If you’re a fan of carrot cake, you’ll love these carrot cake cookies, which are a carrot cake in cookie form! These soft and chewy cookies are made with a blend of shredded carrots and warm spices like cinnamon.
These cookies have a soft, cakey texture. I love the crunch from the added pecans, but if you don’t care for nuts, just leave them out.
The taste and the texture are excellent, and the cream cheese frosting adds another layer of sweetness to these delicious carrot cake cookies.
Why You Will Love Carrot Cake Cookies
Authentic carrot cake flavor is baked into an easy-to-make cookie.
These are portable, so you can just pop them in your mouth, which is more convenient than cake.
There are many carrots in this recipe and not much sugar, making them healthy carrot cake cookies.
They are the perfect spring recipe for Easter or any occasion.
For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below
Carrots – These cookies need finely shredded veggies. Don’t use pre-bagged julienne carrots because those are not shredded enough. Use a food processor, box grater, or mandoline slicer for shredding.
Sugar – This recipe doesn’t need a lot of sugar, especially with the rich icing. I use equal parts white and brown sugar.
Baking soda and baking powder – Using both baking soda and baking powder gives these a softer, more cake-like texture. If you want crispier carrot cookies, replace the 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder with baking soda.
Pecans or walnuts – Nuts are optional, but I love the little bit of added crunch. You could also use raisins in place of the nuts.
Cinnamon and vanilla extract – These give the cookies a warm and delicate taste.
Butter, eggs, salt, flour – These are the remaining baking staples used in the recipe.
How to Make Carrot Cake Cookies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. These are soft cookies, so it is critical to line the baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.
Grate the carrots finely using a food processor, mandolin, or box grater. If you use a food processor, you can put them in with the steel blade and pulse to pulverize them or use a shredding blade. Make sure they are very finely shredded.
If you are using nuts, then finely chop them.
2. Mix the Dough
Combine the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar in a bowl. Then beat with an electric mixer light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and use the mixer to mix them in thoroughly.
Mix the flour with the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a different bowl. Carefully add the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl of wet ingredients. Stir until well combined.
Add the shredded carrots and use low speed on the mixer to mix them in. Add the nuts now, too, if you are using them. Continue to mix until everything is combined.
3. Bake the Carrot Cake Cookies
The dough will be thicker and moister than most cookie doughs. So you won’t be able to handle the batter and roll it into balls. Use a cookie scoop or two spoons to drop spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until brown on the bottom and cooked through. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool.
If you didn’t use parchment paper on the cookie sheet, put a metal spatula under the cookies to loosen them while they are still warm, and then let them cool on the sheets.
Frosting the Cookies
The cookies have a simple cream cheese frosting, which you can adjust to the consistency you want. Make a thin icing for drizzling over the cookies or a thicker icing for spreading a layer over the entire cookie.
This icing recipe makes enough for a thick layer of frosting. So if you are just drizzling it on, as I show in the photos, you can cut the recipe in half.
You can also add food coloring to make orange frosting or create a cute carrot decoration on the cookie. For someone with my lack of cookie decorating skills, simple drizzling works best!
Make the Icing
Let the cookies cool completely before adding the cream cheese frosting. Use a mixer to combine the butter and cream cheese. Then add the powdered sugar, a little bit at a time, until mixed in.
Stir in the vanilla extract and milk. Add more milk for a thinner icing.
Carrot cake cookies with cream cheese frosting are perfect for a party or as an after-school snack. Serve them for Easter brunch or Mother’s Day, or anytime you want a tasty cookie. Of course, they taste fabulous with milk and make a wonderful dessert for a tea party.
How to Store
After frosting, you should only leave these out at room temperature for about 2 hours. Because of the cream cheese frosting, they should be stored in the fridge.
In the refrigerator, in an airtight container, they will keep for up to 5 days. Or leave them unfrosted and store them at room temperature in an airtight container.
Can I Freeze These Cookies?
Yes, they freeze well. Wrap in plastic wrap or put in an airtight container, and the cookies will keep in the freezer for 2-3 months. To thaw, take them out of the freezer and put them in the refrigerator overnight.
Key Carrot Cake Cookies Tips
Be sure to check out the step by step instructions
Use parchment paper on the baking sheets for best results.
The carrots need to be FINELY shredded. Don’t try to use pre-bagged julienned carrots; they aren’t fine enough.
If you plan to drizzle these with a glaze, you can cut the frosting recipe in half.
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- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ cups finely shredded carrot (2 medium carrots)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or raisins - optional
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon milk - adjust based on how thick you want your icing
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- Use a food processor, box grater, or mandolin to finely grate the carrots. If using a food processor you can put the carrots in with the steel blade and pulse to pulverize them instead of shredding them.
- If you are using nuts finely chop them.
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and continue beating until fully incorporated.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- Carefully add the flour mixture to the wet mixture until fully mixed.
- Put the mixer on low and add the grated carrots. If you want to add pecans, walnuts, or raisins, add ½ cup now. Continue mixing until fully incorporated.
- Using a cookie scoop to scoop dough into tablespoon-sized dough balls and drop them onto the prepared baking sheet about two inches apart. The dough will be more thick and moist than most cookie doughs.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they are cooked through and brown on the bottom.
- Allow them to cool completely before icing.
- Adjust the amount of milk to make the icing thick for spreading or thin for drizzling.
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter and cream cheese.
- Carefully add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time until it is fully mixed in.
- Add the vanilla and milk. If you want to drizzle the frosting add more milk for a thinner consistency.
- You can also add food coloring and pipe carrot design onto the baked cookies.
- If you want crispier carrot cookies, replace the 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder with baking soda.
- Use parchment paper on the baking sheets for best results.
- The carrots need to be FINELY shredded. Don't try to use pre-bagged julienned carrots, they aren't fine enough.
- If you are planning to just drizzle these with like a glaze you can cut the frosting recipe in half.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 159Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 97mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 2g
Nutrition facts are estimates.