Easter Carrot Cake Cookies (Ready in 20 Minutes!)

SHARE

Does anything say spring dessert more than carrot cake? If you’re a traditional carrot cake lover, you’ll love our gluten-free, refined-sugar-free spin on this classic with these Easter-inspired carrot cake cookies. 

Instead of making a three- or four-tier cake and waiting for each layer to cool before frosting, we took a shortcut and turned this spring favorite into cookies that are ready to eat in 20 minutes!

Our carrot cake cookies use whole ingredients like almond and oat flour and maple syrup. Of course, these cookies are topped with a delicious and tangy cream cheese frosting.

If you’re looking to add a healthier option to the Easter table, this carrot cake cookie recipe is for you. While there’s nothing wrong with indulgence, we find that having a homemade healthier option helps keep your plate better balanced. 

Plus, when you make a recipe yourself, you know everything that goes into it and can tweak it to suit your dietary needs and preferences. 

That’s a win-win in our book.

Is carrot cake healthy?

Well, carrots are healthy—it’s the cake part that can often steer carrot cake away from being considered a “healthy food.”

Traditional carrot cake has ingredients like vegetable oil, white sugar, and brown sugar. We substituted a flour mixture with almond and oat flour and used maple syrup and date sugar as sweeteners to lower the glycemic index. 

“Healthy,” however, is a subjective word in many cases. 

There is always a time and place to indulge in your favorite foods. Recipes like these Easter carrot cake cookies are a good option for anyone trying to make some more nutrient-dense swaps but still satisfy their sweet tooth.

Why not use butter in carrot cake?

Using butter versus oil gives a different “crumb” to the cake or cookie. Generally speaking, oil lends to a more moist and soft-like crumb, whereas unsalted butter is often used in baking to give a denser, chewier crumb. 

Most carrot cake recipes use oil instead of unsalted butter because it keeps the cake moist. We didn’t use any oil in this recipe, but rather nut butter and unsweetened applesauce, which adds loads of moisture and depth of flavor.

How to make healthier carrot cake cookies

We hope you love these Easter carrot cake cookies. They are a more nutrient-dense alternative than the Reese’s eggs and chocolate bunnies that you may be bombarded with. 

Your friends and family will thank you for looking out for them with this healthier alternative. It’s essentially a vegetable cookie for people who love carrot cake, right? 

Take a look at the following ingredients to see how we made healthier carrot cake cookies—enjoy!

Our carrot cake cookies are only filled with the good stuff, check it out:

Freshly grated carrots

Let’s start with the obvious. 

Of course, there are shredded carrots in carrot cake cookies! That’s one thing you just can’t sub out. We recommend buying fresh carrots and grating them yourself on a smaller grate option (if using a box grater). If you only have one shred size, use what you have. 

We don’t recommend buying store-bought grated carrots or pre-shredded carrots. These tend to be dry and won’t add the necessary moisture to these cookies.

Oat flour

If you don’t have oat flour, you can simply blend up oats in a blender or food processor. You then have oat flour! It’s that easy. 

This is typically the option we go for as it is generally more cost-effective than buying a bag of oat flour at the store.

Almond flour

You can use almond meal or flour. Almond flour is from blanched (or peeled) almonds, while meal comes from the entire almond (peel included). 

Note that using the flour will lend to a lighter-colored cookie.

Peanut butter

This is a less traditional ingredient in carrot cake, but we use it to add some healthy fats to the cookie. 

We recommend using smooth peanut butter with no added ingredients. 

It does not overpower the flavor of the cookie, but if you prefer to use another nut butter or are avoiding allergies, you could also use almond butter or sunflower butter.

Unsweetened applesauce

You can find this in most stores. Be sure to choose the unsweetened option, or you will end up with a different nutrient guideline than what we’ve provided. 

The apples add much-needed moisture to these cookies and a touch of natural sweetness.

Maple syrup

One of our go-to natural sweeteners is maple syrup.

We use a combination of liquid and dry sweeteners in these carrot cake cookies. We have not tried it with just one or the other—that will likely change your texture a bit, so we recommend sticking to both. 

Maple syrup gives a lot of depth of flavor and a powerful sweetness in just a little quantity.

Egg

Eggs help bind the cookies together. Without eggs, they will be a crumbly mess. 

We have not tried this with a vegan alternative like flax egg, but if you feel like experimenting, give it a go!

Vanilla extract

A quintessential cookie ingredient that provides lots of flavor and needed balance.

Date sugar

Date sugar comes from… you guessed it, dates! This is an alternative to refined sugar and packs a ton of sweetness. If you’ve ever bitten into a date, you know what we mean! 

If you can’t find this, you could opt for coconut sugar, brown sugar, or plain white granulated sugar.

Baking powder and baking soda

Baking powder and baking soda help to leaven or lift the carrot cake cookies and give them some airiness so they’re not dense.

Spices

We used cinnamon, ginger, and a pinch of salt. You could also add nutmeg and allspice if you want these carrot cake cookies to be a bit richer in flavor.

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

Our cream cheese frosting has only three ingredients:

Cream cheese

We used regular cream cheese for this recipe—be sure not to accidentally grab your chive cream cheese from the back of the fridge. Yikes! 

Of course, this is the basis for our dreamy cream cheese frosting. It is creamy, decadent, and very traditional. 

Room-temperature cream cheese mixes up easier than straight from the fridge.

Maple Syrup

The maple sweetness takes the cream cheese from savory to sweet—don’t skip it!

Cinnamon

Just a touch of cinnamon goes a long way. We also sprinkled some on top once frosted for festiveness.

Easter Carrot Cake Cookies

Easter Carrot Cake Cookies

If you’re a traditional carrot cake lover, you’ll love our gluten-free, refined-sugar-free spin on this classic with these Easter-inspired carrot cake cookies. 

No ratings yet

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Servings 18 cookies
Calories 173 kcal

Ingredients

  

Wet:

  • 1 cup freshly grated carrots
  • cup unsalted and unsweetened peanut butter
  • ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Dry:

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp date sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • a pinch of salt

Frosting:

  • 6 oz cream cheese
  • tbsp maple syrup
  • pinch of cinnamon

Instructions

 

  • Preheat your oven to 350F and prepare a cookie or baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Wash and grate your carrots and set aside. You can leave the skin on if you’ve washed well.
  • Add all of your wet ingredients and mix well in a medium bowl.
  • Add your dry ingredients into the same bowl and combine well. Do not overmix.
  • Roll out into tablespoon-sized cookie dough balls (a cookie scoop can help) and flatten on the parchment-lined baking sheets. These will not spread much so you do not need to allow much room in between them.
  • Cook for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through.
  • While they are baking, prepare your cream cheese frosting by combining all frosting ingredients with an electric mixer, stand mixer, or by hand.
  • Let cool completely on a wire rack, then frost and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and chopped nuts, or serve plain.

Notes

These cookies have a denser, drier texture than, say, a soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie. We recommend including the frosting to keep the textures balanced. Store in an airtight container.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cookieCalories: 173kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 6gFat: 11gSugar: 8g

Keyword carrot cake, carrots, cookies
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating