Carrot Cake Cookies are chewy, moist, and filled with shredded carrots, coconut, and pecans. Like a fusion between a classic chocolate chip cookie and carrot cake.
You're going to love these carrot cake cookies because they're chewy and soft like a classic chocolate chip cookie, but filled with all the best flavors of a carrot cake. Freshly shredded carrots, shredded coconut, pecans, and spices fill these cookies to the brim with flavor.
These cookies are great any time of year, but I particularly love making them for Easter. Similar to my Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies, these cookies are filled with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, so they'd also be perfect for fall and winter.
Ingredients and substitutions
I do not recommend many substitutions for baking recipes, since each ingredient has a purpose and baking is an exact science.
Pecans can be substituted with walnuts or almonds.
Unsalted butter and salt can be substituted with salted butter.
For this recipe, I highly recommend toasting your shredded coconut for an added depth of flavor. This step is optional, but only takes a few minutes.
On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spread your shredded coconut into a thin layer. Bake for 5-7 minutes at 350 degrees, or until edges begin to lightly brown. Stir and return to the oven for another 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully, because the edges of your coconut can brown (and then burn) quickly.
You can also brown your shredded coconut in a skillet on the stove top over medium heat. This method can take anywhere from 3-6 minutes. Stir it continually so that it browns evenly.
Chilling your dough
I like to chill my cookie dough for at least 1 hour (up to 24 hours) in the refrigerator. This helps the flavors meld, and also helps prevent your cookies from spreading too much when baking.
When scooping, I suggest using a Medium OXO Cookie Scoop to make all of your cookies the same size.
Tips for baking cookies
Room temperature ingredients will help your cookies have a consistent, creamy, and even dough. When beaten, the eggs and butter form an emulsion, which traps air in the dough, which bakes up into a soft and fluffy cookie.
Properly measuring flour is an issue I see frequently. If you have issues with your cookies not spreading, or turning out extra thick and tall, you probably measured too much flour into your cookie dough.
To properly measure flour, use a spoon to add flour to your measuring cup, then level off with a knife. By scooping flour directly from a container with your measuring cup, you're compacting the dough into the cup. This can add up to 25% more flour to your dough.
Using parchment paper helps prevent your cookies from spreading too much while baking. A greased baking pan will guarantee your cookies spread more than they should, so I always suggest parchment paper (or a reusable baking mat) instead.
Carrot Cake Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup grated carrots
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
- Gradually stir dry ingredients into butter mixture until just combined.
- Add shredded carrots, pecans, and shredded coconut, stirring until evenly incorporated.
- Cover bowl or wrap dough in wax paper. Chill for 1 hour (up to 24 hours) in the refrigerator. Refrigerating will help the flavors meld and also create a firmer dough to roll into balls.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Scoop dough using a 1.5 tablespoon scoop or shape by hand into 1.5 inch balls. Place cookie dough balls 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until lightly browned around edges. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Pecans can be substituted with walnuts, almonds, chocolate chips, or white chocolate chips.
- I recommend toasting the shredded coconut for added depth of flavor. Spread shredded coconut into a thin layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until edges begin to lightly brown. Stir and bake for another 2-3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Alternatively, add to a skillet and brown over medium heat for 3-6 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Your cookies will keep for 5-7 days in a sealed container. To help keep cookies fresh, you can place a slice of bread in the container with the cookies. Replace the bread slice as needed.
- You can keep raw cookie dough in the refrigerator for 3 days. Cookie dough balls (and baked cookies) freeze well, up to 3 months in a sealed plastic container or freezer bag. Allow frozen balls to thaw for up to 10 minutes on the baking sheet before baking, or add 1-2 minutes to the baking time.