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Carrot Cake Cookies

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close up overhead shot of cookies on a cooling rack
This delectable carrot cake cookie brings all the flavors of a classic carrot cake in a portable and moist cookie with creamy frosting.
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Table of Contents
  1. Carrot Cake Cookies Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Carrot Cake Cookies Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

These decadent carrot cake cookies are a dream come true with a sweet, soft, and nutty cookie topped with a rich, velvety cream cheese icing. They are irresistible and taste just like an old-fashioned carrot cake in a tasty cookie form.

If you would like to try carrot cake in a cupcake form, try our carrot cake cupcakes or if you want to go all out and these cookies make you crave a classic cake, try our carrot cake recipe.

cookies piled on a white plate with glasses of milk in the back

Carrot Cake Cookies Ingredients

Carrot Cake Cookies raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

For the Cookies

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger 
  • 1 cup salted sweet cream butter, softened
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2¼ cups (4 medium-large) finely shredded whole carrots

For The Frosting

  • 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup salted sweet cream butter, softened
  • 3½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • green and orange food coloring, optional carrot decoration

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

CREAM CHEESE: Full-fat cream cheese is the best choice for the frosting but a reduced-fat version could be substituted instead.

RAISINS: If you want to replace the pecans in the cookie, you could add 1 cup of golden or sultana raisins in their place. If you would like to reduce the number of nuts, you could add ½ cup of golden or sultana raisins and ½ cup of pecans instead.

How To Make This Carrot Cake Cookies Recipe

For the Cookies

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

STEP TWO: Using a stand mixer, or a handheld electric mixer and medium bowl, beat the butter on medium-high for 1 to 1½ minutes.

Our Recipe Developer Says

When softening the butter, only soften slightly or the cookies will spread out too much.

STEP THREE: Add both the granulated sugar and the brown sugar to the butter and continue mixing for 1 more minute.

ingredients being blended together in a bowl

STEP FOUR: Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the vanilla and 1 egg at a time, mixing well after each egg.

STEP FIVE: In a separate medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, spices, and baking soda.

STEP SIX: With the mixer speed still on low, gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until the dry ingredients are incorporated.

the flour mixture being blended together into the bowl of ingredients

STEP SEVEN: Keep the mixer on low and add the finely shredded carrots and chopped pecans to the batter, mixing only until well incorporated.

PRO TIP:

To grate the carrots quickly, use your food processor with the shredding blade attachment. You can also shred them with a box grater.

carrots and pecans being added to the bowl of ingredients

STEP EIGHT: Using a 1½ tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Each cookie should be spaced 2 inches apart.

PRO TIP:

If you don’t have a cookie scoop, you can use either a measuring spoon or an ice cream scoop, keeping in mind that standard ice cream scoops tend to be about 3 tablespoons per scoop.

cookie batter being placed on a baking sheet

STEP NINE: Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Allow them to cool completely.

PRO TIP:

Pull the cookies out of the oven when the centers are slightly underdone. This will give you a chewier cookie.

For the Frosting

STEP ONE: With either a stand mixer or hand mixer and medium-sized mixing bowl on medium-high speed, cream together the cream cheese and butter for 1 to 1½ minutes.

PRO TIP:

Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature so that you don’t have any lumps in your frosting.

STEP TWO: Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the vanilla and powdered sugar, keeping the mixer on low until the powdered sugar is incorporated. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and continue mixing for another 1 to 1½ minutes, until the cream cheese frosting is smooth.

ingredients being blended together in a bowl

STEP THREE: Using a small offset spatula or silicone spatula, frost the tops of the cooled cookies, smoothing as you go. Make sure to frost right to the edge of the cookies.

STEP FOUR: Sprinkle the finely chopped pecans onto a plate. Gently roll the edges of the cookies in the pecans.

PRO TIP:

To easily chop the pecans, place them in a bowl and using a handheld pastry cutter, gently press down on the nuts to break them into smaller pieces.

cookies with cream cheese frosting being dipped into chopped pecans

STEP FIVE (optional): If you would like to decorate your cookies with piped carrot decorations, reserve two ½ cups of frosting, in 2 separate small mixing bowls. In the first bowl, add green food coloring adjusted to however light or dark green you would like for the carrot tops. In the second bowl, add orange food coloring to however light or dark orange you would like for the carrot body.

food coloring mixed into bowls of frosting

STEP SIX: Spoon each color into 2 separate quart-size Ziploc bags with a small snip in one corner, or in 2 decorator bags with a small decorator’s tip. Using even light pressure, form the body of the carrot using a zig-zag pattern with the orange icing. Using even light pressure, form the top of the carrot with the green icing. Repeat for each cookie.

