Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies



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These Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies have a soft and crunchy texture, accompanied by a bold and bright citrus flavor. Soft citrus cookies are the perfect thing to bring to a spring party or picnic.

Soft Citrus Poppy Seed Cookies

Monday was 96 degrees in LA. I literally don’t understand anything anymore.

This week has been a doozy since the beginning of it was spent attempting to get my life in order (read: taxes), which I did and feel wonderful about! YAY! I feel like starting a blog is all fun and games until you have to file taxes, then owe $$$$ and then it gets very real. Now that that businass stuff is settled, I can go back to concentrating on more fun stuff, things I actually enjoy like cookies and cake and salads.

What are Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies?

Citrus Poppy Seed Cookies are super soft and cake-y in texture. They have crisped edges and a hint of zest–perfect for a hot summer day.

Soft Citrus Poppy Seed Cookies

These Citrus-Poppy Seed Cookies come from my friend Melissa’s new cookbook The Minimalist Kitchen! It’s a gorgeous book and the ingredients and recipe are about having a pared down, minimalist kitchen. The book guides you to create a framework that touches on everything from your ingredients, tools, pantry and cooking techniques. The idea is that if you are following them, then meals can be mere minutes away—it’s a cool idea for a book!

How to Make Citrus Poppy Seed Cookies

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together. Set aside.
  2. Cream together the butter, sugar and zest.
  3. Add in the oil, egg and lemon juice. Continue mixing until pale and evenly mixed.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed ingredients.
  5. Scoop out the dough onto a prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes.

These are perfect for a brunch, spring get-together. They’re a little chewy, on the softer side and very bright! I love these little things. Recently, I’ve found myself putting poppy seeds in literally everything and love their floral quality to them.

Here’s a link to Melissa’s book and blog!

5 from 5 votes

Soft Citrus Poppy Seed Cookies Recipe

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 12 cookies
Citrus Poppy Seed Cookies are super soft and cake-y in texture. They have crisped edges and a hint of zest--perfect for a hot summer day.


  • 1 Electric Stand-Up Mixer
  • Oxo Medium Cookie Scoop



  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup granulated sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  • In a stand-up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar and zests on medium speed until well combined. Add in the oil, egg, and lemon juice. Continue mixing until pale and evenly combined, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides every so often.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the creamed ingredients, mixing on low speed until just combined. The dough will be somewhat dense.
  • Using a tablespoon-sized spring-release scoop (2-ounce scoop), scoop out the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Carefully roll or lightly sprinkle the cookies with sugar. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes. The cookies will seem like they need a minute longer, but take them out anyways. Let cool on the pan for 1 minute before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely, about 20 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


Zest Substitutions:
If you don't have any oranges, use 1 tablespoon of lemon zest.
Kitchen Aid Mixer | Oxo Medium Scooper


Calories: 279kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 96mg | Potassium: 47mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 236IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Like this Recipe? Please Rate & comment below!

If you make these Citrus Poppy Seed Cookies, let me know on Instagram.

Looking for more cookie recipes? Here are some other favorites:

Soft Citrus Poppy Seed Cookies

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Hi! I'm Adrianna and this is my cozy space on the internet that is super-charged by butter, flour and copious amounts of pasta. Stay awhile, will you!

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  1. I want to make these cookies for some quarantine baking, but I obviously don’t need all these cookies in my house . Can I use your cookie dough freezing technique with these? Should I roll them in the sugar before freezing them? Thanks!

    1. yes you absolutely can! i would say to roll them in the sugar right before baking (so after the freezing) and since i haven’t tested these baking from frozen, i would say to bring them to room temp on a baking sheet before baking.

  2. 5 stars
    I love, love, love these cookies. I’ve made them several times now. They’re easy to make and people really enjoy them!

  3. 5 stars
    Nha hang o Vinh – I love to keep things simple in the kitchen and your blog really helps me to accomplish my goals.

  4. Hi Adrianna,

    I would love to make these cookies but I have celiac :/ can you recommend a gluten free flour to replace the flour in the recipe?

  5. I love to keep things simple in the kitchen and your blog really helps me to accomplish my goals.

  6. Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies are everyone’s favorite snack, comfort food and traditional dessert, too. Thank you for your hard work.

  7. I just made these and am munching on my second cookie as I write. My cookies show more poppy seed specks than one ones pictured, but I’m fine with that. I amped up the lemon flavor with 1/4 tsp lemon oil, and now I think I’ll add 1/2 tsp next time for more lemony flavor. I got 24 cookies, using my #40 Piazza ice cream scoop.

  8. Made these with some leftover meyer lemons – their texture reminds me of those muffin top cookies Panera sells, but with the citrusy brightness and depth of flavor Panera wishes their muffin top cookies had!

    Great recipe – perfect for spring 🙂 Thanks for sharing!