Carrot Cake Cookies. Are you looking for a variation of the classic carrot cake? How about one that is in cookie form? I mean, do I even need to ask? These cookies are the perfect texture, flavor, and size to enjoy!
Ingredients For The Simple Carrot Cake Cookies
- Softened butter
- Brown sugar, I prefer dark brown for a little more depth of flavor
- Granulated sugar
- Whole wheat pastry flour
- All-purpose flour- My style is always baking with whole grains but in moderation. So, I almost always use a blend of all-purpose and whole grain.
- Quick oats- If all you have is regular like I do, then pulse them a few times in your food processor or blender.
- cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger (the holy trinity of carrot cake recipes)
- Baking soda
- Shredded carrots
Why Does The Whole Wheat Flour Type Matter?
There is a huge variation in protein levels of different whole-grain flours, among other things. It is the same thing as refined flours, think cake flour vs. bread flour. Whole Wheat Pastry Flour is a flour that is lower in protein.
This is important in baked goods like cookies, cakes, etc where you want a nice, tender texture. You can use any brand of whole wheat flour you have, but just know, that for best results, use whole wheat pastry. I buy my kernels from Farm Fresh Wheat in Washington, they are then ground in my Nutrimill. If you prefer, you can always buy the flour.
Making The Batter For The Simple Carrot Cake Cookies
This is a standard cookie batter. Meaning, combine your dry ingredients in a bowl, then set aside. Blend your butter and sugars with a mixer. Add in your eggs and vanilla.
One really important thing to note, after the eggs are added, do not overmix. That protein in the eggs can turn your batter tough in no time, so after they are added, only mix to combine, no more. Then in go your carrots. Last is the dry ingredients. Only mix to combine.
I made these with my hand mixer, but you can also use your literal hand to mix with a wooden spoon. It is a great workout! Or you can even use your stand mixer.
Baking The Simple Carrot Cake Cookies
I almost always prefer to bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet. It just makes clean-up so much easier. If you aren't into parchment, just make sure and spray before scooping.
Another thing I like to do is use a portion scoop. I do this partly because I am slightly anal, but also because an even size means all your cookies bake at the same time and are baked evenly. This oxo small cookie scoop is my go-to scoop. I think it makes the best size cookies!
Bake until it is VERY lightly golden brown around the edges. Well, if you like slightly crispy edges and soft centers like I do. If you like a crispy cookie, bake longer. Crispy cookies are like blaspheme in our house though, so I always bake them soft.
Spiced Cream Cheese Icing
What would carrot cake cookies be without cream cheese icing? Boring, that's what! So, let's make sure and add it.
I mix mine on high to get the icing smooth and light and fluffy as cream cheese icing will be. This icing is loaded with cinnamon and nutmeg too. I love them in the cookies but also think it is delicious in the icing as well.
The Finished Simple Carrot Cake Cookies
Spread on a generous amount of icing once the cookies have cooled slightly. As a note- these cookies do freeze well. If you are planning on making the batch and baking, I would suggest not frosting the cookies until you are ready to eat them. They turn into a sticky mess in the freezer.
Can you tell how delicate and tender the cookies are? I am telling you, if you have not used whole wheat pastry flour, you have got to try it! You will love the results.
If you aren't going to eat these the same day, I recommend storing them in the fridge in an airtight container. They will hold and are delicious for up to 3-4 days. If you aren't as picky as I am, you could certainly get 5-7 days out of them:).
Other Carrot Recipes
Maybe you bought a big bag of carrots and are looking for a few more recipes to use them. I have some options I think you will love!
- I love this crunchy carrot salad! It is so light, but has the best flavor!
- This Pomelo Carrot Cake is a fun variation on the classic.
- A Zucchini Carrot Quick Bread is also a favorite around here.
Carrot Cake Cookies
- 1 cup butter, softened
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour I love to use the whole wheat pastry flour in cookies, as it is lower in protein and makes a more tender cookie. If all you have is a hard winter wheat, use it!
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 2 cups quick oats
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cup shredded carrots
Cream Cheese Icing
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- milk to achieve consistency desired. I used about 2 tablespoons for mine.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
- Combine butter and sugars in medium sized bowl. Mix on high until light and fluffy. Add in eggs and villa. Mix again on medium only to combine,
- Now, to make this a one bowl recipe, add flours on top of the creamed butter mixture. Add the baking soda, salt and spices on top of the flour. Carefully mix with the flour, but only on top.I just use a spoon to mix. Once mixed with the flour, add oats on top too. Now, mix all ingredients together with mixer. Mix just to combine. Last is carrots. Again, mix to combine.
- Scoop cookies on to baking sheet. I did 3 cookies by 4 cookies, so 12 total per sheet.
- Bake for 7-10 minutes.
- While it is baking, start making your icing. Add cream cheese, powdered sugar and spices to bowl. Mix on high. Add milk as needed for consistency you are looking for. Set aside.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes on the pan before carefully transferring to a cooling rack.
- Once they have cooled pretty well, spread with icing. You can also do this when the cookies are warm, the icing is so good when it's warm with a warm cookie!