These carrot cookies with orange icing are soft and fluffy and perfect for Spring or the winter holidays. The cookies are filled with fresh shredded carrot and topped with a simple orange glaze and a pecan. These cookies can easily be made vegan as well!
I am so excited to share this recipe with you all! These cookies are so nostalgic and one of my favorite cookies of all time.
Growing up we had a family friend who made these cookies around the holidays every year. They were absolutely addiction and one of those things that just really felt like the holidays had arrived.
That said, as I’ve aged, I’ve started making these in the spring as well. The bright orange and carrot flavors feel appropriate for the season and the pecans are completely optional!
Carrot Cookies with Orange Glaze Overview
There is something about these carrot cookies that feels a little old fashioned. They are incredibly soft and fluffy and filled with tons of shredded carrot. The hint of orange and cinnamon in the cookies pairs so beautifully with the fresh carrot flavor.
These cookies are traditionally made with vegetable shortening. This keeps them so soft and tender and is a bonus if you want to make them dairy free or vegan. That said, they are also very delicious when made with butter!
How to Make Carrot Cookies
These carrot cookies are made using the creaming method for cookies. They also call for fresh shredded carrot instead of mashed carrot like many other similar recipes. I love these cookies topped with a simple orange glaze, but they could also be topped with cream cheese frosting to be closer to a carrot cake cookie.
Step 1: Cream Together the Fat and Sugar
We’re going to start by creaming together the fat with the sugar and the orange zest. Adding the zest in with the fat will help bring out its flavor.
You can use vegetable shortening or room temperature unsalted butter here. It is important to cream it until it is very light and fluffy.
Step 2: Add the Other Liquid Ingredients
Mix in the egg until incorporated and then add in the orange juice.
Step 3: Whisk Together Dry Ingredients
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk all of the dry ingredients together until they are well combined. This will ensure they will be evenly distributed in the batter.
Step 4: Add the Dry Ingredients to Batter
Mix the dry ingredients into the batter until just incorporated. You don’t want to over-mix. As soon as the flour is absorbed, stop mixing.
Step 5: Fold in the Shredded Carrot
Add the shredded carrot into the batter. Use a spoon or rubber spatula to fold it into the batter until just incorporated.
Step 6: Bake
Drop the cookies by rounded tablespoon fulls onto ungreased or parchment lined cookie sheets. I like to use this small trigger scoop. It makes the perfect size. Let the cookies cool completely before icing.
Step 7: Top the Cookies with Orange Glaze
Top the cookies with the orange glaze by dipping or drizzling. Add a pecan on top of the glaze before it sets if desired.
For the Cookie
- 1/2 cup (100 gr) vegetable shortening (or unsalted butter, *see note)
- 1/2 cup (50 gr) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1 large egg, room temperature (*see note for vegan substitution)
- 3 TBSP (45 ml) orange juice
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups (180 gr) all purpose flour
- 1 cup (about 60 gr) finely shredded carrots
For the Frosting
- 1 1/2 cups (170 gr) powdered sugar
- 1 TBSP orange zest
- 3-6 TBSP (45-90 ml) orange juice
- pecan halves (optional)
For the Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180 C). Position an oven rack in the center position.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the shortening, sugar, and orange zest. Beat on medium/high speed for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. Adding the zest in with the fat will help bring out its flavor.
- With the mixer still running, add in the egg and mix until incorporated. Then mix in the orange juice until just combined.
- In small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
- With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in small batches until just combined.
- Use a spoon or rubber spatula to fold in the shredded carrots.
- Use a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon to drop rounded mounds of dough on ungreased or parchment lined baking sheets. I use this 1 oz cookie scoop.
- Bake one sheet tray at a time at 350 F (180 C) for 8-10 minutes, until set.
- Allow cookies to cool completely on cooling racks before glazing.
For the Glaze
- Combine powdered sugar and orange zest in small bowl.
- Slowly stir in enough orange juice to create a thing glaze .
- Frost cooled cookies by dipping or drizzling the glaze.
- If desired, top each cookie with a pecan half.
To store: Cover cookies loosely with plastic wrap or foil and keep at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days. Do not store in an airtight container or the cookies will become soggy.
- These cookies are traditionally made with vegetable shortening. This gives the cookies the best texture and flavor. However, they are also very delicious made with butter. You can substitute with room temperature unsalted butter if you prefer.
- To make an egg free/vegan version of these cookies you can substitute the egg with 1/4 cup applesauce.
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Amount Per Serving:Calories: 0