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Hallongrottor (Swedish thumbprint cookies)

swedish raspberry jam thumprint cookies recipe almond

Hallongrottor (meaning “raspberry caves” in Swedish) are delicious little cookies, buttery and crumbly with a jewel-like filling of fruit jam. Although traditionally often flavoured with just a hint of vanilla, here I have added a little almond extract and a touch of lemon zest; during the festive season I often add half a teaspoon of mixed spice too, so they almost have the flavour of a mini linzertorte.


The wonderful thing about this recipe is that you can prepare a batch and then freeze half, packing the uncooked biscuits in between sheets of baking paper; they make the ideal little snack for after school or an unexpected guest when popped in the airfryer on a small square of baking paper and baked at 180 degrees for roughly 8-9 minutes.


Ingredients (makes 24)

200g salted butter (softened)

200g caster sugar

320g plain flour

1 egg

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp almond extract

Zest of 1 lemon

100g good quality raspberry jam

A tablespoon of icing sugar, to serve (optional, but it does look pretty at Christmas)


  1. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment if you have one, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg, lemon zest, baking powder, vanilla/almond extract, and a couple of tablespoons of flour and mix gently to break up the egg.
  3. Tip in the rest of the flour and stir carefully until the ingredients come together to form a soft dough.
  4. Roll the dough into 24 equal balls (they should be roughly the size of a large walnut).
  5. Lay the balls on a tray lined with greaseproof paper and gently make an indentation in the top of each one; although the name suggests pressing your thumb into the cookie, I actually find using a bottle cap or tiny measuring spoon gives a more regular shape!
  6. Add half a teaspoon of raspberry jam into each little hole, then pop the tray in the fridge for at least an hour to chill the cookies.
  7. To bake, preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Arrange the cookies on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper (I find six or eight to a sheet works very well as they will spread a little) and then cook in the centre of the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden. 
  8. Allow to cool and then dust on a little icing sugar to serve.