Carrot Cake Cookies with cream cheese icing are soft, tender cookies baked with carrots and all the delicious carrot cake spices you love. Then they’re lavished with a generous layer of cream cheese icing and topped with festive sprinkles. It’s carrot cake in cookie form.
Why This Carrot Cake Cookie Recipe Works
- It’s everything you love about carrot cake but in a cookie.
- Soft, tender, and moist texture.
- Quick and easy cookie recipe – less than 30 minutes from start to finish.
- Lavished with a luscious cream cheese frosting and fun decorations for Easter and springtime.
- Perfect for both kids and adults.
- Grated Carrots – You’ll want to use whole carrots and peel and grate them. I don’t recommend using the ready-to-eat shredded carrots from the grocery store as they’re dry and brittle and don’t provide the proper amount of moisture for the recipe.
- Sugar – A combination of granulated and brown sugar is used for carrot cake cookies, and powdered sugar is used in the cream cheese icing.
- Pecans -You can either add chopped pecans or use ground pecans. I love the flavor of pecans but don’t always want the crunch, so I buy these ground pecans to have on hand for baking.
- Raisins – Don’t worry; they’re optional. People tend to be in two distinct camps when it comes to raisins. I love them in baked goods, but some people would rather go hungry than eat them. They’re delicious in these cookies though, so if you like raisins, add them! (I use golden raisins.)
Tips for Shredding Carrots
- Wash and peel the carrots.
- Use the fine side of a multi-grater or box grater to grate the carrots. You’ll notice how moist they are. That’s the reason to use fresh carrots, not pre-bagged carrots.
- Hold the carrot against the grater and scrape downward along the holes. Make sure to keep your fingers away from the sharp edges while you work, and don’t push too hard, or the carrot may snap.
Step 1: Cream butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and creamy.
Step 2: Add eggs and vanilla, mixing just until blended.
Step 3: In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.
Step 4: Stir in carrots and raisins. The cookie dough will be very thick so you may need to do this by hand.
Step 6: Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cookies turn golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and leave on cookie sheet for 3-4 minutes to allow cookies to continue baking. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
Step 7: Prepare cream cheese icing. In an electric mixer, combine softened cream cheese and butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy.
Step 8: Frost the cooled cookies and add sprinkles, if desired. My 24 Carrot sprinkles are from Sweets & Treats.
Shredding results in thin strips, and grating produces shorter, choppier pieces. They can be used interchangeably in recipes, so prepare them according to the tools you have on hand.
Yes, you can use baking powder instead of baking soda in cookies, but the texture and flavor may differ slightly. If you use baking powder, use three times the amount of baking powder as baking soda (in this recipe, that would be three teaspoons).
Once frosted, the cookies should be stored in the refrigerator so the cream cheese stays fresh. To take the chill off before serving, it may be left on the counter in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
Other Recipes You’ll Love
Carrot Cake Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 cups carrots finely grated
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans or ground pecans
- ½ cup golden raisins
- CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- optional: milk as needed to reach desired consistency
Carrot Cake Cookies
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cream butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar together in a stand mixer with paddle attachment until light and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla, mixing just until blended.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Gradually add to wet mixture.
- Stir in carrots, pecans and raisins. The cookie dough will be very thick so you may need to do this by hand, depending on your mixer.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cookies are turning golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and leave on cookie sheet for 3-4 minutes to allow cookies to continue baking. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
Cream Cheese Icing
- Prepare cream cheese icing. In an electric mixer, combine softened cream cheese and butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. (Milk may be added, if needed, to reach desired consistency.
- Frost the cooled cookies and add sprinkles, if desired.