Healthy Carrot Cake Cookies

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.

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.

These healthy carrot cake cookies are made with oats, whole wheat flour and all the add-ins you love from carrot cake.

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.

Sweet cream cheese almond butter icing makes these healthy carrot cake cookies even more delicious.
These healthy carrot cake cookies have no butter, no added sugar and are chock full of healthy wholesome ingredients.

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!

Real carrots, raisins, ginger, lemon zest and walnuts are packed into these healthy carrot cake cookies drizzled with a cream cheese almond butter icing.

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.

Don’t miss these healthy zucchini bars with lightened up cream cheese frosting if you love cream cheese frosting desserts. They’re oat based and gluten-free, so incredibly packed with flavor with the best texture!

WATCH THE VIDEO – How To Make Healthy Carrot Cake Cookies (a collaboration I did with up4 Probiotics of my original recipe):

Love this healthy carrot cake cookies recipe?

Try Healthy Peanut Butter Cookie Dough DipHealthy Chocolate Chunk Molasses Gingerbread Cookies, and Paleo Carrot Cake Cookies.

Yield: 16 cookies

Healthy Carrot Cake Cookies

Healthy Carrot Cake Cookies

These healthy carrot cake cookies have raisins, lemon zest, ginger and walnuts in them. No sugar, no butter, still completely delicious and guilt-free.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


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:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  3. In a small bowl combine coconut oil, apple butter and maple syrup. Whisk together until smooth.
  4. Add wet ingredients to the large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined with a spatula.
  5. 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.
  6. 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:

  1. 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.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 198Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 128mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 5g
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.


  1. Julie @ Table for Two

    wow, these are definitely guilt free looking! i would love to have some of these next to my desk so i can just snack on them without feeling like crap. all the ingredients combined in this make it seem like great flavorings and a well-rounded snack!

  2. emily

    Carrot Cake is my absolute favorite! I actually have a recipe for Carrot Cake cookies that I make allll the time. But, these sound equally delicious (if not more!) You can bet I’ll be making a batch asap. (:

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  4. Runnergirl

    I made these and they are terrific! The only issue I had was the batter was WAY to soft to roll into balls. I baked them in an 8×8 instead. I’d prefer to make in to cookies. Any ideas why mine came out so liquidy? I measured carefully!

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      I honestly have no idea. My batter was not liquidy at all and looking at the ingredients I’m not even sure how that’s possible! There’s barely any real “liquid” in them besides the maple syrup. I know you said you measured carefully but that would be only guess. I’m sorry! Glad they came out well baked in an 8×8 at least!

  5. Runnergirl

    Thanks for your response. When you measure coconut oil do you melt first & measure or measure & melt? I measured it in a dry (like you would use for sugar/flour) & then melted. Still happy with the outcome of the bars!

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      The measurement should be of the melted coconut oil so I used a measured 1/4 cup of it melted. I’ll edit the recipe to say that. Thanks for pointing that out. Did a dry measure of 1/4 cup turn out to be a lot more when melted?

  6. Runnergirl

    Not positive if it was a lot more because I didn’t remeasure. I will try measuring it melted next time. Thanks again for a great recipe!

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  9. Yana

    Just made those and they are yummy! My dough was pretty sticky but it rolled just fine. I stuffed coconut oil into a quarter cup dry measure and melted it, but mine came out less than the liquid quarter cup, so I had to melt more and use the leftovers to grease the pan as I was out of parchment paper. I also used orange zest instead of lemon since I was too lazy to go pick a lemon from my tree and I had some of the oranges from my other tree right there in the kitchen. I was surprised at how feeling those cookies turned out to be. I had one (pretty much out of the oven) as a snack before my walk, and it held me over till lunch two hours later. And my carrot cake hating husband gobbled couple of them up like nobody’s business.

    Off to make your edamame dip now.

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      So glad you liked them! They are pretty filling and dense. Definitely a nice thing for a cookie!

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    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      Hope everybody liked them! I was shocked when the biggest hit of our brunch was the huge bowl of zucchini and asparagus I brought. Who would’ve thought people would go for the healthy stuff!?

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    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      Sorry, I don’t provide nutritional information for recipes, you can easily plug this into one of the online calculators to get that info if you need it though!


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