Making carrot cake cookies with cake mix is an easy Easter recipe that is ultra-soft, with a chewy texture, and smothered with a delicious cream cheese frosting, topped with chopped walnuts.
Can we even celebrate this time of year without a carrot cake recipe? Sometimes those are a little overplayed, so along with these cookies, I added that traditional flavor to make a carrot cake roll! It’s fun, festive, and while it tastes similar to the classic cake, it was so much better! Some of my other favorite spring desserts are my Easter trifle and poke cake, along with the beautiful strawberry cheesecake trifle.
While I love from-scratch recipes, cake mix is so much easier sometimes. I use it to make lemon bundt cake, upside down pineapple cake, and lemon pie bars. There’s also the blackberry dump cake (very similar to a cobbler without the fuss) and pumpkin bars with a creamy frosting.
What do I Need for this Recipe?
- box carrot cake mix – any brand will do.
- oil – we used vegetable oil.
- eggs – this is our binder and helps the spice cake mix stay together.
- sour cream – makes the cookies soft and moist.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- unsalted butter and cream cheese – allow both of these ingredients to soften at room temperature before using.
- powdered sugar – gives the frosting sweetness and adds texture.
- vanilla extract – rounds out the taste and adds a subtle hint of vanilla.
We use chopped walnuts, but you can also omit them or top them with chopped pecans. Feel free to decorate with festive sprinkles.
Electric mixer – you can use a hand mixer or stand mixer.
Variations and Substitutions:
- Cookie bars – press the cookie dough into a square baking dish that has been greased with non-stick spray. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Add-ins – Fold in a few raisins, grated carrots, or white chocolate chips if desired.
PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Step 1: In a large bowl, stir the cake mix, oil, sour cream, and eggs together.
Step 2: Use a cookie scoop to make cookie dough balls and drop them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Pro Tip: Do not overmix the cookie batter. Stir just until the ingredients are incorporated.
Step 3: Bake for 11 minutes or until they are puffed and set. Allow the cookies to cool for 1-2 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack.
Step 4: Beat the butter and cream cheese together. Then mix in the powdered sugar a cup at a time. Stir in the vanilla.
Step 5: Spread the frosting over each cookie.
SERVE: Sprinkle a few nuts on top of each cookie and serve.
- This easy cookie recipe is ultra moist and chewy. They will stay soft for days!
- The cream cheese frosting recipe makes a lot. If you want a thinner layer, you can halve the recipe.
- If you use 1-1.5 tablespoons of cookie dough, these will bake in 8 minutes.
The carrot cake was inspired by carrot pudding and even has its own national holiday!
Keep leftover cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also place them in a freezer bag and freeze them for up to 3 months. We recommend separating the layers with parchment paper.
Yes! Make the cookie dough, then cover it with plastic wrap in the refrigerator up to 24 hours in advance. Then bake as normal.
They have the same flavors (nutmeg, cinnamon, etc.) except a spiced mix doesn’t have carrots.
Carrot Cake Cookies from Cake Mix
- 15.25 oz. box of carrot cake cake mix
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup sour cream
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cake mix, oil, eggs, and sour cream until fully combined.
- Use a cookie dough scoop or tablespoon to drop the cookie dough in mounds onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (We made 2 tablespoon size cookies.)
- Bake cookies for 11 minutes, until puffed and set.
- Allow cookies to cool for 1-2 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Make the frosting by beating together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Add in the vanilla extract. Frosting will be softer than a cake frosting.
- Spread a generous layer of frosting over each cooled cookie and top with a sprinkle of chopped walnuts.