Orange Poppy Seed Cookies

BakingCookiePoppy Seed

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

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 / Reviews

  • 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

  • Sophia from Kitchen Caravan

    Poppy seeds remind me so much of summer, and your cookies look perfect for pairing with iced tea! Last night we made a birthday cake with lemon and poppy, and added coriander to the mix for added citrus aromas. Yum.

  • harrison

    Tonight I went on a slight cookie marathon. I used the recipes you’ve listed for peanut butter, butter pecan, & these. All of them were delicious. My friends were particularly impressed w/ the flavor combo on these guys.

    My first batch was slightly off. Having misread “heaping teaspoon” for tablespoon, they turned out a little large & misshapen. Their appearance did not stop my buddies from clearing the plate.

    And yes, I did get the second batch correctly proportioned!

    Thanks for the great recipes guys.

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Orange Poppy Seed Cookies