The Best Soft Carrot Cake Cookies
The texture of these Carrot Cake Cookies is out of this world! They’re made with almond flour and coconut sugar, giving them a soft, chewy texture and crispy edges. Ready in just 30 minutes!
These cookies!!! Oh man, I’m really really excited about them. I may have eaten a few off the tray while these were getting photographed. And then some more as they sat, staring at me from the table after they had already been photographed. It’s called quality control – I’m doing it for you. Really.
If you know me, you know I love some gluten-free cookie recipes. I can never have enough cookies – they’re forever my favorite dessert (with brownies being a close second). I even have an entire cookie chapter in my best-selling gluten-free and dairy-free baking cookbook, Bakerita! These soft, tender carrot cake cookies are on my top favorites list.
They’re uniquely delicious, soft, chewy, and so special. They have a quick 15 minute prep time (even quicker if you have a food processor to grate those carrots for you) and in addition to being gluten-free, they’re also dairy-free, Paleo, and refined sugar-free!
What do you need to make the best carrot cake cookies?
Let’s talk about these delicious cookies! I wanted to create a cookie that was gluten-free and refined sugar-free whose flavors were reminiscent of one of my favorite springtime desserts: carrot cake! I’d say it was a resounding success.
We make the cookie dough with almond flour and coconut sugar, so the cookies are grain-free and Paleo-friendly. We add cinnamon and nutmeg for that signature carrot cake spice. I also tossed in some pecans to add some crunch.
Are you into nuts and raisins in your carrot cake? To each their own! I love the crunch of pecans, but don’t love raisins. If you’re a raisin lover, replace half the pecans called for with raisins, or replace them entirely if you want raisins but no nuts. If you don’t like either, just leave them out!
To make the cookies, I scooped the dough right after making it onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and left it to chill overnight before baking them the next morning. The chill time helps the cookies to hold their shape and allows time for all of the flavors to develop. I used Reynold’s Cookie Baking Sheets, which are the perfect size for my baking pans and make clean up immensely easier. If you’re impatient, you don’t have to chill these cookies though – you can bake and enjoy them immediately!
When they first come out of the oven, the edges are a bit crispy, but as they cool, the cookies turn into the most wonderful texture. They almost have the texture of chocolate chip cookies, but the carrots add just enough moisture to keep them from getting too chewy. Instead, they’re super moist, a little bit cakey, with just enough chew and tons of flavor.
The cream cheese frosting isn’t essential (and these cookies are Paleo-friendly without it, BTW), but it really makes these carrot cake cookies taste just like carrot cake! I recommend drizzling the glaze on while the cookies are still on the parchment sheets. Any mess you make with the glaze can be rolled up and thrown in the trash. That’s my kind of clean-up!
How to make a cream cheese glaze:
You can’t have carrot cake without cream cheese frosting! I made a super quick cream cheese glaze that you can easily make dairy-free if needed. You’ll drizzle the glaze over the cookies once they’re ready. The tangy cream cheese flavor really brings the carrot cake flavor home. Here’s what you need:
- Cream Cheese: at room temperature, use dairy-free if needed!
- Maple Syrup: make sure it’s at room temperature to incorporate easily.
- Milk of Choice: I used almond milk to keep it dairy-free.
- Vanilla Extract: for flavor.
To make it, you’ll simply whisk all of the ingredients together until it comes together into a glaze that’s your preferred consistency. If it’s too thick, you can add more milk to get it to the drizzling consistency you’re after.
These cookies couldn’t be more perfect for springtime, Easter…or really any time you want carrot cake but don’t have a justifiable reason for making a whole cake. These carrot cake cookies will definitely satisfy the craving. Enjoy!
Want more carrot filled goodness?!
- The Best Gluten-Free Vegan Carrot Cake
- Paleo Morning Glory Muffins
- Gluten-Free Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins
- Carrot Top Pesto <– make this instead of throwing out your carrot tops!
- ½ cup coconut oil, room temperature
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 2¼ cups (9 oz.) blanched almond flour
- ¾ cup grated carrots, squeeze out the extra moisture
- ½ cup pecans, chopped and toasted
For the cream cheese glaze
- 2 oz. cream cheese, room temperature, use dairy-free if needed!
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon milk of choice, I used almond milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Beat together the coconut oil and coconut sugar until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.
- Add the almond flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon to the wet ingredients. Mix until well incorporated. Fold in the grated carrots and toasted pecans. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour (can prepare up to 48 hours ahead of time).
- After refrigerating, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Use a cookie scoop to form cookies and press down slightly. Bake for 14-16 minutes or just beginning to turn golden brown around the edges.
For the cream cheese glaze
- Beat the cream cheese in a stand mixer until softened. Add the maple syrup, milk, and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Alternatively, combine all ingredients in a small food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Transfer the cream cheese glaze to a small piping or Ziplock bag. Snip of the end of the bag and drizzle over cooled cookies. Serve.
Keywords: gluten-free, carrot cake cookies, carrot cookies, cream cheese glaze