Soft and Chewy Spiced Carrot Cake Cookies

These cookies weren’t originally in my plans. They’re the result of a carrot muffin failure. I was so disgusted that I couldn’t even bear to re-make the muffins.

So I made cookies instead. Best call ever.

Soft and Chewy Spiced Carrot Cake Cookies (not cakey!)

I had filled muffin cups to almost three-quarters full in an effort to get big puffy domed-top muffins. Unfortunately, what emerged from the oven were mushrooms, not muffins. Their tops sat flush on the pan and although they tasted fabulous, it was one big wall of conjoined muffin tops. Shudder.

The cookies more than make up for the muffins, and if I had to choose, cookies trump muffins anyway.


Soft and Chewy Spiced Carrot Cake Cookies (not cakey!)

They’re supremely moist, soft, and chewy without being cakey. I like my cake to be cakey, but never cookies.

They’re loaded with texture from the carrots, oats, raisins, and butterscotch chips. If you don’t like raisins or butterscotch, and prefer nuts and white chocolate, or nothing at all other than just carrots, suit yourself.

I’m a raisin lover, and after last week’s Oatmeal Scotchies, I’ve also been on a major butterscotch kick.

Soft and Chewy Spiced Carrot Cake Cookies (not cakey!)

Bland carrot cake is so unappetizing and as I mentioned when I made Carrot Cake and Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread, orange vegetables can stand up to a lot of spices without becoming overpowered. In fact, they necessitate a heavier hand when adding spices.

The cookies are pleasantly spiced, and just robust enough, but not overdone. Or course, season to taste based on your preferences.

Soft and Chewy Spiced Carrot Cake Cookies (not cakey!)

I prefer to grate the carrots by hand with a box grater using the coarsest blade. It’s three-quarters of a cup, about two medium carrots, and takes one minute. Bagged shredded carrots from the grocery store just aren’t the same and it isn’t a job worthy of dirtying my food processor.

I measure them by loosely piling them into a one cup measure, and as long as it’s at least three-quarters full, or a skimpy one-cup, that’s ideal.

After the dough comes together, use a medium 2-inch cookie scoop to form mounds and place them on a large plate. The dough is soft and messy and being able to dig into the mixing bowl as if it were a bowl of ice cream, using a scoop, is so much neater and easier.

Soft and Chewy Spiced Carrot Cake Cookies (not cakey!)

Because this dough is soft, it must be chilled for at least 3 hours, overnight, or up to 5 days before baking. Do not bake with warm dough or the cookies will spread. If you want thick cookies, you must chill the dough. Plus, chilling it gives the spices and flavors time to marry.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, however I strongly recommend the lower end of the range. The cookies firm up considerably as they cool, so don’t be afraid to pull them even if the tops look glossy and under-done. Overbaking will turn these softies in rocks, with overly browned bottoms.

 I figure since there’s vegetables baked into them, a few extra cookies means a few extra servings of vegetables. Normally I don’t include nutrition information,  but after scarfing three warm cookies off the baking tray, without feeling like a lead balloon had landed in my stomach, I was curious about their stats.

Soft and Chewy Spiced Carrot Cake Cookies (not cakey!)

I inputted the major ingredients into this site and used 22 as the servings since I made 22 cookies. Butterscotch chips weren’t listed an option so I used dark chocolate chips instead. However, I believe they artificially elevated the stats because dark chocolate is fattier and more calorically dense than butterscotch.

138 calories per cookie

If the optional raisins and baking chips were omitted, it would be less. But carrot cake isn’t carrot cake without raisins and I love butterscotch. And I will always eat cookies based on taste, not on stats. It’s a cookie; it’s not supposed to be healthy. If if happens to be, great; but if not, oh well.

The cookies are a new favorite and are some of the best cookies I’ve made all year, and I bake a new cookie recipe nearly every week. I’m also still madly in love with these.

