Carrot Cake Cookies

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Soft-baked bakery-style carrot cake cookies with a rich cream cheese frosting.

Other readers’ favorite cookies include these snickerdoodles, these oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and these white chocolate macadamia nut cookies

Stack of finished carrot cake cookies

Carrot Cake Cookies

First off, what exactly is a carrot cake cookie? A carrot cake cookie is a cookie made with ingredients that provide a flavor similar to carrot cake. These cookies also resemble the texture of carrot cake — they are soft, cake-like, and full of flavor. That carrot cake cookie base is smothered in an irresistible slightly cinnamon flavored cream cheese frosting to make the ultimate carrot “cake” treat!

We’re huge fans of carrot cake and after sharing my perfect version of a carrot cake, I thought cookies should be next. So here we’ve got big, soft, bakery-style carrot cake cookies!

How to make carrot cake cookies

  • These cookies are pretty much the same drill as all cookies start: creaming butter with white and brown sugar. You’ll then add an egg and some vanilla extract.
  • Next the dry ingredients get whisked together. I’ve got some classic carrot cake spices in these cookies: nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon. If you’re someone that likes a super spiced cookie, feel free to increase the spices to your preference.
  • The wet and dry ingredients are then combined and mixed until just combined. You don’t want to overmix once the flour is added because that will yield denser cookies. The more you mix flour, the more time the gluten has to activate which will make your final cookie much denser than intended.
  • Stir in the carrots and there you’ve got your cookie dough! To ensure that the carrots can cook through in enough time, you’ll want to very finely shred the carrots. You can see in the picture above the size I shred the carrots to. After that I also give them a quick coarse chop just to make sure the carrot bits are as little as possible.
  • Since the dough is pretty wet here (it won’t resemble your typical chocolate-chip cookie batter), you’ll want to chill the dough before baking it. It never firms up as much which is what will give you the soft cake-like cookies, but the chilling helps to keep the dough from spreading too much.
  • Once the dough has chilled, bake these cookies for 9-13 minutes making sure to watch them carefully. You want to err on the side of slightly underbaked cookies to keep these soft and cake-like.

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Tips for these carrot cake cookies

  • Be precise when measuring the ingredients. The most important measurement is the flour. If you press a measuring cup into a bag of flour you are likely packing in way too much flour which will completely mess up the texture of your cookies. Make sure you spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level the top with the back of a butter knife.
  • Use the right temperature of ingredients.When at room temperature, eggs and butter form an emulsion which traps air. While baking in the oven, that trapped air expands and produces a fluffy baked good. You’ll also want to use room temperature eggs. Soaking refrigerated eggs in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for about 10 minutes is a quick way to do this. Otherwise, pull the eggs out about 30 minutes before use.
  • Chill the dough. When you chill dough the butter solidifies which allows it to melt slower when itโ€™s baked. This creates a thicker cookie which prevents the cookie from going flat and becoming crispy. Chilling the dough also gives the sugar time to absorb more of the liquid and become more concentrated. A more concentrated sugar is going to give you a chewier and sweeter cookie. The recommended chill time on these cookies is one hour.

How to store carrot cake cookies

Honesty these carrot cake cookies (and the frosting) are even better the second day as the flavors have intensified by day 2. So, donโ€™t stress about having to make these the same day as an event!

For any cookies that donโ€™t get eaten, store them in an airtight container in the fridge. These cookies are best within 3-4 days of being made.

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Bakery-Style Carrot Cake Cookies

4.89 from 9 votes
Soft-baked bakery-style carrot cake cookies with a rich cream cheese frosting
Print Recipe

Bakery-Style Carrot Cake Cookies

4.89 from 9 votes
Soft-baked bakery-style carrot cake cookies with a rich cream cheese frosting
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword carrot cake cookies
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 20 cookies
Calories 182kcal
Author Chelsea

Ingredients

Carrot Cake Cookies

  • 1 cup (100g) (gently packed) finely grated carrots (~3 medium carrots)
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (131g) light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup (48g) white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (150g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/16 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups (268g) powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silpat liner. Don't skip this step! Set aside until ready to use.
  • Peel and then finely grate the carrots. Measure lightly packed into 1 cup measuring cup and then give the finely grated carrots a quick coarse chop and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the room temperature (NOT melted) butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until smooth and creamy (should look like peanut butter). Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. 
  • In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and beat together until JUST combined. Stir in the finely grated carrots. Cover the dough and refrigerated for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out balls (the dough is still quite sticky and not as firm as regular cookie dough so it gets messy) that are a tablespoon and a half of dough. Don't put more than 8 cookies on a sheet pan so they have plenty of space. Bake 9-13 minutes or until lightly browned around edges (be careful to not overbake them. Slightly underbaked cookies will remain soft and cake-like. Cool completely.
  • Meanwhile prepare the frosting. In a large bowl, beat together the room temperature butter and cream cheese until completely smooth. Add in the vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Beat to combine. Add in the powdered sugar and then beat until the frosting is smooth (it will seem like you need more liquid, but just keep beating, it will come together!)
  • Frost each cooled cookie with frosting and enjoy! Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container in the fridge.

Recipe Notes

Cook time refers to chilling time!

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 182kcal

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36 Comments

  1. Oh my gosh, girl, these look absolutely deeeeeeelicious. Like I want to eat 20 of them right now. Pinning and making once I’m done with this whole gluten-free thang. Yum! Hope your week is off to a great start! xoxo

  2. These look amazing! Question about the cooking time…is that supposed to read 9-13? Or is it really 19-13 minutes? I’m not used to seeing time given in descending order like that

  3. These taste great! However I did everything suggested to get fluffy cookies but mine can’t out flat. I even chilled the dough between batches and then tried increasing temp and lowering bake time but that had no effect. What would you suggest to remedy this?

    1. Hm that’s strange; are you at a high altitude? Did you level your flour measurement to the top of the measuring cup?

    2. If you’re still interested, try adding a 1/4 cup of corn starch to the dry ingredients. It helps keep the cookies from spreading so much. Also makes the dough much easier to work with.

  4. Hi! This recipe looks amazing, Iโ€™ll definitely be giving it a try!
    I have a question, could the butter be substituted by a non-dairy product, like coconut oil?
    Thanks, have a wonderful day!

  5. 5 stars
    Amazing recipe! The flavor is exactly what my mom’s carrot cake tasted like. They do spread a lot, so I added a 1/4 cup of corn starch to the dry ingredients. It really helps in keeping the cookie thicker & does not affect the taste. The edges are crunchy but the center is soft. Yum Yum Yum!!! I guess I should frost them now ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. 5 stars
    AWESOME, awesome, awesome! Best carrot cake cookies that I have eve had. I did add raisins and walnuts but that is just a personal preference. Basic recipe is wonderful.

  7. 5 stars
    Wow!! I made these cookies for the first time yesterday, followed the recipe exactly, and they are delicious. This is definitely my new favorite cookie. Thank you for this awesome recipe!

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