Raspberry cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies

A Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies Recipe made with a cream cheese cookie batter and delicious pecans. Reminds me of a raspberry cheesecake in cookie form. The jewelled centres are the perfect way to make any cookie tray look special for the holidays!

Plate of raspberry thumbprint cookies

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When I first found this recipe in my grandmother’s recipe index I thought she was crazy adding cream cheese to an almost shortbread-like batter.  Boy was I wrong!  I can’t stand cream cheese on its own, but in a cookie… well that is an entirely different story.  It actually gives a richness to the cookie and is not “cheesy” at all.

My grandmother’s shortbread recipe is one of my faves so when you get a chance to be sure to check it out too!

  • You don’t have to use raspberry jam. You can use any jam you love the most or mix it up and use a variety of jams. On a cookie platter, they will look like beautiful little jewels!
Baked raspberry thumbprint cookies recipe on a cookie sheet

Tips for making Raspberry thumbprint cookies

  • Be careful not to burn your thumbs. Many thumbprint cookie recipes suggest poking the hole in the centre before they go in the oven but I find that they crack more often this way. I like to bake halfway through and then take the cookies out and use the end of a wooden spoon handle to put the hole in the cookie. Not your actual thumb… or ouch!
  • Let them rest on the cookie sheet for about a minute after taking them out of the oven. Then transfer them to a wire cooling rack. They do tend to be a bit fragile so moving them right away when they are super hot sometimes causes them to crack or fall apart.
  • Don’t go overboard and overfill the jam holes.  When the jam gets hot it will expand and if overfilled it will leak over the sides and they won’t look as pretty.  A 1/2 a teaspoon should do.
  • Be careful not to overbake!  These cookies can really dry out.  Take them out just as soon as the batter feels firm to the touch and is just starting to turn golden brown on the bottom.

How To Make Raspberry thumbprint cookies

Add cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla to a large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Add the flour, baking soda and pecans and mix well with a spoon until just well combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for about 1/2  an hour to chill.

Preheat oven to 350°F and on a ceramic cookie sheet or regular cookie sheet lined with parchment paper place hand rolled balls about 1″ in diameter about 2″ apart.  12 per sheet.

Bake for 7 minutes and then remove from the oven using the end of a wooden spoon to make holes in the centre of each ball.

Add a 1/2 tsp of jam to each centre and place back in the oven for another 7-10 minutes. Remove from the oven as soon as they begin to turn light golden brown.  Let rest on the cookie sheet for 1 minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Then when the cookies are cooled you can sprinkle the tops with some coarse sugar or drizzle with icing if you wish. Then store in an airtight container on the counter for up to a week.

Thumbprint cookie variations

  • Be creative. Roll the dough in coarse white sugar before placing them n the oven or drizzle them with icing once they are cool to make each one look unique and pretty in its own way.
  • Use a variety of your favourite jams – strawberry and apricot work very well
  • Not a fan of nuts, leave them out

Can you freeze Raspberry thumbprint cookies?

This recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies so you can certainly eat them all they are so good but if you decide you want to save some for later simply place them in an airtight freezer container for up to 3 months. I freeze them all the time!

Close up of 3 thumbprint cookies one plain, one topped with sugar and the last drizzled with icing.

why Did My Thumbprint Cookies Spread

It comes down to the temperature of the butter for many cookies. Fat causes cookies to spread so if the butter in the batter is too soft still when you begin baking then they will spread more than they should.

To keep this from happening be sure to chill the dough in the fridge for a half-hour to an hour so that the dough is firm enough to scoop and roll but not hard like a rock.

Do You Fill the Thumbprint Cookies Before Or After Baking?

You should fill them before they are baked but if you forget don’t fret. As soon as they come out of the oven use the back of a teaspoon or the end of a wooden spoon handle to make an indent in the centre of each thumbprint cookie.

Since the dough will still be soft right out of the oven this should be quite easy to do.

Be careful though and don’t use your thumb! These are hot and sticking your thump into hot dough might burn you.

If You Like This Recipe You may Also Enjoy…

For the step-by-step version of this recipe, check out the How To Make Butter Smothered Green Beans & Cashews Story.

Close up of 3 thumbprint cookies one plain, one topped with sugar and the last drizzled with icing.

Raspberry Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies

Alisa Infanti | The Delicious Spoon
A Raspberry Thumbprint Cookie Recipe made with a cream cheese cookie batter and delicious pecans. Reminds me of a raspberry cheesecake in cookie form. The jewelled centres are the perfect way to make any cookie tray look special for the holidays!
4.75 from 16 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 59 minutes
Course Baking, Dessert, Treat
Cuisine Baking, Christmas, Dessert, Holiday, Holidays, Thanksgiving, Valentines Day
Servings 4 dozen
Calories 112 kcal


  • Oven
  • Baking Sheet
  • Large Bowl
  • Hand Mixer
  • Spoon
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons


  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cup pastry flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup jam raspberry or strawberry work best


  • In a large bowl beat the cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth and fluffy
  • Add flour, baking soda and pecans and mix well
  • Cover and put in the fridge for a half-hour
  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Shape dough into 1" balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet
  • Bake for 7 min then remove from oven and use the end of a wooden spoon to make an indent in the centre of each cookie.
  • Fill the indent with 1/2 tsp of jam.
  • Continue baking for 5-7 longer minutes or until batter is firm and bottom just turning light golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for one minute before transferring to a wire rack to further cool.


Serving: 1cookieCalories: 112kcalCarbohydrates: 13.7gProtein: 1.1gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2.9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.6gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 33mgPotassium: 28mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 7.7gVitamin A: 153IUVitamin C: 0.6mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 0.38mg


Store in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months.
Please Note:

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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  1. The cookies in the photo look as if they were rolled in sugar. Is this for the photo or was it omitted from the recipe? Thank you

    1. Hi Jill, The recipe is not rolled in sugar. It is an option for decoration just like the icing is optional. I sprinkled them with coarse sugar is all just on the raspberry filling but it is not necessary.

  2. Hi! Can I make the dough, roll into balls and then refrigerate or freeze the dough for a couple days before baking if needed? If I freeze the dough in balls should they be fully thawed before baking? Are there any negatives I need to consider,?

    1. Hi Julia, Yes you can totally do this but make sure the dough is thawed before baking. It doesn’t need to be super soft just not frozen otherwise the center won’t cook properly.

  3. Do you have to use pastry flour? I’m having trouble finding it and was wondering if all purpose flour or another flour would be okay to use instead?

    1. I prefer to use pastry flour for all my cookies because it makes them lighter but if you don’t have it for this recipe all-purpose flour will work just as well. To substitute all-purpose flour for pastry flour replace 2 tbsp of the all-purpose flour with 2 tbsp of cornstarch. Let me know how they turn out!

  4. 5 stars
    These look so good! I love how you added cream cheese. I have a cookie exchange coming up and think these might be just the cookies to make for the event.

  5. 5 stars
    Hands down my favorite cookie to make for the holidays! So easy and delicious! I definitely prefer the raspberry filling!

      1. Hi Bonnie,

        Super simple! Just add a 1/2 cup of icing sugar to a bowl and a tbsp of milk or cream at a time to get the consistency you want. Mix well and drizzle away!

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