Carrot cookies with orange icing, spiced with cinnamon and allspice, and topped with a tangy-sweet icing and walnuts.
These carrot cookies with orange icing are everything a cookie should be: sweet, flavorful and completely comforting.
Who doesn't love a good carrot cake? I can hardly think of anyone. My kids would give me strange looks each time I tell them that I am making something sweet with carrots.
No idea why, because I have been making carrot cakes like The Best Carrot Coconut Cake regularly for about 10 years now, not to mention these wonderfully spicy Carrot Cupcakes with Blueberry Frosting or Nigella Lawson's Best Carrot Cupcakes.
But despite their initial looks of disbelief, they end up eating every morsel of carrot cake/ carrot cupcake or carrot cookie I make.
How to make carrot cookies?
Well, the procedure couldn't be simpler.
- Weigh your carrots after you peel them, I like to keep things precise when baking and the peel will make a difference if you weigh the carrots before you peel them. Grate the carrots on the fine grater.
Kitchen scales versus cup measuring
- I didn't give a cup amount for the grated carrots, because I feel that to be so inaccurate when it comes to grated carrots. It really doesn't matter when you make a salad, but I feel it does matter when you bake cookies.
- If you press the carrots just a little bit in the cup you will end up having more than needed, if you don't press enough you will have not enough, so better just weigh them, it is quicker (no need to transfer the grated carrots from the chopping board to the cup and that several times), cleaner (you only need to place one bowl on the kitchen scales), less messy (amazing how much stuff ends up on the working surface, floor and basically all over the place when you use cups for measuring the ingredients – my kitchen and my clothes are a disaster after each one of these adventures).
- I especially hate to measure flour in cups. Just think about it, if you use a scale you place the bowl on the scale, turn on the scale and just tip the flour into the bowl in one go, directly from the packet. You stop when you have the desired amount. It takes about 5 seconds. Only one bowl to wash and absolutely no dirt on the working surface or on the floor.
- This cup procedure takes me about 5 minutes, there is ALWAYS flour on the working surface around the cup, on the floor, and on my clothes.
- I can only recommend you finally take the step and get yourself kitchen scales. They are dead cheap considering that they are used for years, I have only bought one kitchen scale in my life, I have been using it for over 10 years now and I only have to change the batteries maybe once every year and a half.
But let's get back to the recipe for the carrot cookies with orange icing. Although I realize there is really not much I still have to say about it. The butter should definitely be soft in order to be able to beat it to a creamy consistency together with the sugar, so make sure you take it out of the fridge in time.
- I used cinnamon and allspice to spice the cookies, but you could experiment with other spices as well if you like.
- Cardamom is always amazing in baked goods and ground ginger as well. Or a tiny pinch of ground cloves or ground anise.
- In Germany we have the Lebkuchengewürz, that is gingerbread seasoning, you could definitely use that if you happen to have it.
- I used the convection/fan oven to bake the cookies, this allows me to bake both trays together in the oven, thus saving time and energy.
- However, if you bake the cookies in a regular oven, preheat the oven to a temperature of 200 degrees Celsius/ 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake only one tray of cookies at a time.
- Keep the dough refrigerated while the first batch of cookies is baking and form the cookies while the first batch is cooling off on the baking tray.
Carrot Cookies with Orange Icing
- 200 g carrots weighed after peeling, 7 oz (Note)
- 140 g unsalted butter 5 oz/ ½ cup + 1 ½ tablespoons, at room temperature
- 140 g light brown sugar 5 oz/ scant ¾ cup
- 350 g all-purpose flour 12 oz/ 3 cups
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- 1 egg
- 1 organic orange
- 140 g icing sugar 5 oz/ 1 ⅓ cups
- handful chopped walnuts
- Preheat the convection/fan oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit/ 180 degrees Celsius. Line two baking trays with baking paper. If using a regular oven, preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit/ 200 degrees Celsius.
- Peel and finely grate the carrots. Set aside.
- Batter: Beat the soft butter and the sugar together until creamy. Beat in the egg and then add the grated carrots. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and allspice. Add them to the butter mixture and mix with a spatula or spoon to form the dough.
- Form cookies: With floured hands, take small amounts of the dough, form balls about the size of a walnut, flatten them with your palms, and place them on the prepared baking trays.
- Bake: In a convection/fan oven, you will be able to bake both trays of cookies simultaneously. In a regular oven which only allows you to bake one tray of cookies at a time, place the remaining cookie dough in the fridge while the first batch of cookies is in the oven.
- Baking time: Bake the cookies for about 12-15 minutes or until slightly crisp and golden. Leave to cool on the baking trays for about 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
- Make orange icing: Zest and juice the orange. Mix the orange juice with the icing sugar to obtain an icing that can be drizzled. Depending on how much juice your orange has released you might need to add a little more icing sugar or a little water to the mixture to give it the right consistency.
- Drizzle the icing all over the cookies and sprinkle them with orange zest and chopped walnuts. Allow setting before serving.