Orange Poppy Seed Cookies

Do you like lemon poppy seed cookies? Then you'll love these orange poppyseed cookies, flavored with fresh orange zest and poppy seeds.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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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Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a professional writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in many print and online publications such as Gourmet Live, Saveur, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, and NPR. Past clients also include numerous food companies, wineries, and distilleries. Garrett writes about cocktails on his website, Coupe de Grace.

More from Garrett


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

Showing 4 of 31 Comments

  • 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…

  • anya

    I was compelled to make these last night and they are just fabulous. I shared them with my household then took some to a choir group – everyone loved them! I topped some with powdered sugar thinking I would dress them up and wouldn’t you know everyone preferred without! Your site is the best and I hit it every time I need a creative boost in the kitchen. Thanks Elise!

  • Carol

    I have made these 4 or 5 times and they are amazing!!! I made them for a bbq last weekend; I accidentally bought a grapfruit instead of an orange (dumb, I know) so I went ahead and used the grapefruit zest and I added a little bit of lemon zest. The finished product tasted exactly like fruit loops cereal!!! Everyone loved them!

  • Jules

    My boyfriend loves moonseed so it was great fun to make these for him. They taste great. Just don’t put the dough in the freezer between batches! I did and the solidified butter did my second batch no good.

    Also, my batch got really big, whereas i was hoping for a nice thin cookie… did i put in too much baking powder?

  • Katie

    These cookies have become a favorite among myself, my family, my friends and my co-workers. They are extremely easy to make as well as easy to eat ;-p They look great, smell great and taste great! What more could you ask for in a cookie?

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Orange Poppy Seed Cookies