Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies

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Carrot Cake cookies with cream cheese frosting is just what your Easter called for! Classic oatmeal cookie loaded with carrots, spices, golden raisins, coconut, and walnuts!

carrot cake oatmeal cookie on a plate


 

I don’t know about you but when it comes to Easter desserts, I head straight for a slice of carrot cake slathered in cream cheese frosting. Or maybe a slice of my carrot cake loaf bread when I’m too lazy to make a cake. But then there’s an even easier way to enjoy my carrot cake. In cookie form!

Ok truth be told, I’m usually the person who brought the cake. Being the first one to cut the cake you brought is ok right?

Oh well whatever. I love carrot cake. In all its forms. In a carrot layer cake, or my easy Carrot Cupcakes. I’ll even enjoy it for breakfast like these carrot cake overnight oats! And now yes even when it comes in a cookie!

So does my dad. I blame genetics.

But we’re not talking cake today people. We are talking cookies. Carrot Cake meets Oatmeal cookies. Match made. Heaven. Everything you love about a carrot cake combined into a big chewy oatmeal cookie. I adapted this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated chewy oatmeal cookies by adding in some carrots, coconut, walnuts and golden raisins. And topping with a homemade cream cheese frosting of course. These cookies have a wonderful carrot cake flavor without all the fuss.

It’s got carrots, spices, golden raisins, coconut and toasted walnuts. You can also use dried pineapple if you’d like which gives it some great texture. 

See Also:

carrot cake oatmeal cookies topped with cream cheese frosting

Why You Will Love These Carrot Oatmeal Cookies

  • Everything you love about carrot cake in an easy oatmeal cookie!
  • Quick to prep
  • Wonderful texture with raisins, dried pineapple, and walnuts
  • Easy cream cheese frosting on top that’s to die for!
  • Great to freeze to enjoy later!
carrot cake oatmeal cookies topped with cream cheese frosting on a wooden platter

Ingredients Needed

For the cookies:

  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Baking Powder
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon 
  • Cloves
  • Carrots – I recommend grating the carrots by hand for the best texture.
  • Unsalted Butter – You can swap with salted butter but reduce the salt.
  • Brown sugar – If you don’t have you can make your own brown sugar! You could also swap and use dark brown sugar.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs – Make sure the eggs are at room temperature so the cold eggs don’t seize up the butter
  • Oats – I prefer old fashioned oats rather than quick oats. Quick oats are powdery and don’t make the best texture.
  • Walnuts – I recommend toasting the walnuts first. You can always swap with toasted pecans!
  • Raisins – I love golden raisins but regular raisins also work
  • Coconut – I like to use sweetened coconut but unsweetened coconut works as well. 

For the cream cheese frosting: 

  • Cream Cheese – Make sure your cream cheese is softened to room temperature so you get a smooth frostnig. 
  • Butter
  • Powdered sugar – You can always make your own powdered sugar!
  • Vanilla
carrot cake oatmeal cookies ingredients

How To Make These Carrot Cake Cookies

Make the cookies

Adjust oven racks to middle positions; heat oven to 350°F (177°C). Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats

Start by whisking together the flour, salt, baking powder, and spices together.

carrot cookie dry ingredients in a bowl with a whisk

Using a box grater, grate about 5-6 medium carrots (needs to equal about one cup). Place the shredded carrots over a colander that has been set over another bowl. Sprinkle with one tablespoon of brown sugar. Let drain while you prepare the rest of the cookie dough.

