Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

4.86 from 7 votes
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Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies are a fun twist on classic thumbprint cookies, made with a homemade chocolate cookie topped with a dark chocolate ganache and maraschino cherry.

The chocolate and cherry combination is delectable, eye-catching, and perfect for Valentine’s Day or the holidays and Christmas cookie exchanges.

Maraschino cherries not only add a stunning presentation, but the sweetness when you bite into the chocolate maraschino cherry cookies is over the top.

double chocolate cherry cookies

For more holiday cookies recipes try our thumbprint jam cookies, soft gingerbread cookies, and Christmas sprinkle sugar cookies.

Why Make These Cookies

  • Elegant presentation value
  • Homemade cookie that is easy to make
  • A fun topping for these chocolate cherry cookies that make them stand out from the rest
  • Great for parties, gatherings, and even holiday events like Christmas and Valentine’s Day
  • Fun cookie swap recipe
chocolate cookie with melted chocolate and maraschino cherry on top

Ingredients You Will Need

This section includes ingredient notes and substitution options. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.

Ingredients in glass bowls on countertop: maraschino cherries, heavy whipping cream, flour, cocoa powder, milk, salt, egg, butter, vanilla. sugar. dark chocolate chips, milk, sugar and egg
  • Flour – Basic all purpose flour. Make sure to measure your flour properly by scooping and leveling.
  • Milk – Any milk or milk replacement works.
  • Salt
  • Egg
  • Butter – I recommend using real butter (not margarine). If you use slated butter omit the salt in the recipe.
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Vanilla
  • Cocoa Powder – Classic or dark cocoa powder works great for this recipe.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream – You will use this for making the chocolate ganache topping
  • Chocolate Chips – I used dark chocolate, it gives the topping a rich flavor. But you can easily swap with semi-sweet if you want.
  • Maraschino Cherries – Drain and take stems off if your cherries have them.

How to Make

Step 1: Preheat the oven and grease or prep your cookie sheets. Then in a bowl add your dry ingredients together and mix to incorporate as the recipe below directs.

Step 2: Cream your butter in sugar in a stand mixer, and then slowly mix in the egg, vanilla, and milk. Make sure it is fully blended.

Step 3: Next add in the dry ingredients, mixing to incorporate all the ingredients.

chocolate cookie batter in mixer

Step 4: Refrigerate the cookie dough as directed to allow it to chill. Then bake as directed.

Step 5: When you remove the cookies from the oven use a spoon to make a hollow area in the center of the cookies, then allow the chocolate cookies to cool.

Step 6: Mix up your ganache, and then pour a little in the center of the cookie, and top with a maraschino cherry.

hand placing stemless maraschino cherry on top of chocolate thumbprint cookie

Variations to Recipe

  • Swap homemade cookie with a chocolate boxed cake mix cookie.
  • Instead of maraschino cherry in the center, use a cherry pie filling to add a cherry in the center.
  • Instead of chocolate ganache, use a hot fudge, chocolate syrup, or even a chocolate frosting.
  • Swap out the chocolate cookie for a cherry flavored cookie, vanilla, etc.
lined baking sheet with small chocolate thumbprint cookies topped with melted chocolate and maraschino cherries

Pro Tips

  • Make sure to not overbake the cookies. You don’t want your cookies to be dry and crumbly.
  • Ensure you drain the juice off the maraschino cherries, or they will make cookies soggy.
  • When making the indent in the center of the cookies don’t press too hard, just enough to make a little area for the ganache to go.
Chocolate cherry thumbprint cookies with maraschino cherries


You will want to store your cookies in an airtight container. Then I like to refrigerate my cookies due to the cherries. I find it will help keep the cookies fresher longer.

You can also freeze the cookies if you don’t want to eat them all right away. Just freeze for 2-3 months. Then thaw in the fridge overnight or on the counter for around 1 hour for a quick thaw if you want to eat just one or two.

More delicious homemade cookies recipes

Chocolate cherry thumbprint cookies on white plate
4.86 from 7 votes

Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

Author: Jaclyn
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 25 minutes
Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies are a fun twist on classic thumbprints, pairing chocolate cookies with a rich chocolate ganache and a sweet maraschino cherry.


  • ½ cup butter softened
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • cup unsweetened cocoa
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 24 to 30 stemless maraschino cherries drained and patted dry


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Beat the butter with a hand mixer or stand mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Slowly add the sugar, scraping the bowl down as needed. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla, blending until well mixed.
  • Sift together the flour, cocoa, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until combined.
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  • Using a small (about 1 tablespoon) cookie scoop, scoop dough onto the cookie sheet, placing the dough about 1 inch apart.
  • Bake for 10 to 13 minutes.
  • When the cookies are done, remove them from the oven and gently press the back of a teaspoon into the center of each cookie. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet.
  • Meanwhile, place the dark chocolate chips, cream, and butter in a microwaveable bowl. Heat in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.
  • Spoon a small amount of the chocolate into the hole in each cookie and immediately place a cherry in the center. Allow the chocolate to set completely before serving.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 135kcal
Chocolate cherry thumbprint cookies on white plate

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