Orange Poppy Seed Cookies

Please welcome guest author Garrett McCord who brought these cookies over today. They lasted about a second and a half. ~Elise

Generally, I stick to ice creams and sorbets come summer, it just gets too hot out to start cranking on the oven. Still, certain treats are worth the heat and when these orange poppy seed cookies bake it’s culinary aromatherapy.

The bright orangey flavors with the slightly citric and nutty, textural pop of poppy seeds make these cookies taste like bursts of sunshine itself. They’re easy to put together and during a season when lighter flavors just seem to pair so well with the warmer weather. The cookies are light and delicate yet pack in a lot of flavor, making them delectable for kids, yet still perfectly suited for bridal parties, baby showers, or other lighthearted events.

Feel free to switch out orange for lemon if you want something a bit more reminiscent of the classic lemon poppy seed muffin. If you do decide to use lemon, a novel option is to switch out the poppy seeds for a teaspoon of ground coriander and add it with the rest of the dry ingredients for a more Mediterranean, slightly savory cookie.

Orange Poppy Seed Cookies Recipe

  • Yield: Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies.


  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon of orange zest
  • 1 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds


1 Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

2 Add the egg and the orange zest, beat for thirty seconds, scraping down the bowl part way through to ensure even mixing.

3 In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly sift it into the butter mixture until just combined. Fold in the poppy seeds.

4 Place heaping teaspoonfuls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or Silpat, allowing them space as they will spread as they bake.

5 Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes or until just turning golden around the edges. Remove from oven. Let sit on the baking sheet for a minute or two to let the cookies solidify a bit, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Lemon poppy seed muffins here on Simply Recipes
Lemon poppy seed cookies from Chocolate Shavings
Poppy seed lemon loaf by Pille of Nami Nami

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Showing 4 of 39 Comments

  • Jennie

    Thanks for posting this recipe… I’ve been looking for it for ages! Back in college, my aunt would make these for me in care packages. I have always wanted to make them myself but she lost the recipe clipping she used back then. I’ve seen other recipes for these cookies, but they weren’t quite right. The pictures of yours look just like hers. Can’t wait to test it out!

  • Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet

    Yum, this sounds wonderful. I love the variation idea for lemon with coriander. Thanks for sharing it! Because I can’t have sugar right now (I react to it), I may have to find another way to get my cookie fix. Maybe maple sugar…

  • Meryl

    These look great. What is the texture like? Is it crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside or fairly crispy throughout?

    THey can have lightly crisp edges, but are for the most part soft cookies. ~Garrett

  • Sonya

    OMG these are fabulous! I skeptically eyed the glass of milk my daughter pushed my way, but wow, the flavor combination… a little like a creamsicle. Yum! Thanks for sharing this one. I’m thinking ice cream sandwiches made with these and some pure vanilla Haagen-Daaz will be a hit.

    BTW, was that supposed to be sift together the dry ingredients and then mix them into the bowl? I’ve never heard of slowly sifting into a bowl while mixing. That would’ve made a giant mess of my kitchen and KitchenAid!

    So very glad you liked them, and I love the idea of putting some ice cream between these! Just sift them into a bowl and then add, or pause the mixer to sift it in. Either way works fine and dandy. ~Garrett

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