This extra step will help remove some of the extra moisture in the carrots to help make for a chewy cookie instead of a cakey one.

carrots in a colander

In bowl of electric mixer or by hand, beat butter until creamy. Add the brown sugar and white sugar; beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

butter and sugar creamed together in a bowl

Beat in eggs one at a time. Make sure each egg is incorporated completely before adding the next.

egg added to creamed butter sugar mixture

Stir in the shredded carrots that have been combined with the brown sugar. Leave any liquid behind that drained out of the carrots.

carrots stirred into cookie dough

Stir in the dry ingredients on low speed, into the creamed butter-sugar-egg mixture with wooden spoon or large rubber spatula until just combined.

flour mixture stirred into cookie dough

Then stir in your carrot cake cookie mix-ins. Stir in oats and optional mix-ins (coconut, walnuts, raisins or dried pineapple).I used toasted walnuts, coconut, and golden raisins. I also love using dried pineapple. You can use whatever combination you want. Swap out the walnuts for pecans. Golden raisins for regular!

carrot cake oatmeal cookie mix-ins are stirred  into cookie dough

Form dough into about 24 2-inch balls, placing each dough round onto one of two parchment paper–covered, large cookie sheets. Bake until cookie edges turn golden brown, 18-20 minutes. Press them down lightly. These cookies won’t spread much so this helps them out a bit.

Pro Tip: Halfway during baking, turn cookie sheets from front to back and also switch them from top to bottom.

carrot cake oatmeal cookie dough balls on a baking sheet

Slide cookies on parchment onto cooling rack. Let cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

baked carrot cake oatmeal cookies on a baking sheet

If you decide to make the frosting for the cookies, cream together the cream cheese and butter until well combined. Add in the vanilla extract. Add in the confectioner sugar 1/2 cup at a time until incorporated.

Beat until smooth and combined. Frost the cookies once they are completely chilled.

This frosting makes quite a a bit, so you can either make a half batch or just save some for some other tasty recipe. The frosting freezes well.

carrot cake oatmeal cookies being frosted

Recipe Tips

  • Be sure to measure your flour correctly. If your flour isn’t measured correctly it can result in a cakey cookie instead of a perfectly chewy cookie. I recommend using a kitchen scale. But if you do use dry measuring cups, then be sure to fluff up the flour first, then spoon into your cup and level it off. Click here –> for more on how to measure your flour correctly.
  • Room temperature eggs – You want those eggs to be room temperature so everything gets incorporated evenly. I always put mine in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes before I start.
  • Soften Your Butter – You want softened butter so that you can properly cream your butter and sugar together. If the butter is too cold, the sugar won’t be able to “punch holes” into the butter and create air pockets which help with leavening. If the butter is too warm, it can cause the butter cookies to spread too much. Here are 3 fast ways to soften your butter.
  • Shred your carrots by hand. Yup I said by hand. I know…wouldn’t a food processor be easier? Yes it would be, but I don’t like the texture the food processor gives the carrots. And it’s like 5-6 carrots tops. Totally worth the time and arm workout.
  • Put your shredded carrots in a colander over a bowl. You want to sprinkle the carrots with a tablespoon of brown sugar. This helps removes the excess moisture from the carrots. I picked this little handy trick up from when I worked in a bakery a couple years ago. You will be surprised how much water comes out of them!
  • Don’t over mix the batter. Leave a few streaks of flour still remaining and then add in your oats and dried fruit. This will ensure your cookies stay soft and don’t get too tough on you.
carrot cake oatmeal cookies topped with cream cheese frosting and chopped walnuts

Recipe FAQs

How should I store these cookies?

Because of the frosting, I recommend storing these cookies in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Can I Freeze These Cookies?

Yes you can. Game changer right? You can freeze cookies baked or unbaked.
There is lots of reason to freeze your cookie dough – from having a fresh hot cookie whenever you want it to getting ahead of a bake sale. To freeze you want to portion out your cookie dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. For freezing cookies I prefer these small cookie sheets so they fit in my freezer. Then freeze solid and pop into a ziploc bag.
When ready to bake, just add a few additional minutes of bake time. That’s it!
If freezing baked cookies, let them cool completely. Freeze solid then place in a ziploc bag or airtight container.