PRO TIP:

If you want, you could sandwich the cookies with the icing in the middle like carrot cake sandwich cookies. Frost the outer edges as well and then roll in the pecans.

frosting being placed on the cookie in the shape of a carrot

How To Serve

Carrot cake lovers will enjoy these chewy cookies with a cold glass of milk or a warm cup of tea for a yummy bedtime treat. These would be a cute treat for your little people during Easter when they are looking for a quick snack.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Since the homemade cream cheese frosting is dairy-based, store the leftover carrot cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

IN THE FREEZER: The cookie dough can be frozen for up to one month. Allow dough to thaw completely before baking. The baked cookies can also be frozen for up to one month before decorating. Allow dough to thaw completely first.

close up shot of a cookie with a piece bitten out of it

The sweet and spiced carrot cake flavor is such a traditional and cozy taste. These delicious and easy carrot cake cookies with sweet cream cheese frosting are the best way to sneak in a serving of veggies while enjoying an indulgent treat. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I store these cookies?

You can store them in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for up to one month.

Can I add raisins to my carrot cake cookies?

Raisins would be a delightful addition to this already yummy recipe.

What is the easiest way to grate carrots?

To grate the carrots quickly, use your food processor with the shredding blade attachment. You can also shred them with a box grater.

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close up overhead shot of cookies on a cooling rack

Carrot Cake Cookies

5 from 3 votes
This delectable carrot cake cookie brings all the flavors of a classic carrot cake in a portable and moist cookie with creamy frosting.
Prep Time 13 minutes
Cook Time 33 minutes
Total Time 46 minutes
Servings 24 cookies

Ingredients
  

Cookies

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup salted sweet cream butter, softened
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • cups whole carrots, finely shredded (4 medium-large)

Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup salted sweet cream butter, softened
  • cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • green and orange food coloring, optional carrot decoration

Instructions
 

Cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  • Using a stand mixer, or a medium-sized mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter for 1 to 1½ minutes.
  • Add the granulated and brown sugars to the butter and continue to mix on medium-high for 1 more minute.
  • Lower the mixer speed to low, add the vanilla and 1 egg at a time, mixing well after each egg.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, spices, and baking soda.
  • Keeping the mixer speed on low, slowly add the flour mixture. Mix just until the ingredients are incorporated.
  • Keeping the mixer speed on low, add the finely shredded carrots and chopped pecans to the batter. Only mix until the carrots and pecans are well incorporated.
  • Using a 1½ tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop the cookie batter onto the prepared cookie sheet, spacing the cookies 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Allow the cookies to completely cool.

Frosting

  • Using either a stand mixer, or a medium-sized mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, cream together the cream cheese and butter for 1 to 1½ minutes.
  • Lower the mixer speed to low. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar. Keep the mixer speed on low, until the powdered sugar is incorporated.
  • Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and continue mixing for another 1 to 1½ minutes, until the cream cheese frosting is smooth.
  • Using a small offset spatula or a silicone spatula, frost the tops of the cookies, smoothing as you go. Be sure to frost to the edges of the cookies.
  • Sprinkle the finely chopped pecans onto a plate. Gently roll the edges of the cookies in the chopped pecans.
  • If you would like to decorate your cookies with piped carrot decorations, reserve ½ cups of frosting in 2 separate small mixing bowls. In the first bowl add green food coloring adjusted to however light or dark green you wish for the carrot tops. In the second bowl, add orange food coloring to however light or dark orange you wish for the carrot body. Spoon each color into 2 separate quart-size Ziploc bags with a small snip in one corner, or in 2 decorator bags with a small decorator’s tip. Using even light pressure, and a zig-zag pattern to form the body of the carrot using the orange icing. Using even light pressure, form the top of the carrot using the green icing. Repeat for each cookie.

Video

Notes

  • When softening the butter, only soften slightly or the cookies will spread out too much.
  • To grate the carrots quickly, use your food processor with the shredding blade attachment. You can also shred them with a box grater.
  • If you don’t have a cookie scoop, you can use either a measuring spoon or an ice cream scoop, keeping in mind that standard ice cream scoops tend to be about 3 tablespoons per scoop.
  • Pull the cookies out of the oven when the centers are slightly underdone. This will give you a chewier cookie.
  • Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature so that you don’t have any lumps in your frosting.
  • To easily chop the pecans, place them in a bowl and using a handheld pastry cutter, gently press down on the nuts to break them into smaller pieces.
  • If you want, you could sandwich the cookies with the icing in the middle like carrot cake sandwich cookies. Frost the outer edges as well and then roll in the pecans.

Nutrition

Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 194mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 2514IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Kristen Papucci says

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe! Made these for my most recent girls weekend. We’re in our 50’s. We did reduce the sugar (all types) by about 1/3 and they still came out amazing!