Carrot Cake Cookies

Carrot Cake Cookies

Fall is in the air and I couldn’t be more excited!  The weather has that perfect crispness to it, football is taking over my weekends and I’m starting to dream about all things warm and spicy.  It’s the time of year for pumpkin scones, spiced pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie bites.  It’s pretty clear that my fall repertoire tends to revolve around that picture perfect, round orange squash.  How about we mix that up a little?

carrot cake cookies

A warmly spiced, raisin studded carrot cake cookie.  Moist, tender and sweetened with real maple syrup these cookies evoke all your favorite carrot cake flavors in a handheld, perfectly portable version.  These cookies are made with whole wheat flour, oats and sweetened only with raisins, maple syrup and agave nectar, making them a fall treat you can feel good about feeding your family.  Don’t worry, I didn’t leave out the best part … these cookies are topped with a delicious, naturally sweetened cream cheese icing!


These things are freakn’ delicious.  My future husband polished off the batch and declared them the best cookies I’ve ever made.  I’ll take that compliment.  These are a perfect mix of autumn spices, packed with lots of walnuts and sweet raisins.  They are moist, whole wheat and have a good amount of whole grain oats in each cookie.  A word of warning: These cookies do not spread out when they are cooking so be sure to press the dough down into a proper cookie shape before baking!

cookie dough balls

I’d be lying if I said that my favorite part of a slice of carrot cake is the cake.  Wrong.  It’s always the cream cheese icing.  How can you not love cream cheese icing when it’s paired with a spicy, carrot studded cake?  I was dead set on finding a way to add a cream cheese frosting element to these little cookies.  It’s just not carrot cake without the cream cheese frosting!

baked cookies

Since I wasn’t willing to use the pounds of powdered sugar usually required for cream cheese frosting, I experimented with a maple syrup sweetened icing.  I’m happy to report that it worked out wonderfully!  It’s very sweet so you only need a drizzle on each cookie.  You could even decrease the amount of maple syrup if it’s too sweet for your tastes.  A drizzle is more than enough to get the entire carrot cake experience in your mouth in one little cookie.

carrot cake cookies with carrot


Carrot Cake Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10-12 minutes


For the cookies:
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
2/3 cup raisins
1 cup finely shredded carrots
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze:
4 ounces cream cheese
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, salt and spices.
- Stir in walnuts, raisins and shredded carrots.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup maple syrup, agave nectar, oil and vanilla.
- Pour wet ingredients into the large bowl of dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined.
- Drop rounded teaspoons of batter onto prepared pan. Press down to flatten and shape into circles.
- Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove to a wire cooling rack to cool.
- While cookies are baking, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in 4 tablespoons maple syrup and vanilla. Beat until smooth and thoroughly combined.
- Once cookies have cooled, drizzle cream cheese glaze over the top of each cookie.

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13 Responses to “Carrot Cake Cookies”

  1. 1
    M. — September 29, 2012 9:45 pm

    these cookies looks so yummy! i need to try this recipe ;)

  2. 2
    erin — September 30, 2012 12:13 pm

    These look great! Quick question…you mention using either maple syrup OR agave in the cookie, but then they are both listed in the ingredients list. Not sure if you’re only using 1/4 of sweetener or 1/2. Thanks!

    • kate replied: — September 30th, 2012 2:17 pm

      Erin — You’re right, that was terribly confusing! I just changed the OR to an AND. I used 1/4 cup of agave nectar and 1/4 cup maple syrup for the cookies. You could easily use a full 1/2 cup maple syrup or agave nectar instead of using both, if you prefer. I really suggest using the maple syrup for the flavor though.

  3. 3
    erin — September 30, 2012 5:40 pm

    Awesome, thanks Kate!

  4. 4
    Laura Dembowski — September 30, 2012 5:55 pm

    I love carrot cake and have been wanting to make it into cookies for awhile. Glad to see it was such a success. They look wonderful! While I don’t ever want summer to end, I also love baking with pumpkin and think carrots are a great detour :)

  5. 5
    Katie @ Oh Shine On — September 30, 2012 11:12 pm

    these look so tasty and delicious. oh and i totally love that you highlighted carrots in today’s recipe as opposed to the many posts all about pumpkin. it’s a change i’m totally diggin’

  6. 6
    Faye — September 30, 2012 11:44 pm

    These cookies look delicious! I love carrot cake and have never thought of making them as a cookie. Definitely going to have to give these a try!

  7. 7

    I love carrot cake! I bet it’s amazing in cookie form!

  8. 8
    christine — October 1, 2012 9:10 pm

    Hi. Just wanted to know if i could use whole wheat flour instead of whole wheat pastry flour? thanks. I really want to try this recipe. Thanks for posting!

    • kate replied: — October 2nd, 2012 12:43 pm

      Christine – I haven’t made them with regular whole wheat flour but I’m sure you certainly can! The texture will be slightly different (more dense) but I’m sure they will still be delicious. Give it a try and let us know how they come out!

  9. 9
    Leshia — October 3, 2012 3:54 pm

    I tried these cookies last night, and they are excellent (and they smell amazing as they bake)!!! I left out the walnuts, and the cookies are still good, but if you can put them in, I recommend it. The little crunch the nuts add is definitely an improvement.
    …I also left out the raisins because I’ve never liked raisins in my baking, and those I would still leave out.

  10. 10
    CK — January 30, 2013 10:05 pm

    I made these cookies yesterday and they were delicious! They taste just like mini carrot cakes. I didn’t like the icing too much however, and I feel they taste better without it.

  11. 11
    Julia — February 5, 2013 3:14 am

    I used fresh ground white wheat instead of the whole wheat pastry flour and it worked really well. They are delicious. I used a lot less frosting than was suggested. I found that too much frosting muted the flavor of the cookie more than I wanted. Thanks for the excellent recipe!

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