Vegan Lemon and Poppy Seed Cookies

Did you know that there are numerous stories about how the shape of the pretzel came about? One of my favorites is that in 1477, a baker was sentenced to death for embezzlement. His only hope for a reprieve was that he promised his count that he would bake him a loaf of bread through which the sun could shine three times. The desperate baker drew inspiration from his wife's intricate embraces and invented the pretzel.
For today's pretzels, however, we only steal the shape of the Bavarian original. The dough is made from simple ingredients you almost always have at home. What's more, it's super easy to make. The special extra, namely lemon and poppy seeds, gives the cookies the finishing touch and a wonderful freshness. I think they are not only particularly suitable for the Christmas season but for any occasion. Whether you want to bake them just for yourself, share them with the family or bring a delicious treat to a party, I guarantee that everyone will love these pretzels. However, the development of today's recipe was less dramatic than in 1477, although pretzels can be pretty tricky. The combination of lemon and poppy seeds is definitely one of my favorites and can be found on our blog in a wide variety of combinations—as cookies, cakes, pancakes—and now in the form of these sweet little pretzels. I've tried lemon pretzels a few times, but often, the dough gets too soft, and the pretzels melt and are no longer recognizable as such.
After a few rounds of test baking, a bit of despair and a lot of experimenting, I have now come up with this recipe, which is guaranteed to make pretty little pretzels. The dough is very easy to shape and doesn't melt. My secret ingredient (coconut sugar) gives it that beautiful pretzel-brown color. Of course, you can also use any other sugar you have on hand.
Now, let's get to the ingredients! Let's do as our pretzel baker does and form lots of little hugs coated in lemon and poppy seeds.

R333 Lemon and Poppy Seed Cookies
Banner Steady

Vegan Lemon and Poppy Seed Cookies

approx. 20 pieces
40 minutes (+ 30 minutes resting time)


  • 175 g (1.5 cup) flour
  • 75 g (0.33 cup) coconut sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • 150 g (1.33 stick) cold vegan butter
  • 150 g (1.25 cup) confectioner's sugar
  • poppy seeds for garnish


  1. Add sugar, salt, poppy seeds and the zest of a lemon to a bowl and stir to combine. Add diced, cold, vegan butter and start incorporating with your hands. Add flour and knead until a smooth dough forms.
  2. Roll the dough into a log and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for approx. 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 180°C/355°F. Cut the cooled dough in approx. 20 slices and start rolling them into a thin ropes. Take the ends of each and form into a pretzel by first making a circle, then overlap the ends.
  4. Transfer the cookies onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for approx. 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cook out completely.
  5. In the meantime, combine confectioner's sugar and as much lemon juice as needed until a thick icing forms. Glaze the cookies and finish with a sprinkle of poppy seeds.
R333 Lemon and Poppy Seed Cookies
R333 Lemon and Poppy Seed Cookies
R333 Lemon and Poppy Seed Cookies

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