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Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

These vegan lemon poppy seed cookies are soft and chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside. They’re super simple to make with no complicated ingredients!

Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies With Icing On Top

I’m back again with another cookie recipe! This time it’s vegan lemon and poppy seed cookies. These are bursting with a fresh citrusy flavour so they’re great to enjoy during the spring and summer months.

If you’ve never made vegan cookies before, don’t worry! It is totally possible to make soft, chewy cookies without eggs or dairy and there’s no need for any complicated methods or ingredients. In just 30 minutes from start to finish, you’ll have a fresh batch of cookies ready to enjoy. Let’s get started!


Here’s what you’ll need…

  • Flax seeds: Flax seeds are a common egg substitute, used to bind the cookie ingredients together. Make sure to use ground flax seeds so that they can absorb the water properly.
  • Vegan margarine: Although both are technically margarine because they’re made with oils, use the soft type, not the blocky type for this recipe. I like Vitalite and Pure sunflower spread.
  • Sugar: You’ll need a mixture of caster sugar and soft light brown sugar to make these cookies. This will give you that perfect soft and chewy combo!
  • Lemon extract: To enhance the flavour.
  • Flour: Unlike many other cookie recipes, this one uses self-raising flour. This saves the need to add any baking powder separately.
  • Poppy seeds: Of course, we need some poppy seeds to make these cookies! 1 tablespoon is plenty.
  • Lemon: You’ll need to grate the zest off of the lemon for the cookie dough plus use some of the juice for the icing.
  • Icing sugar: For the drizzle of icing to go on top. This is also known as powdered or confectioner’s sugar.


Aside from the ingredients, you will also need the following…

  • Baking tray and baking paper: These are quite large cookies so you’ll only be able to bake about 5 per tray without them sticking together. You can either line two trays or just reuse the same one after the first batch is done.
  • Mixing bowls: You’ll need a large one for making the dough, a small bowl for making the flax ‘egg’ and another small bowl for making the icing.
  • Utensils: A wooden spoon, a few teaspoons and a tablespoon.
  • Grater: To get the zest off of your lemon.
  • Piping bag: This is optional but it makes it easier to ice the cookies quickly and neatly. You can use a teaspoon instead if you prefer.
Stack Of Cookies

How to make vegan lemon poppy seed cookies

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 180°C and line one or two large baking trays with baking paper.

Step 2: Let’s start by preparing our flax ‘egg’. In a small bowl or mug, mix together 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds and 1 tablespoon of cold water. Leave it to sit for a few minutes until it becomes thick and gloopy. This will help the rest of the ingredients bind together, preventing crumbly cookies.

Step 3: In a large bowl, cream together 200g of vegan margarine, 150g of caster sugar and 100g of soft light brown sugar. Then stir in the flax egg and 1 teaspoon of lemon extract.

Wet Mixture In A Bowl

Step 4: Next, add 320g of self-raising flour to the bowl and mix it in. When you can feel it’s starting to stick together, use your hands to press it into a ball of cookie dough.

Step 5: Grate the zest off of 1 lemon and add it to the cookie dough along with 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds. Use your hands to evenly distribute it into the dough.

A Ball Of Lemon Poppy Seed Dough

Step 6: Divide the dough into 12 equal-sized pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Gently press on each one until they’re around 1 inch thick.

Step 7: Place the cookies on the tray, leaving a couple of inches of space in between them to allow for spreading. I typically bake 5 per tray.

Balls Of Cookie Dough On Lined Tray

Step 8: Bake for around 12 minutes, or until the cookies are just starting to turn golden brown at the edges. They should still be a bit soft and pale in the middle- don’t let them turn golden brown all over or they’ll end up hard and crunchy. Leave them on the tray to cool completely.

Step 9: While the cookies are cooling, prepare the icing by mixing 120g of icing sugar and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice together.

