Gluten Free Thumbprint Cookies with Almond Flour (Vegan)

These pillowy soft, gluten free thumbprint cookies are made with almond flour and rice flour for a tender yet structured shortbread-style cookie that pairs perfectly with your favourite jam. One bowl, 7 ingredients, 30 minutes and naturally vegan!

thumbprint cookies
These yummy thumbprint cookies are made with almond flour, so they’re naturally gluten free and vegan and pair beautifully with your favourite jam!

If you ask me, I will confidently declare that I’m more into savoury than sweet…but I do tend to go weak in the knees for a really good cookie. What that means for me when I’m developing my plant-based recipes is that I like my desserts not to be tooth-achingly sweet. (It has nothing to do with the fact I’m a dietitian…it’s just a taste preference!)

These tender, buttery thumbprint cookies are rich and satisfying but not too sweet, so they’re the perfect vehicle for your favourite jam or preserve. Adapted from my vegan shortbread cookie recipe and made with almond flour so they’re pillowy and just a bit chewy, with a kiss of jam or homemade cranberry sauce, which I love to do around the holidays.

Almond flour is an ideal baking flour because it’s naturally gluten free and creates a tender, moist crumb thanks to the healthy fats and protein it contains. It holds together well without adding gums and because there is no gluten, you don’t have to worry about over mixing so it’s great for even a novice baker. Which is why it’s probably the flour I use most often both here on the blog and in my cookbooks, like Eat More Plants.

Almond flour has a delicate sweetness all on its own so you can use less sugar in your recipe and I add a little brown rice flour to firm up the structure and make these cookies a bit more budget friendly. I love thumbprint cookies all year round but if these are a holiday staple for you, these would be perfect for a holiday gift exchange or party and because they’re gluten free and vegan, more people can enjoy them.

Whether you’re a novice baker or looking for something to make with the kiddos, this is the perfect recipe to get you baking up a storm because all you have to do is mix the ingredients together in a bowl, shape with your hands and bake.

How to make these gluten free thumbprint cookies

I love that you don’t need any special equipment to make these vegan thumbprint cookies: mix everything together in one bowl, and in about 30 minutes you’ll be snacking. The full recipe is below but I want to give you the full step by step with pictures here so you can learn how to make them!

baking ingredients in bowls
Almond flour keeps these cookies tender and moist, while rice flour helps with structure.

Step One: Grab 7 simple ingredients. You’ll need almond flour, brown rice flour, vegan butter, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and your favourite jam. That’s it! I prefer Earth Balance sticks or Miyoko’s vegan butter for a better structure. And you can use any brand of gluten free jam ( I like Bonne Maman) or if choosing homemade, you just want to ensure that your jam isn’t runny so it doesn’t bleed through the cookie.

Step Two: Beat the vegan butter, maple syrup and vanilla together with a wooden spoon or handheld beaters. It won’t look smooth or well blended at this point, but using a chilled butter helps with the structure of the cookie and this ensures the butter is evenly blended with the dry ingredients.

Step Three: Add the dry ingredients. Sprinkle over the almond flour, rice flour and salt and mix well, with the beaters or your spoon. The dough will look crumbly but should hold together well when you press it between your fingers. You can use your hands to form it into a more cohesive dough.

Step Four: Scoop 1 tablespoon of dough and roll it into a tight ball to help minimize cracks, then gently press into 1 cm (½ inch) disks and place on the cookie sheet. Using the back of a ½ teaspoon (2 mL) measure or just the tip of your thumb, gently make a round indentation in the cookie. 

Step Five: Add a ½ teaspoon (2 mL) dollop of your favourite jam (or leftover homemade cranberry sauce!) to each cookie. I’ve used Bonne Maman cherry jam, because I love the cherry pieces but you’ll notice…they bleed a bit. If you use a thicker jam, this won’t happen.

Step Six: Bake at 350F (175C) until the tops are just set and cookies are golden on the bottom, about 10-12 minutes. Place baking sheet on a cooling rack and let cool fully. Because this is a gluten free and vegan cookie, the cookies won’t be firm until they cool. 

If you don’t gobble up the entire batch immediately, these cookies store well in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days on the counter and you can even eat them straight out of the freezer if you want to store them longer!

More easy (and delicious!) almond flour baking recipes

thumbprint cookies

Gluten Free Thumbprint Cookies with Almond Flour (Vegan)

These pillowy soft gluten free thumbprint cookies are made with almond flour and rice flour for a tender yet structured shortbread-style cookie that pairs perfectly with your favourite jam. One bowl, 7 ingredients, 30 minutes and naturally vegan!

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  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup cold vegan butter, I like Earth Balance sticks or Miyoko’s
  • cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup your favourite jam, Bonne Maman is gluten free
  • Preheat oven to 350℉ (175℃) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • In a large bowl, beat the vegan butter, maple syrup and vanilla together with a wooden spoon or handheld beaters until the butter is broken down and distributed within the liquid. It won’t look smooth or well blended at this point.

  • Sprinkle the almond flour, rice flour and salt evenly over the wet ingredients and mix well with the beaters or your spoon until the dough holds together well when you press it between your fingers. Using your hands, give the dough a couple of kneads to form a more solid dough.

  • Scoop 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of dough and roll it into a tight ball to help minimize cracks, then gently press into 1 cm (½ inch) disks and place on the cookie sheet.

  • Using the back of a ½ teaspoon (2 mL) measure or just the tip of your thumb, gently make a round indentation in the cookie. Fill with ½ teaspoon (2 mL) of your favourite jam. The thicker it is, the less the jam will bleed across the cookie.

  • Bake until the tops are just set and cookies are golden on the bottom, about 10-12 minutes. Place baking sheet on a cooling rack and let cool fully. Because this is a gluten free and vegan cookie, the cookies won’t be firm until they cool.

Low FODMAP note: 2 cookies are low FODMAP, as long as you use a low FODMAP jam like strawberry or raspberry.
 
If you don’t gobble up the entire batch immediately, these cookies store well in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days on the counter and you can even eat them straight out of the freezer if you want to store them longer!

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