Thumbprint Cookies, Dairy and Egg-Free

5 star Avg. rating 5 from 28 votes.

Recipe Information

Recipe Created By: Kathy Przywara


1/2 cup shortening, butter, or margarine
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp water
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup flour (see below for gluten free options)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (optional)
1/4 cup jam in flavor of your choice


Preheat oven to 350 °F.

Cream fat and brown sugar. Beat in applesauce, baking powder, water and vanilla. Stir in flour until well mixed.

Roll in small balls – use ~ 1 Tbsp dough, they should be smaller than a walnut. Roll balls in granulated sugar and place 1″ apart on baking sheet, parchment lined preferred. Press thumb in center to make a well. I usually repeat from other side to make it more even.

Bake 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Work quickly to fill each center with a scant 1/4 tsp of jam. Do not overfill or the jam will bubble up and run all over.

Return to oven and bake an additional 3-5 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool a few minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

These can be a bit tricky to store since the jam remains a little tacky, but do OK stacked between layers of parchment paper.


These are one of my all time fave cookies. They are a brown sugar shortbread filled with jam! You can use any flavor jam you like, but we prefer apricot and raspberry. Be sure that your jam does not have huge chunks in it, but small bits are OK.


If you can use egg, you can replace the applesauce, baking powder and water with 1 egg yolk.

To make gluten free, I use an equal amount of Kathy P’s Brown Rice Flour Mix

Mariah made them gluten-free by adding 1/2 tsp xanthan gum and substituting the cup of flour from her mix containg:

4 cups Sorghum Flour
2 2/3 cups tapioca starch
2/3 cups coconut flour

Use any kind of shortening, stick margarine (not tub or light), or butter that is safe for you.

Butter and Margarine: Butter is a dairy product made from cow’s milk. Margarine typically contains milk or soy, but there are milk-free and soy-free versions available.
Corn Substitutions: Corn is a common ingredient in products. Starch, modified food starch, dextrin and maltodextrin can be from corn. Consult with your physician to find out which corn derivatives you need to avoid. Many corn-free options are available in the US. Find out more about corn substitutions.
Gluten: Gluten is a protein found in specific grains (wheat, spelt, kamut, barley, rye). Other grains are naturally gluten-free but may have cross-contact with gluten-containing grains. Look for certified gluten-free products if you need to avoid gluten. Find out more about wheat and gluten substitutions.
Milk and Soy Substitutions: Alternative dairy-free milk beverages and products will work in most recipes. Find out more about milk substitutions and soy substitutions.

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