clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies by Baking The Goods

Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews


These simple and sweet Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies start with a basic, buttery shortbread base. A light and fresh mix of lemon and poppy seeds is mixed in to brighten the easy slice and bake cookies with sunny flavor.


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 3-4 tablespoons sparkling, raw or sanding sugar


Mixing & shaping the cookies

  1. Measure flour, poppy seeds, salt and the zest of the lemon into a mixing bowl. Whisk together.
  2. Using  a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on a medium high speed for 3-5 minutes, until fluffy, airy and slightly lighter in color. Be sure to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times to incorporate all of the sugar into the butter.
  3. Add the almond extract and the juice of the lemon, cream for about 1 minute until blended.
  4. With the mixer on a low stir, slowly add the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Mix until things have just come together.
  5. Turn out the dough onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Gather together into a uniform disk by gently patting and pat to flatten the top. Use a knife or a bench knife to cut directly in half and set aside.
  6. Clean your work surface with a bench knife, then lay down a sheet of parchment paper. If you have a couple of empty paper towel rolls handy, have them available. Drop one of your dough halves on the parchment paper and use your hands to shape a rough log shape. Place on the edge of the parchment paper and gently rock back and forth to smooth out the edges and form a rounded, smooth log shape  about 1 -1 1⁄2” in diameter. Eyeball it to about the size of your empty paper towel roll.
  7. Roll the dough log tightly in parchment paper. Then twist each end of the paper into pigtails in opposite directions, one towards you and one away from you, to form a sort of locking mechanism. With each twist, the dough will compress and becomes smoothed out, think of it like a sausage in a casing. Roll from the center outward until you feel that you have a smooth, cylindrical log.
  8. Now you can get tricky, optionally, and glide that dough log into an empty paper towel roll. It should be a snug fit but should slide in and out easily. The idea behind the paper towel roll is that the dough is going to hold its cylindrical shape while it chills instead of the weight sinking and creating a flat bottom.
  9. Repeat with second log.
  10. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour, if not 2. This allows the dough to set up and hold its round shape nicely when baking. You can also freeze the dough at this point. Just remember to defrost it overnight in the fridge or at room temperature for about 30-60 minutes before slicing and baking. If it's too cold, the dough might crumble when you cut into it.

Baking the cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F and remove dough logs from the fridge. 
  2. Make an egg wash by whisking an egg with about 1 teaspoon of water in a small bowl.
  3. Unroll the first dough log onto a cutting board, on top of the parchment paper. Use a pastry brush to gently brush with the egg wash on outside of the dough log, all the way around. Sprinkle the sparkling sugar over the egg wash, all the way around the exterior, rolling the log as you go. It will adhere to the dough thanks to the egg wash. 
  4. Using a sharp knife, slice the log into 1⁄4” - 1⁄2” thick cookies. Roll the log 1/4 turn between slices to keep it from flattening out on one side. You should get about 16-18 cookies per log. Arrange them on a Silpat mat or parchment paper lined baking sheet in, evenly spaced, with at least 1" between each cookie.
  5. Bake for 16-18 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the bake. They should come out with a golden ring around the edge and be firm to the touch with just a bit of give in the center.
  6. Allow to cool either right on the trays or on a cooling rack.


Shortbread cookies have a great shelf life! When stored in an airtight container they can star fresh for a week or even two weeks. 

They also ship well since they stay fresh for so long. Which means they are a great gift to ship as gifts for holidays or pick-me-ups for loved ones. 

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Chill Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes