Alternating pattern of soft carrot cake cookies frosted two ways, half with full cream cheese frosting and a frosting carrot detail and half with a frosting drizzle and chopped nuts.

There is something perfectly springtime about carrot cake. And these adorable carrot cake cookies take everyone’s favorite Easter cake and turn it into a sharable, hand-held cookie that will look perfect on your Easter buffet table!

These cookies have all the beloved flavors of carrot cake, morphed into cookie form. They are quick to make and easy to decorate with our simple cream cheese frosting. Let’s get baking!

Carrot cake cookies topped with frosting on a white plate alongside a glass of milk.

What do I need to make these cookies?

Most of the ingredients for these carrot cake cookies are standard baking ingredients, like all-purpose flour, sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs. The two exceptions are:

  • Shredded carrots. While the bagged matchstick carrots sold in the produce section can be super-useful for salads and slaws, they won’t work for these cookies. Instead, finely shred the carrots with a box grater or food processor so that the carrots almost melt into the cookies and add carrot flavor without the carrot crunch.
  • Pecans (optional). Pecans add more flavor and texture to the cookies. If you don’t have them or aren’t a fan, you can replace them with finely chopped walnuts or leave them out entirely.

How do you make carrot cake cookies?

Once all your ingredients are assembled, making the dough for carrot cake cookies is simple!

A divided image shows the steps for making carrot cake cookies
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a handheld electric mixer to cream the butter with both kinds of sugar.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla. Scrape the sides of the bowl if needed.
  4. Whisk together the dry ingredients, and carefully add them to the wet ingredients.
  5. Add the carrots and optionally, the nuts.
  6. Scoop onto a lined baking sheet, and bake for 10-12 minutes. The dough will be thicker and wetter than other cookie doughs—a cookie scoop will make it easier to form and shape the cookies without making a giant mess.
  7. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before decorating the top of each cookie with cream cheese frosting.

Protip: Don’t let those cookies stick!

These cookies tend to stick to the pan if you skip the parchment paper or silicone sheet. If you don’t line the pan, be sure to slide a spatula under each cookie when they are still warm from the oven to separate them from the baking sheet, and then let them cool completely on the pan.

Close view of a piping bag squeezing cream cheese frosting out in a zigzag pattern over cooled cookies.

What kind of frosting is on top?

Just like a typical carrot cake, these cookies are topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting. To make it, beat butter with cream cheese, and add confectioner’s sugar a bit at a time until it is fully mixed. Add vanilla extract and just enough milk to get it to the right consistency, and your frosting is ready to go on top of the cookies.

Can I use bagged shredded carrots?

Nope, sorry. The bagged matchstick or julienned carrots are too thick to bake nicely into cookies. Grate carrots on the side of a box grater, or pulse them in a blender or food processor until they are finely shredded.

Birdseye view of frosted carrot cake cookies on a wooden cutting board.

How long do carrot cake cookies last?

Store carrot cake cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Chilled, they will be fresh and safe to eat for five days. We don’t recommend leaving the cookies at room temperature for more than two hours, or the frosting will begin to melt.

Can you freeze carrot cake cookies?

Sure can! We recommend freezing them unfrosted. Just place the cookies on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and then freeze until solid. Then transfer the cookies to a large freezer bag and keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can also freeze the frosting separately in a food storage container, canning jar, or freezer bag. Let both the cookies and frosting thaw at room temperature on the counter for about an hour before enjoying.

Alternating pattern of soft carrot cake cookies frosted two ways, half with full cream cheese frosting and a frosting carrot detail and half with a frosting drizzle and chopped nuts.

Carrot Cake Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

We transformed classic carrot cake into chewy, soft cookies. These are sure to please carrot cake lovers and carrot cake skeptics alike.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups finely shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar or powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk - adjust for consistency


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper. Set aside. 
  2. In a large bowl, use a stand mixer or electric mixer on medium speed to beat together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. 
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla and continue beating until fully incorporated, set aside. 
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  5. Carefully add the flour mixture to the wet mixture until fully mixed. 
  6. Adjust the speed of the electric mixer to low and add the carrots. If you want to add nuts, you can add 1/2 cup at this time. Continue mixing until fully incorporated. 
  7. Using a medium cooking scoop, drop tablespoon-sized dough balls onto the prepared baking sheet about two inches apart. 
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are cooked through. 
  9. Allow to cool before icing. 

To make the icing:

  1. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter and cream cheese. 
  2. Carefully add the confectioners' sugar, 1 cup at a time, until it is fully incorporated. 
  3. Add the vanilla and milk, using more or less to reach desired consistency. 
  4. Use the icing to first the cookies or drizzle on as a glaze.  You can also color the icing and pipe a carrot on the cookies. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 333Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 128mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 1gSugar: 32gProtein: 3g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Want more easy springtime desserts like these cookies?

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