Over a decade ago, a blog friend named Janelle shared her “wannabe pumpkin cookies” recipe with us. It was a brilliantly orange carrot cookie recipe with a wonderfully simple orange glaze. I recently put her recipe to the test, and ended up making a few tweaks – less eggs, some added spices, simple mashed carrots – you get the gist. The result is these delicious dairy-free carrot cookies that remind me of perfect little cakes. We enjoy these cookies as is, but I’ve also included frosting and glaze options for a next level dessert.
These Dairy-Free Carrot Cookies are like Heavenly Bites of Carrot Cake
It doesn’t matter if you’re a staunch chewy or crispy cookie fan, or even if you hate carrots! These cakey cookies will win you over. All you’ll taste is a delightfully sweet, tender treat with warm spices. They’re a bit like bites of carrot cake, but with a definite cookie vibe. I think they’re perfect for afternoon tea, Easter, spring or summer gatherings, or even for Christmas cookie exchanges!
I mash the carrots with a fork, which leaves little bits of carrot throughout, and makes these more reminiscent of carrot cake. If preferred, you can pulverize the carrots a bit more in a food processor.
Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Carrot Cookies
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, and vegetarian.
We haven’t tested this recipe egg-free. But if you want a vegan cookie, I would actually try just omitting the egg. It is a fairly moist batter. You can add a splash of water, milk beverage, or aquafaba (for better binding) if it seems dry.
For gluten-free carrot cookies, your favorite gluten-free baking blend should work well, but make sure it has some type of binder, and I would recommend using the egg.
- 1 cup cooked mashed carrot
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoons ground nutmeg
- ¾ cup dairy-free buttery sticks, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- If you don't have any leftover cooked carrots on hand, peel, slice, and steam carrots for about 15 minutes, or until very tender. (I use 2 very large carrots, or up to 6 if smaller carrots to get 1 cup mashed. Mash the carrots and measure.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the buttery sticks and sugar with a hand mixer or wooden spoon. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine. Stir in the mashed carrots, and then stir in the flour blend until combined.
- Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes or longer.
- Preheat your oven to 375°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Drop the dough by the rounded tablespoonful onto your prepared baking sheets. They will spread a little, but not too much.
- Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, or until tender but firm. They only turn slightly golden.
- Remove the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
Orange Glaze: Sift 1 cup powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons orange juice and whisk until smooth.