For the love of cookies

Carrot Cake Cookies-Stuffed

Carrot Cake Cookies-Stuffed

Spiced pecans, brown butter, oats, roasted carrots, coconut, and an orange cream cheese filling create a wonderful rendition of an Easter classic, carrot cake.

Mini carrot cake cookies topped with orange cream cheese.
Stuffed or minis? Either way these carrot cake cookies are sure to please.

I used to be a fan of carrot cake when I was younger. I loved the mashup up textures and flavors inside a moist spice cake with loads of delicious cream cheese icing draped on top. I’m not sure why I haven’t had carrot cake on my radar, but I have gone without for several years. Possibly too distracted by all the pretty new desserts and flavors I have been tasting since I fully immersed myself in the baking world since 2018.

This all changed when I recently posted a poll for must have desserts for spring. The carrot cake replies piqued my interest while also bringing me back to reality. Carrot cake reality. How could I have gone this long without having carrot cake? Do I even have a decent recipe for a good carrot cake anymore? Where do I go to procure a slice of the delicious stuff?

I set out to find a slice of carrot cake (if you don’t know, I’m not a huge fan of making cake from scratch. I reserve all of my angst against cake decorating for birthdays.) and of course had to visit the best bakery in my neighborhood, Sweet Cakes 4 U in Buda, Texas. They have some of the best cakes and cookies I have ever tried, and I knew their slice would not disappoint.

I sauntered down the road to pick up an array of cake slices and cookies to enjoy with my family back at home. Their carrot cake was nothing short of divine. Light and airy, full of carrot flavor, nuts and warm spices, and of course the perfect amount of cloud like cream cheese. It’s the cream cheese that pulls the whole shebang together while also being highly addicting. I am a cream cheese frosting addict, I admit.

A few bites of this cake turned into a few more bites which turned into, ‘holy shit I ate the whole thing.’ I was not mad about it. I made it a point to jot down what I imagined a good carrot cake cookie would taste like for me and fully enjoy all of the wonderful flavors mingling on my palate after all of my “little bites.”

This carrot cake cookie is highly inspired by the delicious slice of cake from Sweet Cakes 4 U in Buda, Texas. Sadly, they will be closing their doors soon by the end of the month. If you are local to the Austin area in Texas, please pay them a visit!

Stuffed carrot cake cookies.
Delicious orange cream cheese stuffed inside a carrot cake cookie. My version of the best Easter treat.


Why I Love This Recipe

Flavor-The base of this cookie has brown butter which has a rich toasted nutty flavor. This is the base flavor I am going for with this cookie, rich, toasty but light. I added in spiced pecans which are buttery and have a dash of maple syrup, cayenne, and black pepper to continue to play up the warm flavor of the cookies. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and vanilla are added to the dough to create essentially a spice cake flavor in a cookie. I opted for roasting the shredded carrot before adding to the dough for two reasons.

The first is I wanted some of the water to evaporate off of the carrots so I didn’t have to put them in paper towels and wring the carrot juice out. Carrots have a lot of naturally occurring sugar so I thought it would be a good idea to capitalize on that by roasting. Second, roasting carrots brings out the sweetness and flavor while also slightly cooking them. No super chewy bits of carrots here! Roasting the carrots added flavor and kept the cookie light. The addition of coconut isn’t really big flavor wise, but it adds an element of sweetness with the flavor of the vanilla extract. The orange zest added to a lightly sweetened cream cheese ties this cookie together. The bright acidity of the orange brings out the flavor of the carrot cake cookie without overwhelming the cookie.

Texture-This is very much a carrot cake in cookie form. It is incredibly chewy with soft pockets of fluffy carrot and coconut. The use of instant oats helps to absorb any stray moisture from the roasted carrots but also creates a wonderfully moist and chewy cookie base. The spiced pecans are roasted which offers a nice crunch throughout the cookie and the middle orange cream cheese is whipped, creamy, and lovely. These cookies stay incredibly moist for days and can be stored in a tightly closed container in the fridge for several days.

Stuffed or Minis? You decide!-I was torn on how to assemble these cookies because I originally wanted to create a sandwich type of bite sized cookie sandwich. This recipe blew my expectations for that! I still scooped half of the batter with a one-ounce scoop for a bite sized treat and placed a dollop of the orange cream cheese on top as a decorative and yummy garnish. I have outlined how to create both a stuffed cookie and a mini cookie below.

Easter Cookies-These cookies would be perfect for Easter weekend! They can be made in advance and store very well. Although I doubt, they last long wherever you bring them. I had zero leftovers on these batches of cookies.

A plate of goodness. Carrot cake cookies are everything you love about carrot cake in yummy cookie form.

