This life changing vegan thumbprint cookies recipe is crunchy with the nutty flavor of almond, the richness of coconut, and the sweet/tart fruitiness of raspberry jam.
The inspiration for this recipe – Coconut, Almond, and Raspberry Jam Thumbprint Cookies – were served for dessert at the Earthbound Farm Stand when I had the pleasure of attending a conference there in fall 2014. And they are the sort of thing that you don’t forget easily.
I don’t say this lightly, but if you’re looking for life changing vegan thumbprint cookies, you found them. You would never guess they’re vegan if you didn’t already know! This recipe is adapted from from the Straight From the Earth cookbook by Myra Goodman (co-founder of Earthbound Farm) and her daughter Marea Goodman.
Now, first a bit about this cookbook. It’s full of exciting ideas and unique flavor combinations that keep healthy foods fresh and fun. The recipes are vegan (and chock full of healthy ingredients!), but I can tell you right now that these recipes will satisfy everyone.
Dishes like Quinoa-Banana Skillet Bake; Cress, Belgian Endive, Persimmon, and Hazelnut Salad; Teriyaki Tofu Broccolette on Wild Rice; Plantain Tacos with Pureed Black Beans and Mango-Lime Salsa; and Pomegranate-Roasted Pears are all on my to-make list. And that’s just the beginning.
But back to these cookies, which are the star of the show today! These vegan thumbprint cookies with jam is a compelling combination of coconut, toasted almond, and raspberry.
In her cookbook, Myra notes that you can use any good-quality jam to make them. However, because it all started on a raspberry farm, I wanted to stay true to that. I decided to stick with raspberry jam.
All I can say is try them! And then expect to have a new favorite cookie.
Scroll down below the recipe card for a little bit more about Myra Goodman, as well as an interview with her!
Why This Vegan Thumbprint Cookies Recipe Works
- We use a “flax egg” (essentially a mixture of flaxseed meal and boiling water) to replace regular egg as the binder for these cookies. So even though they have a crispness similar to shortbread, they hold their shape well!
- These vegan thumbprint cookie with no butter use coconut oil instead. Coconut oil adds flavor to these cookies and helps bind the dough together, while keeping this recipe vegan.
- You won’t believe how flavor-packed and absolutely delicious these cookies are. Here the rich flavor of coconut, the nutty flavor of almond, and the sweet/tart flavor of raspberry jam combine in an easy vegan cookie.
The Best Easy Vegan Thumbprint Cookies with Jam and Almonds
Ingredients in Vegan Thumbprint Cookies
- Golden flaxseed meal – we mix this with boiling water for our “flax egg”
- Boiling water – for the “flax egg”
- Coconut oil – this vegan fat is perfect in these cookies; it lends coconutty flavor, richness, and helps create just the right texture
- Granulated sugar – coconut sugar also works well here, but will make these cookies a little darker in color
- Maple syrup – go for the good stuff, no “maple flavored syrup” here!
- Vanilla extract – for flavor and aroma
- All-purpose flour – this is the base of our vegan cookies; whole wheat pastry flour also works well here
- Baking powder – this is our leavening agent
- Salt – to enhance the flavors of everything else
- Slivered almonds – you can use any type of nuts you like, or leave them out if you prefer
- Unsweetened shredded coconut – to bump up the coconut flavor just a little
- Raspberry jam – this is the filling for our thumbprint cookies; you can also use strawberry jam, or any other kind of vegan jam you like
Step by Step Instructions
How to Make a “Flax Egg”:
- Add the golden flaxseed meal and boiling water to a bowl; stir to combine.
- Let sit until thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes, and then stir it again. This is our “flax egg”!
Make the Vegan Cookie Dough:
- Add the flax egg, coconut oil, sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla to a large bowl, and whisk to combine.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir to combine.
- Fold in the almond and coconut. Put a piece of plastic wrap directly on the dough, and refrigerate 30 minutes. The mixture will be a bit dry and crumbly, but should hold together when squeezed.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325F. Line 2 large baking trays with parchment paper or silpat baking mats. Measure out the dough into slightly heaping 1 tablespoons, and then roll into balls. Arrange the balls on the prepared baking trays.
