image of a stack of lemon poppy oat cookies

Lemon Poppy Oat Cookies

These Lemon Poppy Oat Cookies are crisp on the edges and soft in the center. They are tender and melt in your mouth. The cookies are bright and delicious, with a little depth and love from poppy seeds.

When I created this recipe, it was a really rainy day. I was drinking rooibos tea with a splash of milk, my go-to on a dreary day. My dog lay by the window, aimlessly staring off into the gray mist. We both desperately needed a pick me up.

I rummaged through potential ingredients for a bake, and my eyes kept wandering to oat flour and lemons. I thought of fluffy, sweet and slightly sour lemon cookies. But before baking, I threw my dog a treat, of course.

image of dog staring sadly out window

Maybe it’s a little unorthodox to make lemon cookies with oat flour. I mean, who puts lemons and oats together? But I couldn’t get the idea out of my head that the oat flour would make lemon cookies super tender. They did…and I promise they don’t taste like oats.

Are these cookies gluten-free?

These cookies only use oat flour. I wanted the recipe to be simple and have the capability to be gluten-free. That being said, these are gluten-free if you use gluten-free oat flour! Bob’s Red Mill sells gluten-free oat flour online and maybe in stores too. If you have access to gluten-free oats, you can make your own gluten-free oat flour by following the directions in the next paragraph.

If you want to make your own oat flour, you can just use a blender or food processor to blitz any type of oats (make sure they’re gluten-free oats if you need these cookies to be gluten-free!). Blend them until they’re a powder-like texture. Check the oats’ texture after 15 seconds and go longer if necessary. If their texture is sand-like or with large coarse bits in it still, keep blending. Just be sure to measure the oat flour for the recipe after it’s been blended and not before!

Lemon Poppy Oat Cookies: Little details

The way I combine sugar and lemon zest is so the oils in the rind can really have a chance to permeate the sugar, making your cookies very lemony tasting. The texture of the lemon zest and sugar mixture should really look and feel like damp sand. Don’t be afraid to get your fingers a little messy in there! Give the mixture a sniff too, because it smells too good.

This is what your sugar and lemon zest mixture should look like after combining!

image of lemon zest and sugar mixture for lemon poppy oat cookies

When you scoop the cookie dough onto the baking sheet, there’s no need to press the dough balls down or anything of the sort. They spread beautifully on their own.

If you bake beyond the 10 minutes, the cookies’ coloring will turn darker quite quickly, so avoid this if you’re going for a lighter bake (the more typical coloring for lemon baked goods). They will also become crisper and lose the softness in the center. If that’s your preference, feel free to do as you please.

image of lemon poppy oat cookie dough balls ready to bake on a baking sheet

If you make this recipe, please comment and rate the recipe below! I love hearing from you all. Also, you can tag me on Instagram @higheralchemybaking with your bake!

image of stacked lemon poppy oat cookies

Lemon Poppy Oat Cookies

These are gluten-free and only made with oat flour! Their lemon taste and tender texture is sure to be uplifting.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Gluten-Free
Servings 20 cookies
Calories 116 kcal


  • Sheet pan


  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (about 3 small lemons or 2 large lemons)
  • 1/2 cup (227g) unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (200g) oat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds


  • In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest by rubbing the mixture between your fingers. Combine it until it resembles damp sand.
  • In another small bowl, combine the oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds. Whisk the mixture with a fork.
  • With a mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar/lemon zest mixture until creamy and light. Add the egg, lemon juice, and vanilla. Mix at slow/medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and mix at a slow speed or stir until just combined. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place into the fridge for 30 minutes (or longer).
  • 15 minutes before you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the fridge after at least 30 minutes. Use a tablespoon sized spoon or cookie scoop to scoop the dough onto the baking sheet. Leave about 2 inches between them.
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheet, then move them with a spatula to fully cool on a cooling rack (or just eat them warm!)


You can omit the poppy seeds.
If you have a microplane to zest the lemons, use that! The finer the zest, the tastier the cookies.
image of lemon poppy oat cookies and tea

These Lemon Poppy Oat Cookies and tea are classic.

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