Note: These healthy carrot cake cookies (originally titled “Hippie Cookies) first appeared on January 27, 2012. The recipe has been edited slightly and now includes a delicious cream cheese almond butter icing and the pictures have been updated and video included (scroll down to right above recipe card).
These cookies have been a long time go-to healthy dessert recipe as carrot cake will always be one of my all-time favorite desserts. I’m still amazed at how true to taste they are to the cake without any added sugar and a simple, wholesome ingredient list.
These healthy carrot cake cookies made with oats and whole wheat flour are packed with raisins, walnuts, lemon zest and ginger. Drizzle them with the optional almond butter cream cheese topping for a true creamy carrot cake like bite. No added sugar, no butter, still completely delicious and guilt-free.
Every time I make these cookies, I second guess myself while grating an entire cup worth of carrots to go in them. When there’s that much of a vegetable in a cookie, can it still be considered a cookie?
Especially when you’re not adding any eggs or any added sugar either.
I say yes, and this paleo chocolate zucchini bread agrees.
Somehow, this wholesome combination of oats, whole wheat flour, ginger, lemon zest, raisins, carrots and walnuts adds up to one hell of a good imitation of carrot cake.
When I’m not in the mood for chocolate (yes, it happens sometimes), carrot cake or any dessert like it, is my jam.
Partly due to the spices, partly the texture and mostly (let’s be honest), the cream cheese icing, carrot cake (as long as it’s not dried out – the worst!) is always a winner.
These cookies, right down to the cream cheese almond butter icing, give you all those things in a healthier cookie bite.
Totally delicious, wholesome enough you could easily justify them for breakfast and the kind of recipe that has zero guilt attached to popping 3 or 4 of them in your mouth on your way out the door to your workout (I know nothing about that).
If you love carrot cake cookies but want a paleo version, check out these paleo carrot cake cookies – super similar but totally grain and dairy free!
Oh, and that icing? Drizzle it on all the things, not just these healthy carrot cake cookies. Like oatmeal, yogurt, berries, ice cream… It’s magical.
WATCH THE VIDEO – How To Make Healthy Carrot Cake Cookies (a collaboration I did with up4 Probiotics of my original recipe):
For the cookies:
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup chopped golden raisins
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup apple butter
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
For the icing
- 1 ounce reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon creamy almond butter
- unsweetened almond milk, enough to thin
- 4-5 drops liquid stevia
For the cookies:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
- Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
- In a small bowl combine coconut oil, apple butter and maple syrup. Whisk together until smooth.
- Add wet ingredients to the large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined with a spatula.
- Roll dough into golf ball sized balls, place on baking sheet and gently press down to form disc shape. Cookies won't flatten or spread much with baking.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
For the icing:
- Stir the cream cheese, almond butter and stevia together in a small bowl. Slowly add almond milk until mixture is thinned out enough to drizzle on cookies. Drizzle cooled cookies with icing before serving.
Omit icing for vegan version, use paleo cream cheese icing from these paleo carrot cake cookies or, use a vegan cream cheese substitute.