Vanilla Poppy Seed Tea Cookies are Sweet & Simple Little Wafers


Just before the holidays, Sarah alerted me to some unique dairy-free cookie recipes that had popped up on some mainstream sites. We both get excited when our little non-dairy niche hits a broader audience. One of the recipes was on The Takeout, and it was for some simple poppy seed cookies. They looked like wonderful little tea cookies, and I actually had everything on hand (even the poppy seeds!). So I decided to bake them up.

Poppy Seed Tea Cookies Recipe - naturally dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, and butterless

Vanilla Poppy Seed Tea Cookies are Sweet & Simple Little Wafers

After the first batch, I started making changes. The original recipe bakes these little wafers at 350°F for 15 to 18 minutes. I’m not sure what oven they use, but that burns them to a crisp in my little convection. They also had a flat burnt outer spread, which indicates too much oil, so I reduced the oil a smidgen. And while I was at it, I added vanilla.

After a few trials, I finally landed on the vanilla poppy seed tea cookies below. They’re soft and lightly chewy in the center, crispy around the edges, gently sweet, and bright with vanilla. And they really are a fantastic little treat with tea or coffee.

Popppy Seed Tea Cookies Recipe - naturally dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, and butterless

Special Diet Notes: Vanilla Poppy Seed Tea Cookies

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian.

Vanilla Poppy Seed Tea Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These light little tea cookies are a little like vanilla wafer cookies, but softer, littered with poppy seeds, and with a brighter vanilla flavor. Please note that I am baking with a convection oven. In that smaller space, the slow bake temperature and time worked best. But I've offered alternative temperatures with times below that might work better for your full-size oven and tastes.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 7 dozen cookies
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup poppy seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon oil
  • ¼ cup fresh-squeezed orange or tangerine juice
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat your oven to 250°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, poppy seeds, and salt.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs until foamy with a whisk or hand mixer. Mix in the sugar, oil, juice, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined. It will be goopy, like thick, sticky pancake batter.
  4. Drop the batter by the heaping teaspoonful onto your prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. They will spread into flat ovals as you put them on the baking sheet, but don't spread more while baking.
  5. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on how soft or crispy you like them. The lesser is for just baked, soft but lightly chewy cookies that are just golden around the edges, while the longest time is more golden all around.
  6. Remove the cookies to a flat surface to cool. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks, or freeze to enjoy them for longer.
Alternate Baking Times / Temps: The original recipe bakes these at 350°F, and they were done at around 7 to 10 minutes at this temperature. At 325°F, I found 8 to 12 minutes worked well, and they didn't go from golden to burnt as quickly. I prefer the slower bake above because it bakes the cookies more uniformly and offers more control over how golden you can bake them without risk of burning.

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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