Swedish Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Holiday cookies, here we come! Do you have memories of baking with your mom and grandma around the holidays? Well, here's a short and sweet recipe you can use for generations to come. Food blogger and recipe developer Jessica Morone from Jess Loves Baking had her thumb on this one — literally. Swedish thumbprint cookies are known holiday delights, and this recipe incorporates raspberry jam for a sweet, subtly tart treat. 

"Sweden is one of the places where the thumbprint cookie is said to originate from, and this recipe is pretty similar to the traditional Swedish recipe for hallongrotta," Morone explains of the origin of these cookies, noting that "hallongrotta" translates to "raspberry cave." While you could essentially fill the thumbprint hole with anything that you'd like, such as chocolate or another flavor of jam, raspberry filling is an absolute classic, and you can't beat the wonderful flavor that it adds to these otherwise simple cookies! Not only are these thumbprint cookies a holiday classic, but they're super easy to make — so let's get started!

Gather the ingredients to make Swedish thumbprint cookies

Whipping up these cookies shouldn't take much more than a trip to the pantry! You'll need to soften a cup of butter, grab some granulated sugar, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, and seedless raspberry jam. "I used Smuckers Seedless Red Raspberry Jam for this recipe, and I think these taste the best with raspberry jam, but you could fill them with any kind of jam that you like," Morone notes of a possible ingredient swap. "I've made them in the past with strawberry jam and they were just as good." 

Mix the cookie dough

Preheat your oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until it becomes fluffy, then mix in the vanilla extract. Next, add in the sifted flour and mix it all together until shaggy dough forms. Knead the dough with your hands until it comes together and becomes nice and smooth.

Since baking mess-ups are easy to make, we asked Morone what to do if we add more flour than we should. "If you put too much flour in the dough you should add a bit more butter to balance it out," she explains. "And if the dough seems too sticky then you should add more flour." Easy enough, right?

Spoon out balls of cookie dough and press in the centers

Next, scoop a tablespoon of dough out at a time. Shape them into small balls and place them onto cookie sheets. Use the back of a ¼ teaspoon or your thumb to make an indentation in the center of each cookie ball (that's the "thumbprint"). If you're not a confectionery expert, have no fear — Morone considers this to be a very easy recipe. "I think that these are probably about a 2 on an easiness scale, they aren't so easy that you just mix everything up and drop them onto a cookie sheet, but overall they are pretty hard to screw up," she says.

Fill the thumbprints with jam

Fill each indentation with jam, making sure not to overfill them. "This recipe is pretty simple, so the only complicated part is filling the cookies with jam so that there is enough in the cookie, but not so much that it overflows," Morone explains. "I usually pipe in the jam so that they are filled to slightly lower than the top of the cookie." Place the jam in the thumbprint until it falls even with the top of the cookie dough. Once you've done so, you're set to bake!

Bake your cookies and enjoy

Bake the tiny cookies in a preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Once the cookies have a light golden brown tint, remove them from the oven. Let the cookies cool completely, then enjoy them! According to Morone, fall and winter are the ideal times to bake these pastries. "I've been making these exact cookies for years, and they are always part of the holiday cookies I give out to everyone in December," she explains. "So for me, these are a holiday tradition. I love them because they are simple to make and taste absolutely delicious." These cookies should stay fresh when stored in an airtight container for about a week. We hope these pastries light up your holiday season!

Swedish Thumbprint Cookies Recipe
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With the holidays right around the corner, this recipe for Swedish thumbprint cookies will become a go-to thanks to their sweetness and simplicity.
Prep Time
Cook Time
cookie with raspberry filling
Total time: 22 minutes
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ½ cup seedless raspberry jam
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in the vanilla extract, then add the sifted flour, and mix until shaggy dough forms. Knead the dough with your hands until the dough comes together and becomes smooth.
  3. Scoop a tablespoon of dough out at a time, shape into small balls, and place them onto cookie sheets. Use the back of a ¼ teaspoon or your thumb to make an indentation in the center of each cookie ball.
  4. Fill each indentation with raspberry jam, making sure not to overfill.
  5. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the cookies are a light, golden brown. Let them cool completely, then serve.
Calories per Serving 141
Total Fat 7.8 g
Saturated Fat 4.9 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 20.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 16.7 g
Dietary Fiber 0.4 g
Total Sugars 7.4 g
Sodium 3.4 mg
Protein 1.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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