Carrot Cake Cookies

15 Cookies
30 min

Carrot cake has carrots, so it’s technically a vegetable, Seriously, though, I totally love carrot cake. When I was in culinary school, I was gifted the carrot cake recipe of the grandmother of my boss. And you know what I did...at some point through the years, I lost the recipe. And I have never been able to recreate it. I’ve come close, but I haven’t gotten it just where I want it. I’ll keep trying, but in the meantime, I have several other options for carrot goodies, including these delicious carrot cake cookies!


My best friend from my culinary school internship actually provided me with the original recipe for these delicious carrot cake cookies. After a few tweaks, I’ve made them my own, and I love the result.


One of my favorite things about these cookies is that they are delicious with or without the icing. I could totally gobble them up on their own! Also, in all seriousness, they are loaded with carrots, pecans, and raisins, so while they are not a go-to healthy option, they are slightly more guilt-free than some other dessert choices.

Some FAQ’s:


So what makes these cookies so special?


The texture is on point! It’s almost the texture of cake, but in the shape of the most perfect cookie.


Can these be made ahead of time?


They sure can! You can make the dough ahead of time and freeze it for up to a month, or you can bake the cookies ahead of time and freeze them that way too. I personally like to make cookie dough ahead of time, freeze the dough balls, and then bake a few at a time!


Can you make these dairy free?


I haven’t tested them with dairy free butter or cream cheese, but I’m sure it would be great!


Can these be made gluten free?


I used to have a vendetta against the 1 to 1 gluten free flour options, but they have come a long way! This one is my favorite, and while I haven’t tested this recipe with this option, I’m almost certain it would work well!



How do these come together?


Make the cookie dough. Place butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and beat on medium-high speed until smooth and well creamed, scraping down the bowl of the mixer as needed.


Next, add eggs, one at a time, until combined. Scrape down the bowl, and add the vanilla and mix until just combined. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, stir together the carrots, pecans, and raisins.


Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and mix on low until just combined. Scrape down the bowl, and add the carrot mixture. Mix on low until just combined. Remove from the mixer, and scrape the bottom of the bowl, ensuring the mixture is well combined.


Scoop the cookies. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and scoop cookies onto parchment paper, using a 2 TBSP sized scooper. Place the cookies in the freezer to harden for 1-2 hours.


When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove the cookies from the freezer, and place on parchment lined baking sheets, alternating rows, so the cookies are offset, creating 2 inches between each cookie dough ball.


Bake the cookies. Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Repeat with remaining cookies. Once the cookies are baked, let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.


While the cookies bake, make the icing. Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high until smooth and add the butter. Beat on high until well combined, and then add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix on low, just until the sugar is incorporated. Stop the mixer, and scrape down the bowl to ensure all the butter and cream cheese is incorporated. Turn the mixer on high, and let whip for 2-3 minutes, or until light, fluffy, and pipeable.


Remove from the mixer, and place in a piping bag. Cut the tip of the piping bag, about ½ inch up. Pipe frosting on the inside of half the cookies. Top the frosting with the other half of the cookies. Store in the refrigerator if not eating right away. Remove from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving.

ENJOY! And as always let me know what you think in the comments below and over on Instagram @sugarandsalt_co!

Recipe details

  • 15  Cookies
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 15 Minutes Total time: 30 min
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Ingredients

Cookie Ingredients

  • 8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp coarse Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups grated carrots 
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • ⅔ cup raisins

Icing Ingredients

  • 4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp coarse Kosher salt

Instructions


Place butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and beat on medium-high speed until smooth and well creamed, scraping down the bowl of the mixer as needed.
Next, add eggs, one at a time, until combined. Scrape down the bowl, and add the vanilla and mix until just combined. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, stir together the carrots, pecans, and raisins. 
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and mix on low until just combined. Scrape down the bowl, and add the carrot mixture. Mix on low until just combined. Remove from the mixer, and scrape the bottom of the bowl, ensuring the mixture is well combined. 
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and scoop cookies onto parchment paper, using a 2 TBSP sized scooper. Place the cookies in the freezer to harden for 1-2 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove the cookies from the freezer, and place on parchment lined baking sheets, alternating rows, so the cookies are offset, creating 2 inches between each cookie dough ball.
Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Repeat with remaining cookies. Once the cookies are baked, let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. 
While the cookies bake, make the icing. Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high until smooth and add the butter. Beat on high until well combined, and then add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix on low, just until the sugar is incorporated. Stop the mixer, and scrape down the bowl to ensure all the butter and cream cheese is incorporated. Turn the mixer on high, and let whip for 2-3 minutes, or until light, fluffy, and pipeable.
Remove from the mixer, and place in a piping bag. Cut the tip of the piping bag, about ½ inch up. Pipe frosting on the inside of half the cookies. Top the frosting with the other half of the cookies. Store in the refrigerator if not eating right away. Remove from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving. ENJOY!
NOTE: these cookies can be stored in an airtight container and frozen for up to 1 month. I doubt they will last that long, but it is an option!

Comments

  • Valerie Valerie on Apr 07, 2021

    Can you substitute pineapple for the raisins?

    • See 2 previous
    • EasyAs123 EasyAs123 on Apr 08, 2021

      Pineapple makes it super moist and you can't notice it. The best recipe I have for carrot cake is by one the top caterers in Canada and they used pineapple as one of their ingredients. Phenom! If it's a texture thing for you can put it through the food processor to blend right down to a sauce like consistency.

  • Masha Kishkina Masha Kishkina on Apr 07, 2021

    does the dough have to be frozen? can I just bake right after making the batter?

    • See 1 previous
    • Masha Kishkina Masha Kishkina on Apr 07, 2021

      Thanks. I usually chill cookie dough for 15 min or so in the fridge. It just deters me when a recipe calls for like 2+ hrs or overnight freezing.

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