These carrot cake cookies are moist, oatmeal-based cookies that come together in a flash. They are topped with a generous topping of signature sweet cream cheese frosting (and sprinkles, if you’re feeling festive). These bite-sized treats are much simpler than making a whole cake!
I know I just posted a carrot cake recipe a few days ago, but with Easter right around the corner I’m feeling in the mood for all the carrot-based desserts, and I wanted to re-share another older recipe with you.
I was never happy with my original photos for these carrot cake cookies (taken two years ago!), so I’ve pretty much neglected them for some time, despite the fact that they are one of my favorite cookies… even though they are made with carrots.
As with my cheesecake layered carrot cake, I think a lot of that has to do with the copious amounts of cream cheese frosting piled high atop each and every carrot cake cookie.
In fact, when I first set out to make these carrot cake cookies, I was really setting out to make a tasty vehicle by which to transport hefty servings of cream cheese frosting to my mouth.
I think that I accomplished my goal, but to just talk about the cream cheese icing really robs these cookies of a lot of their due credit.
A lot of thought and care really did go into the recipe for this “cream cheese frosting vehicle”. I wanted cookies that were soft and moist (because that’s how carrot cake needs to be), but still sturdy enough to hold said copious amounts of frosting. Enough flavor to be delicious even on their own, without a frosting crown.
And with or without some festively (carrot) colored sprinkles.
It took a few tries to get these just right, but here they are.
As I said, these cookies can be eaten plain (but why would you want to when there’s cream cheese frosting to be made). They have an oatmeal base and a distinct carrot-cake flavor. If you’d like, you can absolutely add raisins to your own cookies (a common feature in many carrot cakes), but as I’ve mentioned in the past, I don’t like raisins and so they have been omitted here.
Each bite is like digging into a freshly cut slice of carrot cake, no fork required.
I brought these cookies to work and no one had any complaints about my liberal frosting application.
My co-workers, they get me 😉
How to Make Carrot Cake Cookies
Carrot Cake Cookies
- 1 cup butter softened (226g)
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed (200g)
- ½ cup sugar (100g)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 3 cups old fashioned oats (295g)
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour (215g)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup grated/shredded carrots (120g)
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (120g)
- ½-1 cup raisins, optional depending on preference (80-160g)
- ¾ cup salted butter softened (170g)
- 12 oz cream cheese softened (340g)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 ½ cups powdered sugar (565g)
- 1 Tablespoons corn starch (this helps the frosting to maintain its shape - it's less likely to make a mess your hands this way!)
- Preheat oven to 350F (177C)
- Place your butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl and use an electric beater) and beat until creamy, about 1 minute
- Add sugars and cream together until light and fluffy
- Add vanilla and then beat in eggs, one at a time, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl between each addition.
- In a separate bowl, combine oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.
- Gradually add dry ingredients to the wet, pausing periodically to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
- With mixer on low-speed, stir in carrots and walnuts/pecans (and raisins, if using)
- Drop cookies by rounded spoonful (about 1 ½ Tbsp scoop) onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake 11-12 minutes on 350F (177C). Cookies may appear slightly underbaked at their centers still.
- Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on tray then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely before icing.
- In stand mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese.
- Add vanilla.
- Gradually add in powdered sugar, about ⅓ cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add corn starch and stir.
- Spread frosting onto cookies or transfer frosting into a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 2D tip and pipe on top of cooled cookies.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
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This Carrot Cake Cookies post was originally published 4/13/2015, photos and text have been updated 3/30/2017