Ingredients You Need:

Orange Cream Cheese

  • Cream Cheese-room temperature. This will make it easier to mix together with the powdered sugar.
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Orange Zest-I used a medium sized orange.
  • Vanilla Extract

Carrot Cake Cookies

  • Butter-browned and cooled. Please refer to this post on BROWNED BUTTER for tips on browning your butter. You don’t have to use brown butter, but it will have more flavor if you do.
  • Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Salt
  • Egg
  • Vanilla Extract
  • 3 carrots- mine were on the medium-large size. They gave me almost a cup of grated carrots using a box grater on a fine setting. You don’t want the carrots to be too coarse.
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger-I used powdered ginger. You can also use fresh ginger if you want more spice.
  • Nutmeg-this gives the cookie a spice cake sort of flavor.
  • Shredded Coconut-I used a sweetened shredded coconut.
  • Spiced Pecans-Please refer to this post on SPICED PECANS how to make simple spiced pecans. You will want these in your pantry all the time, trust me.
  • Baking Soda
  • Flour-I used King Arthur all purpose flour for this recipe.
  • Instant Oats-whaaaat? I usually use old fashioned oats but hear me out! The fine nature of these style of oats allows for more absorption of any extra liquid the carrots may have during baking. Also, these oats stay fine enough to not be too big and chewy along with the other mix-ins after the cookies are baked up. You can use old fashioned oats but it will result in an even chewier cookie.

Making cookies for a crowd? You can easily double this recipe with great results!

First, Orange Cream Cheese

I like to make the filling for the cookie first so that it can chill and firm up in the fridge while I make the cookies.

This is a super easy filling and takes less than 5 minutes to put together.

Combine room temperature cream cheese in a bowl with orange zest, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. You can use a spoon or a hand mixer, and mix until smooth and creamy.

Place in the fridge while assembling cookies.

Cookie Time

The carrots need to be roasted before we can start cookies, so I start by preheating my oven to 375*F and start grating carrots while my oven is getting hot.

I use the fine side (not the smallest the next one) on my box grater that is placed on top of a parchment lined cookie sheet. This will help me get the carrots on the baking sheet without making too much of a mess.

I grated 3 medium/large carrots and they yielded about ¾ cup of freshly grated carrots. I spread these out as thinly and evenly as I can in a layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Roast the carrots at 375*F for 10 minutes. I then removed them from the oven and gave the carrots a stir, then space them evenly out again. The carrots went back into the oven for 10 more minutes. They were just lightly browned and very fragrant.

While I am getting the dough ready, I let the roasted, shredded carrots cool on the baking sheet.

Cookie Dough

In a bowl I combine the room temperature  brown butter with  both types of sugar. I mixed this all by hand with a spatula, no need for a stand mixer if you don’t have one. Or, if you are like me, and don’t want to drag it out of the pantry.

Next, add the egg, spices, and salt. I mix this for a good minute or two because I want the egg to be fully mixed in and I want the mixture to look silky and glossy. No traces of egg white or egg yolk should remain in this mixture.

After the wet ingredients are mixed together, I add the flour and baking soda and fold into a nice soft dough. The roasted shredded carrots should be cool enough to add to the dough by now so I add them in with the coconut, chopped spiced pecans, and oatmeal.

The dough will be fragrant and soft, and is now ready for scooping and filling.

Carrot cake cookie dough.
Carrot cake cookie dough. Bright orange and ready for baking!

Carrot Cake Cookie Assembly-TWO OPTIONS

Ok so at this point you can either stuff the cookies with the orange cream cheese OR you can scoop them into mini cookies and top with cream cheese.

Mini Carrot Cake Cookies

Taking a one-ounce scoop, or a tablespoon, scoop cookie dough onto a baking sheet. This will yield around 24 cookies.

Refrigerate the dough for at least a half an hour or up to overnight. This will help the flavors of the cookie to develop and the oats and flour to absorb any excess moisture from the carrots.

Preheat oven to 325* and place 10-12 cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet. I slightly pressed down the tops of the cookies so the orange cream cheese can sit evenly on top.

Bake these cookies for 8-9 minutes. The edges will be slightly brown and set, do not overbake.

Allow the cookies to cool for 30 minutes before adding orange cream cheese on top.

I place the orange cream cheese into a sandwich bag fitted with a large star tip to pipe on top of the cookies. You can also, garnish with extra chopped pecans, coconut, or orange zest on top.

Stuffed Carrot Cake Cookies

Using a 3-ounce cookie scoop (or measure out 3 tablespoons of cookie dough for each stuffed cookie) portion out 8 rounds of carrot cake cookie dough on a cookie sheet.

You can use gloves during this stage as the carrot cake dough is quite sticky. I take a portion of dough, flatten it out between my palms. The cookie dough should cover your entire palm.

