Buttery, delicious, and simple to make. This is the best way to describe these gluten-free thumbprint cookies. Fill these easy gluten-free cookies with your favorite type of jam or turn them into lemon curd thumbprint cookies using my foolproof recipe for homemade lemon curd. These cookies make a wonderful addition to any holiday cookie plater but clearly can be enjoyed year-round.
For something extra lemony, check out my Gluten Free Lemon Cookies or my Gluten Free Lemon Linzer Cookies (just picture two delicate gluten free shortbread cookies sandwiched together with some lemon curd....)
- Recipe Ingredient Notes
- What are Thumbprint Cookies?
- How to make Gluten Free Thumbprint Cookie Dough
- Shaping of Gluten Free Thumbprint Cookies
- Baking & Filling
- How to store and freeze thumbprint cookies
- FAQ about Gluten-Free Thumbprint Cookies
- Baking in grams
- Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
- Substitutions and Modifications
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Gluten Free Flour: This recipe for gluten free thumbprint cookies seems to be very forgiving. I have tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure, Bob’s Red Mill 1-1, and my own gluten-free flour blend. Every blend produced delicious thumbprint cookies. All those gluten-free flour blends are multi-purpose blends and do contain xanthan gum.
Almond Flour: The addition of almond flour helps with the structure and crumb. If you are on a nut free diet, substitute the almond flour with additional gluten-free flour.
White Sugar: This recipe for lemon curd thumbprint cookies uses very little sugar and gets most of its sweetness from the filling. You can either use white sugar or substitute it with an equal amount of brown sugar. I do not test any of my recipes with sugar substitutes.
Butter: I use unsalted, room-temperature butter for the recipe. It should be around 65F which is a lot colder than many of us consider room temperature. The butter should not appear greasy.
Filling: To fill the baked gluten-free thumbprint cookies you can use your favorite jam like strawberry jam, apricot jam, raspberry jam, my foolproof lemon curd (gluten-free lemon curd thumbprint cookies are shown in the pictures of this post), or even Nutella.
Egg Yolk: The added egg yolk makes the dough tender and smooth and is also a binder.
Powdered Sugar: I love giving the baked thumbprint cookies a light powder of sugar dust. A little dusting makes them look so special.
What are Thumbprint Cookies?
Thumbprint cookies look very similar to tiny tarts which can be filled with a variety of fillings. Some of them are added before baking while others are added after the cookie has completely cooled.
Thumbprints are originally from Sweden, where they are called Hallongrotta. They are made with simple sugar cookie dough and filled with raspberry jam.
These days fillings vary from caramel sauce, dulce de leche, and chocolate ganache to frostings.
How to make Gluten Free Thumbprint Cookie Dough
You can make the dough for Gluten Free Thumbprint Cookies in a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer. Make sure the butter and the egg yolk are at room temperature.
Step 1: Line a sheet tray with parchment paper and set it aside. In a medium bowl whisk together the gluten-free flour, almond flour, and salt.
Step 2: In the bowl of your stand mixer or a large bowl combine the room temperature butter and granulated white sugar. Cream together until light and fluffy, around 2-3 minutes.
Step 3: Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the room temperature egg yolk and vanilla extract. Mix until incorporated.
Step 4: With the mixer running on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides and the paddle attachment halfway through. The dough should appear soft and smooth.
Shaping of Gluten Free Thumbprint Cookies
To avoid cracks in the thumbprint cookies, I recommend shaping the dough before allowing it to rest for 30-60 minutes before baking.
Step 1: Using a small cookie scoop (#40 small scoop - 1.5-2 teaspoons) divide the gluten-free cookie dough into 12 equal pieces.
Step 2: Roll the cookie dough balls between the palms of your hands into smooth balls with no cracks.
Step 3: Using a melon baller or a round tablespoon, the end of a wooden spoon or your thumb (hence the name thumbprint cookies) to indent each cookie.
Step 4: Cover the indented dough and chill for at least 30 minutes (and up to 2 days) in the fridge. At this point, you may also freeze the shaped and indented thumbprint cookies and bake them at a later date.
Baking & Filling
Many recipes call to fill the gluten-free thumbprint cookie dough before baking. Personally, I prefer filling them once baked and still warm. If you fill them after baking, please be aware you may need to "re-indent" them.
Step 1: Once you are ready to bake your buttery cookies, preheat the oven to 350F. Since the cookies should not spread (or only very little) you can bake all 12 at once. Make sure to arrange them evenly on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
Step 2: Bake in a fully preheated oven for 12-14 minutes. The cookies should be lightly golden and may even look underbaked. These cookies will not brown much.
Step 3: Remove the cookies from the oven and place the cookie sheet on a wire rack. "Re-Indent" the cookies with the same tool you used when shaping them.
Step 4: While still warm, fill them with your filling of choice. Allow cooling completely before giving these gluten-free jam thumbprint cookies light dust with powdered sugar.
