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Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Cooking Light and Real Simple, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #FreshandFab http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies ~ mini carrot cake whoopie pies filled with cream cheese frosting make an easy, hand-held Easter dessert | FiveHeartHome.comCarrot cake-flavored cookies are sandwiched together with cream cheese frosting in these cute little whoopie pies, making them an easy-to-serve, hand-held dessert, perfect for a springtime get-together or Easter celebration!

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies ~ mini carrot cake whoopie pies filled with cream cheese frosting make an easy, hand-held Easter dessert | FiveHeartHome.comNow that we have officially entered spring, I officially have Easter on the brain. The weather is getting warmer, the grass is beginning to green up, the flowers are starting to bloom, and lots of yummy spring produce is hitting the stores and farmers markets. And as much as I love incorporating those fresh, delicious veggies into salads and Easter-worthy side dishes, it’s even more fun turning them into dessert!

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies ~ mini carrot cake whoopie pies filled with cream cheese frosting make an easy, hand-held Easter dessert | FiveHeartHome.comSo raise your hand if you love carrot cake? I always enjoy it when I have the opportunity to eat it, but I must confess that I don’t really think to make it until Easter time rolls around. And as much as I love cake in general, sometimes it’s fun to try a new spin on a classic dessert. That’s why I was so excited to come across this recipe for Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies!

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies ~ mini carrot cake whoopie pies filled with cream cheese frosting make an easy, hand-held Easter dessert | FiveHeartHome.comThese little babies are basically carrot cake with cream cheese frosting reincarnated as lightened-up, mini whoopie pies. The cookies themselves are very cake-like, tender, and sweet, and the filling is only the best type of frosting ever. Okay, so perhaps that’s my opinion, but I think you’ll agree that this cream cheese filling is a perfect complement to the cinnamon-spiced, carrot-studded cookies.

On top of all of that deliciousness, these cute little cookies are perfectly portioned and would be easy to serve and eat at any springtime or Easter gathering. Think about it…all the yumminess of carrot cake without having to slice a cake, serve it on plates, and eat it with forks. Just let everyone grab a cookie and dessert is done!

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies ~ mini carrot cake whoopie pies filled with cream cheese frosting make an easy, hand-held Easter dessert | FiveHeartHome.comI think children will be especially fond of these, and you can inwardly cackle at the thought that they’re ingesting nutritious carrots as a part of their sweet treat. Maybe I’m the only one who cackles at such hidden-veggie trickery? Honestly, though, my kids knew that these cookies contained carrots and that didn’t slow them down in the least.

I present to you Exhibit A. Big brother was at school and baby sister was taking a nap, so the 4-year-old was more than happy to act as my numero uno taste tester…and he approved, as evident in his slightly sugar-crazed look in that last pic.

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies ~ mini carrot cake whoopie pies filled with cream cheese frosting make an easy, hand-held Easter dessert | FiveHeartHome.com I actually came across this clever recipe while flipping through the latest issue of Cooking Light. I believe I’ve mentioned before my love of magazines (ahem, enough to include it in #1), and to say that my love borders on addiction would probably be an understatement. I find reading each and every word of a magazine, cover to cover, to be the ultimate means of relaxation. I border on hoarder when it comes to magazines, because I have a hard time throwing away such treasure troves of recipes and ideas. As a result, I keep some of my favorite issues in their entireties, and for other issues, I rip out and save lots of pages before (reluctantly) tossing them into recycling (and that’s only because my non-hoarder hubby makes me…killjoy). I’m also the girl who blows half of her vacation budget at the airport newsstand buying each current issue of every favorite magazine for the plane ride. Y’all do that, too, right?

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies ~ mini carrot cake whoopie pies filled with cream cheese frosting make an easy, hand-held Easter dessert | FiveHeartHome.comSo you can imagine my excitement when I found out that there is currently a promotion running whereby you can purchase the April issues of Real Simple and Cooking Light magazines at Target to receive a $5 Target gift card back! Um, my magazine addict math tells me that’s basically like buy one, get one free. In other words, SCORE! Because who wouldn’t love the excuse to head back to Target later today tomorrow soon to spend that gift card burning a hole in your pocket?! I mean, you could even get another magazine!

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies ~ mini carrot cake whoopie pies filled with cream cheese frosting make an easy, hand-held Easter dessert | FiveHeartHome.comHmmm…it appears naptime is over.

