You will love these soft, chewy, & moist Vegan Carrot Cake Cookies! Not only are they packed with fresh carrots, oats, & brown sugar, but they are topped with the best vegan cream cheese frosting for a truly decadent cookie.
This cookie is really a cross-over between my carrot cake cupcakes and my fave Oatmeal Cream Pies since we are adding oats to the batter and frosting the cookies. Trust me- you are going to love them!
Cookie & Frosting Ingredients:
See the recipe card at the end of the blog post for exact measurements.
Ingredient & substitution notes:
- All-purpose flour: I recommend using Bob's Red Mill or King Arthur flour. Just remember- it's really important to measure flour in grams using a digital kitchen scale for the best cookie results!
- Grated carrots: Must be freshly grated for the best results! This is another ingredient you really have to measure in grams as it can vary A LOT based on how you pack them into a measuring cup.
- Rolled Oats: I use old-fashioned rolled oats for this recipe. I don't recommend using another oat variety (such as thick-cut or steel cut) as it changes the texture of this cookie.
- Baking soda: You may notice we are only using baking soda in this recipe (not baking powder). That is because baking soda leads to a softer cookie that spreads more and is chewier, whereas baking powder would make these cookies puffy and cakey.
- Brown Sugar: This is vital for this recipe to work as it's the acidic ingredient that interacts with the baking soda. It cannot be swapped out.
- Cornstarch: Is used to help thicken the cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese tends to be a bit more watery than butter, and the cornstarch will soak up that extra moisture so you can still have a fluffy cream cheese frosting!
How to make chewy carrot cake cookies
To prep, mix the ground flaxseed and water together to create the flax egg. Let sit for at least 5 minutes to thicken. You'll also want to grate the carrots at this time.
Make the carrot cake cookie dough
Add the vegan butter, sugar, and brown sugar to a mixing bowl and use an electric mixer to cream together until fluffy (about 2 minutes)
Then, add in the remaining wet ingredients including the grated carrots, flax egg, and vanilla. Mix together for another minute.
Next, add in the dry ingredients including the all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix together until you have a thick, but slightly sticky batter.
Chill dough in the fridge
Cover the bowl of dough with plastic wrap and add it to the fridge to chill for about an hour.
This not only helps to firm up the cookie dough and make it easier to scoop, but it also leads to a better-tasting cookie.
As the dough sits, the flour and sugar soak up some of the moisture in the dough leading to a cookie that is chewier and sweeter.
Scoop & bake
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Then, use a 2 Tablespoon cookie dough to scoop out the cookie dough and add it to the baking sheet. This dough should make 10 large cookies.
Add the cookies to the oven and bake for 12-13 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for another 5 minutes.
For perfectly round cookies, swirl them between a large biscuit cutter or mug while they are still warm.
Then, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.
How to make vegan cream cheese frosting:
To make the frosting, start by creaming together the room-temperature butter and cream cheese until combined.
Gradually add in the powdered sugar & cornstarch until you have a fluffy and smooth cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese tends to be more "liquid" than butter, which is why we add in a bit of extra cornstarch for structure.
P.S.- I tried to make this as a maple cream cheese frosting, but sadly the frosting kept separating when adding in real maple syrup.
You could try adding in a maple extract as I did with my maple pecan coffee cake for a hint of maple flavor!
Tips for cream cheese frosting:
- Use room temperature butter AND room temperature cream cheese. Using ingredients that are too cold can cause the cream cheese to curdle. While this doesn't affect the taste of the frosting, it does affect the appearance.
- Cornstarch helps to thicken this frosting! It doesn't add any flavor and is a way to thicken cream cheese frosting without adding more powdered sugar and making it overly sweet.
FAQ & Tips:
Can I add raisins or walnuts to carrot cake cookies?
Definitely! I personally am not a huge walnut fan or raisin fan, so I excluded them both. However, if you want a chunkier cookie with those classic carrot cake fillings- add about 2 Tablespoons of each to the batter.
