February 2, 2009

Carrot Cake Cookie Sandwiches with Cream Cheese Frosting

I came late to carrot cake. As a child, I was of the mind that anything with carrots in it had to be healthy, and therefore not as good as chocolate. I don't remember a specific moment when I realized how wrong I was (about both things), rather it must have been a slow awakening. I'm pretty sure it was the cream cheese frosting that really won me over.

My favorite carrot cake used to be the little personal cakes from The Upper Crust Bakery in Chico, California. After moving to Portland, my favorite happened to be the vegan carrot cake from Sweet Pea bakery that they sell at New Seasons market. (Go on Friday to make sure they still have some.)
Now, I'd rather just bake my own, whether from my vegan cupcakes to these scrumptious Martha Stewart sandwich cookies. The vegan carrot cake definitely works, but the cream cheese frosting in these cookies happens to be waaay better--the real deal. I present you with my evidence:

The Cookies
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temp.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus a little more for flattening cookies)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
  • 1 cup raisins
  • Cream cheese frosting! (recipe below)
  1. Beat butter and both sugars in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy--3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until well combined.
  2. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger together. Stir to combine. Add the flour mixture a little at a time to the butter mixture. Mix on low until just blended. Stir in oats, carrots and raisins. Chill until firm, minimum 1 hour.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Scoop out dough into balls using a tablespoon. Place two inches apart on the baking sheets (these spread a lot as they bake). Using the lightly floured bottom of a glass, flatten cookies into circles. Try to keep them uniform so your sandwiches will match up.
  4. Bake until browned and crisp-- around 12-15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Spread cream cheese frosting onto the flat sides of half of the cookies, then make sandwiches with the remaining halves.
The Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temp.
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Place cream cheese in a mixing bow. Beat until smooth. Gradually add the butter and beat until well blended. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Stir in vanilla.
* The first batch of frosting I made with my electric mixer, the second with my spoonula. Both worked fine.
* I think these cookies are best the first day when the cookies are a bit crunchy. If you store them, the cookies absorb some of the moisture from the frosting and become softer, more like actual carrot cake.They are delicious both ways.
* I used much more frosting than was called for, since that's the best part.


  1. carrot cake AND cookies (two of the best desserts ever!) all in one treat ... you're a genius!

  2. Not me, unfortunately, Martha. She's the genius.

  3. I hate Martha Stewart...I mean, I love her...I hate her...

  4. Random thoughts - Berkeley hippy mom's like Andy and Davey's made them have carrot cake for their birthdays, thinking it was better/healthier than other cakes. I used to make carrot cake as a kid for my mom's coworker's birthdays, but I never ate it b/c I saw how much oil went into the cakes (about two cups I think).


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