When we hosted Caroline’s birthday party, I had a lot of fun creating the menu. Carrot cake and bunnies are a natural pairing, which becomes more obvious around this time of year. Carrot cake abounds! These carrot cake whoopie pies are a great way to get your carrot cake fix without eating an entire slice. The version I originally made for the party was highly flawed recipe. We had to use a few tricks to salvage them for the party (thankfully they still tasted great). I had to do some more tweaking and testing before it was ready to be released into the wild, but finally I have a version that is most definitely worthy of your time and your tastebuds. The cookie is soft, lightly spiced, and a little bit chewy. Paired with my favorite cream cheese frosting, they are pretty hard to resist.
Mix It Up – Some variations to try:
- For a bit of tropical flair, substitute a portion of the oats for shredded coconut and add a small amount of coconut extract to the filling.
- Add up to ½ cup of chopped nuts such as walnuts or pecans to the cookie dough for some added crunch.
Yield: about 16 sandwich cookies
For the cookies:
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground ginger
- ¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup (4 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup grated carrot
For the filling:
- 4 oz. cream cheese, cold
- 2½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Whisk lightly to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the brown sugar and butter. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and light, about 2-3 minutes. Blend in the egg and the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, blend in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Blend in the oats and grated carrot just until evenly mixed in.
Scoop apporximately 1 tablespoon portions of the dough out onto the prepared baking sheets leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake, rotating the sheets halfway through baking, until the cookies are just set and lightly browned, about 14 minutes total. Let cool on the baking sheets a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the confectioners’ sugar and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat 2-3 minutes more. Blend in the vanilla. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip (I used an Ateco #809.) To assemble, pair the cookies up by size. Pipe a small dollop of the frosting onto the flat side of one cookie of each pair, and sandwich together with the remaining cookie.