Carrot Cake Cookies

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Carrot cake cookies are chewy and sweet with the best hint of warm spice! Drizzled with tangy cream cheese icing, you won’t be able to get enough of this sweet treat!

The flavor of carrot cake tastes amazing in so many different forms! You’ve got to try carrot cake cheesecake, carrot cake cupcakes, and carrot cake donuts next time you get a sweet tooth. You won’t regret it!

Top-down view of baked carrot cake cookies on parchment paper.

I feel like making carrot cake desserts in spring just makes sense. These carrot cake cookies, specifically, are perfectly rich and sweet, with a bright and delicious cream cheese icing drizzled on top! They are so good, you guys. Everything you love about carrot cake- the spice, the nuttiness- in a soft, chewy cookie form! I’ve been making these for friends and family to spread a little spring fever, and people have loved them! I hope you love them, too!

They’re also super easy to make, which is great! You’ll have your batch ready from start to finish in just 40 minutes. And did I mention they only take 12 minutes to bake?! Once you smell these amazing cookies baking, the sooner they’re done the better. I won’t judge if you keep the whole pan for yourself! Carrot cake cookies are just that tasty. And if you need inspo for other spring treats, find more ideas here!

Ingredients You Need to Make Them

Round up these pantry staples and you’ll be ready to go! These carrot cake cookies use a lot of simple ingredients which is just another reason to bake a batch! Exact measurements can be found at the end of the post.

  • Unsalted Butter: Make sure this is at room temperature so everything mixes together smoothly!
  • Brown Sugar: The deep sweetness of brown sugar is perfect for carrot cake.
  • Granulated Sugar: Adds sweetness to your carrot cake cookies.
  • Large Egg: Needed to bind everything together.
  • Vanilla Extract: A must for baked goods! Vanilla gives your cookies a more complex flavor.
  • All-Purpose Flour: All-purpose flour is my go-to when it comes to baking. It has a low protein content which helps treats turn out light and fluffy.
  • Baking Soda and Baking Powder: You’ll need both to make sure your cookies rise properly.
  • Cinnamon and Nutmeg: Add a mix of both for the perfect warm spice.
  • Salt: You won’t want to skip the salt because it keeps your cookies from tasting bland.
  • Finely Grated Carrots: What would carrot cake cookies be without the carrots? These add a sweet earthiness that pairs perfectly with nuts and spices.
  • Chopped Walnuts or Pecans: (Optional) Adding nuts is up to you, but I love the flavor and texture that they add!

Cream Cheese Glaze

  • Cream Cheese: I recommend using full-fat cream cheese for the creamiest icing.
  • Unsalted Butter: Adds richness and a smooth texture.
  • Powdered Sugar: Perfect for adding sweetness.
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla gives the icing an extra boost of flavor.
  • Salt: Add a pinch to enhance flavor!
  • Milk: Helps to adjust consistency.

How to Make Carrot Cake Cookies

It only takes a few steps of mixing and shaping to prepare these amazing cookies! You’re going to love how they turn out. Carrot cake cookies are the perfect combination of 2 classic treats!

  1. Prep Pans and Preheat Oven: First, preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Mix Wet Ingredients: In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar together on medium-high for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the egg and vanilla. Mix again until combined.
  3. Mix in Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add the flour to the butter mixture and mix until just barely combined.
  4. Add Carrots and Nuts: Next, add the carrots and, if desired, nuts and mix until just combined. Cover the bowl and chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Shape: Scoop the dough onto the baking sheet in 1 ¼ inch sized balls, leaving 2 inches between them.
  6. Bake: Then, bake for 11-12 minutes, until the edges are set but the center is still soft. Allow the cookies to sit on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  7. Prepare Icing: While the cookies cool, make the glaze by beating together the cream cheese and butter. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Beat until combined. Add the milk and mix until smooth and soft.
  8. Pipe and Serve: Once the cookies are cooled, add the glaze to a ziplock bag and use scissors to snip a small piece of the corner off. Use the bag to pipe the glaze over the cookies. These cookies are best served fresh.
Process shots of preparing cookie batter.

Cookie-Making Tips and Tricks

Carrot cake cookies are super easy to make, but here are a few simple tips to keep in mind so you can make the best batch possible! With how supremely soft, chewy, and flavorful these are, you’re going to be hooked!

  • Use Room Temperature Ingredients: The secret to smooth, lump-free batter is to make sure all of your wet ingredients are at room temperature before mixing together. I like to put wet ingredients out on the counter for 30 minutes before I begin baking.
  • Only Mix Until Combined: If you overmix your batter, gluten may develop and leave you with hard, rubbery cookies instead of soft and chewy.
  • Don’t Overbake: You’ll want to take your carrot cake cookies out of the oven when the insides are still slightly soft. They’ll continue to cook on the cooling rack for a few minutes.
  • Switch Frosting: You can make a chocolatey version of the glaze by swapping it for chocolate cream cheese frosting instead!
Top-down view of 12 cookies on parchment paper.

Storing Leftover Carrot Cake Cookies / Freezing Dough

Not only are these cookies super easy to throw together, but you can also freeze your dough to bake and enjoy later!

  • At Room Temperature: Store baked cookies in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
  • In the Freezer: To freeze unbaked dough, I like to first shape mine into balls and then place them in a freezer bag. When you’re ready to make them, simply thaw overnight in the fridge and follow remaining baking instructions!
  • Reheating: For a quick treat, pop your cookies in the microwave for 15-30 second intervals until warmed through. You can also warm them in the oven for 5 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Closeup of a carrot cake cookie with a bite taken out of it.

Carrot Cake Cookies

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Carrot cake cookies are chewy and sweet with the best hint of warm spice! Drizzled with tangy cream cheese icing, you won't be able to get enough of this sweet treat!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 43 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 15 Cookies

Ingredients
  

  • ½ Cup Unsalted Butter Room Temperature
  • ½ Cup Brown Sugar Packed
  • ½ Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg room temperature
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 ½ Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Finely Grated Carrots
  • ½ Cup Chopped Walnuts or Pecans Optional

Cream Cheese Glaze

  • 4 Ounces Cream Cheese Room Temperature
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter Softened
  • 1 ½ cups Powdered Sugar
  • ¼ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar together on medium-high for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the egg and vanilla. Mix again until combined.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add the flour to the butter mixture and mix until just barely combined.
  • Add the carrots and, if desired, nuts and mix until just combined. Cover the bowl and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Scoop the dough onto the baking sheet in 1 ¼ inch sized balls, leaving 2 inches between them. Bake for 11-12 minutes, until the edges are set but the center is still soft. Allow the cookies to sit on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  • While the cookies cool, make the glaze by beating together the cream cheese and butter. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Beat until combined. Add the milk and mix until smooth and soft.
  • Once the cookies are cooled, add the glaze to a ziplock bag and use scissors to snip a small piece of the corner off. Use the bag to pipe the glaze over the cookies. These cookies are best served fresh.


Nutrition

Serves: 15

Calories289kcal (14%)Carbohydrates37g (12%)Protein3g (6%)Fat15g (23%)Saturated Fat8g (40%)Polyunsaturated Fat2gMonounsaturated Fat4gTrans Fat1gCholesterol43mg (14%)Sodium155mg (6%)Potassium103mg (3%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar27g (30%)Vitamin A1830IU (37%)Vitamin C1mg (1%)Calcium36mg (4%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dessert
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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