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Nut Free Carrot Cake Cookies

These carrot cookies are goodness of a carrot cake in a handy little cookie. Yes please! It’s funny how as Easter rolls around the World Wide Web gets flooded with all kinds of carrot recipes. To say that Easter Bunny is coming so get the carrots out. Another way or my way to look at it is purely environmental. Easter almost marks the beginning of spring (in the Northern hemisphere, of course), and that is around when all the beautiful flowers and fresh spring vegetables and fruits start making appearances. Carrots, asparagus, early strawberries, fresh spinach, rhubarb, and many other gems of the nature’s bounty.

Carrot Cake Cookie

Anywho, the point is Easter or not, carrot cake is one of my favorite kind of cakes. However, today I want to share with you carrot cake cookies. These cookies are awesome. Think of just the right serving size of a carrot cake that is not as sweet but just as great. The lightness and softness of a cake in the form a handy little cookie (have you seen these cookies and these ones?). I made the cookies nut-free by using dye-free, chocolate covered sunflower seeds. You can sure use walnuts or even pumpkin seeds; just make sure to chop them small. Sunflower seeds are the perfect size. Some of the cookies were frosted with a maple frosting and some were left naked.

Carrot cake cookies

Oh, and I also made candies carrot ribbons. It was such a fun project and they turned out great. I am so proud of myself. So, friends try this cookie recipe, frosting or no frosting, candied carrot ribbons or not, with or without nuts – take it in your stride!

Carrot Cake Cookie
4.8 from 5 votes

Nut-free Carrot Cake Cookies

The goodness of a carrot cake in a cookie. These carrot cake cookies are a perfect serving of the flavorful carrots, cinnamon, nutmeg and sunflower seeds.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12


For the cookies:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg powder
  • A pinch salt
  • 1 cup grated carrots about 2 carrots
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds See notes

For frosting:

  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • A splash pure vanilla extract
  • Milk for adjusting consistency a tablespoon or so

For the candied carrot ribbons:

  • I carrot peeled into ribbons
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoon sugar for dusting


To make the cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F or 175 degrees C. line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer (fitted with paddle attachment) or a deep mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar till light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
  4. In a mixing bowl, add all purpose flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt and whisk to combine.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to wet and mix until just combined.
  6. Stir in the grated carrots and sunflower seeds.
  7. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets. These cookie do not spread a lot.
  8. Bake for 12-13 minutes, till the edges just start to brown. Removw fom oven, let cool on the cookie sheets for a few minutes and then transfer t a coling rack and let cool completely.

To make frosting: (See Notes)

  1. Blend everything together till smooth and creamy. Add milk to adjust consistency.

To make the candied carrot ribbons: (See Notes)

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F or 95 degrees C.
  2. In a heavy bottomed sauce pan heat together water and sugar on medium high heat. When the syrup attains a gentle boil, add the riboon and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. After 10 minutes take the ribbons out of the sugar syrup, separate and lay on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes till translucent.
  4. Take the cookie sheet out and while still warm, start curling the ribbons using a straw. Wrap each ribbon gently around a straw, and remove on to plate that has sugar on it.

  5. Gently roll the curled ribbon in sugar. Repeat till all the ribbons have been curled. You will have to work quickly so that the ribbons don’t cool down too much before curling.

To assemble:

  1. Once the cookies have cooled down completely, frost them and add candied carrot ribbons or more sunflower seeds.

Recipe Notes

You can use pumpkin seeds or a nut of your choice. Make sure to chop them into small pieces.

The cookies taste great even without frosting and the candied carrot ribbons. So these two steps are optional.

Carrot cake cookies unfrosted

Enjoy the cookies as a dessert or with a cup of milk.

Happy almost weekend!

Love – Vaishali.

Tools used:

Stand mixer (I use my KitchenAid) or mixing bowl+hand mixer

Mixing bowl

Measuring Cups and Measuring Spoons
Box Grater


Cookie sheets


Sauce pan



Cooling rack (I have this one)


  1. Becky

    April 7, 2018 at 8:01 am

    4 stars
    What a cool recipe! I never would have thought of making candied carrot ribbons – I didn’t even know that was something you could do! I’d like to try this with gluten-free all purpose flour to see how that turns out.

    1. Vaishali

      April 8, 2018 at 3:17 pm

      Thanks Becky. Yeah, the candied carrots were definitely a hit. I will also try the recipe with gluten free flour.

  2. Shirley

    April 7, 2018 at 9:23 am

    5 stars
    Oh my! These look delicious! Your pictures are so inviting and make me want to bake! I will definitely give this recipe a try. Thank you for sharing it.

    1. Vaishali

      April 8, 2018 at 3:15 pm

      Thanks Shirley. I am glad you liked the recipe and the pictures. Let me know if you like the cookies when you try the recipe..:)

  3. Louise Long

    April 7, 2018 at 9:44 am

    5 stars
    I LOVE carrot cake and these cookies sound amazing! I have never thought of making candied carrot strips, love that idea! I think I see some carrot cake cookies in my future! Thanks for the great post!

    1. Vaishali

      April 8, 2018 at 3:14 pm

      Thanks Louise. The candied ribbons are so fun..some of the carrot strips that didn’t get curled were devoured by the kids and carrot candy fun!

  4. Jordyn D'Arco

    April 7, 2018 at 11:42 am

    5 stars
    I am definitely going to have to try these out cause I LOVE me some carrot cake.

    1. Vaishali

      April 8, 2018 at 3:13 pm

      Thanks Jordyn. I love carrot cake too..and I like these cookies because they are soft and an easy grab and go option in lace of the carrot cake.

  5. Blessing

    April 7, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    I’m in love with cooking. Can’t wait to give it a try 👍

    1. Vaishali

      April 8, 2018 at 3:11 pm

      That’s great Blessing!

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