All the flavors of carrot cake in cookie form, these healthier Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies are my favorite dessert this Spring! Filled with oats, carrots, walnuts, coconut, raisins, and spices, and they can be topped with a cream cheese frosting or simple icing.
It’s carrot cake season!
Or almost, anyway. If Spring would go ahead and get here sooner, I’d be happy. I’m ready for warmer weather, gardening, fresh veggies and fruit… no more snow please.
While I’m dreaming ahead of the beautiful weather to come, I’m (of course) baking to my hearts content.
I made these Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies a few times last year and really liked them but something was missing. This time around, I figured it out, and they’re beyond delicious.
These loaded cookies are a texture lovers dream. They’re soft cookies, with oats, carrot, walnuts, coconut and raisins throughout. They’re spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg (my favorite spices for carrot cake). Last but not least, they’re topped with cream cheese frosting (or a simple icing).
Needless to say, these cookies are loaded. If you subtract the frosting, they’re actually a great healthy breakfast cookie too! The cookies themselves are sweetened with some brown sugar and applesauce. And don’t forget the healthy oats, carrots, and walnuts.
I’m not saying you should eat these for breakfast… Okay, that’s exactly what I’m saying. 😉
For dessert, add cream cheese frosting or a simple icing across the top. Because they aren’t very sweet cookies, it gives them that little extra oomph. Plus… is it really Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies without cream cheese?!
There’s a few things to know first, before you starting baking.
First, I recommend preparing your add-in’s prior to starting your cookie dough. It’s what takes a little extra time.
So, shred your carrots however you like. I recommend a food processor for a quick shred, but by hand is always an option too.
Chop up your walnuts too. Or, use whatever nut you prefer. I know some like pecans instead of walnuts in their carrot cake.
The rest of the recipe is a simple cookie dough.
Cream your butter, brown sugar and applesauce together. Add your vanilla and egg and mix in briefly. Then to the same bowl, add your flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Stir together till you have a smooth cookie dough.
Add your oats, carrots, walnuts, coconut and raisins and fold them in. Now let your dough rest about 10 minutes. This gives your oats a chance to thicken up, so your cookies don’t spread too thin in the oven.
Next, scoop the dough out on a prepared pan, and spread each cookie out flat. Bake at 350 for about 14-16 minutes.
First, there’s the classic: cream cheese frosting. This thick, spreadable frosting is delicious. My 3 year old eats the frosting of the top of her cookie first. Needless to say, it’s a must-have for my family. Sprinkles are welcome here too, of course.
Heck, you can put frosting in between two cookies like a whoopie pie if you’d like to.
Another option, is to make a vanilla icing to drizzle across the tops, just like in my Healthy Vanilla Donut recipe. It’s not as sweet, and it’s a great option if you don’t have any cream cheese! All you need is powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.
Or, leave them plain and eat them for breakfast! 🙂
To be sure these are gluten-free, make them with a gluten-free all purpose flour blend and certified gluten-free oats. (They can also be made with regular flour and rolled oats.)
To make these dairy-free, use coconut oil (or a dairy-free butter alternative) in the batter. For the cream cheese frosting, use dairy-free cream cheese and dairy-free butter. Or, make the simple icing with dairy-free milk.
To make these vegan, follow the same instructions as dairy-free but also use a flax or chia egg in the cookie dough (1 tbsp flax/chia seed, and 2.5 tbsp water, sit till gelled).
If you’re looking for a healthier and easy Spring treat, this is the recipe for you. These loaded, spiced Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies with cream cheese frosting are the best!
When you make them, let me know what you think. Leave a comment and rating, below, and tag me on Instagram too. I love to see what you guys make, it makes my day!
If you love oatmeal cookies, here’s a few more to check out before you go: soft Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies, Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies and Banana Oatmeal Cookies (all gluten-free!).
- 1/4 cup butter, softened (coconut oil or dairy-free butter alternative)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour (or regular flour)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cup rolled oats (certified gluten-free)
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
- 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- sprinkles (optional)
To begin, preheat your oven to 350. Line two pans with parchment paper (or spray with non-stick spray).
To a large mixing bowl, add your butter, brown sugar, and applesauce and cream them together with a mixer, for a minute (or till creamy). Add your vanilla and egg and briefly blend in. Then add your flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and stir everything together till you have one smooth cookie dough. Add your oats, carrots, walnuts, coconut and raisins and fold them into your batter. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
Using a large cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto your pans, evenly spaced apart (with no more than 12 cookies per pan). Press each cookie down so it's flat. Bake in the oven for 14-16 minutes, or till the edges and top are set.
Let cool entirely before spreading frosting across the tops.
To a large mixing bowl, add your butter, cream cheese, and vanilla and beat them together with a mixer till smooth. Add your powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and slowly mix it in. It may take a couple minutes till the frosting blends together smooth.
Spread across the tops of your cooled cookies. Add sprinkles if you'd like.
Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, these cookies last about a week (or about 1-2 days on the counter). Store them with parchment paper in between the layers of cookies, so the cookies don’t stick together.
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