How to Bake Vegan Thumbprint Cookies:
- Press down until the dough balls are about 2 inches wide.
- Bake 12 minutes. Gently press the back of a 1-teaspoon-sized measuring spoon into the center of each cookie to make a well for the jam.
- Add 1 teaspoon raspberry jam to each well.
- Return to the oven and bake until the cookies are a light golden color and the jam has set a little, about 7 to 8 minutes.
Store these cookies in an airtight container layered between pieces of wax paper. They will keep at room temperature for up to 1 week, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Vegan Thumbprint Cookies FAQs
Why Are My Vegan Cookies so Crumbly?
If baking in general is a science, vegan baking is even more so!
Vegan cookies don’t contain traditional cookie ingredients that act as binders, such as butter and eggs. Therefore, we have to replace these components with vegan-friendly items to get good results with vegan baking.
For example, if we don’t replace the egg with another binder and the butter with another type of fat, vegan cookies have the tendency to be crumbly and/or dry.
In this recipe, we use a “flax egg” as our binder and coconut oil as our fat source. These ingredients help ensure that the dough sticks together and isn’t overly crumbly or dry.
Can I Refrigerate Thumbprint Cookie Dough Overnight?
Yes! When you chill the cookie dough before baking, you can refrigerate it up to 24 hours (instead of just 30 minutes).
If you chill for 24 hours, let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before scooping the dough.
Should I Store Vegan Thumbprint Cookies in the Fridge?
You don’t need to refrigerate these cookies. You can keep them in an airtight container layered between pieces of wax paper at room temperature for up to 1 week. Or you can extend their shelf life and store them in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
More Vegan Desserts to Make
- Dark Chocolate Coconut Pudding – silky smooth and decadent with rich chocolate flavor and minimal ingredients
- Coconut Cashew Ice Cream – only 5 ingredients, with rich vanilla, coconut, cashew flavor
- No Bake Pumpkin Tart with Chocolate Ganache – with a hazelnut-date crust, creamy pumpkin layer, and decadent chocolate ganache topping
- Caramel Vanilla Cupcakes – makes a small batch of 5 perfectly moist cupcakes topped with creamy frosting
Vegan Thumbprint Cookies Recipe with Raspberry Jam
- 4 teaspoons golden flaxseed meal
- 2 tablespoons boiling water
- 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 19 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 cup + 3 tablespoons
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds lightly toasted and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/3 cup raspberry jam
- Add the golden flaxseed meal and boiling water to a bowl; stir to combine. Let sit until thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes, and then stir it again. This is our “flax egg”.
- Add the flax egg, coconut oil, sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla to a large bowl, and whisk to combine. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir to combine. Fold in the almond and coconut.
- Put a piece of plastic wrap directly on the dough, and refrigerate 30 minutes. The mixture will be a bit dry and crumbly, but should hold together when squeezed.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325F. Line 2 large baking trays with parchment paper or silpat baking mats.
- Measure out the dough into slightly heaping 1 tablespoons, and then roll into balls. Arrange the balls on the prepared baking trays and press down until they’re about 2 inches wide.
- Bake 12 minutes.
- Gently press the back of a 1-teaspoon-sized measuring spoon into the center of each cookie to make a well for the jam. Add 1 teaspoon raspberry jam to each well.
- Return to the oven and bake until the cookies are a light golden color and the jam has set a little, about 7 to 8 minutes.
- Storage: Store these cookies in an airtight container layered between pieces of wax paper. They will keep at room temperature for up to 1 week, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Make Ahead: When you chill the cookie dough before baking, you can refrigerate it up to 24 hours (instead of just 30 minutes). If you chill for 24 hours, let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before scooping the dough.
- Adaptation: Recipe adapted from from the Straight From the Earth cookbook by Myra Goodman and her daughter Marea Goodman (Chronicle Books; March 2014).
