I absolutely love Easter. Everything about it- the aisles at Harris Teeter filled with egg dyeing kits and chocolate bunnies, the little girls wearing white, wide brimmed Easter hats, and the reverence of the holiday. Our debts are paid, we’ve been set free!
Last year at this time I was going crazy trying to prepare a feast for members of both sides of our family who were visiting. While I absolutely love hosting, our house all of a sudden seemed VERY small. And I still haven’t quite gotten the hang of chatting while making sure the honey ham, potatoes, and gravy would all be hot at the same time.
I had a lot of relief last year by making many of my sides in advance. Made-in-advance meals are essential. But this year, we elected not to host since our house is currently reminiscent of a large storage unit. We are moving in 2 weeks, and figured we’d keep Easter low-key this year. We are going to a potluck at a friend’s house instead.
I knew I wanted to bring something sweet, but also wholesome. The idea of carrot cake crossed my mind, but who has time (in between boxing up the linens) to bake an entire cake? And besides, I find most times I go to parties and no one wants to be the person to cut into the cake, let alone eat a whole slice with so much other good food around.
Enter carrot cake cookies.
Inspired by a recipe from Iowa Girl Eats, these carrot cake cookies are wholesome enough to eat for breakfast, I swear! Minimal oil, no eggs, no butter. Oat flour and flax for staying power, and grated carrots, raisins and chopped walnuts to get that carrot cake texture. I saved about half the batch to freeze for grab n’ go breakfasts at work. Does that make me a meal prepper?
These can also easily be gluten free (using GF oats) and vegan (using almond milk and without the glaze).
To make these a little more “desserty” (and also more like true carrot cake), I whipped up a cream cheese glaze to drizzle over the cookies when ready to serve. The glaze will harden slightly as the cookies continue to cool, but will stay drizzly, not like the gross frosted molasses cookies you buy in a box.
And you will probably have leftover glaze, which gives you complete license to put it on top of your cereal, dip graham crackers, or just lick it out of the bowl.
These are husband and kid-approved. Well, I don’t really know if they’re kid-approved, since we don’t have any kids, but just trust me on that one.
I promise my next recipe will not include anything carrot.
But in the meantime, enjoy every bite! Recipe below. Happy Easter!
- 3 cups GF old fashioned oats, divided
- 1 cup GF flour (or almond flour)
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 very ripe mashed bananas
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 cup veg oil
- 1/4 cup milk (almond milk if vegan)
- 3 large carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup raisins
- For cream cheese glaze:
- 2 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp almond milk
- Preheat oven to 350. In a food processor, pulse 1 cup oats until a fine powder.
- In a large stand mixer, combine the oats, oat flour and GF flour, flaxseed, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine.
- In the same food processor, use grating function to grate carrots finely. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk banana, applesauce, honey, maple syrup, oil, and milk. Stir in carrots, walnuts, and raisins. If mixture is too runny, add a little more flour.
- Spoon onto prepared baking sheet with 1/4 cup scoop. Bake 8-10 mins until golden brown on top. Cookies will still be soft.
- Allow to cool completely.
- While cooling, prepare glaze. Beat together cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and milk until runny. Drizzle onto cooled cookies.
- Note: To make ahead, wrap individual cookies (without glaze) in plastic wrap and freeze. Microwave 10-20 sec in the morning for a wholesome breakfast!
He is Risen!