I marked lots of recipes in my shiny new Real Simple and Cooking Light for whipping up this spring. I’m all about quick and easy, healthy recipes using fresh, seasonal ingredients that I can feel good about feeding my family…and let’s just say that I’m going to be hiding these two magazines from my husband so that they can go into my “hoarder” collection. ;) These April issues are good ones, y’all.

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies ~ mini carrot cake whoopie pies filled with cream cheese frosting make an easy, hand-held Easter dessert | FiveHeartHome.comI hope you’re able to take advantage of this deal the next time you swing by Target, and I hope you have a chance to try these Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies this spring! They’re a little bit different and a whole lot delicious, and I think they’d be a perfect addition to your spring festivities or Easter celebration. I’m pretty sure that my kiddos will be requesting them this Easter…and again and again after that, all year long. And I’m pretty sure that I’ll happily oblige them, because let’s just say that the kids weren’t the only ones who adored these tasty little carrot cake whoopie pies. :)

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies ~ mini carrot cake whoopie pies filled with cream cheese frosting make an easy, hand-held Easter dessert | FiveHeartHome.comRecipe reprinted, with permission, from Cooking Light, April 2014.

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

Yield: 14 sandwich cookies

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

Carrot cake-flavored cookies are sandwiched together with cream cheese frosting in these cute little whoopie pies, making them an easy-to-serve, hand-held dessert, perfect for a springtime get-together or Easter celebration!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded carrot
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 4.5 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Combine carrot and 3 tablespoons brown sugar in a bowl; toss to coat. Place carrot mixture in a fine mesh sieve; let stand to drain for 10 minutes. Discard liquid.
  3. Place 2 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 45 seconds or until melted. Add oil, rind, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and egg; stir with a whisk until well combined.
  4. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, remaining brown sugar (about 1/2 cup), cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and baking soda in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add carrot mixture and butter mixture; stir until just combined. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets for a total of 28 cookies (14 per baking sheet); gently pat dough down to form 2-inch circles. Bake at 350° for 11 minutes or until set. Remove pans from oven; let stand 3 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. Combine cream cheese, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, remaining 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 3 minutes or until fluffy. Add powdered sugar; beat at low speed 1 minute or until well combined (do not overbeat). Spread about 1 tablespoon icing on flat side of 1 cookie; top with another cookie, flat side down. Repeat the procedure with remaining cookies and filling.

Tips, Tricks, & Variations

NOTES FROM COOKING LIGHT: *Macerating the carrot with sugar helps to break down the carrot's tough fibers, ensuring that it will be tender after the short cook time. *After scooping dough onto baking sheets, gently pat it down so that cookies bake generally flat; aim for 2-inch circles. *When assembling the cookie sandwiches, press together gently so filling flattens and spreads all the way out to the edges.

NOTES FROM SAMANTHA: *If your carrot pieces are too thick, they won't have time to adequately soften in these cookies. Shredded carrots will work fine, but if you buy matchstick carrots in a package from the produce section, be sure to chop them finely before using in this recipe. *I used coconut oil (melted and cooled) with good results in lieu of canola oil in this recipe, since that's what I typically use in my baking. *There is a definite undertone of orange from the zest, so if you don't care for citrus in your carrot cake, feel free to reduce or omit it. *I only got 12 total sandwich cookies (24 individual cookies) out of this recipe, despite using a tablespoon to measure them out. If you want to end up with 14 sandwich cookies by the end, I suggest using a scant tablespoon of dough per cookie. *The next time I make this recipe, I plan on substituting half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour for an even healthier variation.

http://www.fivehearthome.com/2014/03/24/carrot-cake-sandwich-cookies/

More spring & Easter treats!

Chocolate Bird's Nest Cookies ~ chocolate coconut macaroon nests topped with Peeps chicks and mini chocolate eggs | FiveHeartHome.comChocolate Bird’s Nest Cookies

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Ham ~ an effortless way to cook your Easter ham with a glaze of pineapple juice, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, Dijon, and honey | FiveHeartHome.comSlow Cooker Brown Sugar Ham

Roasted Asparagus with Brown Butter Pecans ~ a delicious spring side dish that would be perfect for Easter | FiveHeartHome.comRoasted Asparagus with Brown Butter Pecans

Spring Salad with Mixed Berries, Candied Almonds, and Honey Citrus Vinaigrette ~ a beautiful, delicious salad with vibrant flavors and varied textures | FiveHeartHome.comSpring Salad with Mixed Berries, Candied Almonds, & Honey Citrus Vinaigrette

Honey-Glazed Carrots with Thyme and Lemon ~ a perfect spring side dish, and a gorgeous addition to your Easter menu! | FiveHeartHome.comHoney-Glazed Carrots with Thyme & Lemon

