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Carrot Cake Cookies

April 8, 2011

My dad’s birthday rolls around every April and because he likes dessert almost as much as I do, I usually like to bake something special for him when I visit. In the past I’ve made chocolate cupcakes and chocolate boston cream pie, so this year I decided to do something a little different.

Carrot Cake Cookies

Aside from chocolate, my dad really likes carrot cake. Carrot cake isn’t usually something that gets me drooling, but hey, not my birthday. The only hitch was that a carrot cake would not hold up well the long car ride to my parents’ house. That’s when I remembered a recipe for carrot cake cookies I saw in a magazine a few years ago. Perfect!

And oh, they were. Two-bite sized soft, cake-y cookies flecked with sweet carrots, chewy raisins and aromatic cinnamon. The original recipe called for sandwiching two cookies together with a dollop of cream cheese frosting. They’re good (if not messy) that way, but I found I preferred to eat them one at a time with a generous smear of frosting on top for a better cake to frosting ratio.

And eat them I did. For breakfast. As an afternoon snack. After dinner for dessert. I don’t even love carrot cake and I couldn’t stop eating them! I kind of forgot that they weren’t for me. Oops.

Carrot Cake Cookies

Carrot Cake Cookies

Adapted from Gourmet
Makes about 24 cookies (12 filled cookie sandwiches)

I don’t recommend using pre-shredded carrots. Freshly grated carrots have more moisture which I think is important to the cookie’s final texture. Chilling the dough before baking keeps the cookies from spreading too much in the oven. Don’t be afraid to bake these a day ahead – I thought the cookies had more flavor the day after they were baked.


3/4 cup golden raisins (2 1/2 ounces)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
pinch of cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 + 3 tablespoons cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup finely grated carrots (2 medium or 4 small)
1 cup walnuts (3 ounces), chopped

8 ounces cream cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla


Place raisins in a small bowl and add enough hot water to cover. Set aside for 5-10 minutes, then drain thoroughly and pat dry.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter, sugars, egg and vanilla until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in carrots, walnuts and raisins (drained!) on low speed. Add flour mixture and beat just until combined. Set dough in refrigerator to chill for 15-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.

Working with one baking sheet at a time, drop 1 1/2 Tablespoons of dough per cookie onto baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake each sheet separately, 13-15 minutes or until centers spring back to the touch. Cool on pan for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, pulse cream cheese and butter in a food processor, scraping down sides with a spatula as needed, until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, and pulse until combined.

If making ahead, store cookies at room temperature and frosting in refrigerator. Frost cookies before serving.

  1. Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) permalink
    April 8, 2011 8:28 am

    These look fantastic! I usually make carrot cake for Easter but maybe I’ll have to try these this year instead. I bet the family would love to just snag a couple of these rather than commit to a whole slice. :-)

  2. April 8, 2011 8:50 am

    Bite sized carrot cake perfection.

  3. April 8, 2011 10:20 am

    These are so cute – happy birthday to your dad!

  4. April 8, 2011 10:40 am

    These look awesome! I feel a little indifferent about carrot cake (well, I guess it depends on the carrot cake =) on the other hand I have a feeling I could devour about a dozen of these within the first 5 minutes. And yes, for breakfast!

  5. April 8, 2011 11:07 am

    these look really great! perfect for a cupcake alternative for a party, too.

  6. April 8, 2011 1:46 pm

    I love carrot cake and I’ve wanted to try making these for some time. They look beautiful. I’m sure your dad is going to love them!

  7. April 8, 2011 6:08 pm

    Mmm, I love carrot cake. I got a funny card for my birthday with two snowmen eating carrot cake, and one was missing a nose. The snowman with the nose said his cake tasted like boogers…ha! :)

  8. April 10, 2011 10:31 pm

    I’ve been wanting to make these cookies for a long time. Seeing them again is a great motivator! They look delicious.

  9. April 11, 2011 2:13 pm

    Your dad is pretty lucky! They look super tasty!

  10. oneordinaryday permalink
    April 11, 2011 7:31 pm

    What a perfect treat for a Spring bday! They look delicious.

  11. April 12, 2011 9:26 am

    This sounds amazing. Definitely trying these guys out. Love the pics!

  12. April 12, 2011 10:19 am

    Those are just so cute. I love your pictures too.

  13. April 12, 2011 12:56 pm

    Carrot cake COOKIES?! Ingenious, I love it. :)

  14. April 12, 2011 3:17 pm

    What cute little cookies! Love this idea.

    Great photo styling, too!

  15. April 12, 2011 5:29 pm

    Your Cookies are SO cute! :D

  16. April 12, 2011 5:39 pm

    My favorite thing about Carrot Cake is the icing, and these cookies look like the perfect amount of cake and icing per bite. Plus I like your idea of smearing icing on the individual cookie. Great recipe, I’ll definitely try this the next time I’m craving Carrot Cake

  17. April 13, 2011 10:57 am

    Looks lovely! Great pictures and presentation. I’ll have to try these!

  18. April 13, 2011 2:57 pm

    I’m a carrot cakes fan!
    this recipe is a really good idea for my next carrot mini cakes! :D

  19. April 14, 2011 3:26 pm

    I can’t wait to try these! I absolutely love carrot cake.

  20. April 16, 2011 6:28 am

    Oh, yum! Perfect photos, by the way!

  21. April 17, 2011 6:13 pm

    These look incredible! I love that you’re so creative with your recipes – I would never have thought to do it, but they sound incredible. I’m going to make them this week!

  22. April 18, 2011 3:53 am

    Wow what a great idea converting a great cake into a cookie, love the idea, love the recipe

  23. Jackie permalink
    April 21, 2011 12:48 am

    These are outstanding! Made them today for a party and they were a big hit. I used a 1 tbsp measure for the cookies but might even make them smaller next time. Fantastic – thanks for the recipe!

  24. April 24, 2011 6:47 pm

    I’m posting on carrot cake muffins this week and will surely link to your recipe. They are beyond precious!

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