Carrot cake is awesome, isn’t it? In cookie form, it’s pretty amazing, too. Especially when the cookie is moist and cakey at the same time, much like actual carrot cake. Bonus: cookies are soooo much more portable than cakes, or even cupcakes. Throw these in a picnic basket or lunch box, and you’re good to go.
I rigged up this recipe when looking to create a cookie for my upcoming Yoga retreat. I wanted something with fall flavors and a comfort food vibe. I looked around online and found a handful carrot cake cookie recipes. With a few modifications, the cookies easily become healthier, with zero loss of flavor or texture.
My carrot cake cookies don’t taste “free” of anything, but they are indeed free of many common allergens, including dairy, gluten, and, if you prefer, tree nuts. Of course there’s sugar, but a moderate amount. There is egg in them, but you could likely leave it out and just do a flax or chia “egg.” (Leave me a comment if you try it to let us know how it goes). These cookies are packed with flavor and a beautiful texture.
Carrot Cake Cookies
Yield: About 2 dozen cookies.
- 1 cup (5 ounces) oat flour (simply grind 1 cup whole oats into a flour-like texture in your food processor or blender. If gluten free is a concern, get certified GF oats)
- 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (Yes, it’s a lot. Trust me on this).
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons sunflower seed butter, at room temperature (I use Trader joe’s brand; Sunbutter brand is good, too)
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (dark or light both work)
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 3/4 cups old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (note: these ARE a tree nut; leave out if needed. I personally prefer my cookies minus nuts, and leave them out.)
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a nice, roomy mixing bowl, mix dry ingredients: oat flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and powder, salt.
3. In a second roomy mixing bowl, cream sunflower seed butter, brown sugar, and vanilla. Once smooth, add egg and mix until smooth again.
4. Make a well in the wet ingredients. Gently incorporate dry ingredients, 1/3 of the mixture at a time. Fold in raisins, grated carrots, oats, and walnuts (if using).
5. Stash mix in the freezer for 10-15 minutes while you prepare your cookies sheets. I either line mine with parchment paper, or spray them with cooking spray. One of these days I WILL get a Silpat.
6. Use a cookie scoop or a spoon to make uniform sized dough balls. (I do this by hand and spoon, and each cookie is a generous tablespoon of dough).
7. Bake cookies for 9-14 minutes, until ever so faint cracks appear on the surface. I know 9-14 minutes is quite a range, but I find that variations in altitude and ovens really do make a difference in bake times. In my NYC toaster oven, these cookies are perfect at 9-10 minutes of baking. In Colorado, I had to go closer to 14 minutes, sometimes beyond, in the “big” oven, to get the right texture.
8. Let cool slightly (or a lot, your choice, but I can never wait to try these). Enjoy!
So there you have it. An easy, creative, fall-friendly, carrot cake cookie recipe that is so delicious, you’d never know it’s friendly to many “restricted” diets and actually kinda healthy.
What’s your favorite fall dessert recipe?