Bacon Green Bean Bundles with Brown Sugar Glaze | {Five Heart Home}Bacon Green Bean Bundles with Brown Sugar Glaze

Scalloped Potato Flan with Gruyère and Garlic ~ served overturned and sliced for an elegant presentation | {Five Heart Home}Scalloped Potato Flan with Gruyere & Garlic

Free Easter Hymn Printable ~ Christ the Lord Is Risen Today {with 3 Color Choices} | FiveHeartHome.comFree Easter Hymn Printable

Free Easter Printable {in 3 color choices} ~ Hippity, Hoppity, Happy Easter Day! | FiveHeartHome.comFree Easter Printable {with 3 color options}

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I always love hearing from you! ~ samantha {at} five heart home {dot} com

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Comments

  1. I loovveee carrot cake and these sandwiches look amazing. Great recipe :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Eric! If you love carrot cake, these sandwich cookies have your number. ;) I appreciate you stopping by…hope you’re having a great week!

  2. Carrot cake is the best thing about the spring!! Love that you made it in cookies…bite size, guilt free :)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      So true, Zainab…small cookies = freebie calories, right? ;) Hope your spring is off to a great start!

  3. Samantha, these cookies look wonderful and who doesn’t love carrot cake? Great size, too! Ok, we have an addiction of magazines in common, my friend – hubby keeps joking we need to rent a storage unit JUST for the magazines (let’s not even talk about the craft supplies! lol) I totally agree that magazines are the ultimate relaxation and will never give them up! :) Thanks for sharing and pinning these beautiful cookies!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Ha, Cindy…so glad to hear I’m not alone in my magazine addiction! I have the hardest time throwing them away when they’re full of so much good stuff, so I can definitely understand the potential need for a storage unit. ;) Thanks for stopping by and pinning, as always…hope you’re having a fabulous Tuesday!

  4. These look fabulous, and I love that they are from Cooking Light! I am glad for your note about the coconut oil, because that is what I have in my house currently. Pinning and will definitely try. Thanks for sharing!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You’re welcome, Jill…thank YOU for the comment and the pin! I use coconut oil in just about all of my baked goods and it worked perfectly in these as well. And yes, so nice that Cooking Light lightened them up a bit on top of making them cute and tasty! I hope you enjoy these if you have a chance to try them…thanks for stopping by. :)

  5. Stopping by from Totally Talented Party and I’m so glad I came by. I printed and pinned this scrumptious recipe. Carrie, A Mother’s Shadow

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I’m glad you came by as well, Carrie! :) And thanks so much for the pin…I hope you enjoy this recipe!

  6. These are so pretty and look absolutely delicious. I subscribe to Cooking Light as well, but am behind on my magazine reading. Thank you for sharing these — I need to get into my magazine now. :)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Marcie…this issue of Cooking Light is definitely a fabulous one! I had the hardest time narrowing down what to make. I’m glad you stopped by…have a great afternoon! :)

  7. Debbie Caraballo says:

    These look so delicious…and carrot cake is one of the Hubby’s faves too! I agree, they would be a perfect part of the Easter goodies. Thanks, once again!
    Deb

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You’re welcome, Deb! And I hope your hubby enjoys these! Carrot Cake is my brother’s favorite cake, so I’m going to have to make these for him sometime as well. :) Hope your week is going well!

  8. I was just thinking I wanted to make something like this for Easter. These look so good with all the frosting!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Laura! The cookies would be good as-is, but the frosting definitely puts them over the top! Hope these work out for you as an Easter treat. :)

  9. These are the perfect cookie! My husband would die for them. :)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Dorothy! Based on the comments for this recipe so far, it sounds like carrot cake is really popular with guys in general (at my house, too!). :) I’m glad you stopped by…have a great evening!

  10. Carrot Cake is my Favorite and these look Amazing!

  11. Wow! I want to reach into my computer screen and steal one (actually all) of these cookies! They look amazing! My husband loves carrot cake, so I bet he would love these too! Definitely pinning!

  12. JUST saw these in my Cooking Light! Good to read they were good!! Your photos are GREAT!
    (stopping in from the PM FB group!)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by and for the kind words, Wendy! There are lots of goodies in this issue of Cooking Light! I had a hard time narrowing down what to make, but I’m glad I chose this one…they were a big hit. :)

  13. These look so good. I love carrot cake anything. Wish I could have these for breakfast right now.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Mindie! I might possibly have had one (or two) of these for breakfast for several mornings in a row. Shhhh…don’t tell! ;)

  14. your photo was so pretty I had to come ad take a peek at this recipe. I LOVE carrot cake and a cookie would be delicious!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Rese! If you love carrot cake, you definitely should try these. :) I appreciate you stopping by!

