These vegan thumbprint cookies are made with pecans and coconut for twist on the classic. Bonus: they’re gluten-free, oil-free and refined sugar-free!

Thumbprint cookie leaning against a plate of cookies, stack of cookies beside it.

Recipe Features

  • melt-in-your-mouth texture – everyone loves the decadent, soft texture of these cookies
  • amazing flavour – with pecan, coconut, vanilla and maple, these stand out from a regular thumbprint cookie
  • dietary needs – gluten-free, oil-free, refined sugar and vegan!

Ingredient Notes

Various baking ingredients in small bowls with labels.
  • pecans – use plain, raw pecans, they can be substituted with almonds if needed
  • almond butter – use plain, natural almond butter, can be subbed with peanut butter or sunflower seed butter if needed but I almond works best here
  • coconut – use unsweetened fine or medium shredded coconut (may be labelled desiccated coconut)
  • gluten-free flour – use a gluten-free baking flour blend, such as Bob’s Red Mill. A pre-blended gluten-free flour has the right ratio of binders and flours to make the recipe a success.
  • maple syrup – can be subbed with agave but maple syrup works best

For a full list of ingredients and amounts see the recipe card below.

Quick Tip: For best results when baking, use a kitchen scale to measure ingredients.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1. Place the pecans in a food processor and blend into a grainy flour.

Pecans in a food processor.
Blended pecans in a food processor.

Step 2. Add the coconut mixture and blend for a few minutes until it starts to form a paste. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.

Coconut and pecans in a food processor.

Step 3. Add the flour and salt and mix well, then add the maple syrup, vanilla and almond butter and stir into a uniform dough.

Adding flour to a mixing bowl of dough.
Scooping almond butter into a mixing bowl of cookie dough.

Raw cookie dough in a mixing bowl with a spoon.

Step 4. Roll the dough into 14 balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Use your thumb to press a small well into each cookie.

Quick Tip: If any cracks form in the dough as you’re creating the wells, carefully press them back together with your fingers.

Balls of raw cooking dough on a baking sheet.
Pressing holes into cookie dough balls on a baking sheet.

Step 5. Fill each well with your favourite jam.

Spooning jam into thumbprint cookies on a baking tray.

Bake for 10-12 minutes then let cool completely on the pan. They’re now ready to enjoy!

A broken open thumbprint cookie to show the inside texture of the cookie.

Notes and Tips

  • For Best Results: Use a kitchen scale when baking for accuracy, ease and guaranteed success.
  • Jam: Raspberry, strawberry or this blueberry chia seed jam are all delicious but any variety works.

How to Store

  • Room temperature: Let cool completely then store in an airtight container for up to 4 days in a cool, dry place if possible.
  • Fridge: Let cool completely then store in an airtight container for up 2 weeks.
  • Freezer: Let cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
A stack of 4 thumbprint cookies beside a plate of cookies.

Related Recipes

Here are some more treats for your Christmas goodie tray:

This vegan eggnog is also a wonderful Christmas treat!

Did you make this recipe? Click here to leave a review!

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A stack of 4 thumbprint cookies beside a plate of cookies.

Gluten-Free Vegan Thumbprint Cookies

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 14 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

These gluten-free and vegan thumbprint cookies are made with coconut and pecans for a delicious twist on the classic. These always go quick so consider making a double batch. They freeze well so can be made in advance!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (150 g) raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup (40 g) fine or medium unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup (74 g) 1:1 gluten-free baking flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup (75 g) pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup (55 g) almond butter
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • jam for filling such as strawberry or raspberry

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the pecans in a food processor or high-powered blender and mix until it forms a flour.
  3. Add the coconut and mix until it forms a paste.
  4. Place the coconut pecan mixture in a bowl then add the flour and sea salt and stir to combine.
  5. Stir in the maple syrup, vanilla and almond butter and mix.
  6. Roll into 14 balls and place on a silicone mat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  7. Press a small well into each cookie using your finger. Carefully press any cracks in the dough back together if it breaks a little.
  8. Fill each well with your favourite jam.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes (see notes) them a then remove from the oven and let cool completely before handling. This step is important and they need to firm up as they cool.
  10. Store them in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Notes

Baking Time: If you like them a little gooey in the middle, bake for 10 minutes. For a more well done cookie, leave them for 12. Either way, let them cool before handing. I liked them with 10 minutes baking time.

Storage: Let cool completely then store in a sealed container at room temperature for 4 days, in the fridge for up to 10 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nuts: Pecans may be substituted with almonds or a mixture of the two.

Keywords: gluten-free thumbprint cookies, refined sugar-free, oil-free

Update Note: Originally pubslihed on December 21, 2017. Updated with new photos and text on August 4, 2020.