Toasted Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Rum & Ube Jam

Coconut & Ube Cookies

I consider myself somewhat of a Christmas cookie connoisseur.

Shortbread and gingerbread. Chocolate snowflakes and chocolate chips. Macarons and macaroons. Cookies in the shape of stockings and cookies in the shape of States. Those cookies with the kisses in the middle of ’em. Sprinkled, frosted, and glazed.

I’ve had them all. And I love them all.

In fact, every year my wife bakes dozens of chewy ginger cookies, chocolate snowflake cookies, and frosted shortbread cookies cut into various wintry forms.

This year though, I figured I’d add something different to the holiday sweets rotation with something Filipino-inspired and Filipino-flavored. And besides, I needed to find a way to make a dent in that jar of purple jam sitting on my counter.

Behold, Toasted Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Rum & Ube Jam!

Coconut and Ube Cookies

Ube and Cookies, together at last

These Filipinized cookies are really no different than the regular ol’ butter thumbprint cookies that inspired them. But subbing in coconut oil for butter, rolling the cookies in shredded coconut instead of sugar, and adding a dollop of homemade Rum & Ube jam do indeed make these cookies, well, different. Different in a very, very good way. The coconut oil lends a very rich, and I suppose tropical, flavor while the shredded coconut adds texture. And besides an earthy sweetness and kick of rum, the sweet purple yam jam lends that beautifully vibrant purple hue at the center of the cookie. Oh, and did I mention these cookies are completely vegan? No? Well, they are.

If you’re looking to get out of a Christmas cookie rut, these Toasted Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Rum & Ube Jam should do the trick.

Toasted Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Rum & Ube Jam

Yield: About 2 dozen cookies


  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces coconut oil by weight
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon rum
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Ube Jam (storebought, or Homemade Rum & Ube Jam)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, whip the coconut oil and the sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg and rum until just combined. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, slowly incorporate the dry ingredients in 2 batches, mixing just until combined.
  4. Divide the cookie dough into two separate balls. Roll each ball into a long cylinder shape about 1.5 inches in diameter. Wrap each cylinder in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  5. Place the shredded coconut in a shallow dish.
  6. Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Using a knife, slice the cookie dough cylinders into rounds that are about 1/2-inch thick. Press the rounds into the shredded coconut, making sure the coconut adheres to as much as the cookie as possible, then place the cookies onto the cookie sheets.
  7. Using your thumb, make an indentation about a 1/2-inch deep in the center of each cookie. Place a dollop of ube jam, about 1/2 teaspoon, in the center of each cookie. Sprinkle the tops of each cookie with more shredded coconut if desired.
  8. Bake the cookies until the edges are golden and the shredded coconut is toasted, about 15-18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking. Remove from oven and cool cookies on the baking sheets. Serve.



  • Jen December 20, 2014, 4:23 pm

    I made these exactly as instructed and my Italian husband, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law, who are hypercritical about food and prefer Italian cookies over everything were raving about them. I’m so happy that they like Filipino ingredients. Thanks so much. Next mission, cook them food off your Adobo Road cookbook!

  • Helen March 17, 2015, 10:18 am

    I really want to know how the Ube jam is created.
    After the color and consistency seems to be something creamy.

  • IslandangelAr Ofguam June 22, 2015, 1:42 pm

    Shared. This looks so delicious!

  • Kim December 1, 2015, 10:06 am

    Just was wondering what to do with Ube jam (as I was making it). I just wasn’t super excited to eat it straight – the texture and the low key flavor needed something “extra”. I decided after tasting it that I wanted to find a way it could serve as a filling instead of by itself, when I found your site, and your coconut thumbprint cookies with ube jam, just in time for holiday baking 2015! Thanks so much for the tips about adding coconut oil, and rum, incidentally. I added chambord instead, which is a berry liquor. AMAZING. Will be baking these up for our kids’ Fil-Am Friendship Club’s Unang Pasko potluck in another week. Hoping all the lolos and lolas, aunties and uncles will like it! Thanks again for the inspiration, and your honest, fresh, blogging style with the perfect dose of good humor just made my day! Thanks again for sharing.

  • Mark leitao August 6, 2017, 4:10 pm

    These cookies look amazing! Can’t wait to try! I just started my own cooking blog It’s new and a work in progress but i have a love of food! Your an inspiration and love reading your blog! I also have a love for Filipino food!

  • René J. Marquez February 18, 2018, 12:08 pm

    They’re not vegan—it uses an egg.


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