These Carrot Cake Cookies are drizzled with cream cheese glaze and taste just like carrot cake! The cookies are gluten-free, grain-free, and refined sugar-free.
These cookies!!! You guys, 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 guys. Really.
I’m extra thrilled because getting these cookies right means I don’t have to grate any more carrots. It’s the worst part, truly, and if you’ve got a food processor, I’d recommend breaking it out so you don’t have to grate the carrots by hand like I did. Thankfully, even if you’re grating by hand, you don’t need to grate too many – just enough for 3/4 cup!
Let’s talk about these delicious cookies though, besides the carrot grating. 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! And not to toot my own horn, but I’d say it was a success.
The cookie dough is made with almond flour and coconut sugar, so the cookies themselves are grain-free and Paleo-friendly. I used cinnamon and nutmeg for that signature carrot cake spice and I also tossed in some pecans to add some crunch. To the nuts-in-your-desserts haters, just leave ’em out! You could also toss in some raisins if you’re into that in your carrot cake.
Of course, you can’t have carrot cake without cream cheese frosting! I made a super quick cream cheese glaze that sweetened with some maple syrup and thinned out with a bit of milk. The glaze is drizzled over the cookies and the tangy cream cheese flavor really brings the carrot cake flavor home.
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. I used Reynold’s Cookie Baking Sheets, which are the perfect size for my baking pans and make clean up immensely easier. 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, 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 taste like carrot cake! I recommend drizzling the glaze on while the cookies are still on the Reynold’s Cookie Baking Sheets – any mess you make with the glaze will be easily rolled up and tossed in the trash. That’s my kind of clean up!
These cookies couldn’t be more perfect for 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!
Remember to #bakerita if you try the recipe!
Carrot Cake Cookies with Cream Cheese Glaze (GF + Refined SF)
- 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
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
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, 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.