Apple Butter Thumbprint Cookies

Apple butter thumbprint cookies are an autumn twist on a classic cookie with a buttery base.

The addition of cinnamon sugar and apple butter makes these perfect for the best time of the year. Try them with homemade old-fashioned apple butter for extra credit.

thumbprint cookies with apple butter in middle

Cinnamon Sugar Thumbprint Cookies with Apple Butter

Soft cookie dough rolled in cinnamon sugar, filled with apple butter, then baked to perfection. These apple butter thumbprint cookies are a fall favorite.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chilling time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Serving Size 30 cookies


Cookie dough

  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Putting cookies together

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar for rolling the cookies
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup apple butter


  • Prep the oven and baking sheets.  Preheat oven to 350°F  with two racks spaced equally. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Make the dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes or until well combined. Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract and beat 1-2 minutes more until lightened in color and fluffy. In a small mixing bowl, combine the salt and flour.  Add it to the butter-sugar mixture, one cup at a time.  Mix on low after each addition and stir just until the flour is combined. Chill the dough for one hour.
    stand mixer with buttery cookie dough.
  • Shape and fill the dough.  Using cookie scoop or tablespoon, portion out the dough and roll into balls.  Combine the extra granulated sugar and cinnamon for rolling in a pie plate or bowl. Roll them in the cinnamon sugar and place them onto the baking sheets one inch apart in all directions.  Indent each ball of cookie dough using your thumb, or the handle of a large wooden spoon. Carefully place a small amount of apple butter into each cookie.
    rolling cookies and filling with apple butter
  • Bake. Bake at 350°F  for 12-14 minutes or until the cookies are set.  The bottoms and edges will be slightly golden brown.   Allow to cool on a wire rack until cool.  Store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
    fully baked cookies


Be sure not to eat the cookies before they’re cool.  The jam will be very hot for a while.
Calories: 78kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 40mg | Potassium: 3mg | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 206IU | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg

What you’ll need

  • unsalted butter 
  •  granulated sugar
  • egg yolks
  • pure vanilla extract
  • all-purpose flour
  • salt
  • cinnamon
  • apple butter
  • baking sheets
  • parchment paper
  • electric mixer (a hand mixer is fine)

Tips for success

plate of thumbprint cookies with jar of apple butter on counter
  • Be sure to refrigerate the dough so the cookies don’t spread too much.
  • Apple butter can be found at most stores in the jam section if you don’t want to make your own
  • Be sure to roll the cookie dough balls in cinnamon sugar just before baking. This way they’ll bake up perfectly crunchy and sweet.

More fall cookies you’ll love

plate of one dozen apple butter thumbprint cookies
Apple Butter Thumbprint Cookies

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I printed this recipe out in December 2022 to try it out for Christmas cookie baking and absolutely love it and have made in every year since. It’s definitely been a favorite with everyone! Would definitely recommend!

    I do wish the recipe as it is currently included the instruction to chill the dough in the main body of the recipe like it was when I first found this recipe (right before shaping and filling the dough step) especially since the “tips for success” where the instruction to do so is now doesn’t show up when you use the print option for the recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    Really good, absolutely great.
    I actually added a spoon caramelized apples on top at the end for an apple pie type flavor and it worked out wonderfully