Gluten-Free Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

5 from 1 vote
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Gluten-free Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies are soft and moist. The nestled cherry and the chocolate glaze makes this cookie totally decadent! Perfect for the holidays, parties or as a special treat. 

Gluten-free Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies


My mom is famous for her chocolate cherry thumbprint cookies. She even won a cookie contest with these cookies!  These cookies are part of her Christmas cookie lineup and she makes a huge batch of them every year. I’m not totally surprised since her favorite candy is chocolate covered cherries.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies batter with cherries in them

When my parents come to visit for Christmas she always brings these cookies, so I have never attempted to make them gluten-free. This year I decided that I needed to try and modify her recipe so I could share them with you. I don’t know why I waited so long to make these cookies because they turned out perfectly, just like Moms.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies stacked on top of each other with cherries in the background

This chocolate thumbprint cookie is soft and moist, almost cakey. The addition of the nestled cherry and the chocolate glaze makes this cookie totally decadent. I promise no one will even know they are gluten-free!

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5 from 1 vote

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

By: Audrey
Servings: 36
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
chill dough: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Gluten-free Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies are soft and moist. The nestled cherry and the chocolate glaze makes this cookie totally decadent! Perfect for the holidays, parties or as a special treat.



  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour, I like Pillsbury gluten-free
  • 1/4 teaspoon  xanthan gum, leave out if your flour already has it
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 10 oz jar maraschino cherries


  • 1 cup of mini chocolate chips
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4-6 teaspoons  maraschino cherry juice


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl stir together gluten-free flour, xanthan gum (leave out if your flour has it already) cocoa, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
  • In a large bowl using a mixer cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  • Add egg and pure vanilla extract and beat well.
  • Gradually add flour mixture, beating until well blended.
  • Chill dough in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.
  • Cut the maraschino cherries in half, unless you want a big cherry flavor then use the whole cherries. Keep the cherry juice for the glaze.
  • Shape dough into 1” balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. I like to use my cookie scoop, it makes the perfect size ball and it's much easier than doing by hand.
  • Using the back of 1/4 teapoon or your thumb, press down the center of each ball to make a cherry sized cavity.
  • Place 1/2 cherry in each cavity. (If you want a big cherry flavor use the whole cherry).
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the mini chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk and heat on low until the chocolate is melted.
  • Stir in almond extract and 4 teaspoons of the cherry juice until well blended and keep on a very low heat.
  • Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of chocolate glaze on each cookie, spreading to cover the cherry.
  • Glaze may need to be thinned with additional cherry juice until all cookies are covered.
  • Store in an airtight container.
  • Enjoy!


Calories: 118kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 60mgPotassium: 40mgFiber: 1gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 110IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 0.5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @mamaknowsglutenfree or tag #mamaknowsglutenfree!



About Audrey Roberts

I'm Audrey Roberts, a busy mama of four and I love sharing the recipes that I make for my family. I make gluten-free family-friendly recipes that are simple and delicious that you can too! I use easy to find ingredients that won't break your budget. You will also find dairy-free options and Paleo recipes. I am also the author of The Everything Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Cookbook, which is an Amazon Best Selling Cookbook in the US and Internationally. Living gluten-free since 2010. I hope by me sharing my journey it may help you with yours.

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Recipe Rating


  1. no one would ever guess these are “gluten free” and somehow “less” than flour. They are perfectly delicate, richly flavorful, and wonderfully delicious. A few notes: I’d use a whole cherry next time. The half cherry was easier to push into a 1 inch ball, but the cherry flavor came through better in the ones I filled with a whole cherry. I used half a teaspoon of glaze and had half the glaze left over on 36 cookies so I gave them a second mounded layer, but next time I’ll make half the glaze, especially with the whole cherry in it. Mine cracked around the edge, which wasn’t a problem, but I suspect a bit less time in the oven would have helped, plus a bit more moisture. They were a little crispy outside, and I would have liked just a bit more chew. Thanks for a stunning Christmas cookie.

    1. Thank you so much Janet for the wonderful 5-star recipe review! I am so happy that you enjoyed the chocolate cherry cookies. Thank you for sharing your recommendations, as I know it will help others. You are so welcome, I love sharing what I make for my family. Wishing you a Merry Christmas, thank you again!