around this same time last year, I made a loaf cake that would go on to become my most popular recipe on the blog. I had no idea how many people would go on to love it. since guys adore my chai spice carrot loaf cake so much, I decided to create another equally delicious and fun recipe using the same beloved flavor profile. meet my chewy carrot cake cookies with brown butter cream cheese frosting. these cookies are everything you guys love from the cake, just in cookie form. dare I say, finally a recipe to rival THE most popular one ive ever created!! read on to find out why these cookies need to find their way onto your baking list ASAP!
these delightful sandwich cookies are best described as
- similar to an oatmeal cream pie cookie, with a twist
- perfect size for hand held eating
- filled with a sweet, creamy and slightly tangy frosting
- exactly like a homemade cookie
- like a bite of childhood
let’s talk ingredients
to make these chewy carrot cake cookies, you will need pantry basics such as:
- unsalted butter
- all purpose flour
- I used this brand of all my baking
- chai spice mix
- see recipe notes for the homemade version (makes a lot, but stores easily)
- you can also buy some online
- baking soda
- light brown sugar
- granulated sugar
- vanilla extract
- rolled oats or old fashioned oats
- cream cheese
- I use Philadelphia for all my baking
- powdered sugar
from these ingredients you will make the carrot cookies and cream cheese frosting
any special baking tools?
technically no, you don’t need anything special to make these cookies. however, I recommend using:
- stand mixer with paddle attachment
- or electric hand mixer with large mixing bowl
- medium sauce pan
- for browning butter
- you will also need a large, wide and shallow, heat proof bowl for cooling the hot butter
- plastic wrap
- or other way to cover the cookies
- for chilling
- prevents the cookie dough from drying out
- small or medium cookie scoop
- small (1 tbsp) makes 2″ cookies
- medium (1.5 tbsp) makes 2 3/4-3″ cookies
- large aluminum baking sheets
- parchment paper
- cooling rack
- small icing knife
- for spreading the frosting
- you can also pipe it on using a frosting bag with tip cut off or with icing tip of choice
- wax paper for wrapping the cookies for storage
- these cookies freeze really well
- wrap each cookie in wax paper or parchment paper
- store in a freezer proof container for up to one month
- bring to room temperature for 15-25 minutes before eating
tips and tricks for the best chewy carrot cake cookies
substitutes for this recipe:
- butter: can be replaced with vegan or plant based butter if needed
- use a brand you have already made cookies with before to ensure you know the butter works for this
- all purpose flour: use a 1:1 GF mix for all purpose flour
- eggs: for this recipe, the eggs were used as a binding agent and for some chewiness (extra yolk)
- flax eggs can be tried in this recipe
- apple sauce or mashed banana can also work here (aim for 1/3 c )
- you can also just leave out the egg and yolk
- keep in mind, this recipe wasn’t tested to be eggless, so go into it with an open mind and maybe make half a batch!
- oatmeal: I included the oatmeal for a more cake like taste/structure
- use GF one if needed
- use a different recipe if you would like to replace the oatmeal completely
- drop a message if you want an oatmeal less carrot cookie in the future!
- cream cheese frosting: if you’re looking for a vegan frosting, I love this one from Simple Mills to pair with these chewy carrot cake cookies
tips and tricks for this recipe:
- use room temperature ingredients
- cream ingredients together until just combined
- use the lowest mixing setting or mix by hand when adding in the dry ingredients
- chill the cookies!!!
- this allows the glutens to rest (or hydrate depending on the flour)
- the flavors develop more fully
- don’t forget the to cover the cookie dough
- fully preheat the oven!
- use an oven thermometer to check the internal oven temperature
- I love this one and use it all the time
- let the cookies sit out at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes before scooping onto a baking sheet for baking
- use a cookie scoop
- space the cookies about 2-3″ apart
- they are designed to spread a little while baking
- bake cookies until golden brown on the edges and slightly under baked in the center
- these will finish “baking” on the hot cookie sheet once removed from the oven
- leave the cookies on the hot cookie sheet on top of a cooling rack for 10 minutes THEN transfer to cool completely on the cooling rack
- the cookies need time to finish baking and setting up
- cool the cookie completely before applying the frosting
- use room temperature frosting for spreading on the cookies
- gently press the cooled cookies together to make a cookie sandwich
- store cookies in an air tight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or freezer for up to one month
more chai recipes to love!
