Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies

I came across a carrot cake whoopie pie recipe on Pinterest years ago.  While the idea was brilliant and mouthwatering, the end result was a fail, as Pinterest recipes often go.  But unwilling to let go of a good idea, I reworked that recipe until I was happy with it and now am kinda known for them.  I make them at Easter every year and bring them to parties and potlucks.  People love and curse me at the same time because they are one of those things you want to eat until you are sick.  And using the Ankarsrum to make them means baking is a breeze, especially when I also use the shredder attachment for the carrots.

If you have the shredder attachment, it makes quick work of finely shredding carrots

 

Carrots and cinnamon are pretty standard ingredients in carrot cake.  The addition of cinnamon chips really punches up the flavor in the cookies and oats give them a nice chewy texture.  Freshly grated nutmeg and orange zest pack even more deliciousness into these cookies.  Sandwiched together with cream cheese frosting flecked with vanilla beans makes these little treats hard to resist.  And since they are cookies, they’re easy to grab and eat.  No portioning or plating required, making them super handy for parties and gatherings (and run by swiping from the kids!).

When I have a cookie recipe with a lot of “extras” like oats, shredded carrots, etc. I like to use the stainless steel mixing bowl.  It does a better job at mixing it all together and I find that the finely shredded carrots tend to cling to the whisks in the plastic bowl.  I am firmly in the “no nuts in my carrot cake” camp, but if you enjoy them, then 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans would work well in this recipe.  Just add them in with the dry ingredients.

7 dozen cookies worth of dough

 

The roller/scraper also does a great job of creaming butter.  It may seem odd to not have a standard beater when creaming butter, but when you turn the speed all the way up, it works like a charm:

Pull the beater arm to the center a few times to thoroughly incorporate butter and sugar while creaming

 

Before vanilla beans became outrageously expensive, I used to use a whole one in this frosting.  Alas, I am hoarding what few beans I have left and switching over to vanilla bean paste for the foreseeable future.  Cream cheese frosting is one of my favorite frostings and I have played around with the butter/cream cheese ratios a lot before deciding that 16 ounces cream cheese to 8 ounces unsalted butter is frosting magic in my book.

Stainless steel bowl for cookies, plastic whipping bowl for creamy frosting

 

What is really nice about this cookie dough is that it doesn’t have to chill before baking off:

Right into the oven

 

And they hold their shape and don’t spread out too much when baking:

 

On the blog, we always strive to provide whole grain and gluten-free alternatives when it comes to baking.  The heartier flavors of whole wheat flour and a combination of sucanat with honey (aka honey granules) and coconut sugar paired nicely with the spices and carrots.

For gluten-free I found that the dough actually had to be chilled for at least 2 hours, otherwise this happened:

Gluten free flours tend to absorb liquids differently than regular flour and can drastically change results when swapping out flours.

 

If you’d like more tips on using the stainless steel bowl for cookie dough, check out this video.

Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Bake Time: 13-15 minutes

 

3 cups all purpose flour

1 cup rolled oats

1 1/2 cups cinnamon chips*

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 eggs

5 1/2 ounces finely shredded carrots, approximately 2 large or 2 loosely packed cups

1 tsp. fresh orange zest

2 tsp. vanilla extract

 

Preheat oven the 350º F.  Line 2 cookies sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, cinnamon chips, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Set up the Ankarsrum mixer with the stainless steel bowl and the roller/scraper.  Cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar on the highest speed (7 o’clock) for 1 minute.  Scrape down roller grooves and then cream on highest speed for 4 more minutes.  Pull the arm of the roller towards the middle as necessary to thoroughly combine the ingredients.

Add the eggs, carrots, vanilla extract and orange zest and mix on medium speed (3 o’clock) until combined.

Add in the dry ingredients and mix on the lowest speed (12 o’clock) until fully incorporated, stopping and scraping down sides if necessary.

Using a small disher or spoon, scoop out tablespoon size portions of cookie dough.  Place on cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 13-15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through.  Bottoms and edges should be beginning to brown and top should look set and baked through.

Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.  Cool completely before sandwiching together with frosting.

*You should be able to find cinnamon chips on your grocery baking isle along with chocolate chips. If your local grocer does not carry them, you can purchase Cinnamon Bits from King Arthur Flour. Click HERE.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla bean paste, or 2 tsp. vanilla extract

 

In the plastic whipping bowl with the balloon whisks, beat the cream cheese and butter on the highest speed (7 o’clock) for 1 minute.

Add in powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste.  Start off on lowest speed (12 o’clock) and slowly increase speed to 3 o’clock.  Beat until sugar and vanilla are incorporated, stopping and scraping down sides and middle tube if necessary.

Spread approximately 1 1/2 tbsp. frosting on half the cookies.  Top with remaining cookies.  Cookies (without frosting) can be made 1 day in advance, store in an airtight container.  Frosted/sandwiched cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours in advance.

 

Yield: 7 dozen cookies, or 42 whoopie pies

 

Whole Wheat Version:

The whole wheat and natural sugars give the cookie a darker appearance, but the flavors pair together very well

-Replace all-purpose flour with equal parts whole wheat flour.  If you mill at home use a soft wheat or a white wheat.

-Replace sugar with equal parts sucanat with honey (aka honey granules).

-Replace the brown sugar with equal parts coconut sugar.

-Frosting can be sweetened to taste with honey or maple syrup.  Alternatively, sucanat or coconut sugar can be blended on high speed in a blender for approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute to produce a substitute for powdered sugar.  Use equal amounts to replace powdered sugar.

-Follow recipe above

Gluten Free Version:

Even after chilling, the dough still spread more than regular cookies. Make sure to place 3-4 inches apart on cookie sheet.

-Replace all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend.  I prefer King Arthur brand.

-Chill dough for at least 2 hours after mixing.

-Leave 3-4 inches between dough balls since these cookies spread more during baking.

 

 

 

Published by

Carmi Adams

Carmi Adams has loved cooking from a very early age; requesting fondue pots and cookbooks for birthdays as a child. She further pursued her passion for food at the Art Institute of Atlanta and obtained a degree in Culinary Arts. Carmi landed a job on the show Good Eats, which aired on the Food Network. For seven years she did everything from food research, recipe development and testing, product testing to feeding a hungry film crew. Now living in the central coast of California, Carmi enjoys the bounty of agriculture, vineyards and farmers markets at her culinary disposal. She has been using the Ankarsrum mixer for over 15 years and feels that it is hands-down the best on the market for home cooks.