Lemon Crinkle Cookies with Poppy Seeds

The Recipe: Who else knows that some times, often even, only a lemon cookie will do? I've been looking for "my" lemon cookie recipe for a few years now but finally, I've found it! Lemon Crinkle Cookies are so bright and lemony, really charged with lemon flavor. And they have that much-coveted chewy texture too. Join me in Lemon Heaven, anyone?

The Conversation: Why we love to bake: instant gratification.

PS Who wants the recipe for Lemon Frozen Yogurt too? It's a good one!

Lemon Crinkle Cookies with Poppy Seeds, bright and lemony, really charged with lemon flavor.

Instant gratification. That’s why I l-o-v-e to bake. Cookies and cakes. Brownies and bars. Pancakes and pudding.

But supper? Supper takes effort. Planning, even perseverance. Answers to pesky questions like, What’s in the fridge to build on? Is the meat is thawed? What’s the vegetable? Is there salad?

Seven stinkin’ days a week.

I get it, I do, why cooks create a regular recipe rotation. Monday Meatloaf. Tuesday Tacos. Wednesday Wings. Thursday Thai. Friday Fish. Saturday Steak. Sunday Seafood. (Kitchen word dancing!) The same tried and true and much-appreciated family recipes again and again. No risk! No disappointment!

But baking? It’s sheer spontaneity. Check, you’ll see. Doesn’t even a small pantry have the ingredients to make Lemon Crinkle Cookies, no grocery run required? The one uncommon ingredient is poppy seeds but no matter, they’re nice here but not necessary.

ALANNA’s TIPS Don’t overlook rolling the raw cookie dough in powdered sugar, it’s what gives Lemon Crinkle Cookies that distinctive crinkle! Yep, experience talkin’. The poppy seeds add much to the appearance but aren’t otherwise essential. Vanilla adds a sweet undertone but to really boost the flavor watch for a thick, intensely flavored syrup from LorAnn called “baking emulsion”. Remember the much-loved and now much-missed Vanilla Paste from Trader Joe’s? It’s like that except in lemon, banana and other flavors. I pick up odd bottles at HomeGoods and TJMaxx but LorAnn emulsions are sold on Amazon too.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite lemon recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!


Hands-on time: 15 minutes to mix
Chill time: 4 hours or overnight
Roll & bake time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 6 hours
Makes 4 dozen small cookies
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/4oz/113g) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Zest of a lemon
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (no skimping, really)
  • 1/2 cup (100g) powdered sugar, for rolling

MIX With an electric mixer in a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until thick and creamy. Add egg, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice. Scrape the side of the bowl and mix again for just a sec.

In a bowl, stir together flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt with a fork. Add to butter mixture, mix until well combined.

CHILL Form dough into one or two rounds, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours or overnight.

BAKE Heat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form balls about 1” in diameter (12g by weight for uniform, evenly baked cookies) and roll in powdered sugar. Arrange the cookies on the baking sheet, leaving plenty of space between for spreading.

For chewy cookies, bake for 10 minutes until bottoms are just turning gold; for crisp cookies, bake for 13 until bottoms are golden. Remove from oven and let cool before moving.

Wonderful to serve with lemon sorbet or lemon frozen yogurt.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cookie Without/With Poppy Seeds: 53/54 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 9mg Cholesterol; 33mg Sodium; 8g Carb; 0g Fiber; 5g Sugar; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 1, PointsPlus 1 (but PointsPlus people, careful, 2 cookies add up to 3 points)

This Week, Years Past 2002 - 2013

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This Week, Elsewhere

Banana Cream Pie from Scape American Bistro
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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Carole3/14/2014

    Lemon -- my favorite flavor in the whole world! I wonder if (why not) these would make great slice-n-bake cookies, which I love for the convenience of serving fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies. Can't wait to try 'em!

  2. Carole3/20/2014

    This is definitely a keeper! It made a real hit with the residents at Manor Grove and I will do it again and again for other groups. Thanks for the perfect lemon cookie! I had the best luck with frozen slice-n-bake. First I refrigerated the dough overnight but it was still too sticky to slice, no great savings in time or effort.So I froze the dough in rolls wrapped in Saran. These sliced right out of the freezer perfectly! I use the little shaker/sifter from Pampered Chef to just sprinkle powdered sugar over each one.

  3. Alanna,
    Somehow cookies are not instant gratification to me--but having cookie dough in the freezer sure is!
    I always appreciate another cookie recipe, especially one different than my usual arsenal of chocolate chip varieties.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna