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