A spiced butter cookie filled with creamy eggnog-flavored cheesecake, these vegan Eggnog Thumbprint Cookies are the ultimate holiday cookie. Sure to impress!
My-oh-my, am I excited about this recipe.
I've been sitting on it for several weeks now and today I finally get to share it with you. What is making me so excited? Why it's vegan Eggnog Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies! And just in time for holiday baking season. These thumbprint cookies are the ultimate Christmas cookie - a spicy and buttery shortbread cookie filled with vegan eggnog cheesecake and topped with cinnamon and nutmeg. Starting to see why I'm so excited?
Yes, it's starting to feel a whole lot like Christmas.
Recommended Ingredients & Equipment
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Vegan Butter - Look for a high-quality non-hydrogenated vegan butter. I recommend either Earth Balance or Miyoko’s.
- Granulated & Powdered Sugar - Check out my guide to vegan sugars and healthy sugar alternatives.
- Applesauce - The applesauce acts as the binder for these cookies. You can’t taste the applesauce but if you would prefer a different kind of egg replacer, check out my complete guide on replacing eggsto get a few more ideas.
- All-Purpose Flour - I have also made these cookies with a 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour Baking Blend with great success. (<<affiliate link)
- Baking Powder
- Spices - You will need cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt
- Vegan Cream Cheese - When it comes to vegan cream cheese, I recommend Go Veggie. Go Veggie’s cream cheese is made from coconut for a non-GMO, no cholesterol, vegan alternative. Their cheese alternatives have more calcium, equal protein, less fat, and fewer calories compared to dairy cheese. Their mission – to help cheese lovers enjoy all their favorite cheesy foods and feel great about it.
- Holiday Nog - This is vegan "eggnog" You can use either homemade holiday nog or buy it at the store.
For all my cookie recipes, I recommend a stand-up mixer. These make whipping, beating, and blending so much easier. You will also need a food processor to make the cream cheese filling.
In addition, you will need basic cooking equipment including a baking sheets, silicone baking mats, and a wire cooling rack. (<<affiliate links)
Check out the full list of my recommended kitchen tools and gadgets.
How to make Eggnog Thumbprint Cookies
Step One: Make the Eggnog Cheesecake
Because we are using a small amount of cheesecake in each cookie, it doesn't need to set like a traditional cheesecake. That makes our job even easier! All we need for the cheesecake filling is some vegan eggnog, sugar, spices, and cream cheese.
To make the filling, blend together the cream cheese in a food processor until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed. Add powdered sugar and spices and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly pour in holiday nog. Blend until smooth. Transfer to small bowl and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Step Two- Make the Spiced Butter Cookies
Cream the butter and sugar together. Once it's light and fluffy, add the applesauce (this acts as our binder - aka, egg replacer). Once the applesauce is added, the dough will start to look curdled. Don’t worry about this. When the dry ingredients are added, the dough will sort itself out. Add the flour and spices and mix until it just comes together.
I have found that a good small cookie scoop is very useful for thumbprint cookies. We want a small round cookie and a cookie scoop makes this much easier. The round cookies get placed on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Once all the dough is shaped, it's time to turn them into thumbprint cookies. This simply means making a small indentation in the center of the cookie with your thumb.
Step Three - Bake the Cookies
Before we fill the cookies with the eggnog cheesecake, we are going to par-bake them. The filling naturally gets baked quicker than the cookies, so we want to give the cookies about 10 minutes in the oven to get golden brown before filling them. Once they come out of the oven, gently re-indent the centers (as they will puff up a bit as they bake), let them cool for 5 minutes, and then pipe in your filling, creating a nice rounded top on each cookie.
With the cookies filled, they can go back in the oven. Eight minutes later and you've got yourself some incredibly delicious and perfectly festive Eggnog Thumbprint Cookies.
Serving and Storing
Serving - Serve these cookies along with some vegan eggnog or hot cocoa at your next holiday gathering for sweet festive treats that are certain to impress.
