December 7, 2013 36

Grain + Gluten-free Vegan Thumbprint Cookies

Grain-free, gluten-free vegan thumbprint cookies.

Gluten-free Vegan Thumbprint Cookies | Refined sugar-free, grain-free, gluten-free vegan thumbprint cookies. A childhood favorite Christmas cookie revisited and made healthy for all to enjoy.

Every year during the holiday season I’d roll up my sleeves, get covered in flour and bake the day away with my sister and my mom. We would kick all the boys out of the house and we’d blast the hell out of Amy Grant’s Christmas Album. We’d dance and laugh and sing around the house like no one else in the world was watching. Now that I think about it, these really were some of the happiest days of my childhood.

We’d make rum balls and snowballs, sugar cookies and gingerbread men, but most importantly we’d make my favorite, thumbprints. If you can believe it – I mean I’m still in shock but Chris didn’t even know what a thumbprint was until I made these. What in the world?

This recipe stays true to the original classic thumbprint recipe I used to make with my mom. But here I’ve replaced the all-purpose flour for fine almond flour. My favorite almond flour is from Bob’s Red Mill. And coconut oil and maple syrup for the butter and sugar. Making these the refined sugar, grain and gluten-free vegan thumbprint cookies of your dreams.

Gluten-free Vegan Thumbprint Cookies | Refined sugar-free, grain-free, gluten-free vegan thumbprint cookies. A childhood favorite Christmas cookie revisited and made healthy for all to enjoy.

Gluten-free Vegan Thumbprint Cookies

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Serves 13 cookies     adjust servings

My favorite almond flour is from Bob's Red Mill. I used raspberry jam, but you could use any flavor. To prevent burning the bottoms, you might want to double up your baking sheets. You can easily double or triple batch this recipe.


  • 2 cups fine almond flour, plus more for finishing
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon jam {any flavor}


  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together in a bowl the almond flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Then add in the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla. With a spoon stir the batter until it forms a dough.
  3. Roll the dough in your hands to make 13 balls. Dip half of the ball into the almond flour that was set aside for finishing. Place the ball on the cookie sheet with the floury side up. Press the ball down leaving a small indentation in the center of the cookie. Fill the indentation with about ¼ teaspoon of jam.
  4. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes.
  5. When the cookies come out of the oven their texture will still be quite soft, allow them to cool completely before handling. Finish with a little sprinkle of almond flour or powdered sugar.
Gluten-free Vegan Thumbprint Cookies | Refined sugar-free, grain-free, gluten-free vegan thumbprint cookies. A childhood favorite Christmas cookie revisited and made healthy for all to enjoy.


36 Responses to "Grain + Gluten-free Vegan Thumbprint Cookies"

  1. Reply


    December 11, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    Oh my goodness. I am making these tomorrow. They look so amazing! Currently I’m battling morning sickness and NOTHING looks amazing, but these do. Well done.

  2. Reply

    Brandy @A Mindful Mantra

    December 18, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    These cookies look so cute and delicious! The photos are gorgeous!

  3. Reply

    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

    December 18, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    I’ve always loved jam thumbprints, they are the best! I’m going to make a batch of these before the holidays are over.

  4. Reply


    December 20, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    These look yummy! I am going to make some today. What do you mean by doubling up baking sheets (I am a very beginning baker)?

    • Reply


      December 21, 2013 at 10:59 AM

      Hi Alli – place a second baking sheet under the one with the cookies on it, and then bake away. Hope this helps!

  5. Reply


    December 21, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Me and the husband wanted something sweet last night after dinner and had nothing in the house so I searched for a simple quick (healthy) recipe and these were GREAT. Thank you!

    • Reply


      December 22, 2013 at 8:41 AM

      Yes! I’m so happy you loved these Mary.

  6. Reply

    amanda kerns

    October 6, 2014 at 8:08 PM

    Can’t wait to try this one! Trying to go paleo while starting a home bakery business. Needless to say, it’s imperative that I have paleo dessert alternatives on hand at all times!

    • Reply


      October 7, 2014 at 1:26 PM

      Happy to provide you grain-free goodness Amanda.

  7. Reply


    October 24, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    I just made these cookies. They are perfect. I love them and will keep baking them. Wonderfull. Thank you for the recipe.

    • Reply


      October 24, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      Awesome – this makes me so happy Tami!

  8. Reply


    December 2, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    I recently went grain-free and was really sad that I wouldn’t be enjoying my ‘normal’ favorite Christmas cookies. So these are back on my list to love! Thank you.

  9. Reply


    December 12, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    OMG these are one of my most fave cookies to bake at Christmas time, so happy I came across this healthier version, they sound delicious! I hope you don’t mind I showcased them on my blog in my link love series.

    • Reply


      December 14, 2014 at 1:12 PM

      I appreciate the link love, Lyndsey!

