With Easter on the early side this year (April 1st), I wanted to get in the kitchen and play around with a sweet treat that’s perfect for your Easter brunch! I love carrot cake, so I wanted a cookie version of this favorite dessert. Behold… Walnut Carrot Cake Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting. They’re slightly crispy on the edges, so soft on the inside, and the California walnuts add the perfect crunch.
You can usually find grated carrots in the produce section, but sometimes the grate is very thick. You want a finer grate for these, so consider hand-grating carrots. I love the pops of that bright orange! Also, I have diced walnuts mixed into the batter AND walnut pieces on top. I love the crunch it gives these cookies. Delish! If you’re looking for the perfect Easter or “spring” cookie, here you go! I’m typically a chocolate chip cookie type of gal but these are quickly moving up to the top of the ranks for me. Even my Mom couldn’t stop eating them, and she always has more will-power than me. Ha!
For the frosting, I used a star tip and piped on a little cupcake-esque swirl. You could easily just use a knife and spread on a thin layer. I just wanted to show you a way to make them a bit fancier in case you’re serving them at a party or Easter brunch! In fact, here’s a tip: I didn’t have any piping bags at the time, so I simply used a plastic baggy with the tip cut off along with my star tip. Easy!
As far as spices, I love a cookie with a LOT of flavor. You’ll find cinnamon and ginger in these carrot cake cookies. If you want to add more spices (think clove or nutmeg), go for it! Carrot cake cookies really lend themselves to a boost of spices. Of course, if you’re just a cinnamon person, stick to that!
One thing to note is that your dough will be quite thick. The grated carrots add quite a bit of moisture so don’t worry about the thick dough! Just roll your balls, press slightly in the center, and bake. Also, be sure to fully cool before frosting your cookies. Good luck waiting for them to cool, because I for one kept wanting to sneak a cookie while they were still warm. THEY ARE SO GOOD! :)
Though I’ve yet to try it (stay tuned), I do think these walnut carrot cake cookies would be really great in “bar” form as they have the perfect “crispy outside and chewy inside” combo! I’ll take one for the team and try it out for you guys soon, okay? ;)
If you’re a big carrot cake lover, you will definitely love these cookies so I hope you’ll try them out and let me know what you think!
For the Cookies
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups grated carrots (about 4 medium carrots)
- 1 cup diced walnuts
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- extra walnuts to garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In electric mixer, combine butter with both sugars. Beat until creamed. Add egg and vanilla extract. Beat for 1-2 minutes.
Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Beat at low until combined. Stir in carrots and walnuts.
Scoop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes (or until lightly golden).
Beat (medium speed) butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) until desired frosting consistency. For a looser frosting, use less powdered sugar. For a stiffer (for piping) frosting, add more powdered sugar. Once cookies have cooled, add frosting and garnish with walnuts.
For more of my favorite walnut recipes, check these out:
- Cinnamon Sugar Candied Walnuts
- Candied Walnut Bruschetta
- Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies
- Red Velvet Walnut Truffles
This post is sponsored by the California Walnut Board. Thanks for supporting our partners!