This Poppy Seed Lemon Shortbread Cookie recipe produces a classic melt-in-your mouth cookie that is wonderful for any occasion. Blue poppy seeds and lemon zest enhance the flavor of this butter cookie.

poppy seed lemon shortbread cookie

This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to the terms page for more information.

What is a Shortbread Cookie?

A shortbread cookie has a crumbly texture but don’t let this frighten you as it is not dry on the palate – but I always like to have a cup of tea when consuming these. It is typically produced in a round baking dish and cut into wedges, but you will also see shortbreads cut out with a cookie cutter (round and rectangular most often).

This Scottish origin cookie has a varied and interesting history which is thought to have started in the 12th century. I enjoyed reading this article on the history of the Scottish shortbread.

Tips to Make the Poppy Seed Lemon Shortbread:

  • Prepare an 8″ round cake pan by lightly greasing with butter. Then cut out a parchment circle that will fit into the bottom of the pan. You want the pan well prepped as the cookie is taken out of the pan by carefully turning the pan over.
  • Bring the butter to room temperature before starting this recipe. There is no other leavening agent in the recipe so you need the butter and sugar to aerate well during the initial mixing.
  • The dough will appear crumbly when you add it to your pan. This is expected and desired. You will know your dough is ready for baking when it still looks crumbly in the mixing bowl, but will form a ball when squeezed in your hand.
  • Lightly press down on the dough after adding it to the pan. You want an even layer and you do not want to compress it tightly.
  • Score the dough prior to baking by taking a sharp knife and creating four lines running across the diameter of the pan and crossing each other in the middle. This will result in 8 cookies – more lines may be added if you desire smaller cookies.
  • Press into the outer edge of the dough using a dinner knife to create a pattern around the outside of the cookie.
shortbread cookie recipe
poppy seed shortbread cookie

Poppy Seed Lemon Shortbread Cookies

This Poppy Seed Lemon Shortbread Cookie recipe produces a classic melt-in-your mouth cookie that is wonderful for any occasion.
5 from 10 votes
Course Dessert
Servings 8



  • 66 Grams Granulated Sugar (⅓ Cup)
  • 107 Grams Unsalted Butter (room temperature) (1 Stick / 4 Ounces)
  • 1 Zest from one lemon
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 145 Grams All Purpose Flour (1 Cup plus 1 Tbsp)
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Poppy Seeds


  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Prepare an 8" round cake pan by lightly applying butter. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of the pan.
  • Combine all-purpose flour and salt in a bowl.
  • Place sugar, butter and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (a hand mixer may also be used).
  • Begin creaming the sugar and butter together on medium speed. Continue to mix until the butter and sugar are light and fluffy (2 – 4 minutes), scraping the side of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the lemon juice and mix until incorporated.
  • Add flour/salt to the mixing bowl and mix on low speed until just incorporated. The mixture will look crumbly but should hold together when squeezed with your hand.
  • Stir in the poppy seeds by hand.
  • Pour all of the dough into the prepared pan. Using your palms, a dough tamper or a flat-bottomed drinking glass, press lightly on the dough so it is evenly distributed on the bottom of the pan.
  • Using a sharp knife, score the dough lightly by making 4 lines running across the diameter of the pan (resulting in 8 wedges).
  • Using a dinner fork, mark impressions in the dough on the outermost edge.
  • Bake 22 – 25 minutes. The top will be a light brown and the edges a bit darker.
  • Allow the pan to cool for 10 minutes on a rack. Carefully turn the pan upside down and release the cookie disk.
  • Flip the cookie disk over and, using a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut through the scored lines you created before baking. Place wedges on a rack and allow to cool completely before serving.
Keyword lemon shortbread, poppy seed shortbread, shortbread cookies, shortbread recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating