How To Make Gluten-Free Thumbprint Cookies

How To Make Gluten-Free Thumbprint Cookies
How To Make Gluten-Free Thumbprint Cookies

In the delightful realm of gluten-free baking, our Gluten-Free Thumbprint Cookies stand as a testament to the perfect blend of tradition and innovation. These tender treats, crafted with care, offer a delectable twist on the classic holiday cookie. Soft, sweet, and irresistibly customisable, they invite you to embark on a delicious journey where every bite is a celebration of flavour and texture. Whether adorned with a dollop of your favourite jam, a swirl of chocolate, or a filling that captures your culinary fancy, these cookies redefine the joy of gluten-free indulgence. Join us in savoring the magic of these Gluten-Free Thumbprint Cookies – a delightful intersection of tradition and modern taste.

Ingredients In Gluten-Free Thumbprint Cookies

  • Unsalted Butter: These cookies utilise softened unsalted butter, providing a dual contribution of flavour and texture to the recipe. For a dairy-free alternative, you can opt for Smart Balance butter or your preferred vegan butter.
  • Granulated and Brown Sugar: Both sugars not only sweeten the cookies but also contribute to imparting a softer texture to the final product.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract and Salt: These ingredients are exclusively incorporated for flavour enhancement.
  • Egg Yolk: Adding an egg yolk enriches the cookie dough by introducing extra fat and protein. The additional fat enhances the flavour and texture of the cookie, while the protein aids the gluten-free flour in mimicking the texture of traditional flour.
  • Gluten-Free Flour With Xanthan Gum: The gluten-free flour serves as the foundational element of the cookies, and the inclusion of xanthan gum helps in achieving a texture reminiscent of traditional flour.

How To Make Gluten-Free Thumbprint Cookies

Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter until creamy.

Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar, then beat until the ingredients are thoroughly combined .

Incorporate the egg yolk, pure vanilla extract, and salt, beating until the ingredients are well combined.

Add the gluten-free flour, mixing until fully combined. Periodically scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. The dough may appear dry and crumbly, but it will come together.

Using a greased cookie scoop, form the cookie dough into 1 ½ tablespoon-sized balls, rolling each into a round ball .

Roll each cookie ball in a small bowl containing ⅓ cup of granulated sugar and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Ensure the cookie dough balls are spaced about 2 inches apart.

Gently press an indent into the centre of each cookie dough ball using your thumb or the back of a rounded teaspoon

Place the jam in a small microwave-safe bowl, microwaving for about 5-10 seconds or until the jam is no longer firm and is easy to stir. Stir the jam until it achieves a smooth consistency.

Spoon the heated jam into each thumbprint, filling each indent to the brim

Bake on the centre rack for 12-14 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are turning light golden brown.

Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheet.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container.

Tips for Making the Best Gluten-Free Thumbprint Cookies:

  1. Choose a Quality Gluten-Free Flour:
    • Opt for a high-quality gluten-free flour blend with a mix of flours and starches for the best texture and flavour in your cookies.
  2. Use Softened Butter:
    • Ensure your butter is softened to room temperature before beating. This helps in achieving a creamy texture in the cookie dough.
  3. Cream the Butter Thoroughly:
    • Take the time to cream the softened butter well using an electric mixer. This contributes to the cookies’ overall tenderness.
  4. Combine Sugars and Butter Adequately:
    • When adding granulated and brown sugar, beat until the mixture is well combined. This step ensures even sweetness and texture in the cookies.
  5. Incorporate Egg Yolk:
    • Adding an egg yolk enhances the richness and texture of the cookie. Beat it in thoroughly with the other wet ingredients.
  6. Scrape the Bowl as You Mix:
    • While adding the gluten-free flour, periodically scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. This ensures all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
  7. Don’t Worry About Dry Dough:
    • Gluten-free cookie dough may appear dry and crumbly, but continue to mix until it comes together. The final result will be cohesive.
  8. Use a Greased Cookie Scoop:
    • To achieve uniform-sized cookies, use a greased cookie scoop when forming the dough balls.
  9. Roll in Sugar for Texture:
    • Rolling the cookie dough balls in granulated sugar adds a delightful texture to the exterior of the cookies.
  10. Create a Well-Defined Thumbprint:
    • Use your thumb or the back of a rounded teaspoon to gently press an indent into the centre of each cookie. This well-defined thumbprint holds the jam perfectly.
  11. Preheat Jam for Easy Filling:
    • Briefly microwave the jam to make it easier to stir and fill the thumbprints. This ensures a smooth and even distribution of jam.
  12. Allow for Even Spacing:
    • Place the cookie dough balls about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet to allow for even spreading during baking.
  13. Check for Golden Brown Edges:
    • Bake until the edges of the cookies are turning light golden brown. This indicates they are perfectly baked.
  14. Cool Completely Before Storing:
    • Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring or storing them. This helps maintain their texture.
  15. Store in an Airtight Container:
    • Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container to preserve freshness and prevent them from becoming overly dry.