- chai carrot loaf cake with brown butter cream cheese frosting
- snickerdoodle skillet cookie
- chai tahini blondies
- roasted banana chai spice cake
- spiced apple cupcakes with tahini buttercream
- double chocolate chai tahini cookies
chewy carrot cake cookies
- stand mixer with paddle attachment or electric hand mixer with beaters
- medium sauce pan (for browing butter)
- plastic wrap (for covering cookie dough)
- small cookie scoop or tablespoon
- 2 baking sheets
- parchment paper
chai carrot cookies
- 20 tbsp (283g) unsalted butter, browned and reduced down to 1 c (226g) cooled to softened but still cold sub with 1 c (226g) room temperature unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 c (180g) all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp chai spice mix see notes
- 1 tsp (4g) baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 c (150g) light brown sugar see notes for refined sugar free option
- 3/4 c (150g) granulated sugar see notes for refined sugar free option
- 1 (57g) large egg, room temperature
- 1 (17g) large egg yolk, room temperature
- 2 tsp (10ml) vanilla extract
- 1 c (~110g- 120g) finely shredded carrots
- 2 1/2 c (215g) old fashioned or rolled oats
brown butter cream cheese frosting
- 10 tbsp (141g) unsalted butter, browned, reduced down to 8 tbsp (1/2 c, 113g) and cooled to a solid room temperature texture sub with 1/2c (8tbsp, 113g) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 4 oz. (113g) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 c (280g) powdered sugar, sifted
- 1-3 tbsp (15-45ml) milk, as needed
chewy carrot cake cookies
- Make brown butter the day before or about 1-2 hours before you plan to make the cookies. It will need 60-120 minutes to cool enough to become the texture of softened butter. To make the brown butter, melt butter in a clear heavy bottom sauce pan. Once the butter starts to foam, whisk continuously until brown bits start to form. Remove from heat, pour into clean bowl and cool 30 minutes to room temperature and transfer to the fridge for an additonal 60-90 minutes (1-1.5 hours). Butter should be texture and temperature as solid butter at room temperature.See notes for tips on batch browning!
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, chai spice, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Cream the brown butter and sugars together on medium speed until well combined, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add egg, yolk and vanilla extract, beating on low for about 20 seconds before adding the next. Gently fold in the shredded carrots.
- On the lowest mixing setting or by hand, stir in the dry ingredients to the wet until just combined. Add the oats, stirring until just combined.
- Cover the cookie dough with pastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours or up to overnight. This is an important step in getting the chewy texture and a more developed flavor. Pull cookies out of the fridge about 10 minutes before you want to start baking them.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F / 190 C for about 20-30 minutes before baking the cookies. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a small or medium cookie scoop, or tablespoon sized spoon, scoop cookie dough into 1 1/2 " (40g) sized balls. Place them about 3 " apart on the baking sheet. The cookies will spread while baking.
- Bake the cookies at 375 F for 10-12 minutes until golden brown around the edges and slighlty underbaked (and a little puffed) in the center. Cool cookies on the hot cookie sheet placed on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Within the first 5 minutes of removing the cookies from the oven, use a large biscuit cutter (wider than the cookies) to help shape any cookies into a more round shape. After 10 minutes, transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to finish cooling to room temperature. Cool completely before adding the frosting.
brown butter cream cheese frosting
- Make brown butter while the cookie dough is chilling. It will need 1-2 hours to cool enough to become the texture of softened butter. To make the brown butter, melt butter in a clear heavy bottom sauce pan. Once the butter starts to foam, whisk continuously until brown bits start to form. Remove from heat, pour into clean bowl and cool 30 minutes to room temperature and transfer to the fridge for an additonal 60-90 minutes (1-1.5 hours). Butter should be texture and temperature as solid butter at room temperature.
- Cream together cooled and softened brown butter with the room temperature cream cheese until creamy and well combined, about 4-5 minutes. Stop and scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add sifted powdered sugar 1/2 c at a time, beating each addition of powdered sugar until incorporated. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl as needed. Once all the sugar has been added, add in vanilla extract, 1 tbsp milk and salt. Beat on high until the buttercream is fully incorpated and desired consistency. If the buttercream is too thick, add an additional 1-2 tbsp milk of choice, beating until well incorporated.
- Using a small offset icing knife, spoon or piping bag with piping tip of choice, apply the desired amount of frosting to the bottom of one cookie. Apply the bottom of another cookie to the frosted side of the first cookie. Gently press together. Enjoy!
- Store frosting in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to apply to the cookies. Bring to room temperature before applying to the cookies.
- Once the cookies are frosted, they should be stored individually wrapped in wax paper in an air tight container in the fridge or freezer.
- Unfrosted cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
- 3 tbsp ground ginger
- 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ground allspice
- 1 tbsp ground cardamon
- 1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- place all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well to combine. Store in a spice jar or small mason jar.