Lemon poppy seed cookies add a dose of extra sunny cheerfulness to your cookie platters. They’re easy to make and the cream cheese adds amazing flavor.

Recipe Overview

Why you’ll love it: Make the dough ahead and it’s ready to bake whenever you want. It’s similar to refrigerated cookie dough you can buy but it’s so much better.

How long it takes: 15 minutes to make the dough, 30 minutes to chill it, and 18 minutes per batch to bake the cookies
Equipment you’ll need: mixer, cookie sheet
Servings: 4 dozen cookies

A stack of four poppy seed cookies in the foreground, and more cookies on a white pedestal dish in the background.
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Okay, so lemon poppy seed cookies are not chocolate chip cookies. They don’t even have ANY chocolate. Is that a 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 easy-to-make camp. You’ll love how you can prep this dough weeks in advance and slice and bake when you need them.

Not to mention, these cookies taste great all year long. Bright and sunny on cold dreary winter days and refreshing on sweltering summer days. I guess that’s one of the perks of them not being chocolate.

It’s always a good time for cookies. Can I get an amen?

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

I also love these poppy seed cookies with orange. The advantage of that recipe is that you don’t have to refrigerate the dough.

If you’re not crazy about poppy seed cookies, either omit them from the recipe or make these lemon sugar cookies.

About these Lemon 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.

What Are 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 thin slices, and bake. So simple and delicious!


Do you have to soak poppy seeds before baking?

When using the poppy seeds as a filling or in muffins or cakes, many cooks soak the poppy seeds in warm milk or water to soften the outer hull and enhance the flavor of the seeds. The soaking liquid is usually used in the recipe.
I don’t recommend soaking the seeds for this cookie recipe. There is no added liquid to soak them in and the crunchy seeds add a lot of texture to the cookies.

Are poppy seeds good for you?

Poppy seeds are rich in nutrients and antioxidants, and are very low in calories. Pretty good for a tiny black seed!

Storage and Make-Ahead Tips

Baked cookies can be stored at in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to one week or in the freezer for up to a month. Be sure the cookies are completely cool before storing.

To Make Ahead: Unbaked cookie dough logs can be stored in the fridge for up to one week or frozen for one month. If frozen dough is too firm to slice, let it set out at room temperature for 30 minutes. To bake, simply slice off what you need and bake as directed. Freshly baked cookies whenever you want them!

More Slice and Bake Cookies


Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies – Slice and Bake

4.50 from 8 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 18 minutes
Total: 1 hour 3 minutes
Servings: 4 dozen
Lemon poppy seed cookies add a dose of extra sunny cheerfulness to your cookie platters. They’re easy to make and the cream cheese adds amazing flavor.
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  • 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 cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • yellow sugar for decorating edges (optional)


  • 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.
  • 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 refrigerate overnight.
  • 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 ¼ -inch thick rounds. Place approximately 1 inch apart on baking sheet.
  • Bake cookies until golden around edges, 16 to 18 minutes. Let cool slightly before removing from trays; cool completely on wire racks.


  • Don’t have a stand mixer? Use an electric mixer (or arm power!) to blend the butter and cream cheese together; beat in sugar and the extracts. Stir in the flour mixture by hand.  
  • Dough can be frozen for up to two weeks. Wrap well in plastic wrap or foil. If dough is too hard to slice, let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Baked cookies can be frozen for up to one month in a freezer-safe container.
  • Yield depends on size of cookies. Nutrition information is based on 1 cookie per serving.


Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 143kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Sodium: 61mg, Potassium: 24mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 284IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 18mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4.50 from 8 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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  1. Clarence wilson says:

    These look amazing! I’m going to make this and i try to impress to my family, Thanks for sharing

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I hope they love them as much as we do!