  10. Reply


    December 18, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    I wonder would it work to substitute a portion (maybe half?) of the almond flour with coconut flour? I would love to make a big batch of these but only have one small (and expensive) bag of almond flour.

    • Reply


      December 18, 2014 at 6:13 PM

      I’ve never tried that Theresa and I do know baking with alternative flour can be tricky, so I’m not sure if I can recommend changing the recipe in that way. If you end up doing it, please let me know how it turns out!

  11. Reply


    August 17, 2015 at 1:10 PM

    These cookies were a great success! Perfect for those with very restrictive food diets like me. They took me less than five minutes to mix (no joke) and were quick to bake. I used Trader Joe’s juice-sweetened jam and a hemp coconut milk. Result was soft, savory, very little sweetened (just sweet enough for those who don’t regularly eat sugar) cookies. Will make again!

    • Reply


      August 18, 2015 at 12:36 PM

      Oh so happy to hear this Paola, your feedback made my day!

  12. Reply


    November 27, 2015 at 3:02 PM

    I just made these and they are fantastic! The flavor is so awesome. The only thing is that mine really spread out – making them less thumbprint-like and the middle is a little too underdone. I might need to refrigerate the dough for a short time next time I make them. Thanks for such a delicious treat!

  13. Reply


    December 15, 2015 at 7:36 PM

    Sorry for the confusion Renee! The recipe can be made with 3 tablespoons maple syrup or 1/4 cup honey/agave.

  14. Reply


    December 16, 2015 at 1:13 PM

    I just printed these to make for Christmas. They look so good! I was wondering if almond meal was the same as almond flour? I get a bag of almond meal at Trader’s Joes and was hoping I could use that.

    • Reply


      December 20, 2015 at 5:37 PM

      Hi Michelle, sorry for the delayed response. Almond meal is not quite the same as blanched almond flour. Almond meal is ground almond with its skin, and it isn’t as fine as almond flour {almonds ground super fine without their skins}. If you experimented using the almond meal, I’d love to know how they turned out!

  15. Reply


    December 23, 2015 at 4:58 PM

    I was looking for a nice Christmas treat for my brother’s vegan girlfriend and these were perfect! Even better that they’re gluten-free since my brother has celiac disease. They turned out wonderful. We sprinkled them with powdered sugar instead of almond flour for some extra sweetness!

  16. Reply


    February 14, 2016 at 10:31 AM

    We are allergic to almonds and coconut. Could we substitute oat flour or GF all purpose flour? Would any oil work as a substitute?

    • Reply


      March 1, 2016 at 8:13 PM

      Hi Erin – grain-free baking is tricky, and I wouldn’t recommend that.

  17. Reply


    November 9, 2016 at 4:26 PM

    I am wondering if these cookies freeze well? I would like to make them for a baking exchange. I need to make 12 dozen, so making them in advance and then freezing would be a time saver for me.

    • Reply


      December 11, 2016 at 7:47 AM

      Hi Cathy – I haven’t tried freezing them but, I think it would be doable. If you try it, please let me know.

  18. Reply


    December 13, 2016 at 4:12 PM

    We love these cookies! We have made them for Christmas for the past couple years. So THANK YOU! Yes, we froze them and they were great afterwards.

  19. Reply


    December 20, 2016 at 8:50 AM

    Thank you so much for the recipe. I have not been able to find blanched almond flour anywhere and want to check if you know whether or not using all purpose flour would be an acceptable substitute?

    • Reply


      December 20, 2016 at 11:15 AM

      Hi Liz – blanched almond flour is the same as fine almond flour. Bob’s Red Mill makes it! Hope this helps as ap flour would not substitute.

  20. Reply


    December 21, 2016 at 8:08 AM

    Wow! Made these cookies yesterday and words can’t describe how good they are. They are just perfect. I’ll definitely be making them again and again – thank you!

    • Reply


      December 30, 2016 at 9:00 AM

      You’re welcome Leigh! I’m so glad they were a hit.

  21. Reply


    December 31, 2016 at 2:22 PM

    Did you maybe forget an ingredient, possibly an egg? These didn’t hold together.

    • Reply


      December 31, 2016 at 6:58 PM

      Hi Dawn – I didn’t. The recipe is tried and true. I’m not sure what happened on your end. Did you make any substitutions?

  22. Reply


    April 28, 2017 at 8:29 PM

    Made these last night! I found that I had to bake them a tad longer, maybe 15 minutes instead of 8-10 (so that they held together better), but it could have just been my oven. We love them. I am so happy to find a delicious vegan, refined sugar-free recipe for my favourite thumbprint cookies.

    • Reply


      April 29, 2017 at 11:43 AM

      Hi Robyn – I’m so glad you found these and that you loved them!

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