Ah, there’s nothing like carrot cake. Especially in the Fall! Carrot cake is one of my favorite comfort food desserts and so naturally, a cookie version that I could eat more frequently with somewhat less guilt, seems appropriate! I’ve been meaning to put this recipe up for a year now, but what better time to do it than VeganMoFo?
I’ve been making this recipe for about 3 years now and it’s always been a big hit! In fact, I’ve baked these for every event I’ve had in the past few years — even once making an enormous batch of 350 for a fundraiser at Maple Farm Sanctuary. I remember that many people took cookies home with them and that they were much more popular than the three tiered, professionally made vegan cake that was brought! All thanks to one very insane night of baking. Thankfully, I had help. And even more thankfully, I had Martha Stewart’s help. This is a vegan modification of her carrot cake sandwich cookies. In the original recipe, the frosting is spread between two cookies — and so the batter makes about 40+ cookies. I feel like this is sugar overload and people end up eating just one sandwich. So, I cut Martha’s recipe in half so as not to make so many cookies this time.
A really important step in this process is to squeeze as much moisture out of the grated carrots as you can with your hands (and don’t throw the juice away — drink it or give it to your dog!). Not taking this extra step will result in dough that has too much moisture. When measuring the grated carrots, be sure to “fluff” them up with your fingers, you don’t want 3/4 cup of packed carrots.
This recipe calls for the use of an electric mixer for the dough and a food processor to grate the carrots. I’ve made these without the mixer and with a hand grater. It’s more labor intensive and time consuming, but the cookies turn out just the same.
Also remember, since it’s vegan, you can eat the dough without worry! It’s really, really, yummy and keeps well in the fridge for snacking on later!
Alright, I just made a batch of these for my co-workers because they’d been begging to eat them again. I better get there soon before I convince myself to keep the cookies at home. ‘Til tomorrow, foodie friends!
(makes about 25 cookies)
1/2 cup (1 stick) Earth Balance Natural Buttery Sticks, coarsely chopped*
1/2 cup packed organic/vegan brown sugar
1/2 cup packed organic/vegan sugar
1 flax egg (1 tbsp finely ground flax seeds + 3 tbsp water)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cup whole oats
3/4 cups finely grated carrots (about 1.5 large carrots), *excess moisture squeezed out, see note above
1/2 cup raisins
Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 of an 8-oz container Tofutti or Galaxy Nutritional Foods plain vegan cream cheese
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) Earth Balance Natural Buttery Sticks
1/2 cup organic/vegan powdered sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
In a small bowl, prepare the flax egg by whisking the ground flax seeds and water with a fork. Set aside to allow it to thicken.
In a large bowl, combine the white sugar and brown sugar and coarsely chopped butter. Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture on high until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add in the flax eggs and vanilla and beat the mixture until completely combined.
In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. When the mixture is thoroughly combined, add it to the sugar/butter mixture in small batches, mixing with a rubber spatula until just blended. Once all the flour has been added, mix in the oats, carrots, and raisins. Chill the cookie dough in the fridge for 1 hour or until firm.
Once the dough has finished chilling, preheat your oven to 350 F and lightly grease 2 cookie sheets. Using a tablespoon measure shape the dough into round balls–roughly the size of golf balls–and place on the prepared sheets about 2 inches apart. With moistened fingers, gently flatten the cookies slightly.
Bake until lightly browned on the bottom, 12 to 14 minutes. You may want to rotate the cookie sheets in the oven half way through the baking time for more even baking, but I find it’s not necessary. Remove the sheets from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before transferring cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting Directions:
Using a rubber spatula, in a small bowl cream the cream cheese until it is smooth. Add the butter in batches and continue to cream the mixture until it is completely blended and smooth. Sift in the powdered sugar, and continue to cream the mixture until it is combined. It is very important to sift in the sugar so you don’t create a lumpy frosting. Stir in the vanilla extract. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag with your desired tip, or packed tightly into the corner of a small Ziploc bag. Cut off a small portion of the corner tip of the bag to create a piping bag. Frost the cookies. If you’re not frosting the cookies right away, refrigerate the frosting until ready to use.
Tip: I highly recommend using an electric mixer on a low setting to do all the mixing in this step because it really blends the butter in well. But it isn’t necessary if you’ve got the muscles!
Credit: modified and veganized from Martha Stewart’s Cookies.