Carrot Cookies with Orange Icing

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! 

Carrot cookies with orange icing lined up and topped with a pecan halve

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! 

A soft carrot cookie with orange icing and a pecan with a bit taken out of it. The cookie is very soft and fluffy looking.

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

Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy

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

Adding the eggs and orange juice to the butter and sugar bowl

Mix in the egg until incorporated and then add in the orange juice. 

Step 3: Whisk Together Dry Ingredients

Whisking the dry ingredients together in a bowl

 

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 

Shredded carrots being added to the batter and stirring in

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

Carrot cookies fresh out of the oven cooling on a rack

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 

Carrot cookies with orange icing and a pecan halve on a rack

Top the cookies with the orange glaze by dipping or drizzling. Add a pecan on top of the glaze before it sets if desired. 

Carrot Cookies with Orange Icing

Carrot Cookies with Orange Icing

Yield: About 32- 2" Cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
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!

Ingredients

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)

Instructions

For the Cookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180 C). Position an oven rack in the center position.
  2. 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.
  3. With the mixer still running, add in the egg and mix until incorporated. Then mix in the orange juice until just combined.
  4. In small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  5. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in small batches until just combined.
  6. Use a spoon or rubber spatula to fold in the shredded carrots.
  7. 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.
  8. Bake one sheet tray at a time at 350 F (180 C) for 8-10 minutes, until set.
  9. Allow cookies to cool completely on cooling racks before glazing.

For the Glaze

  1. Combine powdered sugar and orange zest in small bowl.
  2. Slowly stir in enough orange juice to create a thing glaze .
  3. Frost cooled cookies by dipping or drizzling the glaze.
  4. 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.

Notes

  • 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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Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0

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17 comments on “Carrot Cookies with Orange Icing”

  1. Happy 1st Birthday! I've been loving your blog for a long time, not sure how long -but you make it so enjoyable to read, easy to follow and your pictures are a work of art. Keep it up and all the best to you. Enjoy your celebrations -you deserve it after all your efforts and success.

  2. Yum! Congrats on the first birthday ๐Ÿ™‚ I AM EXCITED FOR YOU! I remember when I first discovered your blog, way early on, and I was like “wow this chick takes great pictures. maybe I should stop taking pictures on my phone camera.” And I did.

    So look at you. Baking cookies. Changing lives. You have a lot to be proud of, lady! Happy first birthday to one of my very favorite blogs!

  3. Congratulations on your anniversary!! You should feel like a holiday! Happy blogiversary!

  4. Congrats! You’ve accomplished so much in the last year! I could see how you would feel like it was a holiday ๐Ÿ˜‰ These would be perfect for the holidays with the citrus in them! I’ll have to try them in a GF version. Keep up the great work! Look forward to more posts from you!

  5. I had cookies on my birthday, so it’s only right Baker Bettie should too! HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BLOG DARLING! Love it. Love you. Lots o’ love.

  6. Hi Bettie,

    I was wondering if there is anything I can substitute the cane sugar for, and even the vegetable shortening? Please let me know, these cookies look delicious and congrats on your Blog anniversary! I love your blog ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Julia! It depends on why you are needing to substitute. Do you just not have these ingredients or are you trying to avoid these things for dietary reasons?

      Shortening can be replaced for regular butter or for coconut oil. I have not yet made this recipe with these substitutions so you may need to alter the baking time and or temperature.

      As far as the sugar goes, are you wanting to replace both the white and brown sugar? If it is just a matter of not having white sugar but you do have brown sugar, you can always swap the two using just all brown sugar instead of white and brown. This will just make the cookies more chewy. If you are just wanting to cut out refined sugar all together, I suppose you could use honey, maple syrup, or agave. Because these are liquids you most likely will need to add a TBSP or two more of flour. I really have not done a lot of experimenting with baking with splenda or other sugar replacements so I can’t really speak to that.

      Hope this helps!

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  8. Ok I am making these after I put the kids to bed!

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  11. I just made these and they are amazing! I also made the jalepenio zucchini with lime glaze… that gave a very unique, but good taste. I forgot to add my lime zest and juice to batter, so now I’m curious how different they would taste.
    I do like the cake like consistency of the zucchini cookies. First time I’ve used your blog, but I will be returning. Thank you!!! Happy Thanksgiving!

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