Carrot Cake Cookies with Cream Cheese Filling

Carrot Cake 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 Cookies with text overlay.


 

Now that we are nearing 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...enter Carrot Cake Cookies!

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'm so excited about this Carrot Cake Cookies recipe!

Carrot Cake Cookies recipe in a stack.

These little babies are basically carrot cake with cream cheese frosting reincarnated as lightened-up, mini whoopie pies. The Carrot Cake 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 Carrot Cake 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 Cookies on plate and tied with string.

I 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, the first time I made these, my kids knew that these cookies contained carrots and that didn't slow them down in the least. 🙂

Carrot Cake Cookies piled on a plate.

Ingredients

So what do you need to make these yummy and adorable Carrot Cake Cookies?

  • Carrots. Shredded. Obviously. 😉
  • Brown sugar. Packed.
  • Butter. Unsalted.
  • Oil. Any neutral oil will work (such as sunflower oil).
  • Orange rind. Grated. Optional but recommended, as it lends a pop of brightness.
  • Vanilla extract + cinnamon. For flavor.
  • Egg.
  • All-purpose flour, baking soda, + salt.
  • Cream cheese + powdered sugar. For the Carrot Cake Cookie filling!
Carrot Cake Cookies with cream cheese filling.

How to Make Carrot Cake Cookies

  1. Combine shredded carrots with a bit of brown sugar in a sieve and allow to drain for 10 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, oil, orange rind, vanilla, and egg.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, remaining brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Add the carrot mixture and the butter mixture and stir until just combined.
  4. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough onto prepared baking sheets and gently pat dough down to form 2-inch circles.
  5. Bake at 350° until set. Allow Carrot Cake Cookies to cool on the pans for 3 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Make the cream cheese filling by combining cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and salt and beating with a mixer until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and beat on low until well-combined.
Stacked and tied with string.

I hope you have a chance to try these Carrot Cake 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 Cookies on a plate and in a stack.

More Spring and Easter Recipes

Carrot Cake Cookies with cream cheese filling in a stack.

Carrot Cake Cookies with Cream Cheese Filling

Carrot Cake Cookies are mini carrot cake sandwich cookies filled with cream cheese frosting to make an easy, hand-held spring or Easter dessert!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Servings: 14 sandwich cookies
Calories: 194kcal
Print Pin Rate

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • cup packed brown sugar, DIVIDED
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, DIVIDED
  • 2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil, such as sunflower
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind, OPTIONAL
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract, DIVIDED
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon salt, DIVIDED
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  • Combine carrot and 3 tablespoons brown sugar in a bowl; toss to coat. Place carrot mixture in a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl; allow to drain for 10 minutes. Discard liquid.
  • Place 2 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and melt. Add oil, orange rind, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, and egg; stir with a whisk until well combined.
  • Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup and level with a knife. Combine flour, remaining brown sugar (about ½ cup), cinnamon, ¼ 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 down dough to form 2-inch circles.
  • Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until Carrot Cake Cookies are set. Remove pans from the oven and allow to rest for 3 minutes. Transfer cookies from pans to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
  • Combine cream cheese, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, remaining ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, and remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed 3 minutes or until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and 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 procedure with the remaining cookies and filling.

Notes

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 another 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 the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour for an even healthier variation.

Nutrition

Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 128mg | Potassium: 99mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 3283IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

Recipe reprinted, with permission, from Cooking Light, on March 24, 2014, as part of a social marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group, Cooking Light, and Real Simple. All opinions are my own. Post was updated on February 19, 2024.

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51 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I surprised my carrot cake loving hubby with these cookies and he loved them. I'm going to make them again for Easter!

  2. 5 stars
    Took these to work yesterday for our monthly potluck and they were a huge hit! Such a cute presentation too. Several people asked me for the recipe. 😉

  3. 5 stars
    Whenever I see carrot cake recipes with cream cheese frosting, I think of my dad! So of course I had to make these cookies for him. They were wonderful 🙂

  4. 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!!

    1. 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!

      1. Okay, thank you so much!!! I will be making them tomorrow, Lord willing, then!!!!!
        Thanks!!!

  5. 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!

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

  6. 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!

    1. 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. 🙂