An all-year-round cookie that gets all the attention during the holiday season.

May it be because of the colorful display of the jam against the sparks of poppy seeds.

Or may it be the small bite-size, I have made those little delights every Holiday season as far back as I can remember.  One thing is for sure. They are highly addictive.

poppy seed thumbprints

The best part is they take no time to make a fresh batch.

Excellent for afternoon tea or morning coffee.

How about with a cup of hot chocolate for the little one?  A pretty table is set up, and suddenly, you are transported to a fun afternoon.

I remember the first time I enjoyed one fresh out of the oven. It was love at first bite.

Soft and chewy all at once. Buttery, soft, and just plain delicious, who can resist that?

In this Article

Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed

Poppy seeds: thanks to the oil content, poppy seeds can go rancid. Taste yours before making this recipe. You are ready to go if they have retained their nutty flavor. Toss them if you detect bitterness or an off flavor. My rule of thumb is to buy small quantities at the time if you know you are not going to use them often in your cooking.

All-purpose flour: do sift the flour before using it. This will help eliminate any clumps from forming.

Salt:  fine sea salt is the best for baking. It melts and gives such a wonderful flavor.

Unsalted butter:  make sure you are using sweet or unsalted butter. They will taste so much better.

Sugar: regular sugar or confectioner’s sugar, which is finer.

Eggs: Always use large eggs and have them at room temperature before starting to use them.

Vanilla extract: Use a good quality extract. The flavor is unquestionably better.

Raspberry preserve: I have a soft spot in my baking for the raspberry preserve. Of course, you can choose your favorite instead.

poppy seed thumbprints

An important tip about the butter

As you will read the instructions, it’s worth mentioning it because it will make a massive difference in the success of your cookie’s texture: make sure your butter is slightly softened.

Soft to the touch while you press it, but not too soft that your finger will make a large divet in the butter.

Working the butter with the paddle attachment will give the butter a creamy texture.

Then add the remaining ingredients and beat until the dough becomes an almost sticky ball.

Chill if too soft and sticks to your hands at the touch.

What jam or preserve shall I use?

Use an excellent quality with actual fruit preserve or jam. Using real fruit jam, you will ensure that the filling stays nice and is put inside your thumbprint cookie’s cavity.

High in sugar content, thin jams or spreads tend to melt faster during the baking process, which in return will cause the filling to become runny and overflow out of the cavity.

They are delicious with peach and apricots preserved and make a pretty color presentation with the dark raspberry.

Poppy Seed Thumbprints Cookies

Baking tips and step by step to make those beautiful poppy seed thumbprints cookies:

This recipe makes a lot of cookies. You must bake in 2 to 3 batches unless you have a double oven. If you need just a tiny amount, you can shape the remaining cookie dough into logs, wrap them well, and store them in the freezer for up to a month.

This way, you can enjoy them when the craving strikes.

  • In a large bowl, sift the flour and salt. Whisk in the poppy seeds. Set aside.
  • Ensure the butter is at room temperature to work better with the sugar.
  • Start by working the butter until smooth, and slowly add the sugar. Beat at medium speed in your mixer until the sugar is well incorporated with the butter.
  • Add one egg at a time and then the vanilla extract.
  • In between adding, stop your mixer and, with a spatula, lower any ingredients that have risen on the side.
  • Add the dry ingredients slowly and mix at low speed. Do not overmix.
  • To have even baked poppy seed thumbprints, ensure all the small dough balls are the same size. A small ice cream scooper will work wonderfully here.
  • The end of a wooden spoon will give you the perfect indentation. I tried the back of the spoon, and that was a disaster.
  • Before adding the preserve to your half-baked cookies, re-press each indentation if needed. Then fill with the preserve and do not overfill. The preserve will rise as it bakes, and it might overflow.
  • I love raspberry preserve. However,  do use whichever preserve you have on hand.
  • When one batch comes out of the oven, please wait until the cookie sheet is cooled off and add the next batch of cookies. This step will prevent your butter from melting and the cookies from spreading.
Poppy Seed Thumbprints Cookies

Parchment paper

I cannot live without using it. Using parchment paper is convenient in case of jam spillage and burning of the cookie.

It also prevents sticking to your cookie sheet, which will relate to less mess to clean.

Storage instructions

Let them become cooled entirely off before storing.

Those poppy seed thumbprint cookies may be stored in an airtight glass container at room temperature for up to a week.

When layering your container, use parchment paper in between cookies so the jam will not stick.

If you enjoy these poppy seed thumbprint cookies, look at some of my other recipes!

Dried Cranberry Chocolate Cookies – The Best Recipe Ever

Brown Sugar Cookies

Oatmeal Forest Berries Thumbprints Cookies

Butter Cookies

You will enjoy those adorably cute festive cookies that are much better than anything at your store.

Perfect for bringing to your friend’s party, for the cookie exchange at the office, or just for your family and you to enjoy with a hot cup of tea, coffee, or hot cocoa.

Equipment and ingredients used to create this recipe.

Poppy Seed Thumbprints

5 from 6 votes
poppy seed thumbprints
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 24 servings
Soft and chewy all at once. Buttery, soft, and just plain delicious, who can resist that?


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup poppy seeds
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, lightly softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • raspberry preserve


  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • In a large bowl sift together the flour and the salt. Whisk in the poppy seeds and set aside.
  • In a large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter until smooth. Pour in the sugar and mix until well incorporated. Add the egg yolks and vanilla. Mix well. 
  • With the electric mixer speed at low, add the dry ingredients until well combined together. Do not overmix.
  • Roll the dough into small balls and place them 2 inches apart on a parchment line cookie sheet. Using a wooden spoon with a rounded handle no wider than ½ inch, make a deep indentation with the tip of the handle in the center of the cookie.
  • Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and re-press each indentation if needed it. Then fill the center with the raspberry preserve using a small spoon. Do not overfill it as it will run over.
  • Return the cookies to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown around the edges. Cool on a wire rack. 


Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 31mg | Potassium: 25mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 255IU | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.6mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

Did you make this?

Leave a comment below and tag @giangiskitchen on Instagram

Visit my Amazon Storefront for my selection of favorite kitchen essentials. I only recommend equipment that I use and love.

Giangi's Kitchen Amazon Storefront

Please read my privacy policy for more info. I only recommend the products that I love and use. This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links at no additional cost.

Originally published on December 13, 2020. Updated on November 25, 2022.