Tips Of Recipe

  1. Quality Ingredients:
    • Use high-quality ingredients for the best flavour and texture in your dish. Fresh and premium ingredients can elevate the overall result.
  2. Preparation:
    • Prepare all ingredients before starting to ensure a smooth cooking process. This includes chopping, measuring, and having everything within easy reach.
  3. Room Temperature Ingredients:
    • Bring ingredients like butter, eggs, and dairy to room temperature before using. This promotes even mixing and better incorporation of flavours.
  4. Follow Instructions Closely:
    • Adhere to the recipe instructions and measurements meticulously. Baking is a science, and precise measurements are crucial for success.
  5. Adjust Seasoning to Taste:
    • Taste the dish as you go and adjust seasoning to your preference. This allows you to tailor the flavour to suit your taste buds.
  6. Test for Doneness:
    • Use visual cues and additional testing methods (such as a toothpick for baking) to determine when the dish is fully cooked. This ensures it is neither undercooked nor overcooked.
  7. Consistent Oven Temperature:
    • Maintain a consistent oven temperature. Invest in an oven thermometer to ensure accuracy, as temperature fluctuations can affect the final result.
  8. Proper Mixing Technique:
    • Pay attention to mixing techniques, especially in baking. Overmixing or undermixing can impact the texture of the final product.
  9. Allow for Resting Time:
    • Allow the dish to rest or cool as directed in the recipe. Resting time allows flavours to meld and textures to set.
  10. Presentation Matters:
    • Pay attention to presentation. A well-presented dish not only looks appetising but also enhances the overall dining experience.
  11. Experiment with Flavours:
    • Feel free to experiment with additional herbs, spices, or flavourings to tailor the dish to your taste preferences.
  12. Use Fresh Herbs:
    • If the recipe calls for herbs, opt for fresh ones whenever possible. Fresh herbs add a burst of flavour that dried herbs may not replicate.
  13. Proper Storage:
    • Store leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer as directed. Proper storage helps maintain the quality of the dish.
  14. Read Reviews:
    • If using an online recipe, read reviews and comments from others who have tried it. This can provide valuable insights and tips for success.
  15. Enjoy the Cooking Process:
    • Cooking is a joyful experience. Enjoy the process, and don’t hesitate to get creative and make the recipe your own.

Yes, you can make gluten-free cookie dough in advance. Making the dough ahead of time is a convenient option, especially if you want to plan for future baking or if you’re preparing for an event. Here are some tips to ensure successful preparation and storage:

  1. Chill the Dough:
    • After preparing the gluten-free cookie dough, chill it in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours or as specified in the recipe. This allows the dough to firm up and makes it easier to handle.
  2. Shape into Portions:
    • Before chilling, consider shaping the cookie dough into individual portions or forming it into a log for slice-and-bake cookies. This makes it more convenient to use later.
  3. Storage Container:
    • Transfer the chilled cookie dough to an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Ensure that the container is sealed well to prevent the dough from drying out and absorbing odours from the refrigerator.
  4. Label and Date:
    • If you’re storing the dough for an extended period, label the container with the date of preparation. This helps you keep track of freshness and ensures you use it within the recommended time frame.
  5. Freezing Option:
    • If you don’t plan to use the dough within a few days, consider freezing it. Shape the dough into individual portions, wrap them well in plastic wrap, and place them in a freezer-safe container. Cookie dough can typically be stored in the freezer for a few months.
  6. Thawing Before Baking:
    • When ready to bake, thaw the gluten-free cookie dough in the refrigerator or at room temperature, depending on the recipe’s recommendations. This ensures even consistency during baking.
  7. Check for Freshness:
    • Before using the dough, check for freshness and ensure there are no signs of freezer burn or spoilage. If the dough has been stored properly, it should maintain its quality.
  8. Adjust Baking Time:
    • Keep in mind that cookies made from chilled or frozen dough may require slight adjustments to the baking time. Follow the recipe guidelines for best results.

