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Apple Butter Thumbprint Cookies

Soft cookie dough rolled in cinnamon sugar, filled with apple butter, then baked to perfection. These apple butter thumbprint cookies are a fall favorite.

Apple butter thumbprint cookies are an autumn twist on a classic cookie. The addition of cinnamon sugar and apple butter make these perfect for the best time of the year.

plate of thumbprint cookies with jar of apple butter on counter

Let’s make apple butter thumbprint cookies

Looking for a new fall cookie recipe? These apple butter thumbprint cookies are the perfect addition to your holiday baking. They’re soft and chewy, with just enough of that cinnamon sugar crunch on top. If you love old fashioned thumbprint cookies with jam, you can’t go wrong with these!

The dough is easy to make and you only need one bowl, so clean up will be a breeze. Plus they’re so delicious you’ll want them year-round.

What you’ll love about this recipe:

The cinnamon-sugar topping. It’s the perfect sweet and spiced addition to a classic cookie dough

Easy to make. No fancy decorations.

Celebrates the season. If you love fall, you’ll love making these.

What you’ll need

flour, butter, sugar, egg, and apple butter on counter
  • 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)

Step by step thumbprint cookies with apple butter

Prepare the oven for baking. Preheat it to 350°F with two sheets of parchment paper on the rack.

Cream together the butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes. Then add the eggs yolks and vanilla extract. Mix for 1-2 minutes more until it is lighter in color and fluffy.

2 process shots of stand mixer with cookie dough

Add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture. Mix it on low after each addition of flour and stir just until it is combined. Cover it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for thirty minutes.

Put the cookie dough on a baking tray. Bake for 12-14 minutes in an oven that is at 350°F. Cookies will be baked through when they are set and slightly brown on the bottoms and edges. Let cookies cool before storing them at room temperature for up to 3 days.

wooden spoon indenting cookie dough and filling with apple butter

Tips for success

  • Be sure to refrigerate the dough so the cookies don’t spread too much.
  • Apple butter can be found at most stores, or you can make your own. You can find a classic apple butter recipe here.
  • Be sure to roll the cookie dough balls in cinnamon-sugar just before baking. This way they’ll bake up perfectly crunchy and sweet.

Thumbprint cookie FAQs

What are thumbprint cookies?

Thumbprint cookies are soft, sugar-based cookies that have a thumb or dowel-like indentation on top.

What else can I fill them with?

Other popular thumbprint cookie flavors include raspberry, lemon curd, apricot and even pomegranate.

What do they taste like?

Thumbprint cookies are chewy and usually have a scrumptious crusted sugar topping. They are not overly sweet.

How long will they stay fresh on my countertop?

Thumbprint cookies should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days

Can I freeze them?

Thumbprint cookies can be frozen, but they will lose their crunch if kept in the freezer for too long. They may also stick together while thawing out. Thaw on the counter or in the refrigerator. Or just make the dough ahead of time and freeze that, saving the assembly and baking for later.

More fall cookies you’ll love

plate of one dozen apple butter thumbprint cookies

Recipe for apple butter thumbprint cookies

thumbprint cookies with apple butter in middle
4.41 from 5 votes

Cinnamon Sugar Thumbprint Cookies with Apple Butteer

Print Recipe
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
Click here for a FREE autumn cookbook (25+ Recipes!)


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.
  • Cream the butter and sugar. 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 eggs yolks and vanilla extract and beat 1-2minutes more until lightened in color and fluffy.
  • Add the dry ingredients.  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. Cover the bowl of dough tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for thirty minutes.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Be sure not to eat the cookies before they’re cool.  The jam will be very hot for a while.
Raspberry, strawberry, and apricot jam are all delicious in these.


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
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: apple butter cookies, classic thumbprint cookies, fall cookie recipes
Servings: 30 cookies
Calories: 78kcal
Author: Katie Shaw
Did you make this recipe?If you loved it, please leave a review!

This recipe for Apple Butter Thumbprint Cookies is a great addition to your holiday baking list. The dough only requires one bowl, making clean up easy and the cookies are so delicious you’ll want them year-round!

1 thought on “Apple Butter Thumbprint Cookies”

  1. 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


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