Citrus Poppyseed Lemon Cookies

These yummy lemon cookies have a delicious chewy middle, crisp edges, and a sweet citrus flavor. I love them with tea for an afternoon treat!

Citrus Poppyseed Lemon Cookies

Say hello to my new favorite cookies. I know, you’re not surprised, because you know how much I love lemon. But these(!) lemon cookies have that bakery-perfect chewy middle with a lightly crisp edge and a perfect balance of light & bright citrus flavor. A real treat, especially now that we’re entering the holiday season, although I would happily take one of these lemon cookies any day of the year.

This lemon cookie recipe comes from my friend Melissa Coleman’s book The Minimalist Kitchen. You may know of her blog, The Faux Martha. If you don’t, go check it out – you’ll absolutely love her. She has wonderfully approachable meal-time recipes, highly do-able organizational tips (check out her pretty pantry), and, man, can that girl bake.

Citrus Poppyseed Lemon Cookies

What I love about these lemon cookies is that they have substance – particularly from the cornmeal and poppy seeds. Plus, the mix of olive oil with butter gives them a bright flavor that brings out the citrus essence so well.
   Citrus Poppyseed Lemon Cookies

These photos actually make them look kind of small, but made with a 1/4-cup cookie scoop, these lemon cookies are a perfect 1-cookie afternoon indulgence with a cup of coffee or tea.

Citrus Poppyseed Lemon Cookies

For more cookie recipes, check out the dessert section of our recipe index!

4.6 from 5 reviews
Citrus Poppyseed Lemon Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This yummy lemon cookie recipe is from The Minimalist Kitchen Cookbook by Melissa Coleman.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12 large cookies
  • 2¼ cups-all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1 cup sugar, more for sprinkling
  • 1½ teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1½ teaspoons orange zest
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, poppy seeds, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, and zests on medium speed until well combined. Add the oil, egg, and lemon juice. Continue mixing until pale and evenly combined, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides as needed.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed ingredients, mixing on low speed until just combined. The dough will be somewhat dense.
  5. Using a ¼-cup sized cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet (note: these cookies will spread, so leave some room in between each one), and sprinkle the tops 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.
Tip: to bring butter to room temperature more quickly, cut it into skinny shreds, exposing as much of the surface area as possible.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite

    I love the idea of lemon poppyseed cookies! So unique and creative!

  2. Gaby Dalkin

    These sound DELISH!

  3. Lisa Ellsmore

    These are very tasty and it was nice to make something other than chocolate chip cookies! I used whole wheat flour and a flax egg and they turned out great!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Lisa, I’m so glad you loved them! Thanks for letting me know that it worked with a flax egg – did you use vegan butter?

      • Lisa Ellsmore

        Nope,I stuck with real butter for the flavor.

  4. Evelyn

    These are five-star cookies! Easy and so good.

  5. Natalie from

    I love citrus and poppy seeds combined! These cookies look so delicious and perfect for Christmas too!

  6. These are four-star cookies! Easy and so good.

  7. diane

    Just baked these and I would rate them pretty good at first attempt. For me they did not have enough citrus flavor. For my taste I’d cut back on the sugar a bit (maybe 3/4 cup) and use more zest and lemon juice, or a drop of lemon oil in the dough. The texture is really nice but when it says “take them out even though they look like they need another minute”, they mean it. They can overbake quickly. Next time I might also try brushing them with a lemon juice syrup glaze for extra lemon flavor.

  8. This looks delicious! I am sure I would try this at home when I have some free time and my small children would love them!

  9. S

    Which kind of cornmeal is used?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      just regular plain cornmeal – I get mine in the bulk bin at whole foods, I’m not sure if it has a brand name.

  10. C

    I couldn’t find poppy seeds at my local grocery store, could i use chia seeds instead? Or best to leave it out altogether?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’d just leave them out – I’m not sure what chia seeds will do since they have a way of thickening when mixed with liquids. I think the cookies will still be terrific without the poppy seeds. Hope that helps!

  11. A

    Can I sub earth balance margarine for the butter if I want to veganize this recipe? And do you know if I would use the same amount if I did that? Thank you! 🙂

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.