Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies with Cream Cheese Glaze

updated Jan 21, 2021
Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies With Cream Cheese Glaze

Chewy oatmeal cookies studded with freshly grated carrots drizzled in a cream cheese glaze.

Makes24 cookies

Prep20 minutes

Cook12 minutes to 14 minutes

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Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

This recipe is part of our Quarantine Cookies package, featuring 16 of our favorite bakers and their best cookie for 2020. Check out all the amazing cookies here, and sign up here to receive one cookie recipe per day, for 20 days, straight to your inbox.

Like so many of us, I’ve baked more this year than ever before, loading my oven up with a constant rotation of cookies, cakes, banana bread, and sourdough. But by the time fall came around, I started to get bored with the classics, and I longed for something new. I wanted to create something fun and unexpected — a cookie that crammed everything that made me happy into one bite. (Because we could all use an extra dose of happiness this year.) My favorite cake is carrot cake, and my favorite cookie is oatmeal, so that’s exactly where I started.

In an attempt to combine everything I love about carrot cake with everything I love about oatmeal cookies, I created a hybrid cookie that takes cues from both. The result is a perfectly chewy cookie studded with freshly grated carrots covered in a tangy cream cheese glaze. Part oatmeal cookie and part carrot cake, these are the perfect treat for people (like myself!) who can’t decide between the two. Here, I’ll show you how to make them in four simple steps.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

1. Make a classic oatmeal cookie dough spiced with cinnamon, maple syrup, and toasty dark brown sugar.

The base of this recipe is a classic oatmeal cookie dough with a few flavorful upgrades. Dark brown sugar gives the cookies a rich, molasses-y flavor that tastes like caramel. Cinnamon lends extra excitement. And maple syrup gives the cookies both a pop of flavor and added moisture. This moisture helps the oats plump up and become tender, resulting in a softer, moister oatmeal cookie. If you don’t have maple syrup on hand, you can also use agave nectar.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

2. Add a generous amount of freshly grated carrots to transform the dough into something bold, colorful, and unexpected.

Once the base of your dough is made, you’re going to finish it off by mixing in oats and freshly shredded carrots. This is where the magic happens. The carrots give the dough a subtle savory flavor and pop of color as well as even more moisture. (This is not a dry cookie!) The recipe calls for using two carrots, which yields about 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots. Feel free to use pre-shredded carrots to save yourself some time.

Read more: This Is the Fastest Way to Grate Any Vegetable

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

3. Bake the cookies just until the edges start to brown and the center is set.

One of the main tricks for perfect oatmeal cookies is not over-baking them. The edges of the cookies should be lightly browned and the center should be just set. For this recipe, you’ll want to bake them for seven minutes, then rotate the pan and bake them for another five to seven minutes. You’ll know they’re done when the tops of the cookies are no longer shiny. The cookies will be delicate when warm, so let them cool completely on the sheet pan before attempting to move them.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

4. Drizzle the cookies in a tangy cream cheese glaze to mimic the beloved flavor of carrot cake.

As the cookies are cooling, go ahead and make the cream cheese glaze. This is what will give the cookies that signature cream cheese frosting flavor reminiscent of carrot cake. Just whisk together softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract until fully combined. Depending on the brand of cream cheese you use, you might need to add additional powdered sugar to thicken it up. You want it to be pourable but not watery.

Once the cookies are cooled, drizzle the icing on top in a zig-zag pattern and let them sit until the icing hardens. This will take about 10 minutes, so be patient and resist the urge to eat them right away!

Ready to bake these cookies? Tag your photos #Jessescookieclub to join in the fun!

Tester’s Note

I had to physically take these cookies out of my house and to my sister’s apartment to keep myself from eating them all. They’re exactly as Jesse promises: a flavorful upgrade to oatmeal cookies combined with all the best parts of carrot cake. I love how soft and chewy they are, and the carrots and tangy cream cheese keep them from being too sweet. For extra carrot cake vibes, I bet raisins or walnuts would be great as extra mix-ins. I also recommend refrigerating the dough either before or after scooping the cookies to ensure they don’t spread too much in the oven. — Grace Elkus, Deputy Food Director

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies With Cream Cheese Glaze

Chewy oatmeal cookies studded with freshly grated carrots drizzled in a cream cheese glaze.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 12 minutes to 14 minutes

Makes 24 cookies

Nutritional Info


For the cookies:

  • 2 sticks

    (1 cup) unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons

    ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 2

    medium carrots

  • 1 cup

    packed dark brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 2 tablespoons

    maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon

    vanilla extract

  • 3 cups

    old-fashioned rolled oats

For the icing:

  • 2 ounces

    full-fat cream cheese

  • 1 1/4 cups

    powdered sugar

  • 3 tablespoons


  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract


  1. Place 2 sticks unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Place 2 ounces cream cheese for the icing in a medium bowl. Let both sit out at room temperature until softened.

  2. Make the cookies: Place 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

  3. Peel and grate 2 medium carrots on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 1/2 cups). Squeeze out the excess moisture by wrapping the shreds in a paper towel and squeezing them with your hands over a bowl or sink. (There might not be much moisture depending on your carrots.)

  4. Add 1 cup packed dark brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar to the butter. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in 2 large eggs one at a time, waiting until the first one is fully incorporated before beating in the second. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add 2 tablespoons maple syrup and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. Beat just until combined, about 1 minute.

  5. Turn the mixer off. Add the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats and the shredded carrots and stir by hand to combine. Cover the dough and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.

  6. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  7. Scoop out the dough with a 1 1/2-inch wide cookie scoop or into 24 (about 2 rounded tablespoons) portions. Place at least 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets, 12 per baking sheet.

  8. Bake for 7 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets between racks and from front to back. Continue to bake until the bottoms and edges of the cookies are lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes more. Let cool completely on the baking sheets, at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the icing.

  9. Make the icing: Add 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to the bowl of cream cheese and whisk until smooth and pourable. Drizzle over the cooled cookies in a zigzag pattern and let sit until the glaze hardens, about 10 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Welcome to Jesse’s Cookie Club, where Studio Food Editor (and resident cookie expert) Jesse Szewczyk shares a brand-new monthly recipe that transforms a classic cookie into something new, bold, and exciting. From nutty brown butter blondies to chewy sweet potato snickerdoodles, these treats are anything but boring — and every recipe includes step-by-step photos so any level of baker can make them. Follow along and share your cookie creations using #Jessescookieclub.