All the wonderful flavor of a carrot cake, with half of the work! Have you ever been craving carrot cake, but not had the time or the energy to bake and decorate an entire cake? I have! And that’s how these little circles of deliciousness were born.
The ingredients are for the most part your classic cookie ingredients: butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, flour, salt, you get the picture. In addition to these staple cookie ingredients, we’ll add carrots, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves for that unbeatable carrot cake flavor and walnuts for that added bit of crunch. Make sure to chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, as the dough is quite wet and we don’t want the cookies to spread too much in the oven.
What’s the best part of carrot cake? The cream cheese frosting obviously! I couldn’t make authentic carrot cake cookies without that tangy cream cheese topping, so these cookies are topped with a simple cream cheese glaze made from cream cheese, milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla. I spooned the icing into a piping bag to make the swirls shown in the pictures. However, you can decorate the cookies in whatever way you want. You can even leave the icing off altogether, although who in their right mind would ever do that?! It’s all right, no judgment here.
Ok, here we go. For carrot cake goodness inside the body of a simple cookie, follow the directions below!
- For the cookies:
- 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup dark or light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg (at room temperature)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/8 cup carrots
- 3/4 cup (190g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 2/3 tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ½ cup walnuts
- For the cream cheese glaze:
- 2 tbsp cream cheese
- 1 tbsp milk (add more if glaze seems too thick)
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (depending on how sweet and thick you like your frosting–I used 1 cup)
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until combined.
- Whisk in the egg and vanilla.
- Finally, add the carrots and stir until evenly distributed.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves and walnuts.
- Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- When ready to bake, remove the dough from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.
- Scoop dough and shape into spheres as large or small as you would like–just know that the baking time will vary based on the size of your cookies. I made my cookies with about 2 tablespoons of dough and they were done in 15 minutes.
- Bake the cookies for 15 minutes (or an adjusted time based on the size of your cookies). Don’t overbake the cookies–they may look somewhat underbaked, but they will continue baking on the baking sheet after being removed from the oven.
- Allow the cookies to cool completely before frosting. To make the frosting, combine cream cheese, milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on high speed until combined.
- Frost and enjoy!
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