Comprised of a buttery, crumbly yet melty shortbread cookie and the best raspberry jam you can find, you’ll love how incredibly simple and morish these raspberry thumbprint cookies are. They’re also a Christmas classic and here just in time for you to make a big batch for your celebrations.

  • Incredibly quick and easy to make.
  • Buttery cookie with sweet and tangy raspberry jam.
  • Crumbly yet soft – like melting moments filled with jam.
  • No chilling required.
  • Perfect for gifting.

I could eat these buttery thumbprint cookies all day long. Perfect with a cuppa, they have the most amazing texture. The icing on the cookie is lemon flavoured and the perfect combination with the butter and raspberry flavours.

These are adapted from these popular lemon curd cookies.

A hand picking up a cookie.

What are thumbprint cookies?

At their very basic, thumbprint cookies are small round cookies with a dent in the centre (usually made with your thumb, hence the name) which can be filled with various things. The cookie texture can change as well, for instance, these ones are like a very soft shortbread while these chocolate malted cookies have a chewier texture.

Almond raspberry thumbprint cookies are a classic, especially loved around the festive season, but I chose to steer these buttery cookies in a different direction adding vanilla to the dough and a lemon icing to the top.

Ingredients you’ll need

Ingredients for raspberry thumbprint cookies on a baking tray.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

  • Usual suspects: You’ll find classic baking ingredients here including flour (plain / all purpose flour), unsalted butter and a touch of salt.
  • Sugar: The sugar is where things change a little. These cookies use icing sugar (powdered sugar or confectioners sugar) instead of granulated sugar.
  • Cornflour: Cornflour (cornstarch in the US) helps to create a soft, almost melting texture in these cookies.
  • Raspberry jam: Use your favourite. I’m currently loving Bonne Maman.
  • Lemon: Lemon and raspberry are fast friends but please use fresh lemon juice in the simple 2 ingredient icing for the best flavour.

What you won’t notice in this recipe is any egg. That’s because this is more of a shortbread or melting moments cookie texture than a chewy cookie texture.

How to make thumbprint cookies (step-by-step)

One of the things I love most about these, ok aside from the amazing flavour and texture, is how easy they are to make. No chilling required! How good is that?!

A collage showing how to make raspberry thumbprint cookies.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

  1. The dough: We start by creaming together butter and sugar until it looks nice and fluffy. Add a bit of vanilla then mix in the dry ingredients and bam!, cookie dough done.
  2. Shaping the cookies: This is fun and quick too. Just roll tablespoons of dough into balls and sit them on a lined baking sheet. Press your thumb down into the middle (the small end of a pestle works well too).
  3. Fill the cookies: Fill that centre dent of each cookie with jam to the top – you can even go over just a little bit.
  4. Bake: Bake the cookies for 10 minutes.
  5. Ice: Once the cookies have cooled, mix together the icing sugar and lemon juice and transfer it to a small ziplock bag, squeezy bottle or piping bag and drizzle lines of icing over the top.
A batch of jam thumbprint cookies on a sheet of baking paper.


  • Almond thumbprints: Often, raspberry thumbprint cookies are teamed up with almond flavour, so feel free to swap the vanilla extract for almond extract.
  • No icing: If you don’t want the icing, these cookies are still delicious without it. If you want to leave off the icing but still add an extra dimension and sweetness, roll the balls of dough in granulated sugar before adding the dents. You can also just dust the finished cookies with some icing sugar (powdered sugar).
  • Other flavours: These meltingly tender and buttery thumbprint cookies go well with so many flavours. Try chocolate ganache, caramel, Nutella, other flavoured jams, marmalade or try one of these homemade fruit curds:

Yield and storage

This recipe makes 26 cookies.

How to store raspberry thumbprint cookies: These cookies keep well at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week. They stay beautifully soft and tender and the flavour stays buttery and bold.

Freezing: You can freeze the baked cookies for up to 3 months in an airtight container. You can also make the dough ahead of time and freeze that for shaping later.

A batch of thumbprint cookies on a sheet of baking paper.

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Closeup of 9 jam thumbprint cookies.
5 from 1 rating
These raspberry thumbprint cookies are buttery, rich and meltingly tender. Like a super soft, melty shortbread, these raspberry jam cookies are so quick and easy and taste amazing.


  • 200 g unsalted butter, softened (1 ¾ sticks / 7oz)
  • 70 g icing sugar (powdered sugar) (½ cup / 2.5oz)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 225 g plain flour (all purp flour) (1 ¾ cups / 8oz)
  • 45 g cornflour (US cornstarch) (⅓ cup / 1.6oz)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • cup raspberry jam

LEMON ICING (optional)

  • ½ cup icing sugar (powdered sugar) (70g / 2.5oz)
  • 3-4 teaspoons lemon juice (or water or milk)

For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided



  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Line a large baking sheet or cookie sheet with baking paper.
  • Make the dough: Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy (you can use a stand mixer with paddle attachment or an electric handheld beater on medium speed for this).
  • Add the vanilla and mix through.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornflour and salt
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter mix in 3 parts, gently mixing between each until just incorporated (see notes #3).
  • Shape dough: Use a cookie scoop (approximately 1 tablespoon) and roll 1-inch balls of dough then place them on the prepared tray.
  • Use your thumb to press a deep indent (slowly) into the cookie dough balls and fill them with raspberry jam.
  • Bake: Bake for 10 minutes until just starting to turn golden on the edges, then let them cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • For the lemon icing / glaze: Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, then mix with the lemon juice. Use a spoon or piping bag to drizzle it over the cooled cookies.
  • Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.


  1. Weigh the flour: Too much flour and the cookies will become dry or tough so I always recommend investing in a kitchen scale. If you don’t have scales and want these cookies now, spoon the flour into your cup measure, then use the back of a knife to scrape off the excess.
  2. All ovens vary: What takes 10 minutes in my oven, may take 9 or 11 in yours. I recommend baking a test cookie first.
  3. Make sure everything is fully incorporated in the dough as there is a delicate balance here between the flour holding it together and the butter wanting to melt when it bakes. If you notice some cookies spread it’s because there was more butter than flour so you want to mix the dough well without overmixing it and making the cookies tough. It’s not difficult, just worth noting.
  4. Storage: Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. They can be frozen as well.
  5. Almond flavour: For the classic almond raspberry combination swap the vanilla extract for 1 tsp almond extract.
  6. Other flavours: You can fill the dent with nearly any spread you like. Strawberry or apricot jam also work really well.
Have you tried this recipe?Don’t forget to leave a rating and comment below and let me know how it was! I love hearing from you. Nutrition information is approximate and derived from an online calculator. The brands you use may cause variations.