Easter time means all of the carrot cake things! Not in the mood to make a full carrot cake? Then try these chewy carrot cake cookies with cream cheese frosting! They are like mini little carrot cakes but in cookie form! They are soft, chewy, and full of yummy carrot cake flavor. The perfect Easter dessert!
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Easter is literally just around the corner, and this means that carrot cake desserts are alllll over the place! I mean, everywhere. I love carrot cake treats. Our wedding cake was even carrot cake flavor, so that should show you how important carrot cake desserts are in my life!
While I do love a thick, layered carrot cake with gobs of luscious cream cheese frosting, that can be a lot of work and a lot of leftovers! So I decided to whip up these chewy carrot cake cookies – they really are cake-like, soft, and full of cinnamon-y carrot cake flavor! Topped with cream cheese frosting of course, because what is carrot cake without the cream cheese frosting?!
Read on for how to make these easy little carrot cake cookies!
The great thing about these carrot cake cookies is that you can whip them up with just a few ingredients that you likely already have on hand!
- Unsalted Butter
- Brown Sugar
- Granulated Sugar
- Baking Soda
- Cream of Tartar
- Spices – Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cloves
- Shredded Carrots
- Quick Oats
- Chopped Pecans (optional) – Use any chopped nut you want or even substitute shredded coconut or raisins!
- Cream Cheese
- Vanilla Extract
- Powdered Sugar
Tips for Making the Best Chewy Carrot Cake Cookies
In order to make these cookies the chewiest and most cakey carrot cake cookies, follow my tips below!
Don’t use pre-shredded carrots. Pre-shredded carrots are super convenient, but I like to shred my own from whole carrots because they have extra moisture when they are fresh. This makes the cookies super tender!
Use equal parts cream of tartar and baking soda. I’ve learned that using a combo of both baking soda and cream of tartar in cookies makes them super thick, chewy, and delicious! Cream of tartar helps the cookies rise better, giving them a more fluffy and chewy texture.
Use room temperature ingredients. This helps everything come together better without the risk of overmixing! If you overmix, the texture of the carrot cake cookies will not be as cake-like and fluffy.
Use a cookie scoop. This will help you get the most uniform and round cookies! It makes it much easier to portion out your dough. I used a 1.5 tbsp scoop for these cookies, but feel free to use what you have – just be sure to adjust the baking time if your cookies are larger or smaller!
High Altitude Instructions for Cookies
For reference, I live at 5,800 feet. These adjustments would likely give you the result that you are looking for if you live within a few hundred feet of where I am at. But high altitude baking can be a lot of trial and error! This should give you a starting point to go off of to experiment with your own ingredients at whatever elevation you live at! I would also recommend checking out this guide here.
High Altitude Adjustments for Carrot Cake Cookies
- Flour – increase by 2 tbsp. Additional flour helps to strengthen the structure of the baked good so that it will rise correctly.
- Brown Sugar – decrease by 1 tbsp. This should hold true at most high elevations. Always decrease your sugars by 1 tbsp. per cup.
- Granulated Sugar – decrease by 1/2 tbsp. Same reasoning as for the brown sugar.
- Baking Soda– decrease to 1/4 tsp. You can see this table on King Arthur’s website for how to adjust leavening agents for higher elevations (scroll down a ways to the “Leavening” section on their site). For my elevation, I typically cut all leavening agents in half. This allows for the right chemical reactions to happen between the other ingredients for the perfect rise. If there is too much leavening within the batter, not all of it gets used up (not all of it reacts with the other ingredients). You are then left over with a soapy bitter-tasting baked good due to the excess baking soda or baking powder in the batter.
- Cream of Tartar- decrease to 1/4 tsp. Same reasoning as for other leavening agents.
- Increase oven temperature to 380° F. Since rising and evaporation proceed more quickly at higher elevations, you will want to use a higher baking temperature to set the structure of the baked goods so that they don’t sink in the middle and dry out on the edges. I recommend starting with increasing the baking temperature stated in the recipe by 10° F – 15° F and going up from there in small increments (all the way up to 25° F increase if needed).
- Decrease baking time by 5 or more minutes. This is because you will be baking at a higher temperature. You don’t want your dessert to burn! I usually decrease by 5-8 minutes per 30 minutes of baking time and adjust from there. Keep a close eye on your dessert in the oven while you are experimenting with time and baking temps.
I hope that you enjoy these chewy little carrot cake cookies! They would be great for Easter, or really anytime in the warmer months!
More Yummy Cookie Recipes!
- M&M Monster Sandwich Cookies
- Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Brown Butter Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- Espresso Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
As always, be sure to tag me in your photos on Instagram if you make my recipe or use #bucketsofyum in your photos! I love to see what you are baking.
Chewy Carrot Cake Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Carrot Cake Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup freshly shredded carrots (about 3-4 medium carrots)
- 2 cups quick oats
- 1 cup chopped pecans (or any other nut, shredded coconut, raisins, etc.)
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 oz full-fat cream cheese (room temperature)
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2½ cups powdered sugar (sifted)
- pinch of salt
For the Carrot Cake Cookies
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
- With the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time until well incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract, scraping down the sides as needed.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Do not overmix (a few streaks of flour are ok).
- Using a spatula, gently fold in the shredded carrots, oats and pecans. Scoop dough using a 1½ tablespoon cookie scoop, roll in your hands and place on your prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or just until the edges of the cookies are golden brown. Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet on a wire rack before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Beat in the vanilla.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the powdered sugar. Increase mixer to high speed and beat until thick and creamy. Add milk if consistency is too thick. Add a pinch of salt if you find that the frosting is too sweet for your liking. Frost cookies, top with pecans or coconut, and enjoy!
- Cookies should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and will last up to 3 days
- Cookies can be frozen in gallon-sized bags and frosted later. Cookies will last in freezer (unfrosted) for up to 1 month
- Flour – increase by 2 tbsp.
- Brown Sugar – decrease by 1 tbsp.
- Granulated Sugar – decrease by 1/2 tbsp.
- Baking Soda– decrease to 1/4 tsp.
- Cream of Tartar – decrease to 1/4 tsp.
- Increase oven temperature to 380° F
- Decrease baking time by 5 or more minutes