Italian Thumbprint Cookies are made using delicious fig spread and crunchy almonds. Experience classic Italian flavors in this updated traditional thumbprint cookie recipe.

Italian Fig and almond cookies on a plate with fig jam in the background.

Italian Thumbprint Cookies may just be your new favorite recipe. Made with delicious fig jam and rolled in crushed almonds, this cookie really hits all of the flavor notes.

I used to make this cookie with my nonna. I have updated it slightly, not being able to make my own homemade fig jam, but essentially it is the same as it was then. Pure cookie perfection!

Italian Thumbprint Cookies on black slate on a white countertop.

I love that this cookie is simple enough for everyday, yet elegant enough to entertain with. This is also a great recipe to have on hand for a cookie exchange.

The fig spread I use for these cookies tastes nearly as good at the jam nonna used to make. I personally love the Dalmatia Fig Spread available on Amazon. Use the leftover spread for toast, bruschetta, or as a glaze for ham.

overhead photo of fig spread.

The other key ingredient for this cookie is Almond Extract. However, if you don’t have it on hand, vanilla extract would be a good substitute.

Italian Thumbprint Cookies are rolled in crushed almonds and coarse raw sugar. You could substitute whatever nuts your prefer (walnuts or macadamia nuts would be great) and plain sugar would work as well. I have also used crushed pistachios with great results.

overhead view of Italian thumbprint cookies with fig spread and almonds.

Sweet, crunchy, and oh so satisfying, this recipe is sure to become one of your favorites for every occasion!

Love Italian dessert? Be sure to check out my Lemon Ricotta Bundt Cake which is another easy-to-make treat with so much flavor. And, don’t miss these authentic Italian Pignoli Cookies made with almond paste and pine nuts or the classic Italian Anise Cookies or Italian Wedding Cookies. For a classic favorite, check out these Lemon Ricotta Cookies!

Italian Thumbprint Cookies with Fig Spread and Almonds

Note that this recipe makes only a dozen cookies. However, the recipe can easily be doubled or tripled with the same excellent results.

overhead photo.

Firstly, you want to cream together the butter and brown sugar. I recommend using a handheld mixer or stand up mixer if you are making a larger batch.

Next, add in the egg yolk (save the white) and almond extract and beat for an additional minute. Stir in the flour and salt. Also, the fact that there is no baking soda or baking powder in this recipe is not a typo! This cookie rises perfectly without these additions.

Chill the dough for a couple of minutes or until you can easily roll into a ball. Meanwhile, chop the almonds and gently whisk the egg white for dipping.

tray with baking liner, dough, egg white, and bowl of crushed almonds.

Working in an assembly line, roll the dough into a ball, dip it in the egg white, then toss in the almond and sugar mixture. Place on a lined cookie sheet.

thumb indentations in the middle of cookies on a baking sheet.

Use your thumb to made an indentation in the center of the cookie. Bake in a preheated oven for 8 minutes.

jam filled cookies on baking sheet.

Remove cookies from oven and carefully spoon a heaping teaspoon of fig spread into the middle of the cookies. Don’t worry if it doesn’t spread perfectly. You can fix this once the cookie is done baking.

Lastly, return to oven and bake for another 8 minutes or until the cookie is set. Let cool for at least 10 minutes on cookie sheet before placing on wire rack to cool completely.

Italian Fig and Almond Thumbprint Cookies on a white plate with fig spread in the background.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Enjoy!

The BEST Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe! Soft and chewy, you are going to love this easy recipe.

Double Chocolate Pudding Cookies are for the serious chocolate lovers out there.

Cover all bases with these Pretzel M&M Oatmeal Cookies. Salty and sweet for the perfect cookie bite.

Please comment below if you try this recipe and let me know what you think!

Italian Fig and almond cookies on a plate with fig jam in the background.

Italian Thumbprint Cookies

Fig spread and almonds combine to make this the perfect Italian Thumbprint Cookie.
5 from 25 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 26 minutes
Servings: 12 cookies
Calories: 183kcal
Cost: 8


  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • cup almonds, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons raw coarse sugar
  • ½ cup fig spread


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a baking pad. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes with an electric mixer. Add in the egg yolk and almond extract and beat for another minute. Fold in the flour and salt and mix until combined. Refrigerate dough for at least 15 minutes or until firm enough to roll into balls.
  • Roll the dough into 12 equal-sized balls. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining egg white until frothy. In a separate bowl, stir together the chopped almonds and raw sugar. Dip one of the dough balls into the egg white and then roll in almond mixture to coat. Place on cookie sheet and repeat with remaining balls.
  • Use your thumb or a spoon to gently press the middle of the cookie down so that the cookie spreads and there is a slight indentation in the middle.
  • Bake cookies for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and spoon about a teaspoon of fig spread into the center of the cookie. Return to oven and bake for another 7 to 8 minutes, or until cookie is light golden in color. Cool on baking rack before moving to wire rack to cool completely.


These are excellent make-ahead cookies. Just cool completely and refrigerate in an airtight container. Be careful not to stack the cookies when they are warm. 


Calories: 183kcal
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Italian Thumbprint Cookies Pinterest Pin.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I just made these using Good Good sugar free Fig Jam and they were GREAT! Thank you for the recipe. I was looking for a way to use my jam, other than on toast and biscuits. I made a few of them with Apricot Jam and that was just as good.

  2. 5 stars
    Would LOVE to make these for my 80 yr old mum BUT, as I am in Australia, I only bake by weight measures & need to confirm which cup/ spoon sizes you have used. Is it US that I need to convert? Thanks