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carrot cake oatmeal cookie on a plate

Carrot Cake Cookies

Oatmeal cookie meets carrot cake. A big chewy oatmeal cookie loaded with carrots, spices, raisins, and pineapple! Top with cream cheese frosting for the perfect treat!
5 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories: 354kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (180 g) all-purpose flour *spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or a pinch of dried
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup (100 g) shredded carrots *about 5-6 medium
  • 1 cup (213 g) packed light brown sugar *divided
  • 1 cup (2 sticks, 226 g) unsalted butter softened but still firm
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 3 cups (300 g) old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup (149 g) golden raisins (or regular)
  • 1 cup (128 g) toasted walnuts chopped
  • 1 cup (85 g) shredded sweetened coconut

Cream Cheese Frosting (optional)

  • 8 ounces (227 g) cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick, 113 g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups (284 g) confectioners sugar *powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Prep oven and pans. Adjust oven racks to middle positions; heat oven to 350°F (177°C). Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats
  • Combine dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking powder, and spices together. Set aside.
  • Prep carrots. Using a box grater, grate about 5-6 medium carrots (needs to equal about one cup). Place the shredded carrots over a colander that has been set over another bowl. Sprinkle with one tablespoon of brown sugar. Let drain while you prepare the rest of the cookie dough.
  • Cream butter and sugar. In bowl of electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter until creamy, about 1-2 minutes Add remaining brown sugar and granulated sugar; beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add eggs and carrots. Beat in eggs one at a time until completely incorporated. Stir in carrots.
  • Add dry ingredients. Stir in flour mixture on low speed, into the creamed butter-sugar-egg mixture with wooden spoon or large rubber spatula until just combined. Stir in oats and optional mix-ins (coconut, walnuts, raisins or dried pineapple).
  • Add mix-ins. On low speed, or with a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in oats coconut, walnuts, and raisins.
  • Scoop and bake. Using a small cookie scoop, or two spoons scoop dough into about 24 2-inch balls, placing each dough round onto one of two parchment paper–covered, spaced about 2 inches apart, large cookie sheets. Press down slightly. Bake until cookie edges turn golden brown, 18-20 minutes. (Halfway during baking, turn cookie sheets from front to back and also switch them from top to bottom.) Slide cookies on parchment onto cooling rack. Let cool at least 30 minutes before serving.
  • Make frosting. If you decide to make the frosting for the cookies, with an electric mixer beat together on medium speed the cream cheese and butter until well combined (about 2-3 minutes). Add in the confectioner sugar 1/2 cup at a time until incorporated. Beat until smooth and combined. Stir in vanilla extract. Frost the cookies once they are completely chilled. This frosting makes quite a a bit, so you can either make a half batch or just save some for some other tasty recipe. The frosting freezes well.

Notes

  • Storage: Because of the frosting, I recommend storing these cookies in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  •  
    Freezing: You can freeze cookies baked or unbaked. To freeze you want to portion out your cookie dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. For freezing cookies I prefer these small cookie sheets so they fit in my freezer. Then freeze solid and pop into a ziploc bag. When ready to bake, just add a few additional minutes of bake time. That’s it!If freezing baked cookies, let them cool completely. Freeze solid then place in a ziploc bag or airtight container for up to 3 months.
  • Be sure to measure your flour correctly. If your flour isn’t measured correctly it can result in a cakey cookie instead of a perfectly chewy cookie. I recommend using a kitchen scale. But if you do use dry measuring cups, then be sure to fluff up the flour first, then spoon into your cup and level it off. Click here –> for more on how to measure your flour correctly
  • Room temperature eggs – You want those eggs to be room temperature so everything gets incorporated evenly. I always put mine in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes before I start. 
  • Soften Your Butter – You want softened butter so that you can properly cream your butter and sugar together. If the butter is too cold, the sugar won’t be able to “punch holes” into the butter and create air pockets which help with leavening. If the butter is too warm, it can cause the butter cookies to spread too much. Here are 3 fast ways to soften your butter.
  • Shred your carrots by hand. Yup I said by hand. I know…wouldn’t a food processor be easier? Yes it would be, but I don’t like the texture the food processor gives the carrots. And it’s like 5-6 carrots tops. Totally worth the time and arm workout.
  • Put your shredded carrots in a colander over a bowl. You want to sprinkle the carrots with a tablespoon of brown sugar. This helps removes the excess moisture from the carrots. I picked this little handy trick up from when I worked in a bakery a couple years ago. You will be surprised how much water comes out of them!
  • Don’t over mix the batter. Leave a few streaks of flour still remaining and then add in your oats and dried fruit. This will ensure your cookies stay soft and don’t get too tough on you.

