Carrot cake is always a favorite but sometimes you want to test something a little different and that's where these chewy carrot cake cookies come in! Filled with the delicious flavors that you know from the classic cake, they are a little bit of spicy deliciousness that are easy to make and can even be frozen. Plus there's frosting, so what's not to love?
Can you make these cookies into cookie sandwiches?
You may also make these into sandwich cookies. Spread the cream cheese icing over one cookie and place a second on top. They're appropriate with any form of a cookie, but circular cookies are most popular.
What you need to make carrot cake cookies
- Unsalted butter
- Brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Large eggs
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground ginger
- Ground nutmeg
- Shredded carrots
- Quick oats (not old-fashioned) or quinoa flakes
- Chopped walnuts
Cream Cheese Icing
- Cream cheese
- Unsalted butter
- Vanilla extract
- Confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
How to make the recipe
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Set aside a baking sheet(s) coated with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, using a stand mixer, blend the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Begin by adding one egg at a time to the mixture while beating well after each addition. Scrape down the beaters as needed. Add the vanilla once the eggs and sugars are well mixed.
Using a wooden spoon, gently stir in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and nutmeg until combined. Stir in the carrots, nuts, and quinoa flakes into the flour mixture until fully blended (you may need to do this by hand with a wooden spoon.)
Let the cookie dough rest in the refrigerator for at least six hours or overnight. You’ll get cookies with more depth of flavor and a more uniform shape that won’t flatten.
After resting, place heaping rounded tablespoonfuls of dough on the prepared baking sheet(s), spacing about 2 inches apart. With the palm of your hand, smooth out the mounds slightly.
Place the cookies on the baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Follow the recipe for baking times but rely on your senses when baking. Pay attention to how things look, feel, and smell to judge for doneness.
Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack before serving.
Make the icing
In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until fluffy on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the mixer as needed. At low speed, combine in the confectioners' sugar until smooth.
When completely cooled, ice the top of the cookies and garnish with finely chopped nuts if desired.
Cookie baking tips
A cookie dough scoop is one tool that will instantly elevate your cooking making process. Using cookie scoops make fast work of portioning out dough. My favorite is the medium scoop by Oxo, designed for easy scooping and consistent shaping.
If you’re using a stand mixer, finish the last of the mixing by hand. There’s always some unmixed butter and sugar at the bottom of the bowl, and this way you can get a more uniformly blended dough.
Storing the recipe
The cookies can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for up to three days after they have been frosted. The filling may be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated for up to three days.
These are delicious when baked and served soon after.
Can you freeze carrot cake cookies?
You may also freeze the cookies plain or frosted.
Allow the cookies to completely cool before placing them (frosted or unfrosted) on a baking sheet, leaving room between them. Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer and freeze the cookies until solid. Wrap each cookie separately in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag.
To prepare the cookies: Remove the plastic wrap from the freezer bag of cookies, and take out however many you want, removing the plastic wrap to avoid condensation. Allow 20 minutes for the cookies to thaw on the counter.
Butter should not be microwaved, as it will become too soft and spread when baked. Allow butter to soften at room temperature until soft enough to work with.
Only freshly grated carrots should be used. Grate the carrots on a box grater with small holes. Do not use pre-prepared matchstick carrots since they are too thick.
Old-fashioned whole rolled oats will not work in this recipe, but if you have them on hand, making your own quick oats is a simple process. Add whole oats to the food processor and pulse several times or until they resemble the texture of quick oats.
Butter or cream cheese should not be microwaved to make it softer for icing. Allow it to sit at room temperature if necessary until you can work it.
Chewy Carrot Cake Cookies with Cream Cheese Icing
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened (2 sticks)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 2 cups quick oats or quinoa flakes not old-fashioned or quinoa flakes
- ¾ cup walnuts finely chopped
Cream Cheese Icing
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup unsalted butter softened, 4 tablespoons
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet(s) with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter with both sugars until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time and beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides as needed. Beat in the vanilla.
- With the mixer on low speed, beat in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and nutmeg. Beat in the carrots, oats or quinoa flakes, and nuts just until blended (you may have to do this by hand with a wooden spoon.)
- Drop the dough by heaping rounded tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet(s), spacing about 2-inches apart. Flatten the mounds slightly with the palm of your hand.
- Bake until cookies are lightly golden around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on baking sheet a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the icing. In a medium bowl and using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the confectioners' sugar until creamy. Spread the icing over the cooled cookies and garnish with finely chopped nuts, if desired.