Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr
Hands-on Time
30 Mins
Total Time
50 Mins
Serves 14 (serving size: 1 cookie sandwich)

We toss shredded carrot with a little sugar and let the mixture stand for a few minutes. This tenderizes the shreds--important here because, unlike with an actual carrot cake that bakes for a while, these cook for only 11 minutes, not much time for the carrots to cook to softness. To bake a second batch, mix up and bake two separate batches of cookie batter instead of one large batch. You can make just one big double-batch of the cream cheese filling, though.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

Step 2

Combine carrot and 3 tablespoons brown sugar in a bowl; toss to coat. Place carrot mixture in a fine mesh sieve; let stand to drain for 10 minutes. Discard liquid.

Step 3

Place 2 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 45 seconds or until melted. Add oil, rind, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and egg; stir with a whisk until well combined.

Step 4

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, remaining brown sugar (about 1/2 cup), cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and baking soda in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add carrot mixture and butter mixture; stir until just combined. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets for a total of 28 cookies (14 per baking sheet); gently pat dough down to form 2-inch circles. Bake at 350° for 11 minutes or until set. Remove pans from oven; let stand 3 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on a wire rack.

Step 5

Combine cream cheese, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, remaining 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 3 minutes or until fluffy. Add powdered sugar; beat at low speed 1 minute or until well combined (do not overbeat). Spread about 1 tablespoon icing on flat side of 1 cookie; top with another cookie, flat side down. Repeat the procedure with remaining cookies and filling.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

Ratings & Reviews

December 05, 2016
Thank you for the matchstick idea!  Worked great.

MauraP's Review

April 20, 2014
My biggest issue with this recipe is that it makes so few. I followed the directions exactly - I even used an actual tablespoon to drop the cookies onto the pan so I didn't make them too big, and I only got enough for 16 cookies, so 8 sandwiches. There's a note in the magazine that says if you want to double the batch, you should start over instead of adding twice as much of everything. Honestly, that's a lot of work. On top of that, I noticed the batter only called for a little bit of cinnamon, but carrot cakes I love are heavily spiced, so I added a little grated ginger, some nutmeg, and a hint of allspice. They smell just like the carrot cake I'd want to eat. So I think the idea is there, but the recipe needs to be offered on a larger scale to make it worth the effort.

catheas1's Review

March 16, 2014
I used pre-cut matchstick carrots and chopped them further. Cookies were great! Will definitely make again.

Jgroat15 Review

December 05, 2016
I always read reviews first and I’m glad I did.  I used a whole bag of matchstick carrots and just chopped them into smaller pieces. I also added nutmeg, ginger and allspice due to personal preference.  I used a small cookie scoop.  However, they did not flatten at all and so the cookies were pretty thick.  The recipe, as many have stated do not make very many cookies.  However, I think that all depends on the size you are making them.  Using the small cookie scoop, I got about 16 cookies, which were very thick and so next time I am going to try to cut the amount in half, which should double the cookie amount.  I’m also going to try adding some walnuts. Overall, I thought the cookies were very easy to make, very moist and good on their own, as well as with the cream cheese filling.  

Cookie Question

March 17, 2016
Can the cookie be made ahead (without the frosting) + what would be the best way to store it ?I have not made them yet, so giving it a 4 star.


April 07, 2015
Made these for dessert for Easter and everyone loved them. As everyone else said I only got about 20 cookies but not a bug deal to me. Flavor was great, loved tne orange zest, this is a keeper!


April 05, 2015
We love carrot cake like crazy, and these were a huge disappointment. I had no problem getting the required number of cookies, as others have stated, but they tasted nothing like carrot cake. Nothing. The orange zest overpowered any carrot or spice flavor.

radish13's Review

May 27, 2014
Really a success. Same problem with number of cookies as others have stated. May try making them smaller by making them flatter. Question: by evening some of the strips of carrot on top of cookies had turned a lovely green. Chemical reaction? Anyone else? The outside is a little tacky (sticky) making them hard to store. Just eat them - delicious!

APinder's Review

May 15, 2014
I love carrot cake and thought these were so cute I had to make them. The result was fine- nothing I got super-excited about, but they were relatively easy to make so may try it again. My experience with the recipe- it does make fewer than 28 cookies- we ended up with 22 cookies and were very careful w/ the tablespoon measurement. The icing in between cookies was a little bland- I would consider adding a few nuts (of course adds calories) or pineapple to give it more interest. I stored these in the refrigerator and they got pretty soggy after a day, so would recommend making them and eating the same day.

LDombeck's Review

May 04, 2014
I made these for my husband's b-day b/c carrot cake is his favorite. He loves Trader Joe's carrot cake sandwich cookies and he likes my version better now! I was able to get the right amount of cookies, I used a scant T and portioned them all out on the sheets and adjusted the sizes so they were equal. Not too hard to make and a big crowd pleaser in my family.