Step 10: Pipe or drizzle the icing over the cooled cookies. If you like, you can sprinkle some extra lemon zest and poppy seeds on top. Then all that’s left to do is enjoy!

Top tips for vegan cookies

  1. If your cookie dough is too wet, add more flour. If it’s too dry, you can add a splash of plant-based milk to help it come together.
  2. Make sure the lemon zest is dry before you add it to the dough. If there’s any moisture on there, it’ll cause the dough to become wet (in which case, see tip 1).
  3. Use soft, spreadable vegan margarine rather than the blocky type. The block has more fat and less moisture than the spreadable one, meaning the end result will be different.


How long do vegan lemon poppy seed cookies last?

If you keep them in an airtight container, they’ll last for up to 5 days. It’s best to keep them in a cool, dry location such as the kitchen cupboard.

Can they be frozen?

Yes. These cookies can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Alternatively, put them onto a baking tray and freeze them until solid, then pop them into freezer bags. To defrost them, let them sit out at room temperature for an hour or two until thawed. Do not refreeze.

Can I make them gluten-free?

You can but you will need to make a few adjustments, mainly using a gluten-free self-raising flour blend and more of it. I recommend using my gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe, switching out the chocolate for the lemon zest and poppy seeds.

Hand Holding Up A Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cookie

More lemon cookies:

I hope you like these vegan lemon poppy seed cookies. If you try them at home, leave a comment and rating below to let me know what you think. Enjoy!

Thumbnail Image Of Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies
5 from 1 vote

Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

Soft and chewy lemon poppy seed cookies with a drizzle of zesty lemon icing- all without eggs or dairy!

Course Dessert
Cuisine vegan
Keyword vegan lemon poppy seed cookies
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 12 cookies
Calories 304 kcal


  • 1 Tablespoon Ground flax seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon Cold water
  • 200 g Dairy-free margarine use the soft spread rather than the block (¾ cup + 1 tablespoon)
  • 150 g Caster sugar (¾ cup)
  • 100 g Soft light brown sugar (½ cup)
  • 1 Teaspoon Lemon extract
  • 320 g Self-raising flour (2+½ cups)
  • Zest of 1 Lemon (make sure it's dry)
  • 1 Tablespoon Poppy seeds

Optional icing:

  • 120 g Icing sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat your oven to 180℃/350℉ (160℃/325℉ for fan/convection ovens).

  2. Line a large baking tray or two with baking paper.

  3. Mix the flax seeds and water together and leave it to sit at room temperature for a few minutes until thick and gloopy. Set aside for now- this will be your flax 'egg'.

  4. In a large bowl, mix together the margarine, caster sugar and brown sugar. Once smooth, add in your flax egg and the lemon extract. Mix well.

  5. Now add all of the self-raising flour and stir it in. When the mixture is starting to stick together, use your hands to press it into a ball of dough. If the dough is too wet, add more flour and if it's too dry, add a splash of plant-based milk.

  6. Add the lemon zest and poppy seeds and gently knead them into the dough with your hands.

  7. Divide the dough into 12 equal-sized pieces and roll into balls. Gently flatten them with your fingers until around 1 inch thick.

  8. Place them on the tray, leaving a few inches of space in between to allow for spreading. I typically bake 5 per tray at a time.

  9. Bake for around 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are just turning slightly golden brown at the edges. They'll look a bit underdone when you take them out but will become firm and chewy once cooled. Don't continue baking or they'll end up hard and crispy.

  10. Let the cookies cool completely before taking them off the tray.


  1. Mix the icing sugar and lemon juice together. To make it thicker, use more icing sugar and to make it thinner, use more lemon juice.

  2. Drizzle or pipe the icing on top of the cooled cookies and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies
Amount Per Serving (1 cookie)
Calories 304 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Sodium 96mg4%
Potassium 12mg0%
Carbohydrates 50g17%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 31g34%
Protein 3g6%
* All values are an estimate only and will vary depending on the food brands used.
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