Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies

Early this week, I got an email from someone who loved the carrot cake cookies at Disney World. As usual, I too became interested in carrot cookies and started searching for good carrot cookie recipes. Like carrot cake itself, some versions are buttery and rich and others are more health food oriented. I couldn’t settle on which recipe I wanted to make, so I just started throwing things together and after a few tries, ended up with these. They’re sweet and delicious enough to where kids will like them, but not so rich and buttery that you’d feel guilty serving them as a snack or breakfast treat.

I used white whole wheat flour and at this point, don’t recommend substituting whole wheat because it has a different consistency. If you substitute it anyway and the cookies turn out great, then let me know and I’ll reverse my opinion. So unless you are up for experimenting, I’d say go with white whole wheat or just use all purpose. With all the nuts, carrots and oats, you still have a pretty wholesome cookie.

Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies

Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies

1 cup white whole wheat or all purpose flour (4 ½ oz)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup oats, old fashioned or quick (not instant)
2/3 cup shredded or grated carrots
1/3 to 1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup toasted, chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, thoroughly mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; set aside

In a large bowl, mix together the oil, granulated sugar, dark brown sugar and vanilla. When well mixed, add the egg and orange zest and beat for another 20-30 seconds. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and stir until flour is absorbed. Stir in oats, carrots, raisins and nuts.

Using a ¼ cup measure, scoop up big mounds of dough – they should be a bit larger than golf balls, but quite smaller than tennis balls.

Place on ungreased or Silpat or parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake for 20 minutes.

Makes 8 big cookies

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Comments

  1. J says

    Hi Anna,
    this is sorta a silly question, but can one omit sugar from the cookie/cake/muffin/etc. recipes all together? That is, does sugar have any other ‘function’ than sweetening things up, in which case, would one need to say, add more wet ingredients, dry ingredients, etc.?

    I like cookies, cakes and muffins but not when they’re (too) sweet, which I know doesn’t make much sense.

    I’ve been a long time lurker and enjoy your site very much, so thanks.

  2. says

    Hello J,

    First off, thanks for reading the blog. It’s fun to hear from people. And your question is a very good one.

    Sugar is critical to the structure of cookies, cakes and some muffins, so if you take it out completely, your baked good will be missing a “brick” so to speak. You can definitely remove it or reduce it, but when you do, you need to rearrange the other components so that your baked whatever will still have a solid structure and good texture. Making up recipes for cookies and cakes and even rearranging them is similar to working a puzzle.

    I think the best way to reduce sugar in recipes is to reduce it one tablespoon at a time. The texture will change slightly, but in some cases your product will still be okay — just different. If you remove large amounts, you’ll have to alter other ingredients to make it work.

  3. says

    For anyone interested in a low fat version, I made another quick batch which I liked even better. These are denser and chewier and not really cakey.

    Low Fat Carrot Breakfast Cookies

    1 cup white whole wheat or all purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    2 large egg whites
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    2 tablespoons prune puree (prune baby food)
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
    2/3 cup oats, old fashioned or quick (not instant)
    2/3 cup shredded or grated carrots
    1/3 cup raisins
    1 oz toasted nuts

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    In a small bowl, thoroughly mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; set aside

    In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites. Stir in both sugars, prune puree, oil, and vanilla and orange. Add flour mixture and stir until flour is absorbed. Stir in oats, carrots, raisins and nuts.

    Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop up big mounds of dough – they should be a bit larger than golf balls. Place on parchment paper or Silpat lined cookie sheets and bake for 17- 20 minutes.

    Makes 8 big cookies

    Each cookie weighs a little less than 2 oz

    217 Calories; 6g Fat (24.6% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 38g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol;

    Without nuts count is as follows (according to Mastercook):

    Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 195 Calories; 4g Fat (18.6% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 37g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber;

  4. Carrie says

    Ohhh Anna,

    You are my cookie hero! Even a lower fat version?! How did you know my thighs get bigger everytime I check your blog (every day). Thanks for the recipe, I am so excited to try it :)

  5. Dee says

    Hi Anna,

    I love your site! I check it everyday.

    This morning I made the carrot cookies (low-fat version). I used applesauce instead of the prune puree and did use whole wheat flour.

    I thought they were great! The family is so-so about them, but it’s probably because they are healthy!

    Keep up the good work! We all love it.

  6. says

    Anastasia, thanks for the link!

    Carrie, I hope you like the cookies.

    Dee, I am in agreement with you. I love the low fat version, but it does have a health food taste. I didn’t even bother giving a sample to my family because I knew they just wouldn’t like the flavor and texture. The slightly higher fat cookies are like an another cookie altogether and the family did like those.

    Another note about the higher fat cookies — you may substitute melted butter for the oil.

  7. Carol says

    I’m looking forward to trying these. Dee, I would use applesauce and WW flour too, so I’m glad you already gave that a whirl. Anna, I’ll let you know how mine come out and what I use. I like “health-foody”, and my husband is okay with that to a point, so I think these will work for both of us.

    Umm, is it wrong that I’m wondering how these would taste with cream cheese…?

  8. says

    Carol, if you happen to stop into the grocery store, maybe you could buy a jar of the prune baby food and give that version a try too. I haven’t tested with applesauce, but I loved the prune flavor, texture and added fiber. But definitely try the applesauce.