  15. You are bad! Really really bad. I love baking cookies. This is a very intriguing recipe. Who doesn’t love
    carrot cake? And who doesn’t love cookies? What a splendid idea. I am going to make these!!!!
    I am on my way to bring my popularity level up a notch or two. Yay!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Ha, Carol…I hope you enjoy these! I have no doubt you’re already quite popular, but sharing yummy cookies never hurts. ;)

  16. OK. You got me. I’ve been trying to be good and stay away from the sweets, but your picture keeps popping up everywhere, making me DROOL. Carrot cake and cookies are my favorite treats, and you’ve managed to combine them into ONE. There goes my diet. :o)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Too funny, Danielle…I’m glad you finally succumbed to checking out this recipe. ;) If it makes you feel any better, at least these cookies are portion-controlled and somewhat lightened up… ;)

  17. I love carrot cake and cookies – so win- win :) Lovely recipe.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you, Amberjane! I’m happy to hear that this recipe appeals to you and I appreciate your kind words. :)

  18. Now I’m hungry! These look and sound delicious. :)

  19. This looks wonderful! Whenever I see carrot cake recipes with cream cheese frosting, I think of my dad! Perhaps we’l have to make these for him this summer:) Also, your little boy is just too cute!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you, Christine! Sounds like you definitely need to make these for your dad when you have the chance. :) And thanks for your sweet words about my son…he’s a mess! ;)

  20. G’day! These looks so fun and delish! I would like to try one right now!
    Cheers! Joanne
    Viewed as part of Play.Party.Pin

  21. Pinned these today and I can’t wait to try! Beautiful pictures! Saw your post on Love of Family & Home Weekend Blog Hop!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I hope you love them, Beth! Thanks so much for the pin and the sweet comment. :) Happy Friday!

  22. These look and sound absolutely wonderful, Samatha! I love sandwich cookies and must confess I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Little Debbie Oatmeal Pies though I’m sure these homemade carrot cake cookies would blow them outta the water. Pinning!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Jelli! I have a soft spot for Little Debbies as well, but I have to say…these are even better and they don’t have that chemical aftertaste — ha! I appreciate the pin, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend. :)

  23. Oh my gosh, these look so delicious and your kiddo is super cute!

  24. These are so adorable (AND look amazing)! Pinned it:) have a great weekend. found this at showstopper Saturday.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you, Rachel…I appreciate you stopping by! Hope your week is off to a great start!

  25. These look so yummy. Thanks for sharing!

  26. Love love love these!! :) So perfect for Easter, or really just anytime you might want delicious carrot cake cookie sandwiches. Which would be all the time! ;) Pinned!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You are too sweet, Jocelyn…thank you! And I really appreciate the pin. :) Hope you have a great week!

  27. These look soo good! Perfect for this time of year! I shared them on my FB page. Thanks for linking up at Monday Funday!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you so much for sharing on FB, Katie…I really appreciate you stopping by to let me know! And thanks for hosting Monday Funday each week…it’s one of my favorite link parties. :)

  28. Congratulations…this post was featured on Create It Thursday #48! Thanks for sharing such a great idea last week!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you for the feature, Leslie, and for hosting such a fun party each week! :) Happy Friday!

  29. Carrot cake is my absolute favourite, I can’t wait to try a cookie version. They look amazing!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you, Julie! If you like carrot cake, I think you will love these (and I hope you do)… :) Happy Friday!

  30. These look so yummy! I can’t wait to make them!
    I have just have a quick question – if I use shredded carrots, do I still need to mix them with the brown sugar and them sit for 10 minutes? And if not, then do I add that extra brown sugar into the rest of the dough or leave it out? Thanks!!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Karissa! I’m glad you’re going to try these! Yes, you need to let the carrots macerate with the brown sugar regardless of whether you shred them yourself or buy them pre-shredded. The sugar will draw out some of the excess moisture so that you’re cookie dough doesn’t end up with too much water. :) Thanks for the question…hope that helps! Have a great weekend!

  31. Carrot Cake is a favorite, and this recipe sounds incredible. I love the simple way you tied the cookings together with spring….adorable. I featured your recipe in our Feature Friday last week for 20 ‘Egg’stra Special Easter Desserts! I hope you can visit!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Michelle…I’m honored to be featured! Heading over now to check it out. :) Hope you’re having a great week!

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