Nutrition

Calories: 354kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 126mg | Potassium: 148mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 1390IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1.2mg
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12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These are so yummy! I didn’t include the frosting because they were perfectly sweetened without it and so moist. They are also a little easier to pack for on-the-go without it. Great cookie!

    1. aw thank you Adrienne! I’m so glad you loved these (even without the frosting!) and yes great cookie for on the go!

  2. Thanks for the Carrot cake oatmeal cookies recipe. It kept having some add in a black box in the left hand corner of my screen.
    I can’t wait to try this recipe.

    1. Hi Mary! I’m so excited for you to try the recipe! Hope you love it 🙂 and I’ll check on the pop up!

  3. I had a bunch of carrots and decided to try something new with them: a cookie! I’m glad I did. This is a great way to have that delicious carrot cake flavor. The only downside is that, as a cookie, it’s super easy to just grab several! I’m not sure how long they will last in my house.

    I did a couple of subs, but still, delicious.
    1. Coconut oil for butter in a 1:1 to make it dairy free. They don’t have the airiness that butter would give, but I’ve gotten used to that with my dairy-free baking.
    2. Cut out a cup of sugar using 1/2 brown and 1/2 white instead. Perfectly sweet!
    3. Added an extra cups of carrots (2 total) instead of the other mix-ins (raisins, shredded coconut). More veggies! I also used tricolored carrots, which didn’t change the taste.
    Oh, and I didn’t add frosting because I don’t like frosting.
    I’ll be adding this recipe to my baking list.

  4. 5 stars
    I made these on Saturday for Easter and they were some of the best cookies I’ve ever had! Thank you!

    1. I adore comments like this Ashley! It makes my day truly it does. And I’m so happy to hear that you made them and loved them!!

  5. 5 stars
    I made these Saturday and they are FANTASTIC! My husband says that they are so much better than carrot cake. I found a minor typo in the instructions for the recipe – in Step 4 when it says to stir in oats, etc, there was no actual mention of coconut and walnuts. I double checked the recipe several times to make sure I hadn’t missed something and then proceeded to stir in then. Secondly, I had to use an additional cup of powdered sugar and the frosting was still a bit too soft. I’m assuming this may have been because I used oleo instead of butter, fat free cream cheese, and skim rather than whole milk (needed to make these a bit more heart healthy!). Regardless, this recipe is a keeper! My best friend and I have been passing a Christmas tin of goodies back and forth for over 30 years. On my next turn in 2020, I know what I will be baking for the tin – carrot cake cookies!

    1. Oh my gosh you just made my day! And thank you for catching the typo. All fixed 🙂 My original recipe I didn’t use the coconut and walnuts hence it missing from the recipe..but all set now! And yes probably the frosting was too thin because of the variations but glad you got it to thicken up! Nothing wrong with making it a bit healthier. That’s so sweet to know that I will become a part of your friend’s tradition..that just makes me so happy to hear!!

      1. I want to freeze these cookies. Should I wait to ice them when they come out of freezer or before they go in?

      2. Hi Jill, I would recommend icing after you take them out the freezer and they have thawed.

  6. Nothing beats a classic carrot cake cookies – the one that has a touch of cinnamon and walnuts. Thanks for the recipe.

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