Carrot Cake Cookies

Desserts  |  Published Apr 1, 2021  |  Updated Apr 1, 2021  |  By Tawnie

a bite taken out of a cookie with cream cheese frosting on top

Carrot Cake Cookies are perfect for Easter and Spring time!

These Carrot Cake recipes – Carrot Cake Bars, Carrot Cake Bread and Carrot Cake Oatmeal – are other favorites to make around this time of year.

This recipe is essentially everything you love about carrot cake but in cookie form!

Most of the flavor comes from the cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and carrots and the velvety cream cheese frosting is the perfect finishing touch.

These cookies have a super moist crumb, are soft and chewy, and are wonderfully spiced, just like carrot cake. You won’t be able to resist them!

Ingredient Notes

These cookies require some basic baking ingredients, plus a couple you might need to grab at the store. If you don’t have cake flour that’s OK! Just use more All-Purpose flour in it’s place.

ingredients needed to make a carrot cake cookie recipe
  • Quick 1-minute oats: use gluten free oats if needed.
  • Vanilla Pudding Mix (Instant 3.4 oz.): secret ingredient to make these cookies ultra moist!
  • Ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg: because carrot cake, duh.
  • Cornstarch: I love adding cornstarch to make thick, chewy cookies!
  • Eggs: you’ll need 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Carrots: see tips and tricks below for how I like to grate my carrots!

Step by Step Directions

These cookies are pretty similar to how I make most of my cookie recipes. Once you’ve got that basic method down, you’ll handle cookie baking like a pro!

  1. Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  3. Add in the dry ingredients.
  4. Lastly, stir in carrots. Mix just until combined.
  5. Bake and allow cookies to cool completely while you make the cream cheese frosting.
  6. Once cookies are frosted, garnish with toasted pecans, chopped walnuts, or a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Tips and Tricks

  • Use a cookie scoop: The dough is a pretty wet dough. I recommend that or using lightly floured hands to roll cookies into their shape. Plus, the scoop makes uniform cookies!
  • Finely grate the carrots. I actually use a microplane zester to get ultra-fine shreds and this method actually adds moisture to the cookies. Alternatively, you can use a box grater (use the small holes) and then chop them to make the carrot shreds nice and small.
  • Do not use the pre-grated matchstick carrots. They are too big and thick for these cookies.
  • Use the quick 1 minute oats, not the old-fashioned rolled oats. I find the quick 1 minute oats result in a better crumb, and the old-fashioned oats dry out the cookie.
  • Bake cookies just until edges are golden brown. To keep these cookies soft and cake-like, you’ll want to be sure not to over bake them. I always say slightly under-baked is best. (Baking time can also vary depending on size of cookies).

Do you like raisins in your carrot cake?

PS If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback! You can also follow me on Pinterest or InstagramSign up for my email list, too!

a bite taken out of a cookie with cream cheese frosting on top
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Carrot Cake Cookies

Easy to make, thick, soft, cake-like, chewy and topped with an irresistible cream cheese frosting.
4.89 from 9 reviews
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Cooling time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes
Servings: 12 cookies
Calories: 616kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Cake flour
  • 1 cup quick 1 minute oats
  • 1 (3.4oz.) box Instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 16 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks (no whites)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup finely grated carrots (about 2 large carrots)

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, cake flour, oats, pudding mix, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • With a stand or hand held mixture, cream together the butter and sugars for ~4 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  • Add in the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla extract. Mix until blended, scraping down the sides as needed.
  • Gradually add in the dry ingredients on low speed. Lastly add in the grated carrots and mix just until combined. Dough will be wet/sticky.
  • Using a cookie scoop, scoop dough onto a cookie sheet or baking sheet. (6 cookies per baking sheet). Bake for 12-14 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges. Be careful not to over bake them, slightly under baked cookies will be soft and cake-like! Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  • Make the cream cheese frosting: In a large bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Then add in the softened butter and combine until smooth. Add in the vanilla extract, salt and gradually add in the confectioners sugar and beat until frosting is smooth.
  • Frost cookies and garnish with chopped pecans/walnuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Video

Notes

  • Add in raisins or chopped nuts into the batter if desired. (~1 cup)
  • Do not use the pre-grated matchstick carrots. They are too big and thick for these cookies.
  • Use the quick 1 minute oats, not the old-fashioned rolled oats. I find the quick 1 minute oats result in a better crumb, and the old-fashioned oats dry out the cookie.
  • Cookies stay fresh covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
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Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie (with frosting) | Calories: 616kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 637mg | Potassium: 172mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 2969IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 2mg

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12 Comments
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Abby
1 month ago

Hi, Tawnie! Are these cookies able to be frozen?

Larissa Poidomani
1 month ago

Will the recipe still work the same if I omit the oats? Thanks!!

Lianne Ozoa
3 months ago

Hi I’m from the Philippines, what will I substitute with the Instant Pudding Mix it is not/rarely available in the baking stores here? Thanks

Claudia Lamascolo
4 months ago

The cake is great but these are spectacular, I love how you can eat one not a whole big slice and be satisfied. These were terrific for breakfast also on the go!

Jac
4 months ago

These cookies are so inventive and tasty. Thanks!

Brianna
4 months ago

These cookies are super soft with all of my favorite carrot cake flavors. I could eat the cream cheese frosting all on its own!

Biana
4 months ago

Amazing ideas, my favorite carrot cake in cookie form! These cookies look amazing, and will be perfect with a nice hot cup of tea.

Jacqueline Meldrum
4 months ago

I love the cookie toppings. It really makes them even more special. Yum!

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