Amazing Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

by Julie Cohn

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Although the traditional flavors of Christmas are peppermint, chocolate, cinnamon, and ginger, my family is obsessed with anything that has lemon or raspberry in it.  Fortunately, these lemon thumbprint cookies fulfill both flavors in one amazing cookie!  Light and airy with a touch of lemon and a dollop of raspberry, these cookies are sure to be a favorite at your holiday table too. 

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Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

During the holidays, I bake all the usual Christmas cookies for my family. Some of our favorites include Peanut Butter Snickerdoodle Blossoms, Jam Thumbprints, Chocolate Jumbles, and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars, but one of our favorite holiday cookie recipes are these Lemon Thumbprint Cookies. 

Unlike some lemon cookie recipes, this Lemon Thumbprint cookie recipe is not overpowered by lemon, it has an ever-so-light lemon taste with a sweet and tangy raspberry finish, perfect for dessert snacking with other cookies. Bonus?  Not only are these scrumptious, but they are also super easy to make. If you only have time to make one cookie this season, this one is it!  

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What Are In These Cookies?

  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Egg
  • Lemon Zest
  • Lemon Juice
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Flour
  • Raspberry Jam

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Make It Healthier

If you want to make this Lemon thumbprint cookies recipe even healthier, try some of the following healthy substitutions.

  • If you are Vegan, substitute silken tofu or a mung-bean egg substitute.  
  • If you are gluten-free, substitute the white flour with white rice, chickpea, almond, or cassava flour.  
  • If you don’t want to use butter, use coconut oil or light olive oil (not extra virgin).  I recommend keeping some of the butter in to keep the flavor and texture of the traditional cookies.  
  • If you are want to use lower glycemic sugar, substitute the white sugar with honey, coconut sugar, or monk fruit sugar substitute.  If you use monk fruit sugar sweetener, usually only about 1/2 the amount of sugar.  

Jam Substitutes

If you do not wish to use raspberry jam in these Lemon Thumbprint Cookies, you can substitute it with these other yummy flavors. 

  • Strawberry 
  • Cherry 
  • Blueberry
  • Plum 
  • Blackberry 
  • Lemon Curd 


We are purists, so I make these Lemon Thumbprint cookies as per the recipe, but you can make these cookies extra special with the following tweaks:  

  • Roll the cookie dough in sugar before putting it on the cookie sheet.  
  • Roll the cookie dough in shredded coconut before putting it on the cookie sheet.
  • Dust powdered sugar over the cooled cookie. 
  • Make a glaze with milk and confectioners sugar and drizzle over the cookies.  

Can I Freeze These Cookies? 

Yes, these cookies freeze well. I suggest you freeze the cookie dough rather than the finished baked cookies, as they will become crumbly.  Take the cookie dough and place it in a freezer bag or freezer-safe plastic container and freeze. When you want to defrost the dough, place it in the refrigerator for several hours before rolling it into balls.  

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Amazing Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes


  • 1 c. Unsalted Grassfed Butter
  • 2/3 c. White Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Zest
  • 2 tsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 c. Flour
  • Raspberry Jam


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Wash and dry a fresh lemon and zest it using a lemon zester.
  3. Once the lemon is zested, cut it in half and juice it. You need 2 tsp of lemon juice for this recipe.
  4. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice until blended.
  5. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and beat it in.
  6. Slowly add the flour, 1/2 c. at a time, beating to blend the dough.
  7. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Using a tablespoon, scoop the cookie dough and roll it into a ball, placing each ball on the cookie sheet about 3-4 inches from each other.
  9. With your thumb, slowly press into the center of each ball to create a divot. Fill that divot with about 1/2 teaspoon of raspberry jam.
  10. Bake the cookies in the oven for 8-9 minutes, until golden.
  11. Allow the cookies to cool on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes.


  • This is a delicate cookie so be careful not to overcook them. They will be lighter, with a light golden color to them.
  • If you wish, you can roll each ball in a small bowl of sugar before placing them on the cookie sheet, before adding the jam.

Nutrition Information
Yield 30 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 107Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 22mgSodium 179mgCarbohydrates 11gFiber 0gSugar 5gProtein 1g

All nutrition information is approximate.


A few other holiday cookie ideas: 


Amazing Lemon Thumbprint Cookies1


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