A Little Bit About Myra Goodman
I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Myra Goodman in fall 2014 at a blogger conference at Earthbound Farm in California.
Myra and her husband Drew founded Earthbound Farm. They started on a 2.5-acre raspberry farm in California’s Carmel Valley and made the commitment to farming organically from the very beginning. As of 2015, Earthbound Farm had grown to about 50,000 acres and remained committed to organic farming.
Myra and Drew are no longer owners of Earthbound Farm, but they still function as advisors and remain dedicated to what they started.
On the trip in 2014, we met Myra for dinner at the Farm Stand in Carmel Valley. She is truly lovely. So sweet and so much fun to talk with, and her passion is contagious.
When I approached my point person at Earthbound Farm to see if Myra was interested in a blog feature, I mentioned that I featured Denise Austin in February. I found out that Myra actually met Denise at the Farm Stand! Here’s what Myra told me about that…
I believe Denise approached us about sponsoring her fitness show, and that included making a commercial at our Farm Stand. I remember spending a day with her while we took photos of the two of us by the Earthbound Farm sign. Our kids were of similar ages, and our daughters all played lacrosse, so we had lot to chat about.
Denise is an amazing lady. I think of myself as high energy and very productive, but she sure trumped me! She was very warm-hearted, sincere, energetic and fun. We had a great time and kept in touch for a few years. I’m so glad I got up-to-date on her by reading Faith’s interview with her!
And it also came up in conversation that Myra has met quite a few other celebrities (how glam is she, right?!). Here’s what Myra said when asked about the celebrities she’s met:
No one has ever asked me this question before. As I think about it, it is surprising to have met so many celebrities with a career in farming. Here are a few:
On the farm: Olivia Newton John has had lunch at the Farm Stand and loved it. I met her through our mutual friend, Nancy Chuda, who founded Healthy Child Healthy World. Earthbound has supported that charity for decades, and Olivia was the original spokesperson.
We had a great event at our Farm Stand with the well-known holistic doctor Andrew Weil where a group of us walked through the fields him while he explained how he cooked different items and their health benefits, followed by a wonderful luncheon.
Dozens of people through our Cooking for Solutions brunches on the farm. We’ve had famous chefs, including Jacques Pepin, Rick Bayless, and some stars, like John Cleese.
Through fundraisers Earthbound supported for nonprofits like EWG, the Environmental Media Association, Healthy child Healthy World and NRDC, I spent time with my favorite singer, Bonnie Raitt, and briefly met many celebrities, including Larry David, Sheryl Crow, Darryle Hannah, Wendi Malick, Laura Dern, Kelly Preston, and Ashton Kutcher.
I was on some huge shows talking about organic food, like Oprah, and Regis and Kelly (now Kelly and Michael – Donald Trump was filling in for Regis the day I was there), and on my book tour I hung out with many cool people in various green rooms around the country, like Sarah, Duchess of York (who tried to hire me to be her personal chef!), Barbara Eden (I Dream of Jeannie was one of my favorite shows growing up, so I was really happy to meet her), Deepak Chopra, and the sport legend, Mike Ditka, who was incredibly nice. He sent signed books for my son.
The first celebrity I ever spent time with was Leonardo DiCaprio in 2003, when we both received Millennium awards from Global Green USA. I was surprised how nervous he was before our acceptance speeches when acting was his profession. I think it was because he wasn’t playing a role. He was reading a personal speech he had written about his commitment to help raise awareness and combat global warming. I sat next to his mother at the dinner. She was very nice and very proud!
Now at different events that bring together thought leaders in the food world, I’m privileged to be able to spend time a lot of brilliant and committed people, including Michael Pollan, Mark Bittman, Marion Nestle, Julie Packard, and Tom Colicchio.
Interview with Myra Goodman
How did you and Drew decide to transplant your lives from one coast to another and start farming?
I grew up in New York City and moved to California to attend UC Berkeley. I was planning to go to graduate school in International Relations, and expected to end up in Washington DC or New York. But first I needed to study for my entrance exams and become fully bilingual.
