Carrot Cake Cookies

These carrot cake cookies live up to their name! They have a soft, cake-like texture, a sweet, spiced flavor, and a tangy cream cheese frosting on top.

Carrot cake cookies

As I sat down to write this post, I remembered that I have a stash of these carrot cake cookies in the freezer. Just like carrot cake, they’re soft, moist, and filled with warm, spiced flavor. Walnuts or pecans add nutty crunch, and a tangy cream cheese frosting takes them over the top. Right now, I’m using all my willpower to resist running down the kitchen and devouring one on the spot.

But no! I want to tell you all about these carrot cake cookies first. They’re the perfect spring treat – wholesome enough for an afternoon snack, brunch, or (without the frosting) even breakfast, but still delicious enough for dessert. Jack’s picky about his carrot cake, and he can’t get enough of them. I think you’ll love them too.

Carrot cake cookie recipe ingredients

Carrot Cake Cookie Recipe Ingredients

These carrot cake cookies taste just like their namesake – soft, spiced, and sweet – but they’re secretly healthy! Here’s what’s in them:

  • Grated carrots, of course! Be sure to shred your own carrots for this recipe. Store bought shredded carrots are too dry and coarse.
  • Ground flaxseed – Did I mention that these cookies are vegan? The flax replaces an egg, binding the cookie dough together.
  • Oat flour, almond flour, and whole rolled oats – Together, they give these cookies an amazing soft texture. They also make this recipe gluten-free!
  • Baking powder and baking soda – They help the cookies puff up as they bake.
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg – They fill the cookies with spiced carrot cake flavor.
  • Almond butter – It thickens the dough and adds rich, nutty flavor.
  • Coconut oil – For richness.
  • Maple syrup – It sweetens these cookies naturally and adds subtle maple flavor.
  • Vanilla extract – For warm depth of flavor.
  • Walnuts or pecans – They add a yummy nutty crunch! Use whichever you prefer – both are delicious.
  • And sea salt – To make all the flavors pop!

If you like, finish the cookies with cream cheese frosting. I top mine with this vegan frosting made from vegan butter, vegan cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Pouring bowl of wet ingredients into bowl of dry ingredients

How to Make Carrot Cake Cookies

These carrot cake cookies are easy to make! Here’s what you need to do:

First, prepare the flax egg. Mix the ground flaxseed and warm water together in a small bowl, and set the mixture aside to thicken.

Meanwhile, combine the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another. When the flax mixture has thickened, whisk it into the wet ingredients. Then, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones.

Hand stirring cookie dough with spatula

Use a spatula to fold until the ingredients are just combined. Finally, fold in the walnuts or pecans.

Scoops of carrot cake cookie dough on a baking sheet

Next, scoop the cookies! Use a large 1/4-cup cookie scoop to portion the dough onto two large, parchment-lined baking sheets.

Carrot cake cookies on marble

Finally, bake. Transfer one sheet to a 350° oven and bake until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining sheet.

If desired, top the cookies with cream cheese frosting, and enjoy!

Carrot cake cookies with cream cheese frosting

Carrot Cake Cookies Tips

  • It’ll be tempting to underbake them. Don’t! When you’re working with oat flour, it can be tricky to gauge when baked goods are done. These cookies might look nicely puffed and ready to eat after just 18 or 20 minutes in the oven, but in actuality, they may need a few minutes more. The best indicator here is their coloring. Make sure that they’re beginning to brown around the edges before you remove them from the oven. If the cookies are underdone, they’ll end up very soft and crumbly.
  • Don’t reach for one right away. These soft-baked cookies are fragile when they first come out of the oven, but they firm up as they cool. Make sure to leave them on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes to set up before you transfer them to a wire rack. Otherwise, the cookies will crumble!
  • If you want to frost them, allow them to cool completely first. Just like when you make carrot cake, you need to allow the cookies to cool to room temperature before you top them with frosting. If they’re still warm, the frosting will melt!
  • Freeze the extras. These carrot cake cookies freeze perfectly. I like to eat one right away and freeze the rest for days when I’m craving something sweet. To thaw, leave them in the fridge overnight, or let them sit for an hour at room temperature. Or, for a faster treat, pop them in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

Carrot cake cookies recipe

More Favorite Cookie Recipes

If you love these carrot cake cookies, try one of these cookie recipes next:

Carrot Cake Cookies

rate this recipe:
4.91 from 10 votes
Serves 12
These carrot cake cookies are soft, moist, and warmly spiced. Made with oat flour, almond butter, and flaxseed, they're (secretly) healthy enough to eat for breakfast or a snack. Top them with cream cheese frosting for a more decadent treat!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 5 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup additional whole rolled oats
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup grated carrots, (about 3 medium)
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 recipe Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, combine the flaxseed and warm water and set aside to thicken for 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the oat flour, the additional 1 cup rolled oats, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the carrots, almond butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup, and vanilla and stir well. Add the flaxseed mixture and stir well to incorporate.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and fold in just until combined. Fold in the walnuts.
  • Scoop ¼ cup of batter for each cookie onto the baking sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 20 to 24 minutes, or until browned around the edges. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • When cookies are completely cool, pipe with cream cheese frosting, if desired.