Then, I take a teaspoon of orange cream cheese filling and place in the center of the cookie dough. Using my fingertips, I gently gather the edges of the dough and layer over the center of the filling, closing it in.

I roll the cookie dough very gently between my palms to smooth out the edges then place back on the cookie sheet. I repeat this process with the remaining cookie dough and filling.

The cookie dough is best when it rests! The flavors of the spices will develop and any extra moisture from the carrots is absorbed by the instant oats and flour. Allow at least an hour for the cookie dough to rest and up to overnight. I opted for the latter.

Preheat the oven 325*F and bake four cookies per parchment lined baking sheet at a time for 14-16  minutes. I know the cookies are done because they will be slightly domed, and the edges will be lightly browned.

I let the cookie rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool and set for at least an hour. The cookies will still continue to set up and cook after being taken out of the oven. If you eat them while they are still warm, the inside will be very doughy. Which in my opinion is not a bad thing but some don’t care for it.

These cookies are moist and full of flavor with a delicious creamy orange middle. They keep well in a tightly covered container and if you would like them to last longer than a few days, you can pop them into your fridge to maintain freshness.


If you try this recipe and love it as much as I do, please tag, follow, and like @sunshinetxcookies on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok. New posts every Thursday so be sure to follow me for more delicious cookie recipes. Happy Baking!

Orange cream cheese topped carrot cake cookies.
The BEST cookie for Easter.


Carrot Cake Cookies-Stuffed

Chrissy Grundy
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 9 tbsp Butter unsalted. Browned and cooled.
  • ¼ cup Granulated Sugar
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tspn Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tspn Ground Ginger Can use dried or fresh. I used dried.
  • ½ tspn Nutmeg
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • ¼ tspn Salt
  • tspn Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Medium Carrots grated finely.
  • ½ cup Spiced Pecans (chopped) recipe here:
  • cup Shredded Sweetened Coconut
  • cup Flour
  • ¾ cup Instant Oats

Orange Cream Cheese

  • 4 ounces Cream Cheese room temperature.
  • 4 tbsp Powdered Sugar
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Orange zest


Orange Cream Cheese

  • Combine room temperature cream cheese with powdered sugar, orange zest, and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Set in the fridge until ready to stuff cookies.

Roasted Carrots

  • Preheat oven to 375*F.
  • Spread the finely grated carrots in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread out as evenly as possible.
  • Roast carrots for 10 minutes. Stir on the sheet pan to avoid any hot spots, evenly spread out the shredded carrots again, then roast 10 minutes more. The carrots should smell fragrant and be lightly browned.
  • Allow carrots to cool on baking sheet while you prepare the dough.

Carrot Cake Cookies

  • In a bowl, combine cooled but still liquid brown butter with both types of sugars and salt. Mix to combine.
  • Add the spices, egg, vanilla extract and mix until the mixture is smooth and glossy. No traces of egg should remain.
  • Add the baking soda and flour and mix to form a soft dough.
  • Make sure the carrots are cooled before adding to the dough with the oats, pecans, and coconut.
  • Using a 3 ounce cookie scoop (or measure out three tablespoons of dough alternatively), scoop 8 portions of dough.
  • Take the orange cream cheese out of the fridge with a teaspoon for filling the cookies.
  • Pat the cookie dough into a disc the size of your palm, place a teaspoon of filling in the center. Pinch the cookie dough closed around the filling. Roll around the dough gently between palms to smooth out the edges. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Using gloves can keep this step mess free.
  • Place the cookie dough on a cookie sheet in the fridge for at least one hour to firm up. Preferably, leave overnight in the fridge.
  • Preheat oven to 325*F. Bake cookies 4 at a time on a parchment lined baking sheet for 14-16 minutes. Cookies will be slightly domed and the edges will be golden brown when they are done.
  • These cookies will need at least an hour to cool and set up on the baking sheet before eating. The longer these cookies sit the better the flavor and texture will get.
  • Enjoy these magical spring treats!


Want a mini cookie version instead of stuffed cookies?
Scoop cookies with a one ounce scoop or tablespoon. This recipe will yield around 24 cookies. Place on a cookie sheet and let rest for at least an hour in the fridge and up to overnight. Bake 12 on a parchment lined baking sheet at 325*F for 8-9 minutes. Allow to cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack. Pipe the orange cream cheese with a star tip on top for a tasty and decorative finish!
Keyword Carrot Cake, Carrot Cake Cookies, Easter Cookies, Spring Cookies, stuffed cookies

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Chrissy Grundy

Content Creator

Howdy! I love creating delicious cookie recipes. I enjoy spending time with my kids and husband in Buda, Texas and I am a huge supporter of local Texas producers. I am so happy you are here! Let’s start baking!

Chrissy Grundy

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