Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

These cookies deliver big lemon flavor paired with the slight crunch of a poppy seed coating. Allow 2 hours for the dough to chill.


Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

  • 1 cup (227 grams/8 ounces/2 sticks) unsalted salted butter, room temperature (see Kitchen Tip)
  • 1 cup (204 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2¼ cups (292 grams) unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (4.8 teaspoon) baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.5 grams) salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • Zest of 2 large lemons
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup poppy seeds


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt onto a sheet of parchment paper.
  3. Add the applesauce, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the mixer and beat until fully combined.
    Add the flour mixture to the mixer in two batches, making sure the first addition is integrated before adding the next.
  4. Place the cookie dough on a sheet of parchment or plastic wrap. Form into a 2 cylinders of equal diameter and twist the ends. The dough will be soft. Wrap each cylinder tightly with plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. (If you are not baking immediately, you can freeze the dough.)
  5. When you are ready to bake, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  6. Line another rimmed baking sheet or a baking dish large enough to hold the dough with parchment paper. Pour the poppy seeds onto the sheet. Unwrap a cylinder of cookie dough. Roll the dough in the poppy seeds and press lightly to make sure the seeds adhere to the entire surface. Slice the cylinder into ¼-inch slices. Repeat with the second cylinder of dough.
  7. Place the slices the baking sheets, spacing them evenly. (The cookies will spread a bit.) Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, until cookies are no longer shiny in the center, and are just lightly browned on the bottom, rotating the baking sheets midway through. Check the cookies while baking to make sure they don’t brown too much.
  8. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes; then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Kitchen Tips

  • If you would like to substitute margarine or coconut oil to make these vegan or pareve, the dough will be significantly softer and you will have to freeze it before proceeding with the recipe.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *