Carrot cake cookies are the perfect spring treat


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If you’re a fan of carrot cake, you’re in for a treat with these carrot cake cookies with a homemade cream cheese icing. They’re a fun way to welcome the spring season and sneak some veggies into your desserts. They’re chewy, soft, loaded with chopped pecans, and full of all the flavors you love from a classic carrot cake.

Freshly grated carrots are what make these carrot cake cookies. Not only does the carrot add moistness to the cookie, but a sweet yet subtle earthy flavor. The cookie dough comes together quickly and bakes in just 10 minutes! Long story short: If you’re crazy about carrot cake like my family, you’ll want to double the batch. These will disappear as soon as the cream cheese icing is drizzled on top. 

They’re that good! 

Why you’ll love these homemade carrot cake cookies

  • A new spring favorite! This treat is a great way to start the season and is sure to give traditional carrot cake a run for its bunny (excuse the joke)! 
  • Easy to make. Just combine the ingredients, scoop them into mounds, and bake and glaze. 
  • The best ever carrot cake cookie! These carrot cake cookies have a tender crumb with an incredible mouthfeel, like a muffin-cookie fusion. It’s everything you love in a carrot cake jammed into a handheld dessert!

Ingredients to make carrot cake cookies with icing

  • Flour and baking soda: You’ll need all-purpose flour and baking soda. Swap out the flour for whole wheat or white whole wheat flour.
  • Carrots: Skip using pre-shredded carrots, as they are dry and won’t mix into the batter as well as freshly grated carrots.
  • Spices: Ground cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
  • Butter: Make sure your butter is at room temperature to cream together easily with the sugar.
  • Eggs: To bind the dry ingredients together. You can make this recipe vegan by using flax eggs..
  • Applesauce: Applesauce will keep cookies soft and moist. 
  • Brown sugar: I like using light brown sugar, but you could use dark brown to add a deeper molasses flavor.
  • Vanilla and salt: For balancing the flavors and adding a subtle sweetness from the vanilla.
  • Pecans: These add a tasty nutty flavor and crunchy bite to the cookies, but you can skip them if you’re not a fan of nuts in cookies.

Cream cheese drizzle

  • Cream cheese and butter: The cream cheese should be softened to room temperature for easy creaming with the butter and sugar.
  • Powdered sugar: If your sugar seems a little lumpy, run it through a sifter for the smoothest cream cheese icing.
  • Milk: Adjust the amount of milk as needed. You want the drizzle to be firm enough to pipe but soft enough to flow across the cookies easily.
  • Vanilla extract: Adds aromatic flavoring.

How to make carrot cake cookies

Making homemade carrot cake cookies is a breeze with these easy steps. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a hand mixer instead. 

  1. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, and brown sugar until combined before mixing in the applesauce.
  3. Add egg and vanilla to the butter mixture and beat together until combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until only a few streaks of flour remain, scraping down the side halfway through.
  5. Remove the mixing bowl from the stand mixer and the carrots and pecans.
  6. Fold the batter using a rubber spatula until evenly combined.

Bake cookies

  1. Scoop the cookies onto a baking sheet leaving enough room for spreading while baking.
  2. Bake until golden brown and puffy. Allow the cookies to cool before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cream cheese drizzle

  1. While the cookies cool, add cream cheese and butter to the stand mixer and mix until creamy before adding the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla.
  2. Mix until combined. You want the icing to be slightly runny but firm enough to pipe. Transfer to a piping bag or zip-close bag and trim the corner off. Pipe a drizzle of frosting on the cooled cookies and serve.

  1. Measure the grated carrots correctly. When measuring the grated carrots, make sure you pack the measuring cup tightly. The carrots add a lot of flavor, sweetness, and moisture to the cookies, so you don’t want to skimp on them!
  2. Sift the powdered sugar for a smoother frosting. Sifting the powdered sugar helps to remove clumps so you can whisk the mixture  easily and pipe it through. This is not necessary, but only if you want to go the extra step!
  3. Use a cookie scoop. I use a 1.7 tablespoon cookie scoop. Once I scoop the cookie dough onto the baking sheet, leave it rounded for a tall puffed cookie like the top of a muffin. You could also press the cookie a bit after scooping for a flatter top after baking.
  4. Don’t overbake the cookies. Golden brown edges and a set middle means your cookies are ready to be removed from the oven. Cookies will continue to cook for a few after being removed, especially when sitting on a hot baking sheet. Tall, soft, and chewy is what we’re aiming for.
  5. Don’t store the cookies on top of each other. This type of cream cheese frosting does not harden as it cools. Store the cookies in a single layer to avoid smudging the frosting all over.
  • Add raisins. If you love the addition of raisins in your carrot cake, you can’t go wrong with adding them to cookies! Fold in a half-cup with the grated carrots and pecans.
  • Top with frosting. The cream cheese icing drizzled over these cookies is so good, but you can also frost them like cupcakes. Try my cream cheese frosting and pipe on a thicker layer of sweet creamy frosting.
  • Swap the nuts. I love the classic combination of carrots and pecans fro,m a carrot cake recipe, but you could use walnuts or another soft nut. 
  • Add chocolate chips. Chocolate makes everything better, so you can’t go wrong with a handful thrown into the cookie mix!

How to store carrot cake cookies

The frosted cookies should be kept in the fridge, but they are good without the drizzle and if left plain will keep in an airtight container at room temperature.

How long will carrot pecan cookies last in the fridge?

If stored at room temperature without frosting, carrot cake cookies will keep for up to four days, or up to six days in the fridge.

Can I freeze homemade carrot cake cookies?

Yes! After baking, freeze the cookies on a baking sheet until solid. Transfer the frozen cookies to a bag and thaw at room temperature when ready to eat. Add the cream cheese frosting after thawing instead of freezing on the cookies.

Frequently asked questions

Can I make these cookies flatter and thinner?

Yes! After scooping, simply press the cookie dough ball with the back of a spoon or the palm of your hand. They don’t spread as much as other cookie varieties and will puff up like cake batter, so they need a little extra help to reshape them.

Can I use something other than applesauce for these carrot cake cookies?

I haven’t tested this recipe with an alternative, but you can try an equal amount of crushed pineapples!

Can I use salted butter if I don’t have any unsalted butter?

It’s best to use unsalted butter, but if you need a quick substitute and have salted butter available, you can use it — but I would suggest removing the additional salt in the carrot cake cookie.

Carrot cake cookies are what you’re looking for when trying new ways of enjoying a classic such as carrot cake. Kids will go crazy for them, and the cream cheese frosting will have you coming back for more. You may also like my Carrot Cake MuffinsCarrot Cake Pancakes, or even my Carrot Banana Bread.

This article originally appeared on FeelGoodFoodie and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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Cookies & other desserts that are even better in an air fryer

Cookies & other desserts that are even better in an air fryer

Air fryers claim to cut down on the oil and fats in some of your favorite fried foods. You’re most likely to think of using one with things like chicken, fries and other savory foods.

Don’t let typical air fryer recipes limit your range when it comes to using this countertop convection oven, though! Air fryer desserts are also delicious and easy to cook. Plus, because air fryers use circulated air to “fry” food, many desserts that normally cook in oil are instantly healthier when done in an air fryer. You can make smaller batches, too, which can be a good thing in some households.

Here are some recipes you might like to try.

Related: Boozy desserts for bourbon lovers

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Summer Yule has a sugar-free cookie recipe that uses whole-wheat flour or spelt along with white flour to make the cookie higher in fiber. She also uses egg whites rather than whole eggs.

If you prefer a chocolate chip cookie recipe, try out air fryer chocolate chip cookies from The Big Man’s World. These desserts are dairy- and egg-free and blogger Arman Liew says their texture “ticks all the boxes — thick, chewy, and crisp edges and perfectly soft in the middle.” Yum!

VezzaniPhotography / iStock

OK, donuts might be among the air fryer desserts you think of when you think of cooking with an air fryer. And using an air fryer means much less fat and no chance of splattering yourself with hot grease while cooking this version.

Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons blogger Jill adapts her canned biscuit donuts recipe for the air fryer for a quick and easy option. (She also has a recipe for air fryer apple fries.)

Plated Cravings’ Julia Foerster makes her air fryer donuts from scratch with a yeast dough that’s left to rise before being cooked and a buttery glaze to top them off.

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While a whole pie might not fit in your air fryer, hand pies will! These clutchable, enclosed-crust air fryer desserts are another idea you might like to try.

Show Me the Yummy’s Jennifer Depth has a recipe for s’mores, blueberry, caramel apple and cherry hand pies. She admits she isn’t normally a huge fan of pie, “but I’m crazy obsessed with these hand pies,” she says. She fills her store-bought pie dough with marshmallow fluff and Nutella for the s’mores flavor, and already prepared (or store-bought) blueberry, apple and cherry pie filling for the other three flavors.

Like many air fryer desserts, these hand pies cook up quickly! Show Me the Yummy’s recipe is done cooking in 11 minutes.

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Delectable air fryer dessert churros are another option. Cooking Light says its version is “lighter than traditional churros — almost like éclairs — coming out of the air fryer fluffy and delicious.” It also recommends a chocolate dipping sauce with cream and tangy kefir.

Plated Cravings makes air fryer churros created with a star-shaped tip on a piping bag for that signature churro shape. Blogger Julia Foerster’s recipe has over 138 reviews and 4.93 out of 5 stars so it seems like a winner!

“They taste as delicious as deep-fried churros but have fewer calories and are easier to make without the need for handling hot oil,” Foerster writes.

Churros, it turns out, are made from straightforward ingredients you likely have on hand, including unsalted butter, sugar, salt, flour, eggs, vanilla extract and cinnamon sugar to roll them in after cooking.

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Fruit is a healthy and accessible dessert on its own. Combine it with an air fryer to create fruit chips, and you’ve got some healthy snacking on your hands. Not to mention it’s a lot cheaper to make your own fruit chips than buy them ready-made at the grocery store.

If you’d like to try banana chips, The Belly Rules the Mind’s Soniya Soluja has a recipe for five different flavors of plantain chips. She soaks fresh bananas or plantains in a water-salt-turmeric solution before drying and slicing them and rolling them in coconut oil and more turmeric. They are then cooked in the air fryer until crispy.

Belly Rules the Mind blogger Anvita also has a recipe for apple chips that includes just three ingredients. Or try Mind Over Munch’s recipe. She rolls thinly sliced apples in cinnamon and cooks them evenly by flipping them in the air fryer every five minutes until they are the texture she wants.

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Air fryer “baked” apple recipes soften the apples rather than crisping them up the way apple chip recipes do.

For her Cook It Real Good recipe, Cassie halves an apple, cores it, and swipes the cut half with butter and cinnamon. She then tops it with an oat mixture that turns into a crispy topping on the “baked” apple once cooked in an air fryer. Cassie says she usually adds ice cream on top. She also recommends Pink Lady apples for this recipe but says Granny Smith, Golden Delicious and Honeycrisp apples work well too.

Apple wedges are dipped in flour, egg, and a graham cracker crumb mixture to make tasty air fryer desserts in an Everyday Family Cooking recipe. Spritzing the slices with an oil mister before they go into the air fryer helps.

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You might not think of cooking s’mores in an air fryer because the marshmallows are normally flame-grilled.

But Sparkles to Sprinkles has a popular recipe for this classic dessert that involves putting graham crackers with marshmallows on top in the air fryer until they crisp up. Then the chocolate and another graham cracker go on top of that. That’s it! The air fryer toasts up marshmallows well.

Sparkles to Sprinkles also has a recipe for an air fryer mini s’mores pie.

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Cooking Light has a recipe for homemade strawberry “Pop-Tarts” that involves making a fresh strawberry jam in the microwave and using premade pie crusts. A simple powdered sugar and lemon juice glaze gets brushed on top.

In their recipe, the Air Frying Foodie bloggers skip the jam-making step and use store-bought jam for filling.

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

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Featured Image Credit: Feel Good Foodie.