Let me just say this up front: I LOOOOOOOOVE carrot cake! I have no idea how or why, but ever since I was a kid, this was a favorite of mine. Actually, I think I remember where it started. Eons ago we were visiting some family up in Canada over the summer and went to hang out with our cousins out at their country house somewhere in some unknown part of Ontario. We were so little, all I remember was climbing the pear trees in the back yard for hours and then some time later sitting on the kitchen counter taking my first bite of Auntie Rhonda’s carrot cake. It was surely the cream cheese icing that sealed the deal for me. I don’t remember anything else from that trip, I don’t even remember how old I was, but I remember that carrot cake… Simply divine.
These carrot cake oatmeal cookies combine all the decadent flavors of a good carrot cake–sweet carrots, shredded coconut, golden raisins, warm spices, and creamy icing– in a lighter, better for you version. You could even add chopped walnuts or pecans if you like (I’d start with 1/2 cup). White flour is replaced with rolled oats and whole wheat flour, and instead of butter, we’re using coconut oil (per usual). I actually think the coconut oil here brings better flavor, complimenting the shredded coconut inside. Did I mention these are refined sugar-free? They’re sweetened with organic maple syrup to really bring out the spices in the cookie. Oh, and instead of cream cheese, we’re using a lighter Italian mascarpone cheese infused with the same maple syrup used in the cookies themselves.
I don’t know about you, but I could eat carrot cake year-round. I guess for some reason, probably because of the spices and the carrots, carrot cake gets pinned as a fall recipe. Kinda makes sense, I guess. But trust me, when you taste these, you won’t care what season it is, you’ll just have to have them. Plus since they’re in cookie form, they’re extra portable for your traveling snack convenience. 😉 We went through two full batches in a week around here (and by “we” I mean Anthony. We shared some with a few friends, but he definitely ate a batch by himself.) #HulkApproved for sure!
- 1½ cups rolled oats
- ½ cup white whole wheat flour
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ cup cold pressed coconut oil, melted and cooled
- ½ cup organic maple syrup
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup organic shredded unsweetened coconut
- ½ cup finely grated organic carrots
- ⅓ cup golden raisins
- mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- organic maple syrup
- Add the oats, flour, salt, baking powder, and spices to a large bowl, and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Peel and grate the carrots and stir them into the oats mixture along with the shredded coconut and golden raisins.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until well incorporated.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the oats to absorb some of the liquid.
- After the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Scoop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet 1-2" apart and flatten slightly. Bake the cookies just until the edges are set but the center is still a bit soft, about 10-12 minutes or so (see note below). Let the cookies cool on the pan atop a wire cooling rack for 10-15 minutes before removing them to the rack to cool completely.
- Stir the maple syrup into the mascarpone cheese. Put the icing into a resealable plastic bag (or piping bag) and snip off the corner. Squeeze icing over cooled cookies and serve. Refrigerate any leftovers in an air-tight container.