Gluten Free & Vegan Thumbprint Cookies

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Gluten Free & Vegan Thumbprint Cookies-4707

Thumbprint cookies have always been one of my most favorite Christmas cookies.  That always seemed bizarre.  I was never really into nuts, especially walnuts, and jelly I could take or leave in most instances.  But somehow…when these few ingredients come together, the cookies created take on a magical flavor.  A rich, buttery cookie off-set by the toasted nuts and some homemade jam.    It was high time I perfected a new allergy-friendly version of this recipe!  And let me tell you…these are a Christmas treat in this house…otherwise I would eat WAY to many of these delectable morsels!

Thumbprints are also very flexible…if you would like to leave the nuts out, or change them to pecans or brazil nuts…go for it.  Not much for jelly?  How about some dark chocolate chips nestled in that cute little indentation?  We like to do a variety of jams in different colors for a festive look.

INGREDIENTS:  I have used Earth Balance Soy Free Cubes in this (which incidentally is NOT the same as the spread which has more oil to make it spreadable and would change the texture big time in these).  While this is not my preferred fat…with a son who thus far cannot even tolerate casein free grass-fed ghee, this is the fat I need to use to achieve the buttery flavor traditional to thumbprints.  If you would like to use solid coconut oil or palm shortening, or can tolerate butter or ghee, those can be used here.  The flavor will not be traditional with coconut oil or palm shortening, but they will still be tasty.

FILLING TIP:  Have any leftover cranberry sauce?  Makes a yummy filling!

Gluten Free & Vegan Thumbprint Cookies-4716

5.0 from 2 reviews
Gluten Free & Vegan Thumbprint Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
  • 1 cup Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Cubes, or butter if tolerated
  • ½ cup palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • ¼ cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • ⅛ teaspoon stevia powder or liquid stevia (could use an additional ¼ cup granulated sugar, or leave out entirely)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup EACH tapioca, sweet rice flour, and millet flour
  • ½ teaspoon guar gum
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the the butter and sugar for about 2 minutes until fluffy.
  3. Turn the mixer down to low, and add in the applesauce, stevia, and vanilla. Beat well, mixture will appear almost curdled from the applesauce, that is OK.
  4. With mixer still running on low, sprinkle in the remaining dry ingredients one at a time. Hold off on the jelly and nuts at this point! Dough will be stiff.
  5. Grab about a tablespoon of dough and roll into balls.
  6. f you are using nuts, now is the time to roll the balls into the finely chopped walnuts.
  7. Place on a cookie sheet and press your thumb in the center to make an indentation for fillings.
  8. Use about a ½ teaspoon-1 teaspoon of jam per cookie. No exact science here, just fill your holes up...but don't overfill...the jam will spill out while it bakes and it does not look as pretty.
  9. Bake for about 10 minutes. Cookies should still be soft, but firm up perfectly as they cool.

Gluten Free & Vegan Thumbprint Cookies-4714


This post was shared on Mostly Homemade Mondays, Fat Tuesday, Hearth & Soul, Totally Talented Tuesday, GF Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Pennywise Platter, GF Friday,

It's only fair to share...Share on YummlyTweet about this on TwitterShare on StumbleUponShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on Pinterest

When her third child was born with severe food allergies, Tessa took to the kitchen to figure out how to feed her family well. Always up for a culinary challenge, their journey has taken many twists and turns! Lots of Paleo, and lots of top 8 free. Good food for families, that's what she's about!

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8 comments on “Gluten Free & Vegan Thumbprint Cookies
  1. Hi Tessa,
    These thumbprint cookies look so tempting with the sweet dough, the crunchy nuts and the beautiful dollop of jam in the center. I could enjoy some of them right now….
    I hope you have a wonderful week and a beautiful Christmas!
    Love and hugs,
    Pat @ Elegantly, Gluten-Free recently posted…Gluten-Free Marshmallow Crispy Treats For The Holidays… Now Casein-Free, Too!My Profile

  2. tessa says:

    I love them, too! Thank you so much for the recipe. We’ll share with our FB followers at

  3. Tessa, you’ve done it again! I always get hungry from visiting your site. Thanks for sharing at Healing with Food Friday!
    Dawn @ Peeling Back the Onion Layers recently posted…Healing With Food Friday #15My Profile

  4. amber says:

    Hi Tessa,

    Agreed my friend. Thumbprint cookies are also one of my favorites. Love the flaky shortbread with the sweet jelly middle. Your pictures are stunning! I’m working on a thumbprint cookie myself (a grain free carob with a pumpkin coconut middle) – but you know and baking…give me another 5 months. Ha ha.

    Wishing you and your sweet family a fabulous holiday & amazing new year.

    amber recently posted…Cinnamon & Coconut Sugar Dried ApplesMy Profile

  5. Mmmm. Sweet-goodness! I want one..
    Grace Cinotti recently posted…synergy spanish blogMy Profile

  6. I’m pinning these cookies to try! They look incredible!
    Julia @ Swirls and Spice recently posted…Almond Supreme Cookies {Grain Free}My Profile

  7. Diane Keller says:

    I have a question on the thumb prints. Can something else be substitute something else for the guar gum?

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Welcome, I am happy you are here!

My name is Tessa, and I have learned to cook without almost all major allergens! I have a focus on making family foods as healthy as possible. Real food is my obsession. Gluten free, casein free, vegan, Paleo, sugar free: I have a little of something for anyone with restrictions., Take a peek, you're sure to find something delicious, and if you need any help, I am always willing to help you tweak things to YOUR tastes and dietary needs!

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