Today’s carrot cake cookies recipe will help you load all the flavors of carrot cake into healthy and portable cookies. It features finely shredded carrots, crunchy walnuts, chewy raisins, and many fresh and aromatic spices, a great fit for National Carrot Cake Day (February 3), Bake Cookies Day (December 18), and any other day you need a healthy sweet tooth cure!
These cookies also ooze with a creamy, fluffy frosting, making it a wonderful finger food— no fork needed. Perfectly suitable for potlucks and standing buffets!
Are Carrot Cake Cookies Healthy?
Yes, they are.
Carrots are one of the most vitamin A-rich veggies. Aside from being sweet and refreshing, carrots also help improve eyesight, immune function, and smooth the skin.
As you can see from the ingredient list, there’s absolutely no butter, eggs, or sugar in either the cookies or the frosting. We also use whole-wheat flour and old-fashioned oats to incorporate more nutrients into the treats.
These easy carrot cake cookies are made soft, creamy, and wonderfully chewy. They’re bursting with sweetness and aromas from the fresh spices complementing the main ingredient: carrots.
With this carrot cake cookies recipe, we try to make them resemble the well-known texture and flavor of the classic carrot cake. Moreover, they’re made butter-free, sugar-free, and egg-free!
How to Make Carrot Cake Cookies
Whisk the dry ingredients: In a large bowl, combine together the whole wheat flour, oats, pumpkin spice, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, walnuts, raisins, and shredded carrots.
Whisk the wet ingredients: In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and honey.
Make the dough and roll it into balls: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir everything together to form a dough. Roll out balls using 3 tablespoons of dough for each.
Bake: Transfer the balls onto the sheet pan and bake at 320℉ for 20 minutes. In the meantime, make the frosting.
Make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract until completely smooth.
Frost and enjoy: After baking, allow the cookies to cool down, then frost each of them with the frosting, and enjoy.
Carrot Cake Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
These cookies are already tasty on their own, but they get even more delicious if eaten with a silky sweet frosting.
In this carrot cake cookies recipe, the creamy frosting is made from just three ingredients: cream cheese, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. It’s easy both to make and to decorate— simply spread the cream cheese frosting on top of the cookies and enjoy.
To pipe the frosting, fill it into a Ziploc bag with the tip cut off. Consider whisking a gel food coloring of your choice into the frosting for a vibrant display.
Tips for Making
1. Prep Carrots
To create finely shredded carrots, it is advised to use a box grater to grate them rather than purchasing pre-grated ones. The finer the carrots are, the better they can release moisture into the cookies and result in a chewy texture.
2. Shape Dough Balls
If you have little experience with cookies, the safest way to roll the dough balls is to use a cookie scoop. This ensures all the cookies are the same size so they cook evenly and in the same bake time.
In this carrot cake cookies recipe, we roll out each ball from 3 tablespoons of dough. If you’re fond of bigger or smaller cookies, simply adjust the baking time accordingly to the size of the dough balls.
In addition, these carrot cake cookies won’t flatten when baked as there’s no butter or cream added to the dough. Therefore, when making the dough balls, you should use your palm to press and flatten them before adding them to the baking sheet.
3. Make Pipable Frosting
The frosting will curdle if the cream cheese is too stiff. Conversely, it won’t hold its shape when piping if the cream cheese is too runny.
Before adding cream cheese to the frosting mixture, it’s suggested to leave it out at room temperature for a while to soften. For runny cream cheese, simply put it in the fridge for a couple of minutes and let the fats harden in the cold.
There’s absolutely no need to add extra ingredients to the frosting to change its consistency. As long as the cream cheese is thick, it will easily result in a light and fluffy frosting.
4. Baking Tips
The baking time depends on the number of cookies per batch as well as their size. As mentioned, you might have to get inventive and adjust the cooking time corresponding to the serving size you plan to make.
It’s actually easy to do— simply bake the dough balls on parchment-lined baking sheets until the edges are golden. Golden edges indicate a soft, chewy center, which is ideal, as these cookies should be baked slightly underdone rather than well-done.
Healthy Carrot Cake Cookies Recipe
- In a large bowl, combine together: whole wheat flour, oats, pumpkin spice, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, walnut, raisin, and shredded carrots.
- In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and honey.
- Preheat the oven to 320℉. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir everything together to form a dough.
- Roll out balls from the dough, using 3 tablespoons of dough for each. This creates 20 balls for a total of 4 servings.
- Transfer the balls onto the sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. In the meantime, make the frosting.
- For the frosting: In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract until completely smooth.
- After baking, allow the cookies to cool down, then frost each of them with the frosting, and enjoy.
1. How Many Calories?
One serving of these carrot cake cookies is five cookies, which provide 254 calories in total.
2. How Long Do Carrot Cake Cookies Last?
These carrot cake cookies can retain their flavor for up to 4 days if stored in an airtight container in the fridge. So, please rest assured that you can plan these cookies ahead and make them one day prior to serving to save time and effort.
3. Can You Freeze Carrot Cake Cookies?
Yes, you can freeze these carrot cake cookies. Note that it’s always better to freeze the cookies and the frosting separately to prevent them from sticking together and making a mess.
All you need to do is wrap each cookie individually in plastic wrap, place them all in a Ziploc bag with a seal, and put them into the freezer. If frozen properly, carrot cake cookies can last up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to serve again, remove the carrot cake cookies from the freezer and microwave them to reheat.