Storing - Once cookies are completely cool, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Raw dough can be frozen for up to 2 months.
Make in Advance - If you only want to make only a few at a time, you can store the remaining dough in the freezer. To do this, roll all the dough into balls. Place them on a baking sheet in the freezer to freeze all the way through. Once frozen, transfer your cookie dough into a large ziplock bag and return to the freezer. You can store the cookies this way for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to bake, remove from freezer and bake!
Tips and Tricks
- The most accurate way to measure flour is to spoon it into your measuring cup, leveling it off with the back of a knife.
- Do not over-mix the cookies. Mix until the ingredients are just combined so that we have a flaky shortbread-like cookie.
- Let the cookies cool about 5 minutes before filling them up with cheesecake filling for the second bake. This allows the cookies to get crispy before adding moisture.
More Vegan Cookie Recipes
- Peppermint Crinkle Cookies
- Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
- Hazelnut Sandies
- Chocolate-Dipped Rosemary Shortbread Cookies
- Classic Gingerbread People Cookies
Eggnog Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies
- 1 cup vegan butter
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp. apple sauce
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. ground ginger
Eggnog Cheesecake Filling
- 6 ounces Go Veggie Cream Cheese
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp. holiday nog
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon + more for sprinkling on top
- ⅛ tsp. ground nutmeg
- Start by making the eggnog cheesecake filling. To make the filling, blend together the cream cheese in a food processor until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed. Add powdered sugar and spices and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly pour in holiday nog. Blend until smooth. Transfer to small bowl and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Set aside.
- Using your stand up mixer, cream together vegan butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add applesauce and beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture in three batches, scraping down the sides in between. Mix until all flour is hydrated and the dough is uniform.
- Using a small cookies scoop, scoop cookies and roll them into balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Make a teaspoon-sized indentation in the center with your thumb.
- Bake for 10 minutes until the edges are slightly golden. Remove from oven and make indentations again. Fill the center of each cookie with 1 rounded teaspoon of cream cheese filling so that it's slightly mounded. Bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, until cheesecake filling has firmed up. Remove from oven, transfer cookies back to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Lauren Smith says
Didn't work at all! When I put the filled cookies back in the oven, the filling completely melted and spilled all over the parchment. What went wrong??
This recipe is phenomenal! I really love the cheesecake addition, it’s really egg noggy when you add enough spices(as per the recipe) and the califia nog worked really well. I’m about to try the so delicious one and see if there’s a difference.
These cookies were amazing right after cooling on the rack for a bit. They were even better the day after when I had cooled them in the fridge overnight. I set wax paper between layers to keep them from sticking to each other. The cheese cake filling firmed up quite nicely and we can’t get enough of these!
Wow, these are amazing! I was looking for something festive and unique. The house smells amazing and the texture of both the eggnog filling and cookie is perfect! I did use a pre-made Oat Milk Egg Nog instead of making my own. Thanks for the recipe.
Julie Vanderpool says
A little disappointed. My filling lost its taste and wasn't getting firm..I made some prints bigger than others and some filled with less than others yet still no firm middles. I used silk nog and diya cream cheese.
These get a five for flavor! I made my cookies pretty small, but the cheesecake still overflowed into my pan. I'll try making the indentations a little deeper maybe. But the flavors are fantastic, and I bet no one will know it's vegan and GF (I subbed the flour).
Amber C says
Pretty disappointed with this recipe. The cookies came out raw and I ended up having to re-bake for an extended period of time - almost 10 minutes more than the recipe said. The flavor of the cheescake mixture is lacking the eggnog, and the cookies themselves taste pretty bland. Wish I would've made something else 🙁
It sounds like the cookies were rolled a bit too big - that's the best explanation for them being undercooked. Each cookie should be just about 2 tbsp big.
Le Goeble says
These are fabulous. I bet even non-noggers would like them.
I cut my vegan butter into small cubes and froze them a few hours and barely mixed dough with my hands and the crunchiness was great, but they cracked more.
Thanks for my new favorite Holiday Recipe!