In large part due to the spices used, they remind me of a perfect slice of carrot cake, minus any cakiness, and I kept reaching for one more. One more.

Soft and Chewy Spiced Carrot Cake Cookies (not cakey!)

They have soft, tender interiors with chewy edges. They stay moist for days and get softer the second and third day because brown sugar is hydrophilic (absorbing atmospheric moisture), rather than drying out.

Juicy raisins, oats, carrot shreds, and sweet butterscotch chips lend so much chew factor and texture.

I live for those thick, dense, loaded-up bites.

Soft and Chewy Spiced Carrot Cake Cookies (not cakey!)

Soft & Chewy Spiced Carrot Cake Cookies - Tons of texture & so moist with zero cakiness. Eat your vegetables by way of healthy cookies!

Soft and Chewy Spiced Carrot Cake Cookies

All the flavors of richly spiced carrot cake, in cookie form. Soft, chewy, extremely moist, and not at all cakey. They’re loaded with texture from the carrots, oats, raisins, and butterscotch chips. If you prefer your carrot cake without raisins or butterscotch, feel free to omit. I love the juicy pop of the raisins and the sweet, butteriness the butterscotch chips lend. As cookies go, theyr’e on the healthier side, and one of my new favorites. They’d also make great sandwich cookies filled with cream cheese frosting.


1 large egg
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned whole rolled oats (not instant or quick cook)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 heaping cup grated carrots, loosely packed
1/2 to 2/3 cup butterscotch chips (or white chocolate), optional
1/2 cup raisins (or nuts), optional


  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl with hand mixer), combine the egg, butter, sugars, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, optional salt, and beat momentarily to incorporate. As written, cookies are pleasantly spiced and robust, without being over-spiced, but dial down the amounts as written and adjust to taste if you’re particularly sensitive.
  3. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and beat until just combined, less than 1 minute. Add the carrots and beat to incorporate, about 30 seconds. Add the optional butterscotch chips, raisins, and beat to incorporate, about 30 seconds.
  4. Using a medium cookie scoop (about 2 tablespoons) or your hands, scoop out mounds of dough (I made 22) and place them on a large plate. Flatten mounds just slightly with heel of your hand. Cover plate with plasticwrap and refrigerate dough for at least 3 hours, up to 5 days, before baking. Dough is far too soft and moist, and is unsuitable for baking until it’s been chilled or cookies will spread dramatically.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F, line 2 baking sheets with Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mats, parchment, or spray with cooking spray; set aside. Space dough 2 inches apart (8 per tray) and bake for 9 to 11 minutes (I recommend the lower end of that range), or until tops have just set, even if slightly underbaked and glossy in the center. Cookies firm up as they cool, and baking too long results in cookies that set up too crisp and hard with overdone undersides (The cookies shown in the photos were baked for just over 9 minutes, with trays rotated at the 5-minute mark, and have chewy edges with pillowy, soft centers).
  6. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling. Store cookies airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.
Only Eats

Related Recipes:

Carrot Cake Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting – My favorite carrot cake. Baked as a loaf rather than a traditional cake and so fast and easy to whisk together. Ridiculously moist, soft, tender, full of cinnamon-and-spice-and-everything-nice, including an abundance of carrots and raisins

Oatmeal Raisin Carrot Cake Bites (no-bake, vegan, GF) – Cookie dough bites are always popular and instead of cookie dough, these are carrot cake dough. They’re soft, chewy, and filled with texture

Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread – Sweet potatoes do a wonderful job of keeping it extremely soft and moist. It’s almost like cake it’s so soft, springy, and bouncey. It’s robustly spiced with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies – Chocolate chip cookies with a pumpkin twist and some gentle, warming spices

Pumpkin Banana Bread with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting – This quickbread pairs two of my favorites, pumpkin bread and banana bread, into one and it’s topped with a frosting that I could eat by the spoonful

Coconut Spice Cheesecake Bars – Part cheese cake, part spice cake,with the flavors of carrot cake and cream cheese frosting. Chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and coconut are baked in between the cake and cream cheese layers for richly spiced bars that are very fast and easy to make since there’s a shortcut involved

Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Scotchies Cookies – My new favorite oatmeal cookie dough base. Soft and chewy, they bake up at perfect thickness, and are loaded with butterscotch chips in every bite

Do you like carrot cake? Ever tried carrot cake cookies?