Gluten-Free Flour

This gluten-free oat-based cookie recipe was developed using certified gluten-free oats, ensuring a safe and delicious treat for those with gluten sensitivities. When selecting gluten-free oats, it’s crucial to choose a brand that specifically labels its oats as gluten-free to avoid cross-contamination. Gluten-free oats provide a hearty and wholesome base for cookies, offering a texture and flavour similar to traditional oats. Keep in mind that oats themselves don’t contain gluten, but cross-contamination can occur during processing. By opting for certified gluten-free oats, you ensure the integrity of your gluten-free oat-based cookie recipe. So, whether you’re a fan of classic oatmeal cookies or experimenting with unique oat-based creations, using certified gluten-free oats is the key to crafting delightful treats that everyone can enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I use a different type of gluten-free flour in the thumbprint cookie recipe?
    • While the recipe was specifically developed with a particular gluten-free flour, you can experiment with other blends. Ensure they contain xanthan gum if the original recipe calls for it.
  2. What is the purpose of xanthan gum in gluten-free baking?
    • Xanthan gum helps replace the elasticity and texture lost when gluten is omitted. Check if your chosen gluten-free flour blend already includes xanthan gum to avoid overusing it.
  3. Can I substitute almond flour for gluten-free flour in the thumbprint cookie recipe?
    • Substituting almond flour may significantly change the texture of the cookies. Stick to the recommended gluten-free flour blend for the best results.
  4. How long do these gluten-free thumbprint cookies stay fresh?
    • Stored in an airtight container, these cookies typically stay fresh for 3-5 days. For longer storage, consider freezing the cookies and thawing as needed.
  5. Can I freeze the thumbprint cookie dough in advance?
    • Yes, you can freeze the cookie dough for future use. Shape the dough into portions, wrap them well, and store in an airtight container. Thaw before baking.
  6. What can I use to fill the thumbprint indent besides jam?
    • Get creative with various fillings like chocolate ganache, nut butter, or lemon curd. Ensure your chosen filling complements the gluten-free nature of the recipe.
  7. Can I make the dough in advance and refrigerate it before baking?
    • Yes, you can prepare the cookie dough ahead and refrigerate it. Chilled dough can be easier to work with, and it allows you to plan for convenient baking times.
  8. Is it possible to make these cookies dairy-free?
    • Yes, you can make these cookies dairy-free by using dairy-free substitutes for butter. Ensure the substitutes are suitable for baking.
  9. Can I use regular oats instead of gluten-free oats in the thumbprint cookie recipe?
    • To maintain the gluten-free status, it’s crucial to use certified gluten-free oats. Regular oats may be cross-contaminated with gluten.
  10. What adjustments should I make for high-altitude baking?
    • In high-altitude areas, you may need to make adjustments to the recipe, such as reducing sugar or increasing liquid. Experiment and make changes based on your baking experience at altitude.