    Dee, thanks for testing with the ww flour.

    Carol, the first carrot cookie (the one with more oil) would definitely taste good with cream cheese because it has a cakier (yet still pretty dense) texture. It would be especially delicious if you made the cookie with melted butter instead of oil. I made the first batch with melted butter and the cookies were richer — more like carrot cake and not so healthy tasting.

  9. Tanya says

    These are so different from anything I’ve tried! Another reason I love your blog and visit daily. Thanks!

  10. Therese says

    I made these yesterday!! YUMMY! I used the white whole wheat and substituted some chopped prunes for the raisins. They turned out awesome! A nice texture…just excellent. If I had a chart of 5 stars..would give them a 5. Both hubby and daughter took one on the way out the door this morning.

    Thanks Anna for another winner!

  11. Carol says

    I made a split batch – half with white whole wheat flour and half with regular whole wheat flour. There may be a slight difference between the two, but not significant and I have no preference.

    I did kind of a hybrid between your two versions, Anna. I used 2 T prune and 2 T melted butter, a whole egg, 2/3 oats, 2 T sugar, 1/3 cup toasted walnuts. Also, I used dried cranberries instead of raisins.

    These are great and hubby likes them too, which is good because I like to have easy breakfast “grabs” on hand for him. (such a nice wife) I’ll make these again and maybe play with adding some applesauce to make them even moister, which we both like.

    Thanks as always, Anna!

  12. says

    Hey Everyone!

    Thanks for trying the experimental carrot cookies. I really like this recipe (both versions) too. In fact, I noticed that the cookies taste even better on day 2 and 3….so they keep well.

    I’m probably going to make another batch for myself.

  13. says

    I forgot to add, if anyone veganizes these, let me know. The egg white seems to be an important component to the overall texture of the second version, but I’m sure substitutions would work as well. I’m wondering if the flaxmeal egg substitute a lot of people use would work.

  14. Carol says

    I’ll try the flax version next time, Anna. I use flax all the time.

    Also, I noticed also that today the cookies seemed moister then yesterday. Which was good!

  15. Patreesha says

    Hi Anna! I got here through a Google search for “carrot whole wheat cookie recipe”… and lo and behold, it looks like you have a stellar recipe here. I’ve only had carrot whole wheat cookies that I’ve bought from the Union Square farmer’s market here in NYC, but I’ll have to try this and compare. I’ll let you know how it goes!

    Thanks for posting this recipe. The photos look amazing!

  16. says

    Patreesha, glad you found Cookie Madness. We’ve been waiting for you.

    Just kidding. I’m in a strange mood today.

    I hope you like this cookie. If you don’t or if you have some suggestions on making it better, I’d love to hear your suggestions.

  17. heather says

    Just made this cookie recipe after searching for a carrot cake cookie like the one at Disney!

    I didn’t have nuts or raisens so I used shredded coconut in place of both….they turned out great! Thanks for the recipe.

  18. says

    Heather, that’s great news! Thanks for the coconut tip. I’ll have to try that.

    Martha Stewart has a good looking carrot sandwich cookie. I think it’s next on my list.

  19. Asher says

    Awesome recipe! I think I’m going to try the low-fat version … I’ve been bitten by the baking bug, and realized today I could put it to good use making breakfast “bars” for work days. These should do perfectly!

  20. Christine says

    I like a little crisper cookie, but these were excellent and everyone raved. My adjustments were:

    – half all purpose and half whole wheat flour
    – light brown sugar (it’s what I had…)
    no raisins; chopped a third cup of coconut with my walnuts in a food processor.
    – instead of all cinnamon used a mix of nutmeg, ginger & cin.

    I consider this a permanent recipe in my repertoire now. Thanks!

  21. Jodi says

    I’ve been thinking of ways to get more vegs into our 3yo twin boys, but without using sugar if possible.
    This is my version:

    1 1/2 c. shredded carrots
    1/4 c. pistachios (put them through the grater of our salad shooter before the carrots!)
    1/2 c. raisins
    1 c. white whole wheat flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 c. very soft butter
    2 eggs slightly beaten
    1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
    I mixed them in that order, used my largest cookie scoop and put them on parchment on a cookie sheet. It made 22 cookies.
    I baked them at 350F for 18 minutes. We all like them. The fruit and carrots make them just sweet enough.

  22. Jodi says

    Oops. I wrote the butter in twice. Sorry. Also I forgot 1/2 c. golden raisins (so a whole cup of raisins, regular and golden)

  23. says

    Jodi, thanks!!! So what’s it like using a salad shooter? I didn’t know those were still around. I’ll go ahead and correct the butter since you said you put it twice.

  24. says

    Thank you for this recipe! Very good and my two year old daughter is loving them.
    I did add 1/4 tsp of nutmeg and 1/4 tsp of cloves and left the nuts out. I love the extra spice those two add.
    Thanks again! This is my first time visiting your blog but I’ll be back!

  25. Nancy Kellner says

    Thanks for this recipe. The aromas coming from the kitchen are just the thing for this post-blizzard day. I love the idea of a breakfast cookie (although, I think I am going to sneak one this afternoon!)

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