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Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

If you love lemon treats, you’ll adore these lemon poppy seed cookies! These soft cookies feature plenty of lemon flavor plus the delicate crunch of poppy seeds, all topped with a sweet lemon glaze.

lemon poppy seed cookies on a baking sheet

There’s something undeniably refreshing about the bright, zesty flavor of lemons, and these lemon poppy seed cookies capture that essence perfectly. With the perfect balance of tangy lemon juice, fragrant zest, and the delightful crunch of poppy seeds, these cookies are a treat for the senses. Topped with a sweet and tangy lemon glaze, they are full of flavor no lemon lover can resist!

Why You’ll Love These Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

  • Bursting with flavor. These cookies are packed with the vibrant, fresh taste of real lemon juice and zest, giving every bite a refreshing zing.
  • Perfectly balanced. The subtle crunch of poppy seeds adds a delightful texture, complementing the soft and chewy cookie base.
  • Easy to make. Simple ingredients and straightforward steps make this recipe perfect for bakers of all skill levels.
  • Versatile. Whether you’re looking for a refreshing snack, a lovely addition to a brunch spread, or a delightful gift, these cookies are sure to impress.
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overhead view of ingredients for lemon poppy seed cookies

What You’ll Need

See the recipe card below for the full recipe, including ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • All-purpose flour – Measure by weight or use the spoon and sweep method. Learn more: How to Measure Flour
  • Poppy seeds
  • Baking powder
  • Cornstarch – This helps give your cookies a soft texture.
  • Salt
  • Granulated sugar
  • Lemons – You’ll need both lemon zest and juice for this recipe.
  • Unsalted butter – Let this soften at room temperature before mixing. Learn more: How to Soften Butter
  • Eggs – Set these out along with the butter so they can come to room temperature.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar – Also known as powdered sugar or 10x sugar.

How to Make Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

  • Prepare for baking. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
  • Mix the dry ingredients. Combine the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt.
  • Combine the sugar and zest. Mix until crumbly and aromatic.
  • Mix the wet ingredients. Beat the butter with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, and then add the sugar mixture. Then add the eggs, followed by the lemon juice and vanilla extract.
  • Finish mixing. Gradually mix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients.
  • Portion and bake. Roll 1-tablespoon portions of the cookie dough into balls. Place on the prepared pans, and bake 15 minutes or until golden.
  • Cool. Let the cookies cool on the pans for a few minutes, and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Make the glaze. Stir together the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice. Spoon or drizzle over the cookies, and add more zest or poppy seeds for garnish if you like.
overhead view of lemon poppy seed cookies on parchment paper with lemon slices and a small bowl of poppy seeds

Tips for Success

  • Use fresh lemons. You’ll get the best, brightest flavor with fresh lemon juice and zest.
  • Chill if needed. If your kitchen is warm, you may want to chill the dough before baking to keep the cookies from spreading too much. Even 20 or 30 minutes in the refrigerator can make a difference.
  • Use a cookie scoop. It makes quick work of portioning and ensures all your cookies are the same size so they’ll bake evenly.
  • Don’t over-bake. Take the cookies out of the oven when the edges are just beginning to turn golden brown. That will give your cookies a soft texture.
half of a lemon poppy seed cookie on top of another cookie


  • Orange or lime. Swap out the lemon juice and zest for orange or lime for a different citrusy twist.
  • Almond. Substitute almond extract and sprinkle sliced almonds on top before baking for a nutty flavor.
  • Lemon curd. Instead of the glaze, top each cookie with a dollop of lemon curd for a bold, fresh lemon flavor.
  • Keep it simple. Skip the glaze for simpler, less sweet treat.
overhead view of lemon poppy seed cookies on a dark blue plate

How to Store

Place the cooled cookies in an airtight container and store up to 3 days.

Can These Cookies Be Frozen?

Yes, you can freeze these lemon poppy seed cookies either before or after baking. To freeze the unbaked cookies, shape as directed and place the cookie dough balls close together without touching on a rimmed baking sheet. Place the pan in the freezer until solid (2-3 hours) and then seal them in a freezer container to store up to 3 months. When you’re ready to bake, just add a couple of extra minutes to the baking time.

To freeze after baking, you can place unglazed cookies in a resealable freezer container. For glazed cookies, first freeze them on a rimmed baking sheet until the glaze has set before placing them in the container. Properly stored, the cookies should keep in the freezer up to 3 months.

close-up of a lemon poppy seed cookie topped with lemon glaze, lemon zest, and poppy seeds

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

Yield 40 cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

These lemon poppy seed cookies are bursting with fresh lemon flavor and topped with a tangy lemon glaze. Easy to make and irresistibly delicious, they're perfect for any occasion!

lemon poppy seed cookies on a baking sheet


For the cookies:

  • 2 & 1/2 cups (300g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the glaze:

  • 2 cups (220g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • additional lemon zest and poppy seeds for garnish


To make the cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
  2. Whisk together the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest until crumbly and aromatic. 
  4. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter until light and fluffy. Then mix in the sugar mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the lemon juice and vanilla. Mix well.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing just until a soft dough forms.
  6. Using a tablespoon of dough at a time, roll the dough into balls and place on the prepared baking sheets, space them about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake one pan at a time for 15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden.
  8. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze:

  1. Whisk together the confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice until the mixture is smooth and a good consistency for drizzling. Add small amounts of lemon juice until the glaze is the desired consistency.
  2. Once the cookies are completely cooled, drizzle the glaze over the tops of the cookies using a spoon or a piping bag. Sprinkle a more lemon zest and/or poppy seeds over the glaze if desired. Allow the glaze to set before storing or serving.

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    2 Comments on “Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies”

  1. These cookies are delicious! Love the lemon flavor! Will definitely make these again!

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