Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies
Soft Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies offer a delightful burst of citrusy brightness with a subtle crunch from the poppy seeds, making them the perfect light and zesty cookie for spring and summertime!
Why We Love These Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies
Today’s Soft Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies are my new favorite cookie…
I know, I know. I’ve said that before.
However, these pillowy little drops of sunshine are so tender and vibrant, you can’t help but love them!
Our Soft Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies are packed with lemon zest and poppy seeds for a tangy flavor that instantly makes you feel light-hearted.
Plus those poppy seeds give these cookies a wonderful pop of color!
These drop-style cookies take very little effort to prepare and retain their tender texture for days. They are a marvelous make-ahead for parties and weekend treats!
Just be sure not to over-bake the cookies.
The centers may look a little underbaked, yet the moment the edges are set and just barely showing color, take them out of the oven.
You’ll end up with heavenly Soft Lemony Poppy Seed Cookies that will make everyone feel like celebrating!
Perfect for summer or spring days when all you need is a fresh, sweet treat to brighten your day.
Ingredients You Need
- Flour – all-purpose flour or a gluten-free replacement flour will work
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda – to give them lift and crunch
- Salt – to balance all the flavors
- Butter – softened to room temperature
- Sugar – granulated sugar
- Lemon Zest – zest the lemon and then juice it
- Lemon Juice – for tang and extra lemon flavor
- Vanilla – for flavor
- Poppy Seeds – offer a bit of texture and go well with lemon!
- Yellow Food Coloring – makes them look extra lemony, but this is totally optional!
How To Make The Best Soft Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric or stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, 3+ minutes. Scrape the bowl and beat in the egg, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, poppy seeds, and yellow food coloring. Turn the mixer on low and add in the flour mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then mix until well combined.
Scoop the cookie dough onto the baking sheets in 1 1/2 tablespoon portions using a cookie scoop or spoon, and place them two inches apart. Sprinkle the tops with extra poppy seeds. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are just barely golden. Then cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week!
Tips & Tricks
- These lemon cookies are perfectly delicious just as they are, but you can also prepare a lemon glaze to drizzle on top to transform these into iced lemon poppy seed cookies! Just whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice! Or dip them in a homemade lemon curd!
- Stop baking your cookies when they just start to gain color on the edges! This will result in chewy, tender cookies. If you over bake these cookies, they will end up hard!
- The lemon zest is what give these lemon cookie the deep, citrusy flavor. Don’t skip it! The easiest way to zest a lemon is with a microplane, or the smallest holes on a box grater.
- Don’t over-mix the cookie dough! Another trick to soft, chewy lemon cookies is to mix the dough only until it is combined! Over-mixing can result in tough cookies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Definitely! Lemon poppy seed cookie dough will stay good in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just make sure to cover it well with plastic wrap while it is in the fridge. You can simply bake it from the fridge whenever you are ready!
No, you do not need to add lemon extract here! The lemon flavor comes from the lemon zest, so don’t skip it. The fresh lemon juice also adds more lemon flavor and a hint of tangy flavor!
Nope! Some people soak their poppy seeds in water to make them softer, but it really isn’t necessary. They will add a nice crunchy texture here.
Yes! To freeze, let the cookies cool completely. Then place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
See The Recipe Card Below For How To Make Soft Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies.
Looking For More Pillowy Cookie Recipes? Be Sure to Also Try:
- Elvis “Burning Love” Cookies
- Brown Butter Brown Sugar Cookies
- Freedom Cookies (Low Carb!)
- Fruity Pillow Cookies
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- Best Sugar Cookies
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Pillow Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts
Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds, plus extra for garnish
- 3-6 drops yellow food coloring, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 3+ minutes. Scrape the bowl and beat in the egg, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, poppy seeds, and yellow food coloring. Turn the mixer on low and slowly add in the flour mixture. Scrape the bowl, then mix until well combined.
- Scoop the cookie dough onto the baking sheets in 1 1/2-tablespoon portions, two inches apart. Sprinkle the tops with extra poppy seeds. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are just barely golden. Then cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes before moving.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.