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Vegan, Gluten-Free Chickpea Thumbprint Cookies

In the past few months I’ve shared a bunch of bean-based desserts (the most recent being Chickpea Cookie Cake) and today I’m excited to share my latest protein-packed cookie recipe. This recipe for these Vegan, Gluten-Free Chickpea Thumbprint Cookies was originally posted on last week and you can read all about the cookies here or check out the recipe below.

After the article ran on MBG I received a bunch of comments that some people call this kind of dessert a “birds nest cookie”- how cute is that? I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of that before but it’s definitely what I’ll be calling them from now on!

4.8 from 4 reviews
Vegan, Gluten-Free Chickpea Thumbprint Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: dessert, cookie
Cuisine: vegan, gluten-free
Serves: 12
  • 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 15-ounce can, drained
  • ½ cup nut butter of your choice (peanut, almond, cashew..)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup agave or ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup jam or 100% fruit spread
  1. Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
  2. Combine chickpeas, peanut butter, vanilla extract, agave, baking powder and salt in blender until mostly smooth. The batter will be a little thick so you may need to scrape the sides down a couple of times. I like to leave a slight texture.
  3. Transfer batter to a medium bowl and mix in oats.
  4. Wet hands and roll batter into balls about 1.5 inches thick. Place on baking sheet 1 inch apart. Use the palm of your hand to slightly flatten balls on top. Use your thumb to press an indentation into the center of each cookie. Spoon 2-3 tsp. of fruit spread into each indentation.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until cookies are firm on edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool before enjoying.

Love sneaking healthy ingredients into cookies? Try The BEST Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe!

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35 Responses to Vegan, Gluten-Free Chickpea Thumbprint Cookies

    • This recipe is horrible! It does not work. Putting jelly into cookie before baking makes a real mess. Phot was of unbaked cookie! Cheater

      • I’m sorry the recipe didn’t work out for you! I can assure you that my photos were taken after the cookies were baked :)

        I’ve always had success with this recipe and so have many others who have made it. I would love to help you figure out what went wrong with your batch. Did you follow the recipe exactly?

    • These are delicious, easy and the recipe does work. I made two batches. The first batch was perfect, and looked just like the picture. But the second batch did spread out and not stay together. What I did wrong on the second batch was to put too much jam on them, perhaps that is where you went wrong too. The nice surprise from the second batch was that I just scraped it all up and made a crumble that I put on my yogurt and granola – very delicious topping!

      • That’s great to hear! Yes I agree, I think you can run into problems if you use too much jam. But happy to hear you made good use of the crumbles! :)

    • Jelly? That’s not going to work. Try: jam, preserves, or 100% fruit spread, and it’ll be fine. Not jelly, though, OK? There’s a big difference in how these react in the oven. I’d even say forget about the jam and just use preserves or 100% fruit spread. Try it again and let us know.

  1. Hi Ilene, I just made this recipe and yes indeed it worked just fine. I used 3/4 cup of oats just beacuse I wanted them more oatie! I also used almond butter and almond extract and 6 dates as my sweetner. Just a little tweaking here and there. Next time I make these I will try a cranberry orange almond variety! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  2. Just finished baking a batch. Quite good! I thought they’d taste beany but they don’t. I added a couple of tablespoons of all-purpose flour, used 3/4 C of oatmeal (I had only Quick Oats). Also baked them at 370 degrees as I am at 5300 feet in altitude. Might turn up the temperature more to get them more crunch but I’ll definitely make them again. Now I have a use for the box of cans of beans we bought on special.

  3. These were so filling! I thought the batter would taste amazing as an icing for a cake without the oats! I used pinto beans because I didn’t have any chickpeas on hand. Didn’t taste beany at all! I also added some AP flour and more oats. Will use this recipe again when I want to make some healthy cookies..maybe i’ll add cocoa powder or chocolate chips next time :)

  4. I just made these & they came out great. I used less than a teaspoon of allfruit on each- half apricot & half strawberry. I will definitely make these again. I’ve used beans in cakes… one can guess the secret ingedient!

  5. Thanks for this recipe! I used a pieces of chocolate instead of jam and I’m glad I did that because I subbed sunflower seed butter for the nut butter and ended up with greenish cookies. Yikes. I’m resting easy knowing that the chocolate will probably make everything okay. They taste great… they just look kind of icky. =)

    • I’ve had that happen before with sunflower seed butter and the green color totally freaked me out at first! Still tastes great though! And I love the idea of using chocolate instead of jam, I’ll have to try that next time!

  6. Hi. Just wondering if one is supposed to drain the chickpeas before putting them in the food processor. It doesn’t say in the recipe so I dumped the chickpeas in without draining. The batter was so wet I had to add a lot of extra oatmeal and oat flour. Even then, the batter was still wet and hard to form into balls. Would it have turned out differently if I had drained the chickpeas?

    • Hi Erin, I’m sorry for the confusion! Yes, you are supposed to drain the chickpeas if you use a can (I’ll update that in the instructions). I’m sorry the extra liquid messed up your batch! I hope you’ll try the recipe again without the extra liquid!

  7. Something a lot of people do, especially with nut “butters”, is forget about the softness. ALWAYS chill the dough if you don’t want a flat cookie… this is true for real butter and nut butter. If you overmix the dough, it will soften even more. You want to bake cookies from chilled, STIFF dough, not soft and almost spreadable.

    I made this today and it turned out beautifully. However, I did make changes (almost always do lol) since I didn’t need this to be vegan but just needed to use up chickpeas leftover from boiling a large batch. I nixed the oatmeal, added 1 cup of finely chopped walnuts, used real butter, honey instead of agave, and added an egg… just as I do with regular thumbprint cookies.

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