Add SES Support to a Cognito User Pool in CDK


Borislav Hadzhiev

Mon Apr 19 20212 min read


Photo by Ningyu He

In order to integrate SES in a Cognito User Pool in CDK, we have to use an escape hatch to update the `emailConfiguration` property on the `CfnUserPool` construct.

Integrating SES with Cognito User Pools in CDK #

Every time a user signs up for our application, or requests a password recovery, AWS Cognito sends them an email. By default Cognito sends emails from

The default email configuration has many restrictions and quotas, for example - we can only send 50 emails per day and the subject of the email has to be less than 140 characters long.

Since the Level 2 UserPool construct doesn't expose a property for integrating with SES, we have to use an escape hatch to update the email configuration.

In order to configure SES for a Cognito User Pool in CDK, we have to get access to the CfnUserPool construct and update its emailConfiguration property.

const userPool = new cognito.UserPool(this, 'user-pool-id', {

// ๐Ÿ‘‡ update Email sender for Cognito Emails
const cfnUserPool = userPool.node.defaultChild as cognito.CfnUserPool;
cfnUserPool.emailConfiguration = {
  emailSendingAccount: 'DEVELOPER',
  replyToEmailAddress: '',
  sourceArn: `arn:aws:ses:YOUR_COGNITO_SES_REGION:${

Let's go over the properties we've set for email configuration:

  • emailSendingAccount specifies whether Cognito should use the default email provider or our custom SES configuration. The DEVELOPER setting indicates that we'll provide our custom SES config.
  • replyToEmailAddress specifies the email address users will be replying to
  • sourceArn specifies the ARN of a verified email address. Note that cognito only integrates with SES in 3 regions: us-east-1, us-west-2, eu-west-1. The SES from-email has to be verified in the specific region, and your SES account must be out of the sandbox.
Cognito only integrates with SES in 3 regions - us-east-1, us-west-2 and eu-west-1 - Cognito Docs

Further Reading #

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