These paleo carrot cake cookies let you enjoy all the classic flavors of the cake minus the grains, dairy and sugar in one healthy bite! You even get that cream cheese frosting flavor too.
I feel like we all have that one food we absolutely can’t pass up if it’s in front of us on the table or on the menu at a restaurant. For Ulysses, it’s apple pie or crisp. For my brother, lobster ravioli (weird, I know). Oddly, I have no idea what my parents’ would be but I can tell you mine without hesitation: carrot cake.
Actually, I have two because on the savory side it’s duck confit. If both are on the menu, it’s like I won the lottery.
When it comes to carrot cake, I’m a true fan too. Not one of those “eat all the frosting and leave the cake” kind of people. It’s the whole package of cake + frosting that gets me and it has to be the perfect ratio of each as well.
Too skimpy on the frosting = no good. Too much frosting = unwanted sugar high, also no good. On the cake side, I’m not a fan of those that overdo it on the spices.
I don’t want everything you’d throw into a pumpkin pie in my carrot cake. Just some cinnamon will do because the carrots need to actually shine through. It’s called carrot cake for a reason.
So with all that in mind, I set out to make a paleo version of my beloved dessert in cookie form. I’ve already made this healthy carrot cake cookie recipe but this one was specifically created for paleo diet followers. They turned out hearty with lots of carrot and coconut chew, slightly sweet and just a barely detectable note of cinnamon – perfect.
The cookie was the easy part though. The frosting was a bit more difficult. Replicating cream cheese without using actual cream cheese is a bit tricky!
The lemon juice in the frosting is key, it helps break up the distinct coconut flavor you get from using coconut oil and coconut butter and blends nicely with the cashews (which turn all buttery in the food processor) for a pretty good replica of the real stuff.
The best part about paleo carrot cake cookies? They’re so darn healthy, they don’t have to just be dessert!
Paleo Carrot Cake Cookies
For the Cookies
- 2 cups Almond Meal
- 1/2 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 Egg
- 1/4 cup Melted Coconut Oil
- 1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
- 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 3/4 cup Shredded Carrots Squeezed of excess water
For the Frosting
- 1/2 cup Raw Unsalted Cashews Soaked in water for 1 hour
- 2 tablespoons Coconut Butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
- 1 tablespoon Melted Coconut Oil
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
- Combine the almond meal, coconut, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the egg, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla in a small bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just incorporated.
- Fold in the carrots until combined.
- Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the batter onto the baking sheet into a cookie/disc shape.
- Bake for 12 minutes, remove and let cool 1 minute (cookies will be soft upon removing from oven but will firm up as they cool) on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.
- As the cookies cool, prepare the “cream cheese” frosting by draining the cashews and placing them in a food processor with the other frosting ingredients.
- Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary, about 5-7 minutes.
- Spread the frosting on the tops of each cookie once cooled.
- Store cookies in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
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.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.