You can also use them as a topping on the cream cheese frosting!
Can I make these cookies with a different frosting?
Of course! I also love them with my vegan maple buttercream which you can find the recipe for under my Pumpkin Bourbon Cupcakes.
You also can eat them as is and skip frosting them. They aren't as sweet without the frosting, but still make for a decadent & delicious vegan cookie recipe!
How do I store carrot cake cookies?
Unfrosted cookies can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Frosted cookies are best stored in a closed container in the freezer so that the frosting does not make the cookies too soggy.
To defrost frozen cookies, allow them to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes- 1 hour before enjoying them. They are honestly delicious straight out of the freezer too!
I can't for you to try these soft & chewy Vegan Carrot Cake Cookies with cream cheese frosting! They are truly the best cookie to ring in Spring and make a perfect Easter cookie too. Enjoy!
More vegan cookie recipes you will love:
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Vegan Carrot Cake Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Carrot Cake Cookie Dough:
- ½ cup vegan butter room temperature
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 6 Tablespoons sugar
- ⅔ cup shredded carrots *loosely packed- important to measure in grams for accuracy (58 grams)
- 1 flax egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- ½ cup vegan butter room temperature
- 6 Tablespoons vegan cream cheese room temperature
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 teaspoons cornstarch add as needed to thicken frosting
- crushed pecans or walnuts optional, as topping
- Before making the cookie dough, make the flax egg and grate the carrots. Set aside.
Make the Carrot Cake Cookie Dough:
- To make the dough, add the room-temperature vegan butter, white sugar, and brown sugar to a mixing bowl. Then, use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy (about 2 minutes).
- Next, add in the shredded carrots, flax egg, and vanilla bean paste and mix together for about 20 seconds.
- Then, add in the all-purpose flour, rolled oats, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. Make sure to add the flour first and then add the other ingredients on top. Then, mix everything together until a thick cookie dough forms.
- Cover the bowl of dough with plastic wrap and add to the fridge to chill for 1 hour. The dough can also be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
Bake the Cookies:
- About 10 minutes before removing the dough from the fridge preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Use a 2 Tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop out 10 evenly-sized cookies and place them onto the baking sheet. Make sure to space the cookies at least 2 inches apart on the tray and do not flatten them as they will spread while baking. If you need to use two trays, please only bake one tray of cookies at a time.
- Bake the cookies for 12-13 minutes until the bottoms are lightly browned and the cookies are cooked through but have slightly soft centers. The cookies will continue baking after they are removed from the oven so the centers should still be soft, but not glossy or raw, when they are removed from the oven.
- Remove the cookie tray from the oven and immediately tap the tray on the counter to produce a more “wrinkly” cookie and help deflate the cookies. For round cookies, use a round cookie cutter that is slightly larger than the cookie and swirl the cookies around inside to form them into a round cookie. This step will only work if you do it while the cookies are still warm.
- Let the cookies cool on the baking tray for about 5 minutes. Then, move to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Make the cream cheese frosting:
- Once the cookies have cooled completely, make the cream cheese frosting. Add the butter and cream cheese to a bowl. Use a standing mixer or electric mixer to whip together for 2 minutes until fluffy.
- Gradually mix in the powdered sugar and cornstarch until incorporated. Once all the powdered sugar has been mixed in, I recommend whipping the frosting for a few minutes longer to make it extra fluffy!
- Use a cake spatula or piping bag to frost the cooled carrot cake cookies. If you would like, top with chopped pecans or walnuts and an extra bit of shredded carrot. Then, serve & enjoy!
- Please see the blog post for additional recipe tips & substitution ideas!
- If you are a fan of raisins or walnuts, you can add 2 Tablespoons of each to the dough or even top the frosted cookies with them.
- Unfrosted cookies can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- Frosted cookies are best stored in a closed container in the freezer so that the frosting does not make the cookies too soggy.
- To defrost frozen cookies, allow them to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes- 1 hour before enjoying them. They are honestly delicious straight out of the freezer too!