Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

24 Servings
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Setting Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies are delicious treats for chocolate lovers! Easy fudgy chocolate cookies with a dark chocolate ganache center.

If you’re in the mood for a chocolaty treat, you can’t go wrong with this rich double chocolate Cookie Recipe. Similar to a Hershey Kiss Cookie, it has a dark chocolate soft and buttery cookie with a chocolate center, except instead of a chocolate candy, there is a melty pool of silky chocolate ganache! For more easy cookies with a sweet center, be sure to check out Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies and Turtle Cookies.

Sabrina’s Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

This recipe turns classic thumbprint cookies into the ultimate chocolate lovers treat! Thumbprint cookies get their name because of the thumbprint-sized indent at the center of the round cookie. That divot is the perfect size to add a tasty filling. Usually, the filling is fruit-flavored, but these Fudgy Chocolate Thumbprint cookies are filled with Chocolate Ganache

The cookie base is a simple yet rich chocolate cookie dough that is extra buttery so it practically melts in your mouth. The homemade chocolate ganache is super easy and my go-to recipe whenever I need a thick, chocolaty filling! It’s perfect for these cookies because it gets firm enough to stay inside the cookie but it is still chewy and soft when you bite into it.


  • Butter: Before starting the cookie dough recipe, make sure to give the unsalted butter 20-30 minutes to soften at room temperature. Softened butter is easier to cream with the granulated sugar into a light, fluffy mixture which is what gives you chewy, buttery cookies.
  • Sugar: You only need 2/3 cup sugar for this cookie recipe. This is less sugar than you’ll find in many cookie recipes. This is so the base cookie recipe isn’t overly sweet. Using white sugar instead of brown sugar makes the perfect, light, crumbly texture for the cookies.
  • Flour: Regular all-purpose flour is the best option for soft cookies that are slightly chewy but still sturdy enough to hold the filling without crumbling.
  • Cocoa powder: To give the cookie dough the perfect amount of chocolate flavor, add ¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder to the blend. This combined with the chocolate filling, makes the perfect double chocolate cookies.
  • Ganache filling: To make the creamy ganache filling, use equal parts semisweet chocolate chips and heavy cream. Add the two ingredients to a medium bowl and use the microwave to melt the chocolate. The heavy whipping cream thins the ganache into a silky, smooth mixture. But it firms up wonderfully as the chocolate dries into a thick, rich mixture.

Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Baking Sheet: You’ll need at least one regular baking sheet, but it’s easier to use two if you have them so you don’t have to bake in batches.
  • Parchment Paper: Parchment not only keeps your cookies from sticking to the pan but it helps the bottoms bake more evenly.

How to Make

Time needed: 1 hour and 20 minutes.

  1. Cream the Butter and Sugar

    Add softened butter and granulated sugar to your stand mixer and use the paddle attachment to cream on high speed for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat for 10 seconds until well combined.

  2. Combine with the Dry Ingredients

    Sift the flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, and kosher salt into a separate bowl. Then add the flour mixture to the stand mixer with the electric mixer set to its lowest speed setting. Mix until the dry ingredients are just combined.Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies dough mixed in bowl

  3. Chill the Dough

    Cover the mixing bowl in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. You can also scoop the cookies on lined baking trays then chill on the trays.

  4. Prep for Baking

    Preheat the oven temperature to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  5. Shape the Cookies

    Roll the cookie dough into 1-inch balls of dough. After you roll dough into balls, place them on the prepared baking sheets. Use the bottom of a spoon to gently press an indent into the dough balls about 1/2-inch deep.Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies lined up cookie dough balls with indents and pressing spoon in center cookie dough ball

  6. Baking the Cookies

    Put the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes. Let the chocolate thumbprint cookies cool for 5 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to finish cooling.Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies with indents baking sheet, after baking and before filling

  7. Make the Ganache

    Add chocolate chips and heavy cream to a microwave-safe bowl. Then microwave for 30 seconds. Let the mixture sit for 15 seconds, then microwave for another 30 seconds. Let sit for 1 minute, and then stir until the chocolate ganache is smooth.

  8. Fill the Cookies

    Use a small spoon to pour the ganache into the imprints on the cooled cookies. Let the chocolate filling harden for 20-30 minutes before serving and storing.Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies with indents baking sheet, filling center cookie with ganache, cookies on left are filled, cookies on right have no filling

Can this be made ahead of time?

You can make them a couple of days in advance or on the day of the event. Just make sure to prep them a few hours ahead of when you plan to serve them. Otherwise, the chocolate filling won’t have time to set before you serve the Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies.

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 207 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Trans Fat 0.3g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 32mg11%
Sodium 29mg1%
Potassium 79mg2%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 386IU8%
Vitamin C 0.1mg0%
Calcium 16mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Tips for Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Fill after Baking

For these Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies, you’ll need to wait to add the filling until after the baking time. Otherwise, the chocolate ganache will melt during the baking time. However, if you substitute the chocolate filling for jam or preserves, then you can spoon the fruit filling in before the baking time.

Shaping the Cookies

When adding the “thumbprint” to the center of the cookie dough pieces, press down gently with the back of your spoon. If you press too hard, you can crack the cookie dough around the indent. If the dough still cracks, simply use your fingers to quickly smooth out the dough before baking.

How to Store

Serve: After baking, make sure to let the cookies chill before adding the chocolate filling, and let the ganache harden before serving.

Store: To keep the Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies fresh, cover them in plastic wrap or put them in an airtight container. Kept sealed, the cookies can stay good at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Freeze: You can also put the cookies in a freezer bag or another freezer-safe airtight container to keep them frozen for up to 1 month. To stop the cookies from freezing together, you can place a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper between the cookie layers.

Frequent Questions

What if the thumbprint becomes too shallow while baking?

As the cookie dough rises, the indent at the center of the cookies may shrink. If the imprints become too shallow, you can carefully press down at the center while the cookies are still warm. Fresh out of the oven, the cookie will still be moldable so you can reshape them a little before the cookies cool.

How to know when Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies are done baking?

Typically, you’d bake thumbprint cookies until they’re just browning around the edges, but it’s harder to tell when chocolate cookies are done. You can tell the chocolate shortbread is done baking when the dough no longer appears wet. They should appear dry and set.

Why are they called thumbprint cookies?

Thumbprint Cookies get their name from their shape. After rolling out the dough balls, you’ll add an imprint to the center of each one about the size of a thumbprint. The dent at the center is perfect for holding the filling and is how the cookies get their name.

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Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies are delicious treats for chocolate lovers! Easy fudgy chocolate cookies with a dark chocolate ganache center.
Yield 24 Servings
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


Chocolate Shortbread:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Ganache Filling:


  • To your stand mixer add the butter and sugar and cream on high speed for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Add in vanilla extract and beat for 10 seconds until well combined.
  • Sift together flour, unsweetened cocoa powder and salt, add to the stand mixer on the lowest speed setting until just combined.
  • Add the dough to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Roll 1″ balls of dough and place on baking sheets.
  • Using the bottom of a wooden spoon, gently press an indent into the cookies about 1/2″ deep.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until they look dry and set.
  • Let cool 5 minutes before removing from the baking sheets.

To Finish:

  • Add the chocolate chips and heavy cream to a microwave safe bowl.
  • Microwave for 30 seconds.
  • Let sit for 15 seconds, microwave a second time for 30 seconds.
  • Let sit for 1 minute. then stir well until smooth.
  • With a small spoon pour the ganache into the cooled cookies.
  • Let the ganache harden for 20-30 minutes before eating if you want the ganache to thicken.


Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 29mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 386IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies


Jam Filling: If you want to make these more classic thumbprints, add some raspberry or Strawberry Jam before baking. Add 1 teaspoon of jam to the indent on the cookie dough balls before baking. After they are baked, top the jam with a little spoonful of ganache or drizzle it over the whole cookie.

Caramel filling: Another tasty idea is to swap out the chocolate filling for caramel sauce. Prepare the chocolate cookies according to the original recipe instructions. Use sugar, butter, and milk to make a rich Homemade Caramel Sauce and add it to the center of the cooled cookies. You can sprinkle sea salt over the top for salted caramel cookies.

Vanilla chocolate-filled cookies: Instead of the double chocolate flavor, you could leave the actual cookie dough vanilla but still add the creamy chocolate ganache to the center. For this version, simply leave out the unsweetened cocoa powder and instead use 2 ⅓ cups flour in the cookie dough. Bake the cookie recipe until they’re starting to brown around the edges. Add the chocolate filling to the vanilla thumbprint cookies, and let it set before serving.

More Delicious Filled Cookies

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies baked and filled on a wire baking rack with foreground cookie missing bite, recipe name across bottom

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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