  1. Classic Presentation:
    • Serve these delicious gluten-free thumbprint cookies on a decorative plate for a classic presentation. Their vibrant jam centres make them an inviting treat.
  2. Tea or Coffee Pairing:
    • Enjoy these cookies as a delightful accompaniment to your favourite tea or coffee. The sweet and buttery flavour pairs well with a warm beverage.
  3. Dessert Platter:
    • Include these gluten-free thumbprint cookies on a dessert platter for a charming addition to your sweet spread. Mix and match with other gluten-free treats for variety.
  4. Afternoon Tea or Brunch:
    • Elevate your afternoon tea or brunch by offering these thumbprint cookies as a gluten-free option. They add a touch of sweetness to any gathering.
  5. Dinner Party Dessert:
    • Impress your guests by serving these cookies as a delightful and gluten-free dessert option at your next dinner party. The colourful jam centres add a festive touch.
  6. Holiday Treats:
    • Incorporate these thumbprint cookies into your holiday treats selection. Their festive appearance and delicious taste make them a perfect addition to the seasonal spread.
  7. Gift Giving:
    • Package these gluten-free treats in decorative boxes or jars to create charming gifts for friends or loved ones. They make for a thoughtful and tasty present.
  8. Ice Cream Sandwiches:
    • Get creative by turning these cookies into gluten-free ice cream sandwiches. Simply sandwich your favourite gluten-free ice cream between two cookies for a delightful frozen treat.
  9. Dip in Chocolate:
    • Elevate the indulgence by dipping the edges of these thumbprint cookies in melted chocolate. Allow the chocolate to set for an added layer of richness.
  10. Serve with Fresh Fruit:
    • Accompany these cookies with a side of fresh fruit, such as berries or sliced kiwi, for a refreshing and gluten-free dessert combination.
  11. Yogurt Parfait Topper:
    • Use these cookies as a gluten-free crumble topper for yogurt parfaits. The sweet and crumbly texture adds a delightful crunch to your parfait.
  12. Create a Cookie Platter:
    • Arrange an assortment of gluten-free cookies, including these thumbprint treats, on a platter for a visually appealing and tempting display at gatherings.

How to Store

  1. Airtight Container:
    • Store your gluten-free thumbprint cookies in an airtight container to maintain freshness and prevent them from drying out.
  2. Room Temperature:
    • If you plan to consume the cookies within a few days, storing them at room temperature is suitable. Ensure they are in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  3. Refrigeration (Optional):
    • For an extended shelf life, especially in warmer climates, you can opt to refrigerate the cookies. Place them in an airtight container to retain their texture.
  4. Layering with Parchment:
    • When stacking the cookies in a container, consider placing parchment paper between layers to prevent them from sticking together.
  5. Freezing (Long-Term Storage):
    • If you want to store the cookies for an extended period, freezing is a great option. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet until frozen, then transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag. Ensure proper wrapping to prevent freezer burn.
  6. Thawing Cookies:
    • When ready to enjoy frozen cookies, thaw them in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Avoid thawing in a microwave to preserve their texture.
  7. Avoid Moisture Exposure:
    • Keep cookies away from moisture to maintain their desired texture. Moisture can cause them to become soggy.
  8. Check Freshness:
    • Periodically check the cookies for freshness. If stored properly, they should remain delicious for several days at room temperature and even longer when refrigerated or frozen.

How to Freeze

  1. Cool Completely:
    • Allow the freshly baked gluten-free thumbprint cookies to cool completely on a wire rack before freezing.
  2. Individual Freezing:
    • For easy retrieval, consider freezing the cookies individually on a baking sheet before placing them in a container. This prevents them from sticking together.
  3. Freeze on a Baking Sheet:
    • Arrange the cookies in a single layer on a baking sheet, ensuring they are not touching. Place the sheet in the freezer for a few hours or until the cookies are firm.
  4. Layering with Parchment:
    • If stacking the cookies in a container, place parchment paper between layers to prevent them from sticking together during freezing.
  5. Airtight Freezer Container or Bag:
    • Transfer the individually frozen cookies to an airtight freezer container or a resealable freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
  6. Label and Date:
    • Label the container or bag with the date of freezing to keep track of their freshness. Use within the recommended storage time for best quality.
  7. Avoid Odours:
    • Store the cookies away from strong-smelling foods in the freezer to prevent them from absorbing unwanted odours.
  8. Thawing Process:
    • When ready to enjoy, thaw the frozen gluten-free thumbprint cookies in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Avoid using a microwave to maintain their texture.
  9. Check Texture:
    • Once thawed, check the texture of the cookies. They should retain their delicious taste and quality if properly stored.


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