These lemon poppy seed cookies will be a dose of extra sunny cheerfulness on your cookie platters. They’re easy to make and the cream cheese adds an amazing depth to the flavor.

A stack of four poppy seed cookies in the foreground, and more cookies on a white pedestal dish in the background.

Okay, so lemon poppy seed cookies are not chocolate and mint or gingerbread. Is that a Christmas sin?

Oh well. If lemon poppy seed is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Closeup front view of four stacked cookies on a burlap cloth.

And slice and bake cookies clearly fall within the Christmas-spirit camp. Especially since you can prep this dough weeks in advance and slice and bake when you need them.

Not to mention, these would taste great all year long. I guess that’s one of the perks of them not being chocolate & mint or gingerbread. 

Overhead of four cookies layered on burlap cloth with cut lemon and pedestal platter in background.

Although I have no issues whatsoever eating those year-round either. It’s always a good time for cookies. Can I get an amen?

Did you know that poppy seeds are actually good for you? They are rich in nutrients and antioxidants, and are very low in calories. Pretty good for a tiny black seed!

I also love these poppy seed cookies with orange. The advantage of that recipe is that you don’t have to refrigerate the dough. And who doesn’t like creamy poppy seed dressing on a leafy salad with strawberries and pecans? My family loves these lemon poppyseed pancakes, too!

About these Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

The addition of cream cheese makes these cookies super flavorful and rich. They practically melt in your mouth. You’ll love the buttery, lemony taste.

Four poppy seed cookies stacked on burlap, with cut lemon and pedestal dish holding more cookies in background.

If you aren’t familiar with slice and bake cookies, here’s the low down. Basically, you make cookie dough (and there are LOTS of variations), roll the dough into a log shape (like PlayDough), wrap it well in parchment paper or waxed paper, and refrigerate or freeze it. When you’re ready to bake cookies, simply unwrap the dough log, slice off 1/4 inch slices, and bake. So simple and delicious!

Used for this recipe:


Looking for more easy slice and bake cookies?


Front view of four poppy seed cookies stacked on burlap cloth.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies with Cream Cheese

Yield: 48 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 3 minutes

These lemon poppy seed cookies will be a dose of extra sunny cheerfulness on your cookie platters. They’re easy to make and the cream cheese adds an amazing depth to the flavor.


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 ounces room temperature cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • yellow sugar for decorating edges (optional)


  1. Whisk flour, salt, lemon zest, and poppy seeds in a large bowl; set aside. Place butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy (approximately 2 minutes). Add sugar, vanilla and lemon extract and mix until combined. While mixer is running on low-speed, add flour mixture, and continue to mix until just combined.

  2. Transfer half of dough to a large sheet of parchment paper. Shape into a long log about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap in parchment paper and repeat with other half of the dough. Freeze until firm, at least 30 minutes or up to 2 weeks.

  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Unwrap one log, roll in yellow sugar if desired. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place approximately 1 inch apart on baking sheet.

  4. Bake cookies until golden around edges, 16 to 18 minutes. Let cool slightly before removing from trays and letting cool completely on wire racks.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 48 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 80Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 59mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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