies will keep for up to 2 months.
- How to Serve after Freezing: Allow cookies to come to room temperature directly from the freezer for 1 to 2 hours before serving.