I’m a big fan of carrot cake, but making cakes is NOT my favorite thing – I’d much rather make mini desserts like cookies or cupcakes! (Sidenote: Did you know that’s actually one of the reasons this blog is called Sweet Mini Moments?) A few years ago, I made these carrot cake cookies to bring to Easter at my sister’s house. They’re soft and cake-like and have this great cream cheese frosting with a little orange zest. It’s basically the best parts of a cake, but they’re cute and hand-held. My favorite!
- 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup grated carrot
- 1/4 cup pecans (plus more for garnish)
- 2 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup salted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Cream the butter and sugar. Add vanilla and egg and mix.
Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix just until combined.
Add carrots and pecans and stir in by hand.
Scoop dough in rounded balls onto your prepared baking sheet. I like to use a stainless steel cookie scoop like THIS one. (affiliate link)
Bake cookies for about 8 minutes or until the edges start to brown and the centers poof up slightly. Let them set on the baking sheet for 2 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to reach room temperature. (Don’t frost until they’re cool!)
To make the frosting, whip the cream cheese, butter and orange zest until combined. Add a bit of powdered sugar at a time and whip until smooth.
Spread a dollop of frosting on top of each cooled cookie and sprinkle a few more pecan pieces on top for garnish.
Store cookies in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until serving.