Super easy and simple to make, these vegan, gluten-free Thumbprint Cookies are a healthy AND delicious treat for the holiday season or any time of year.

Made with wholesome ingredients including heart-healthy cashew nuts, ground flaxseed, and antioxidant-rich spices, then topped off with a dollop of your favorite jam, I guarantee you’ll absolutely love these delicious cookies!

Baking tray lined with white parchment paper and topped with jam-filled gluten-free thumbprint cookies.

  • EASY TO MAKE – Toss the ingredients in a food processor. Shape your cookies on the baking sheet. Fill them up with jam. All in less than 30 minutes!
  • HEALTHY(ISH) – Yes, they’re cookies. But you can feel good about eating them. They’re low in added sugar, rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, and made with simple, wholesome ingredients. Win, win!
  • ADAPTABLE – No cashews? Use pecans or walnuts instead. No jam? Fill with chocolate chips. No cardamom? Spice ’em up with ginger. You get the idea!

I’m of the honest opinion that everyone needs an easy thumbprint cookie recipe in their lives. If you agree, run (don’t walk!) to your nearest grocery store and gather the ingredients for these delicious cookies flavored with orange, cinnamon, and cardamom, and topped with your favorite jam or another luscious filling! Here’s what you need.

Ingredients & Variations for Easy Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Baking tray topped with cookie ingredients including cashew nuts, ground flaxseed, brown rice flour, orange zest, cardamom, cinnamon, maple syrup, and jam.

See the full recipe card at the end of this post.

  • Cashew nuts. Swap with other nuts of choice or almond flour.
  • Ground flaxseed.
  • Brown rice flour or gluten-free flour blend. Or any gluten-free flour blend certified gluten-free oat flour, or sorghum flour. Try coconut flour or cassava flour for a grain-free version.
  • Spices. Cinnamon and cardamom. Ginger, nutmeg, and cloves would be delicious too.
  • Orange zest. Or lemon zest.
  • Baking staples. Baking soda and salt.
  • Maple syrup. Try honey or another liquid sweetener if desired.
  • Your favourite jam. I used Jackie’s Jams* Cranberry Orange Jam and Mango Raspberry Jam. Other tasty options include strawberry jam, apricot jam, blueberry jam, lemon curd, chocolate hazelnut spread, and dark, milk, or white chocolate chips melted in the thumbprint cookie center. Yum!
  • Optional flavorings. Almond extract, lemon extract, pure vanilla extract.

*Jackie’s Jams is a client of mine that makes lower sugar jams with simple ingredients and creative flavor pairings including Balsamic Fig, Blood Orange Marmalade, Chambord Blueberry, Plum Lavender, Zippy Jalapeno (spread over goat cheese and serve with gluten-free crackers for a super easy gluten-free appetizer!), and many more. Buy Jackie’s Jams at Whole Foods in San Diego or online.


  • Cookie sheet
  • Parchment paper or a Silpat baking sheet.
  • Cooling rack
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Food processor. I love my Breville food processor!

How to make gluten-free jam thumbprint cookies

Recipe instruction collage with 6 photos on how to make gluten-free thumbprint cookies.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a food processor bowl. Pulse until you have a fine meal.
  3. Add the maple syrup to the dry mixture and process until moist-the cookie dough will start to pull away from the bowl.
  4. Divide dough into ~15 1-inch balls and place on the lined baking sheet. Press down each dough ball with the back of a moistened spoon or your index finger until about 1/4 inch thick.
  5. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned around the edges. Watch carefully to prevent burning.
  6. Remove gluten-free thumbprint cookies from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
  7. Top the center of each cookie with 1/2-1 teaspoon of jam.
  8. Enjoy or store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
Black and white background with white tray and gluten-free jam thumbprint cookies on top.

Big shoutout to Ricki Heller and her scrumptious Lemony-Walnut Cinnamon Cookies from the Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free cookbook for inspiring my gluten-free thumbprint cookie recipe!

Gluten-free thumbprint cookies on white parchment paper.

Gluten-Free Thumbprint Cookies

These orange spice vegan and gluten-free Thumbprint Cookies are a healthy and delicious treat for the holiday season or any time of year. Made with wholesome ingredients and topped off with a dollop of your favorite jam, I guarantee you'll absolutely love these delicious cookies!
5 from 2 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 15 cookies


  • 2 cups raw cashew nuts
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour {or other gluten-free flour OR all-purpose flour}, or other gluten-free flour OR all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest, freshly grated
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • jam of choice for filling


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat liner.
  • Combine all ingredients, except maple syrup and jam, in a food processor bowl, and process ingredients together until you have a fine meal.
  • Add maple syrup to the dry mixture and process until the mixture is moist and starts to pull away from the sides of the processor bowl.
  • Divide dough into ~ 15 1-inch balls and place on cookie sheets. Press each dough ball with the back of a moistened spoon or use your finger until about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Bake in for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are very lightly browned around the edges.
  • Rmove from oven and allow cookies to cool on a wire rack. Top each cookie with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of jam and serve.


YouTube video


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 143kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 80mg | Potassium: 159mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg
EA Stewart, RD | Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Mediterranean, MIND Diet, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword christmas cookies, thumbprint cookies
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Recipe Rating


  1. Aleesha Banks says:

    I am in love with your yummy cookies. I am a cookie lover, Big cookie lover. Also your gift is looking very nice with its simple decoration.

  2. Aleesha Banks says:

    I love these cookies looking so juicy and yummy…..Mmmmmmmmmmm.

  3. Kim - Liv Life says:

    I have a feeling I could eat these beauties by the batchful!!! My husband has in the last few weeks decided he’d eating vegan and these will fit right in. Loving them!
    Also loving our warm weather and here’s wishing you and your family a fabulous holiday!!

  4. kellie@foodtoglow says:

    I am awfully fond of cashew in cookies and the ingredients for your ones sound especially good, and good for you. The coconut flour is a good idea. I’ve got a bag I have not yet touched so this might be a clever way to christen it. Have a super fabulous Christmas, Miss EA. Enjoy every single day xx

  5. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    The cookies sound delicious! I love cookies with jam! I’m pinning them to make soon!

  6. Would agave work in place of maple..? I love this recipe but live so far out in the country to drive to the store for syrup I rarely use… Well you get my point. Do you have a suggestion that would help the agave syrup? Or maybe I should just go ahead and make them…

    Thanks for the simply delicious vegan recipe!.

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Hi Renee!

      Yes, absolutely agave would work wonderfully in this recipe. Ricki’s lemony walnut cookies use agave, but I bake more with maple syrup so that is what I use. If you make them, I’d love to know how they turn out. Holiday cheers!

  7. Deena Kakaya says:

    Ooh, glowing buttons of decadent deliciousness! Love the look of these x

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Oh, my! Yours is the first ever “glowing buttons of decadent deliciousness” endorsement I have ever received Deena. Love it!! Happy holidays to you and your family xoxo

  8. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says:

    Mmm…orange spice sounds nice!

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Thanks Sylvie! I love orange and spices together πŸ™‚ Happy holidays!

  9. Oh, my, these look SO good! I just love cashew-based cookies, too–so rich tasting! And I bet with the jam these are over-the-top good. Thanks so much for the shout-out!!

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday season! πŸ™‚

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Thanks Rciki! Happy to share your beautiful cookbook (I would ask for a copy for Christmas if I didn’t already own it :-). I hope you enjoy my version too πŸ™‚ Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season as well!