Notes

These carrot cake cookies are soft and puffy, almost like a muffin top. The amount they puff up varies based on the exact ingredients you use. 

23 comments

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  1. Kate
    03.18.2021

    These look fabulous. Can I sub regular flour for the oat flour?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.18.2021

      Hi Kate, we haven’t made it that way, so I’m not sure. If you have oats you can easily make your own oat flour (that’s what we do, I never buy oat flour). The instructions are in that link in the recipe.

    • Melody
      03.24.2021

      5 stars
      I subbed regular flour and they came out great! I used a little under 3/4 of a cup.

  2. Avni
    03.18.2021

    These look so good! Can I use an egg instead of flaxseeds?

  3. Vanessa Bagworth
    03.18.2021

    Do you think peanut butter would work instead of almond?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.18.2021

      Hi Vanessa, I think it would have a strong peanut taste so I don’t recommend it. Cashew butter might a more mild replacement.

  4. Karen
    03.19.2021

    I really like these cookies, they are delicious, however mine were very, very soft and fell apart easily. I read and followed the directions. The only change I made was instead of 1 cup of shredded carrots I substituted 1/2 c carrot and 1/2 c fresh pineapple. I just wondered if the fresh pineapple made then too soft?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.19.2021

      Hi Karen, the pineapple would definitely be the problem since it would introduce so much excess moisture to the cookies.

  5. Anthony
    03.19.2021

    I really liked the frosting on this amazing carrot cake. Looking forward to more of your recipes on your blog.

  6. Sabrina from newkitchenlife.com
    03.20.2021

    great idea for a cookie! love the vegan cream cheese frosting too to complete the carrot cake flavor, thank you!

  7. Rachel
    03.21.2021

    These look amazing. 2 questions— how many eggs would I use instead of flax and what other oil besides coconut oil would you recommend.

    Thank you!!!

  8. H YOUNG
    03.21.2021

    5 stars
    I made these today while it was pouring rain outside. They turned out delicious. Mine were pretty sturdy as I don’t think I blended my oats to make oat flour enough. I also added golden raisins. On the 2nd batch I decided to slightly flatten the cookie, I’ll do that in the future as mine didn’t “self-flatten” at all. The cookies turned out chunky and hefty and delicious with some frosting on top. YUM. I have a photo but not sure if I can attach to this post. Thank you for a great recipe.

  9. Aditi
    03.22.2021

    4 stars
    These were so tasty! However, mine were super soft and kept falling apart. Would recommend it for people who don’t know to mention you have to strain the grated carrots.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.22.2021

      Hi Aditi, did you change anything about the recipe, and you grated your own carrots? How long did you bake them for? It’s possible they could have baked a little longer, or sat on the baking sheet a little longer to firm up.

  10. PJ
    03.25.2021

    5 stars
    I had to try these 😀
    I really liked them, the kids too. 🙂
    The only thing I changed was an egg for the flaxseed, because the kids needed empty egg shells for school project 😉
    They taste good even without the frosting.
    I grated my carrots very finely, so that I hardly see and taste them. I taste the almods and maple syrup more.
    Definitely a keeper!

  11. Holly
    03.25.2021

    My kids and I are devouring these for a fun afternoon snack. Thanks so much for another fabulous recipe!

  12. Elizabeth May
    04.03.2021

    These sounds great! Could I substitute carrot pulp for grated carrots?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.03.2021

      Hi Elizabeth, no it needs to be grated carrots.

  13. Claire Van Konynenburg
    04.05.2021

    5 stars
    I made them exactly as written and they came out great! Delicious, not to sweet, just perfect. I did frost them as pictured! I highly recommend them for those who want the carrot cake experience in a cookie! I froze half too.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.06.2021

      Hi Claire, I’m so glad you loved them!

  14. Giulia
    04.06.2021

    I have a little girl with type 1 diabetes so we do carb counting, it would be really important if you could add nutrition facts , especially carbohydrates,bro the recipes. Thank you.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.06.2021

      I’m sorry, I don’t calculate nutrition facts but there are sites online like my fitness pal, that have online food calculators.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.