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thumbprint cookies filled with red and green icing
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5 from 15 votes

Thumbprint Cookies with Icing

These thumbprint cookies are topped with walnuts, filled with buttercream icing and make for an awesome addition to your holiday cookie collection.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Keyword: thumbprint cookies, thumbprint cookies with icing
Servings: 18 cookies
Calories: 250kcal
Author: Erin


for the cookies:

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup butter softened
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup walnuts divided

for the buttercream:

  • ¼ cup butter softened
  • 2 tablespoon milk of choice
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • A few drops red and/or green food coloring optional


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Place walnuts in your food processor and pulse for about 20 seconds; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar together, then add egg and vanilla and stir to combine. Next, combine wet and dry ingredients. Be patient with this step -- this could take 30-60 seconds until the dough comes together. If the dough is still too dry, add 1 tablespoon milk.
  • Stir HALF of the crushed walnuts (½ cup) into the dough. Roll dough into balls then roll the balls into the remaining crushed walnuts and place them 2 inches apart on a lined baking sheet.
  • Bake cookies for 10 minutes; then, remove them from the oven, wait 1-2 minutes for them to slightly cool, and carefully use your thumb to press a thumbprint into the center of each cookie. Place cookies back into the oven and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes. Remove cookies from oven and onto a cooling rack.
  • While cookies are cooling, make the buttercream. Whisk butter and milk together, then add the powdered sugar and stir until smooth. If you choose to add food coloring, do so as this time. Wait until the cookies have cooled before adding the buttercream.
  • You may pipe the icing or simply use a spoon to scoop it into the center of each cookie.
  • Enjoy!



*Calories are per cookie and are an estimation 
*Storage: store cookies in an air-tight container at room temperature for 3 days; or, place in a freezer-safe bag for up to 2 months (or longer!) 
*To make vegan: use a flax egg and vegan butter
*When creating the thumbprint, make sure to press your thumb down into the cookie really well so there's enough room for the icing.


Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 200mg | Potassium: 54mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 328IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg