Add some fresh carrots to your next batch of cookies! These carrot cake cookies are soft, flavorful and topped with a cream cheese frosting just like the cake. They are perfect for the Easter holiday or on a crisp fall day.

carrot cake cookie with a bite leaning on top of another cookie.


 

Carrot cake in cookie form is possibly one of the best things. You get all the flavor of carrot cake (frosting included), but in the size of a cookie! They’re also way quicker to make and serve. Personally I’m adding these cookies to my Easter dessert table, but with all the spices, they are also worth making again in the fall!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • No chilling the dough. The cookies are ready in no time since the dough requires no refrigeration.
  • Easy to make. The dough comes together in minutes with easy-to-find ingredients. The frosting is simple too!
  • Lots of flavor. The fresh carrots paired with the warm spices and rich cream cheese frosting are a treat for the tastebuds.
  • Year round recipe. These cookies are perfect if you like the cozy spices for fall and winter or want to use carrots fresh from the garden in summer. They are also a good spring recipe for Easter!

Ingredient Notes

bowls of ingredients to make carrot cake cookies with cream cheese frosting.
  • Carrots: Shred the carrots yourself. They have more moisture and will yield a softer texture.
  • Spices: Check that your spices are fresh and not expired for the best flavor!
  • Baking soda: To help the cookies rise and spread, use baking soda as a leavening agent (check the expiration date).
  • Brown sugar: Brown sugar complements the spices and creates a chewy texture. You can use light or dark.
  • Eggs: One large egg plus a yolk helps bind the ingredients and make a chewy consistency.
  • Butter: Use unsalted butter that is room temperature. Different brands of butter have different amounts of salt added so it’s best to add it separately to control the amount.
  • Cream cheese: Block-style cream cheese makes the best frosting. Make sure it’s softened, but still cool to the touch.
  • Confectioners’ sugar: Also known as powdered sugar, this sweetens the frosting!

Refer to the recipe card for ingredient details and measurements.

Recipe Variations

Try a different frosting. Not a fan of cream cheese? Try a classic vanilla buttercream instead. I also think brown butter frosting would taste good.

Add mix-ins. Stir in 1/3 cup raisins, shredded coconut or nuts, such as walnuts or pecans, when adding the shredded carrot. Keep in mind this will affect the texture of the cookies so the frosting won’t be as smooth on top.

Make cookie sandwiches. Instead of frosting the tops of the cookies, frost the bottom instead and sandwich it with the bottom of another cookie (similar to carrot cake whoopie pies).

How to Make Carrot Cake Cookies

photo collage demonstrating how to make carrot cake cookies in a mixing bowl.
  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients—flour, baking soda and spices. Set aside.
  2. Beat butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Mix until incorporated.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in the shredded carrots.
  4. Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake cookies at 350℉ for 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges are set and center is soft. Cool completely.
photo collage demonstrating how to make cream cheese frosting for carrot cake cookies.
  1. Make the cream cheese frosting. Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Mix until combined.
  2. Frost cooled cookies. Garnish with chopped walnuts if desired.

Expert Tips

Shred the carrots yourself. For extra flavor and moisture, use a box grater to shred the carrots. Pat them slightly dry with a clean cloth before using.

Let the cookies cool before frosting. If they are still warm, the frosting will melt. Believe me, it’s worth being patient here.

Use room temperature ingredients. Not only does it make them easier to mix, but it also makes a more consistent dough. As a result, the cookies will have a better texture!

Weigh the ingredients with a scale. This is the most accurate way to measure ingredients. If you don’t have a scale, spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level with a knife (don’t pack it down).

carrot cake cookies with cream cheese frosting garnished with chopped walnuts and carrot shreds.

Make Ahead and Storage Tips

Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Freeze dough wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature and baking. Frosting can also be frozen for up to 3 months. After its defrosted, give it a few good stirs before frosting the cookies.

Make ahead the dough and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. Frosting can also be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Recipe FAQ

Why is my frosting runny?

Either the cookies are too warm or the frosting was over-mixed. It’s also possible the wrong type of cream cheese was used. I suggest block-style (not the kind from the tub or low-fat) because it’s thicker.

Should I dry the carrots after shredding them?

Yes, a gently pat with a clean cloth will help remove some moisture. No need to over-do it though, a little moisture helps with the flavor.

Can I use pre-shredded carrots?

I don’t recommend it. Pre-shredded carrots (aka “matchstick”) are too thick and long, which will make the cookies lumpy and likely to fall apart. Shredding the carrots yourself provides more flavor, moisture and a softer texture.

carrot cake cookie with cream cheese frosting and walnut garnish.

Did you love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below and if you REALLY loved it, consider leaving a comment further down the page.

carrot cake cookie with a bite leaning on top of another cookie.

Get the Recipe: Carrot Cake Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Add some fresh carrots to your next batch of cookies! These carrot cake cookies are topped with a cream cheese frosting just like the cake.
5 (6 ratings)

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 2 cups (250 g) all purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (100 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (105 g or 3 medium) finely grated carrots, patted slightly dry

Frosting

  • ½ cup (4 oz or 113 g) block-style cream cheese, softened but still cool
  • ¼ cup (56 g) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups (180 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • Chopped walnuts or pecans for garnish, optional

Instructions 

Cookies

  • Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients–flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Mix until combined. Scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in the shredded carrots by hand.
  • Use a medium cookie scoop (or a spoon), to scoop 1 ½ Tablespoons of dough and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Space cookies about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake cookies at 350° F for 13 to 15 minutes or until the edges are set and the cookies are soft and fluffy. Let the cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting

  • To make the frosting, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. Mix until combined.
  • Use an offset spatula to spread frosting on cooled cookies. Garnish with chopped walnuts.

Notes

Pre-shredded carrots are not recommended because they are not as soft or moist. It’s better to shred the carrots yourself. 
Block-style cream cheese is best for frosting. It’s thicker and is less likely to melt since it has less air than the tub-style or low-fat varieties.
Store cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Make ahead the dough and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. Bring to room temperature before rolling into balls and baking.
Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 153kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 36mg, Sodium: 125mg, Potassium: 55mg, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 1151IU, Vitamin C: 0.3mg, Calcium: 29mg, Iron: 1mg

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