I love carrot cake and the overall spices used, but was leery of making carrot cake cookies. I didn’t want a cakey cookie, and I am thrilled with how these came out. The carrot muffin failure was a blessing in disguise.

Thanks for the Get Calm with $80 Giveaway and Le Creuset 3-Piece Serveware Set Giveaway entries

111 comments on “Soft and Chewy Spiced Carrot Cake Cookies”

  1. I love when baking mistakes turn into a baking success. These cookies look and sounds fabulous! A lot of people don’t seem to like carrot cake, but I am a huge fan! These cookies would go great with a spoonful of cream cheese frosting. :) (But then I guess that would make these skinny cookies not quite as low in calories….)

  2. I’ve had that happen with more recipes than I can count. It doesn’t work out the first time around and I completely reimagine it the second time and that second idea turns out even better. I love the idea of carrot cake in cookie form!

  3. I’m absolutely loving that you added butterscotch chips to these! That sounds so fabulous. Definitely need to make them…maybe with a cream cheese glaze? Overkill? Yum though! Haha. Pinned :)

  4. Hi Averie! For some reason your site is not loading all the way for me? I’m not sure if you’ve had this problem or maybe it’s just me? Just thought I’d let you know.

    ANYWAY these cookies! Oh my. I think I’m in love.

  5. Must admit I fill my muffin tins all the way to the top and most of the time I end up with a giant muffin top, but that’s kinda how I like my muffins – like my patented recipe :) These cookies look great! I think they’d make an excellent breakfast and pretty healthy and balanced – at least more than the pie I ate this morning ;)

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  7. Oh my goodness, I love carrot cake :) these cookies look fabulous!

  8. I was literally just thinking I wanted carrot cake in the form of a cookie. I love carrot cake! and even better in a cookie instead of making the whole big cake – the flavours are just delicious! the addition of chocolate chips is even better

  9. I made these and they are AMAZING! I did both nuts and raisins, and white chocolate chips. Now how to turn this into a cake recipe?! No recipes seem to compare to how rich and full of flavor these are!

  10. Made a batch of these a couple days ago and everyone loved them! I made a few subs so that they would be dairy free, but other than that, followed the instructions as written. Thanks for sharing recipes that not only look delicious, but taste just as good. I know I can trust your recipes!

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  12. Never had or even considered carrot cake cookies! OMGoodness I can’t wait to try this! It’s some #SeriousYum™! I even posted it on my FB page (
    AND you’ve been pinned! (

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  19. Epic fail. So dissapointed these didn’t turn out and I followed recipe to “a tee”. Worst part? I doubled the recipe…ugh

    • If you give me more info I may be able to help troubleshoot what and where things took a wrong turn. When baking with fruit/veg, there are some variables to consider. I am sorry they didn’t work for you but thanks for trying the recipe.

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  21. These are THEEEEE best cookies!!! We made them last night to have a road trip snack for today. Well, 6 were gone after cooling 10 minutes. After that we figured we better not take the rest because they’d be gone before our driveway was cold. We bagged a few for today & put the rest in the freezer. Thank you so much, can’t wait to share this recipe with our grandkids:)

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! So great that they were almost gone before they came out of the oven :) I love that you love these cookies…ME TOO! They’re one of my personal faves! So glad you enjoyed them, too!

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  24. Can the dough just be chilled in one bowl and then spooned out when ready to bake, or does it make a difference if they are already spooned out before chilling?

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