I have heard and seen soo many great things about the carrot cake cookie sandwiches from Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios! And even though I have yet to try the real deal myself, carrot cake cookies just sounded too good not to make at home anyway! So let’s hop to it!
One of the best things about carrot cake is all the yummy spices that are combined to create the flavor we know and love. These ingredients remind me a lot of gingerbread cookies, which could explain why I love them both so much!
Grating the carrots takes a pretty substantial amount of time, so I actually prepared them the day before. If possible, you may want to use a thinner grater, but I only have a coarse grater, so that’s what I used. In both cases they’ll still come out tasting great!
I always like throwing in a tiny dash of cayenne pepper to my recipes. This, of course, is optional and the cayenne pepper flavor is hardly noticeable in this recipe, but I like adding it anyway :)
Now for the “secret” ingredient, crushed pineapples! Pineapples are perfect for a little bit of tanginess and a little extra moisture. And since we’re already adding some crushed pineapples into the filling, it makes this recipe just feel a bit more complete! Additionally, feel free to throw in some chopped nuts or raisins for some different textures.
We start off by sifting and whisking together all the dry ingredients. (Fun fact! Sugars are apparently not considered dry ingredients) In a separate bowl, we beat together the wet ingredients (and sugars). You’ll want to add in the oil gradually so that you can emulsify the oil. Adding it all at once will make it very difficult and the oil will not combine easily with the wet mixture. In thirds, mix in the dry ingredients. As a rule of thumb, it’s best not to overmix at any of these stages, so that the cake can come out fluffy; overmixing can cause your cake to be dense as there’s no air left in the batter.
Then we fold in all our toppings, like the carrots, pineapples, and optional nuts/raisins.
Finally, it’s time to pour the batter into our baking pans. If you want to skip the step of using a cookie cutter, you can also pour your batter into a muffin pan so that they already come out as rounded cookie shapes. I chose not to do this because the batter will take on the shape of the muffin bottoms, that is, slightly smaller bottoms and slightly wider tops, and I wanted them to be cylindrical all around.
Depending on the thickness of the cake you’re trying to make you’ll need to adjust your baking time. I found that 11 minutes worked for me using a sheet pan. But as always, test your cake by poking a fork through the center and making sure it comes out clean.
The cake itself, being very moist and soft, is quite difficult to remove from the pan, especially when it’s still warm, so when transferring it to a cooling rack, be very careful not to break it apart! The parchment paper lined at the bottom will be super helpful because it provides a flat surface that you can hold onto to transfer the cake in one piece.
While the cake is cooling, it’s time to prepare the filling! Make sure your cream cheese and butter are at room temperature so that they cream easily. You’ll want it to be light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar gradually so that you can avoid making a mess, it can incorporate easily and evenly, and so that you can periodically taste test your filling to get a sweetness that best suits your taste.
The final steps are piping your filling onto one cookie, topping it with another, and enjoying all the cream-cheesey, moist carrot cake goodness!
If you’re in the mood for some light and fluffy carrot cake, this is it! But it’s the cream cheese filling that really brings this treat together. The pineapple chunks add a really tasty slightly tangy flavor and just add to the overall texture of the cake. Each cookie is so light and very moist and the sweetness is absolutely perfect in my opinion. Not too sweet that it overpowers all the other yummy spice flavors, but just sweet enough that you know you’re enjoying a delicious treat!
I love how this recipe came out, and the best part is you can enjoy this any which way you want: as cookies, as a layer cake, even as cake pops! Whatever you prefer, I hope you enjoy this tasty slightly guilt-free delight!
Carrot Cake Cookies
ºoº 3 cups of grated carrots
ºoº 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
ºoº 1 tsp baking powder
ºoº 1/2 tsp baking soda
ºoº 1 tsp salt
ºoº 2 tsp cinnamon
ºoº 1/4 tsp ground ginger
ºoº 1/4 tsp allspice
ºoº (optional) Dash of cayenne pepper
ºoº 1 cup oil
ºoº 3/4 cup brown sugar
ºoº 1/2 cup granulated sugar
ºoº 3 eggs
ºoº 1 tsp vanilla extract
ºoº 1 cup crushed pineapples
ºoº 8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
ºoº 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
ºoº 3/4 cup powdered sugar
ºoº 1/2 cup crushed pineapples (drained)
Preheat the oven to 350F
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice and whisk together
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract until just combined
Gradually add in the oil as you continue to beat the sugar and egg mixture to incorporate the oil until just combined
Add in the dry ingredients in thirds and mix together until you see only small traces of flour leftover. Be sure not to overmix
Gently fold in the grated carrots and crushed pineapples until evenly distributed
Pour the batter onto a greased sheet pan with parchment paper over the bottom and spread the batter so it’s evenly spread across the pan
Bake for 11 minutes or until you can poke a fork through and it comes out clean. Baking time will vary depending on the thickness of your cake
Cool the cake on a cooling rack until it’s cool to touch
While the cake is cooling, prepare the cream cheese filling by beating the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy
Gradually add in the powdered sugar while continuing to beat the mixture. Adjust the amount of powdered sugar to your taste
Once cooled, use a cookie cutter or preferred cutting implement to cut the cake into cookie shapes
Pipe the cream cheese filling onto one cookie and place a second on top to form your sandwiches
Continue for all cookies until complete, and then enjoy!
ºoº For a bit of a healthier alternative, the oil in the carrot cake can be substituted with
ºoº Add some nuts! If you enjoy a more nutty carrot cake, chop up a cup of walnuts or
pecans and add it into your cake batter when you fold in your carrots
ºoº I prefer a lighter sweetness in my desserts, so if you’re more of a sweet tooth, increase
the brown sugar in the cake batter to 1 cup and the powdered sugar in the cream
cheese filling to 1 cup (or more!)