Easily make delicious thumbprint cookies using a cake mix and your favorite flavor of jam for beautiful and soft-baked treats!
Using a cake mix to start your thumbprint cookie recipe is easy and takes a couple of steps out of the cookie-making process while producing soft and chewy cookies that can support the jam or jelly you place in the middle and don’t worry, I didn’t leave out the drizzle of icing on top! You probably have everything needed to make these cute little confections already, a cake mix and some butter, a little bit of jelly or jam, and a couple of eggs with lemon zest is all it takes.
I like to make cookies with a cake mix because sometimes I just don’t want to get all the canisters out and measure everything, the cake mix takes care of all the dry ingredients for me.
Other Recipes to Serve with Cake Mix Thumbprint Cookies
- High Tea/Tea for Two – I love to have a little bit of tea or coffee with cookies if it is an afternoon or after-dinner treat
- Irish Coffee Royale – have a nice little splash of brandy and irish cream in a delicous cup of coffee to go with your light sweet treat
Cake Mix: I used a Betty Crocker Super Moist French Vanilla, this cake mix gives the best flavor and texture because it has french vanilla pudding mix already included.
Flavor: Lemon zest and lemon juice add a little brightness to these cookies. We’re also adding butter instead of oil, and eggs to bring everything together.
Filling: You can use any flavor jam or jelly you like.
How to Make Cake Mix Thumbprint Cookies
STEP ONE: Get two baking sheets ready and then mix the dough together before letting it rest for 10 minutes.
STEP TWO: Dust your hands in flour (to prevent sticking) and roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Place them on the baking sheets about 2-inches apart. Use your thumb, the back of the cookie scoop, or a measuring spoon to make indents on the top of each dough ball. Don’t press all the way through! You’re making a little cup to fill.
STEP THREE: Add some jam or jelly to each cookie using a spoon.
STEP FOUR: Chill the dough for another 10 minutes. Bake in a preheated oven and then cool the cookies on a wire rack after resting on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.
STEP FIVE: Mix the glaze in a small bowl and drizzle it over the cooled cookies.
Tips for Success
- I used the French vanilla cake mix for this recipe as it gives the cookies more of a sugar cookie flavour, but yellow or confetti cake mix would be good too.
- The resting and chilling are both important steps that help hydrate the cake mix creating better texture.
- At first the cake mix will seem a bit dry when mixing with the melted butter and eggs, but it will come together. I recommend mixing with a wooden spoon instead of a mixer to prevent over mixing and crumbly cookies.
- Homemade or store bought jam is fine. Thicker jam won’t tend to spread as much when heated, but if the jam bubbles over the edge it is still delicious. I used raspberry and blackberry jam for these cookies and they go really well with the lemon, but any jam can be used.
- If you don’t like lemon you can leave the zest out of the cookies and simply use milk for the icing drizzle. Melted white chocolate also makes a great drizzle.
Can I freeze thumbprint cookies?
Yes, these cookies freeze very well! Completely finish making your cookies and allow the icing drizzle to dry completely, then stack in an airtight container and place them in the freezer for up to six months. Then thaw and enjoy.
Is it better to use Jam or Jelly in thumbprint cookies?
I think the jam is better, the texture holds up better and it has more flavor than jelly. It is also harder to get a good dollop of jelly, it moves around too much, jam is easier to handle and keep in the middle of the well of the cookie.
Other Cake Mix Cookie Recipes
- Chocolate Cake Mix Bars
- Chewy Chocoalte Cake Mix M&M Cookies
- Cake Mix Cookie Bars
- Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies
- Cake Mix Snickerdoodle Cookies
- 15.25 ounces french vanilla cake mix (1 box)
- 1/4 cup salted butter melted (see note)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest (1 lemon)
- 1/2 cup jam or jelly (I like raspberry, blackberry, or grape)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 3-4 teaspoons lemon juice (1 lemon)
- Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining with parchment paper, a silicone mat, or spray with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, melted butter, eggs, and lemon zest with a wooden spoon until well mixed. It will seem dry at first, but the dough will come together. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
- Lightly dust your hands with flour to help keep the dough from sticking. Then roll the dough into 1-inch balls (about 1 tablespoon). Place the dough balls about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- With your thumb or the back of the cookie scoop, gently press the center of each dough ball to form a divot for the jam. Scoop about one teaspoon of jam into each cookie. Then place the tray in the fridge for 10 minutes to chill.
- While cookies are chilling, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake for approximately 15 minutes on the middle rack. The cookies should feel slightly set on the edges and the bottoms should be lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on the pan. Then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar with 3-4 teaspoons of lemon juice. You are looking for it to be thick, but have a pouring consistency, like honey.
- When the cookies have cooled, drizzle the icing on top with a spoon or a small ziplock bag with the tip of a corner cut off.
- If you don’t have salted butter on hand, add 1/4 teaspoon salt and use unsalted butter.
- I used the French vanilla cake mix for this recipe as it gives the cookies more of a sugar cookie flavor, but yellow or confetti cake mix would be good too.
- The resting and chilling steps are both important steps that help hydrate the cake mix creating better texture.
- If you don’t want lemon-flavored glaze, swap out the lemon juice for milk instead.
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