When my husband Drew and I (we were dating at the time) were offered the opportunity to live on a little raspberry farm in Carmel Valley and to help fix up the place in exchange for rent, we jumped at the chance. Living off the land for a year seemed very romantic to us. And I loved the idea of getting strong from hard physical labor outdoors before returning to spend the rest of my life in a city.
Neither Drew nor I had any idea that farming would become our lifelong occupation.
What caused you and Drew to make the commitment to organic farming early on?
The farm we moved onto was a conventional farm, and we got a tutorial from the outgoing farmer about how and when to apply all the chemicals. There were fertilizers to put in the drip lines, insecticides and fungicides to spray on the plants at different stages of their growth. But when it was time to use all these chemicals, we were afraid to handle them and we didn’t want to eat food grown with them.
After living on that farm for only a very short time, we could actually sense a complex and miraculous synergy between the plants, animals, air, soil and sunshine—and we believed that we could and should be able to produce beautiful, delicious food without all that forceful chemical interference.
We believed we could work in cooperation with nature, rather than learn how to conquer it—and happily, we were right!
As the first company to successfully launch prewashed, packaged salad for retail sale back in the ‘80’s and as one of the largest growers of organic produce in the world, Earthbound Farm is quite impressive! What are you most proud of and what makes you the happiest?
I love that Earthbound Farm was one of the pioneers of truly healthy “fast food.” After a long day’s work on the farm, Drew and I were rarely motivated enough to harvest and wash our salad greens, even though they were growing right outside our kitchen window.
We realized early on that we would eat salad every single night if it was pre-washed and ready to go in the fridge, so we washed, dried and bagged a big batch every Sunday afternoon. That’s how the idea of packaged pre-washed greens came about.
I’m proud of how many pounds of conventional agricultural chemicals Earthbound Farm keeps out of our food supply and environment—more than 16 million pounds in 2015 alone.
I am thrilled that my husband and I were able to make a successful living as organic farmers, and that the company we started was a leader in the organic food revolution.
What would you say to someone who is considering switching over to purchasing organic food?
Great decision! It will help protect your family’s health, the wellbeing of the farmers that work in the fields, and the health of our soil and water supply, wildlife and aquatic life.
Thank you for being willing to spend more to support organic farmers and a healthier food system. It’s putting your money where your values are.
How has eating organically impacted you and your family personally?
I really feel best about the food I serve when I know it was produced in a responsible way. And I worry a lot about the negative impacts of all the chemicals we are constantly exposed to in our air, water, food, body care products and many of the materials we come into contact with.
I believe that eating organic food has been one of the most powerful ways I have protected my family’s health as well as our environment.
Thanks to Earthbound Farm’s generosity, I am thrilled to give away a prize pack of the following items to one lucky winner: one of each of Myra’s books (including a copy of Straight From the Earth, The Earthbound Cookbook, and Food to Live By), a reusable shopping bag, and free product coupons! (A huge thank-you to Earthbound Farm for sponsoring this giveaway!)
To participate in this giveaway, just leave a comment on this post telling me what’s in your favorite salad.
For extra entries, you can do any of the following (please leave a separate comment for each):
- Tell me how you like to eat leafy greens other than in salads.
- Like An Edible Mosaic on Facebook.
- Like Earthbound Farm on Facebook.
- Follow An Edible Mosaic on Twitter.
- Follow Earthbound Farm on Twitter.
You do not need to have a blog to enter this giveaway. For shipping purposes, this giveaway is only open to U.S. residents. This giveaway ends on April 23, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST. Once the giveaway ends, the winner will be randomly chosen and notified via email. The winner will have three business days to respond with his or her mailing information, otherwise a new winner will be randomly chosen. Good luck to all!
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on April 17, 2015. I updated it with new photos and more information on January 4, 2023.
Disclosure: Earthbound Farm is providing the prize pack for this giveaway; as always, opinions stated are my own.