Buttercream Thumbprint Sugar Cookies

Beautiful holiday Buttercream Thumbprint Sugar Cookies – the perfect marriage of soft sugar cookie with sweet buttercream, bundled up in a no-stress recipe.

Buttercream Thumbprint Sugar Cookies

Last weekend I celebrated my 2nd Christmas of this year. The holiday celebration was with my Dad’s side of the family. We had the Mosley Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. It was a hoot seeing all the ugly Christmas sweaters, particularly the men who all seemed to be wearing women’s sweaters. Apparently, they don’t make Christmas sweaters for men or they are just really difficult to find.

For this family shindig, I volunteered to bring a plate of Christmas desserts. I had a long list of recipes I wanted to bake, but typical to this time of year I ran out of time. {Is there anyone who doesn’t have this problem? If so, I’d love some tips.} So instead of making fabulous sugar cutout cookies, I ended up making fabulous Buttercream Thumbprint Sugar Cookies, Peanut Butter Sandwiches and Butter Mint Pillows.

Buttercream Thumbprint Sugar Cookies

I decided to take the easy route in making my Buttercream Thumbprint Sugar Cookies and used a sugar cookie mix. If you have an awesome sugar cookie recipe that you would prefer to use, by all means do so. However, if you are finding yourself frazzled and seriously stretched for time this holiday season than get yourself some sugar cookie mix. It is less stress and doesn’t lose any of the sugar cookie goodness.

These Buttercream Thumbprint Sugar Cookies are ridiculously simple to make. Follow the sugar cookie recipe on the back of the packaging for cutout cookies. I used Betty Crocker’s Sugar Cookie Mix.

Once you have your sugar cookie dough all made up, scoop dough into scant tablespoon balls, or use a #60 disher. Roll dough balls in your favorite sprinkles. I used white nonpareils and Christmas nonpareils. Place on an silicone mat, parchment lined, or ungreased cookie sheet {any of these options will do}.

Buttercream Thumbprint Sugar Cookies

Before you bake your Buttercream Thumbprint Sugar Cookies you need to put in the thumbprint. I pressed a 1/4 teaspoon into each dough ball rather than use my thumb. The indent may look small, but the cookies will spread while baking. The indent will get a little larger and shallower, perfect for a dollop of buttercream.

These Buttercream Thumbprint Sugar Cookies do not take long to bake. You do not want to over bake them or they will become dry and hard. Neither are good qualities in a cookie.

Once your cookies have completely cooled it is time for the fun part; the dollop of American Buttercream. I am not sure there is anything more perfect to fill the thumbprint of a sugar cookie with than buttercream. I used a #12 Wilton decorating tip to fill my thumbprint. If you don’t have a decorating tip, cut the corner off a sandwich bag and fill the bag with buttercream.

Buttercream Thumbprint Sugar Cookies should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Cookies will keep for 5+ days.

Buttercream Thumbprint Sugar Cookies

These Buttercream Thumbprint Sugar Cookies are beautiful with their festive holiday sprinkles. They are soft and delicious as sugar cookies should be, and the buttercream compliments the sugar cookie with just the right amount of sweetness.

During the holiday season we all can get a little frazzled. I am still trying to figure out how to be less stressed during the holidays. Why not take it easy on yourself and exchange an extravagant holiday recipe for a simple one that just LOOKS extravagant, and bake Buttercream Thumbprint Sugar Cookies!

Buttercream Thumbprint Sugar Cookies

Yield: Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Buttercream Thumbprint Sugar Cookies


    For Sugar Cookies
  • Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • sprinkles
  • For Buttercream
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1.5 lbs pure cane sugar powdered sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon clear vanilla extract


    For Sugar Cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
  2. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, stir sugar cookie mix, flour, butter, and egg on medium speed until soft dough forms.
  3. Scoop dough into 2.5 teaspoon balls, or use a #60 disher to scoop balls of dough. Roll balls of dough in sprinkles, and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Press a 1/4 teaspoon into the center of each dough ball creating a small indent. Indent will spread and become larger and shallower as cookies bake.
  5. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.
  6. Cool cookies on cookie sheet for 1 minute; transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
  7. For Buttercream
  8. Heat water, butter, and salt in microwave until butter is softened. Do not overheat.
  9. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, put water, butter, salt mixture. Add vegetable shortening. Turn mixer on lowest speed and slowly add 1/2 lb of powdered sugar. Mix until creamy.
  10. Turn mixer on medium speed for 1 minute. Turn mixer to slowest speed. Slowly add remaining pound of powdered sugar, and clear vanilla extract. Blend until creamy.
  11. Turn mixer on high speed and let mix for 4 minutes, or until fluffy.
  12. Once cookies have cooled completely, pipe a dollop of buttercream into the thumbprint {indent} of each cookie. Eat & Enjoy!


Cookies may be baked on a silicone mat or parchment lined cookie sheet.

Store Buttercream Thumbprint Sugar Cookies in an airtight container. Cookies will keep for 5+ days.


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2 Responses To "Buttercream Thumbprint Sugar Cookies"

  1. 1

    Oh Wow, these cookies are making my mouth water, I would love one with my coffee! Yummy! :-) All month long I am featuring different holiday cookie creations for my cookie countdown to Christmas! I would love it if you stopped by to check it out! :-)

    • Thanks Cathy! I’ll check out your cookie countdown. I love me some Xmas cookies! :)

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