I'm so glad you liked them! They are one of my favorite holiday recipes as well 🙂
Alice G says
I can't find Go Veggie cream cheese but found Green Valley brand cream cheese. It tastes similar to what I
remember cream cheese tastes like. It has been 50 years since I found I was lactose intolerant. Glad I found your
site. Like the recipes.
Maybe I made my cookies a bit big, but I have so much extra filling! What can I do with it?
I also used Daiya cream cheese & it overflowed out of my cookies! Did I not push the thumbprint in deep enough maybe? I'm sure they'll still be delicious!
It sounds like they were a little big. I often have a little but not a lot of extra filling. You could freeze the filing and make another batch later this season. Or put it on top of pancakes or waffles for a festive brunch. Also, I'm guessing your indentations weren't quite big enough (another reason why you'd have so much left-over) or they were a little full. Did you re-indent after the first bake?
Hi, I’m from Australia and have never heard of soy nog. Can you give me an idea of what’s in it or what it tastes like (I don’t think I’ve ever had egg nog because we have a hot Christmas here) so I can try and make an equivalent, please?
You can make your own vegan eggnog for this recipe using this recipe: https://www.mydarlingvegan.com/homemade-vegan-eggnog/
Sounds delicious! Thought you should know the photos don’t seem to be showing up though...
Akilli Ol says
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Would these be okay to freeze until Christmas?
yeah, that should be fine
I made these tonight for a cookie exchange at work and they are delicious. not too sweet. my cream cheese nog filling didn't settle after baking like the picture shows but thats ok. i doubled the recipe and had a lot of the filling left over too. overall i was happy with the way they turned out. thanks!
Can I swap the white flour for whole wheat or wheat pastry flour? Also, I would LOVE to cut out some of the butter....is this possible? Usually you can add extra applesauce, pumpkin, or even coconut oil...I would prefer the healthier the better(not using butter or oil as much as possible). Any suggestions?
I would probably just swap half of the white flour for whole wheat so that it doesn't affect the texture too much. In regards to the butter, I would suggest using applesauce to replace some of it. Since I have not tried it any other way, I don't know the proportions. The filling, however, I would not change.
This cookie is not really meant to be healthy but if you are looking for some healthier cookie options check out this link: http://www.thesweetlifeonline.com/raw-2/ these are all my raw/gluten-free/refined sugar-free desserts.
Sounds so yummy!!!
I'm not a vegan but I love the sound of these cookies. Can I just use regular butter, cream cheese, and nog?
Yes, you could sub regular butter, cream cheese, and nog.
where would I find soy nog? who makes it? (can I make it myself??)
Whole foods or other large grocery stores should carry it in the refrigerated section. Silk and so delicious both make it and I'm sure there are other brands out there too.
What can replace the applesauce in these cookies?
Here is my guide to egg replacers in baking: http://www.thesweetlifeonline.com/2012/11/29/replacing-eggs/
for these cookies in particular, plain soy yogurt, flax seed egg, or chick pea flour egg would be the best. However if you could also used a mashed up banana (will have a hint of flavor), soft silken tofu (blended), or commercial egg replacer (in which cake also remove the baking powder from the recipe). hope this helps!
R. Lindsay says
Hi there! I just made these this evening... although a tad labour-intensive, they are really lovely cookies! I'd probably add some more cream cheese the next time I make them, as I just found it a bit too cookie-y. 🙂 But again, these are great treats, and I thank you for the recipe!
I am looking for a substitute for all purpose white/wholewheat flour. Do you have a recipe-combination of gluten free flours that can be premixed and measured out in the same quantities of wheat flour called for in a recipe? I would like to mix up a batch of alternative flour, measure and bake.
Unfortunately I am not experienced enough with gluten-free flours. Most of my gluten-free baking is without flour all together. I did find this, however: http://www.gygi.com/blog/2012/07/20/gluten-free-baking-the-conversion-chart/ after a quick google search and with the bit of experience I have had with gluten-free flours it does look accurate. Good Luck!