Go Back
+ servings
Dulce de Leche thumbprint cookies filled with dulce de leche caramel and sprinkled with sea salt

Dulce de Leche Cookies

These are buttery, soft thumbprint cookies filled with creamy Dulce de Leche. Super easy to make and sure to please everybody!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Latin
Keyword dulce de leche
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 130 kcal
Author camila


Buttery Thumbprint Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter soft (226 grams, 8 oz)
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar 113.5 grams, 4 oz
  • 2 yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 318.9 grams, 11.25 oz

For rolling cookies

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar


  • 1 14 oz. can condensed milk or 1/2 cup store-bought Dulce de Leche


Buttery Thumbprint Cookies

  1. Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.
  2. Cream for 2 minutes until very light and fluffy.
  3. Add confectioner’s sugar and cream for another minute.
  4. Now, add yolks, one at a time, waiting for one yolk to incorporate before adding the next one.
  5. Add vanilla and mix.
  6. Then, add the salt and flour to the mixture and stir with a spatula to combine.
  7. Use a cookie scoop to form balls with the cookie dough.
  8. Roll the ball between your hands to smooth it out.
  9. Then, roll the dough ball in the granulated sugar.
  10. Place it on top of a baking sheet.
  11. Use the back of a 1/2 teaspoon to create an indentation on top of each cookie ball, depending on how big you scooped your balls, you might want to use a 1/4 teaspoon, if your cookie balls are smaller.
  12. Place cookie tray in the fridge or freezer for 15 minutes so the butter in the cookies can harden up and get solid before you bake.
  13. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
  14. Pipe some dulce de Leche on the center of each cookie, or use a spoon to scoop some dulce de Leche in the center of each cookie.
  15. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, until slightly browned on the edges.
  16. Let cookies cool down before serving.

Dulce de leche filling

  1. You can use pre-made dulce de leche, or make it at home. To make dulce de leche at home, you take many different approaches. Check the post above to read 3 different approaches on how to make dulce de leche from a can of condensed milk.
  2. My favorite way to make dulce de leche starts with an unopened can of condensed milk. Place sealed can in a pressure cooker with enough water to cover it plus at least 2 inches.
  3. Then, bring the water to a boil and cook under pressure for 30 minutes.
  4. Let pressure release naturally and let can and water cool down all the way before removing and opening the can.
  5. When you open the can, it will be a thick darkened caramel inside.
  6. Place contents in a container and put it in the fridge until cold and firm.


  1. Store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Let cookies slightly come to room temperature for 5-10 minutes before serving.

To freeze

  1. After piping the cookie balls, place tray in the freezer for 2 hours. Once cookies are completely frozen, you can place them in a freezer bag or container safely, because they won’t stick together.
  2. To bake, remove each frozen cookie and place them on the baking sheet, pipe dulce de Leche in the center, bake in the pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes.

Recipe Notes

You can add some salt flakes on top of the cookies once they have cooled down to make them Salted Dulce de Leche cookies!

The recipe for the Buttery Shortbread Thumbprint cookies can be filled with anything, use jams, chocolate, other caramels, or anything else you can think of!

Try to use a scale to weigh the ingredients. If the dough is too crumbly and dry, it's probably because the flour or sugar were over measured. In that case add a teaspoon of water or so in order to get it to come together.

Nutrition Facts
Dulce de Leche Cookies
Amount Per Serving (1 cookie)
Calories 130
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.