Serve these delicious cookies and enjoy!
How to store and freeze thumbprint cookies
Once fully cooled, you can store the gluten-free thumbprint cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. If you make gluten-free lemon curd cookies, I recommend storing them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The lemon curd filling needs to be refrigerated but can sit at room temperature up to 4 hours. Check out the recipe and detailed instructions for my lemon curd for more informations.
The best way to freeze thumbprint cookies is unbaked and unfilled. Make sure you shape them before freezing them in a single layer on a baking tray. Once fully frozen transfer them to an airtight container and keep them in the freezer for up to ONE month. This comes especially in handy during the holiday season. When ready to bake, arrange the frozen gluten-free cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and allow them to thaw while you preheat the oven. It is okay if they are still slightly frozen before baking. You may need to increase baking time by 1-2 minutes.
FAQ about Gluten-Free Thumbprint Cookies
To make this easy recipe nut-free, please substitute the nut flour with an equal amount of gluten-free baking flour.
To make this recipe dairy free, please substitute the butter with your favorite nondairy butter. I do not recommend coconut oil or shortening. You may leave out the egg yolk but please be aware that the cookie may be crumbly.
Yes. The best way to freeze thumbprint cookies is unbaked and unfilled. Make sure you shape and make the indent before freezing. Freeze for up to ONE month.
Lemon Curd keeps up to one month when stored in a proper airtight container in the refrigerator.
Baking in grams
I share my recipes in grams and by weight since baking by weight is the most accurate way to bake. Digital Scales are very affordable and very affordable. You can purchase them on Amazon for less than a set of measuring cups. Measuring cups are very inaccurate and can cause significant errors when it comes to baking. Especially since I bake with gluten-free flours which weigh differently than “regular” flours. I do provide some ingredients like spices and leavening agents in measuring spoons. To learn more about Baking with a digital scale, make sure to check out my post about Baking by weight.
Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
All my recipes are tested and developed with a conventional oven. I always bake my baked goods on the rack placed in the MIDDLE of my oven. This way the heat coming from the bottom will not burn my baked goods.
If you are baking with convection (fan-forced), please adjust the recipes accordingly. Be also prepared that the convection oven can cause your baked goods to dry out quickly and still be raw inside. Be aware that it takes at least 15-20 minutes for a standard American Oven to be fully preheated. I highly recommend investing in an Oven Thermometer.
Substitutions and Modifications
Any dietary or ingredient modifications/substitutions to this recipe may alter the end result in appearance and taste. I test my recipes several times as published in this post and The Gluten Free Austrian Blog is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe you find on our website.
Gluten Free Thumbprint Cookies
These classic thumbprint cookies made with gluten-free ingredients are perfect for the holidays or any time you are craving buttery shortbread cookies filled with your favorite jam or lemon curd.
Gluten Free Thumbprint Cookies
- 130 grams gluten free multipurpose flour
- 30 grams gluten free almond flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 113 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- 65 grams granulated white sugar
- 1 large egg yolk, at room temerparture
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Jam as needed such as blueberry jam, apricot jam, lemion curd
- Powdered Sugar
How to make Gluten-Free Thumbprint Cookies
- Line a sheet tray with parchment paper and set it aside. In a medium bowl combine the gluten-free flour, almond flour, and salt
- In the bowl of the stand mixer or a large bowl combine the room temperature butter and sugar. Cream together until light and fluffy, around 2-3 minutes.
- Add the room temperature egg yolk and vanilla extract. Mix until incorporated.
- With the mixer running on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides and the paddle attachment halfway through. The dough should appear soft and smooth.
- Using a small cookie scoop (#40 small scoop – 1.5-2 teaspoons) divide the gluten-free cookie dough into 12 equal pieces.
- Roll the cookie dough balls between the palms of your hands into a small ball with no cracks. Using a melon baller, the end of a wooden spoon or your thumb to indent each cookie.
- Cover the indented dough and chill for at least 30 minutes (and up to 2 days).
- Once you are ready to bake your buttery cookies, preheat the oven to 350F.
- Bake in a fully preheated oven for 12-14 minutes. The cookies should be lightly golden and may even look underbaked. These cookies will not brown much.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and place the cookie sheet on a wire rack. “Re-Indent” the cookies with the same tool you used when shaping them.
- While still warm, fill them with your filling of choice. Allow cooling completely before giving these gluten-free jam thumbprint cookies a light dust with powdered sugar.
Once fully cooled, you can store the gluten-free thumbprint cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. If you fill them with lemon curd, I recommend storing them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Spreading: if the dough is not chilled long enough the cookies may spread during baking. No need to panic. Use a round cookie cutter or glass slightly bigger than the cookies and scoot them back into a round shape.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 211
Calories are a guestimate and randomly generated.
VERY tasty!! Mine were a bit crumbly, but it was my first time making them so I think it's probably something I did wrong. I will definitely make these again!