Aguonu Sausainiukai: Lithuanian Poppy Seed Cookies

Aguonu Sausainiukai
Foodcollection / Getty Images
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
239 Calories
18g Fat
14g Carbs
9g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 239
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 82mg 27%
Sodium 232mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 6g 23%
Protein 9g
Calcium 454mg 35%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for Lithuanian poppy seed cookies, or aguonu sausainiukai, are dropped cookies that can be dusted with confectioners' sugar or left plain.

Poppy seeds are omnipresent in Lithuanian cuisine and appear in everything from savory foods and noodles to desserts.


  • 1 (12.5-ounce) can poppy seed filling
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Optional: confectioners sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large bowl, combine 1 (12.5-ounce) can poppy seed filling and 3 large room-temperature eggs.

  3. Add 2 tablespoons room-temperature sour cream, 2 tablespoons melted and cooled butter, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon vanilla, a pinch of salt, and 1 cup all-purpose flour, mixing thoroughly.

  4. Heat oven to 350 F. Scoop cookie dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Tamp down with the bottom of a flour-dusted glass.

  5. Bake until cookies are golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cookies on the baking sheets..

  6. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired. Store in an airtight container.


  • Canned poppy seed filling is available in markets in Eastern Europe, but the best flavor is achieved by grinding one’s own in a grinder specially made for poppy seeds.

Poppy Seeds in Eastern Europe

In Eastern Europe, poppy seeds appear in everything from sweet to savory foods. The tiny seeds, representing coins, are a symbol of wealth and, as such, figure prominently at Christmastime and New Year's expressing hoped-for prosperity in the coming year.

Eastern Europeans like to sprinkle whole poppy seeds on breads, rolls, cookies, and in salad dressings, but more often than not, they are ground or crushed to release their flavor in a special grinder or in a ridged bowl with a tool known as a makutra in Poland then used in pastries or with buttered noodles.

Probably the most popular pastry is poppy seed roll, also called poppy seed strudel and known variously as makowiec in Poland, mákos bejgli in Hungary, bulochki s makom in Russia, makový závin in the Czech Republic, makovník in Slovakia, aguonų vyniotinis in Lithuania, makovnjača in Croatia, and ruladă cu mac or ruladă cu nuci in Romania. The poppy seed roll is an indispensable dessert for the holidays, especially Christmas and Easter.

Many Eastern Europeans grow the variety of poppy known as papaver somniferum in their organic gardens (no pesticides or herbicides) with the specific intention of harvesting the seeds from the dried seed pod or capsule. The test to know if the pod is ready is to shake it. If the seeds can be heard rattling around, they’re ready.