These soft and cakey cookie sandwiches are packed with all the same flavors as a slice of cream cheese-frosted carrot cake in an easy handheld package that's perfect for parties, lunch boxes and afternoon snacks.
This is a fun recipe to make with kids of any age. Have older kids help with prepping and measuring ingredients, while the littler ones can help squish spoonfuls of creamy frosting between the soft cookies.
Swap option: This batter is pretty forgiving, feel free to swap ingredients according to your family's tastes. You can skip the pecans or coconut, or add other fun mix-ins like chocolate chips, dried pineapple or raisins.
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 cups freshly grated carrot (about 2 large carrots)
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cookies:
1. Whisk together flour, oats, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon. Set aside.
2. Combine butter, dark brown sugar, and white sugar in the base of a stand mixer or (use a large bowl and hand mixer), and beat 3 minutes. Add the eggs and continue to beat 2-3 more minutes, scraping down the sides as needed, until mixture is light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir on low until fully incorporated, followed by the ginger, carrots, coconut and pecans.
3. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour (and up to overnight).
4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper
5. Use a cookie scoop or spoon to scoop about 1½-inch sized balls of dough. Arrange two inches apart on baking sheet and flatten each ball down slightly.
6. Bake 12-15 minutes or until puffed up, slightly golden around the edges, but still soft. Let cool completely.
For the frosting:
Use an electric mixer to beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in maple syrup, salt and vanilla, followed by the sifted confectioners sugar. Cover and chill frosting until needed (can be made up to 2 days in advance).
Match cookies by size and fill with 1-2 spoonfuls of the chilled frosting. Close cookies gently to press the frosting out to the edges. Repeat with entire batch.
Place cookie sandwiches in an airtight container and refrigerate until serving.