Carrot Cake Cookies from Cake Mix (with frosting)

These easy carrot cake cookies are made from a cake mix, are super moist and soft then covered in cinnamon cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with crushed walnuts.

This recipe is so easy since you’ll be using a box cake mix as the base, but these cookies really do taste homemade. You really can’t eat just one.

It’s not hard to turn a cake mix into cookies. In fact, you’ll only use a few ingredients and that really cuts down on the time and the effort.

The cookies are good enough on their own, but the cream cheese frosting really takes them over the top.

Top down view of carrot cake mix cookies on a baking rack with text.

Hey there! Before you scroll, there are lots of helpful things in this post…including an FAQ section, which may answer any questions you might have about this recipe. Enjoy!

Table of Contents:

Ingredient Notes:

Let’s talk a little bit about just some of the ingredients in these cookies The full list of ingredients will be in the recipe card below. Also, check out the FAQ section to see other tips and substitution questions.

Butter: You want to use real butter for this and unsalted if you can get it. Butter just gives such good flavor to cookies and will help make these cookies taste homemade and not at all like a mix.

You’ll also use butter for the frosting. A quick tip is to make sure the butter is at room temperature, but don’t microwave it. Just set it out ahead of time.

Carrot cake mix: You’ll need a box of carrot cake mix for this and generally any brand will probably work. My favorites are Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines.

Cream cheese: Well cream cheese just makes everything better in my opinion, but it will add flavor and will help make the cookie texture soft.

You’ll also use cream cheese for the frosting. Just make sure to set this out along with the butter to come to room temperature before you start baking.

Carrot cake cookies on a white plate.

Preparation & Mixing Notes:

Here’s a summary of preparing and mixing the carrot cake cookie dough. The full instructions will be in the recipe card below.

First, make sure you’ve set out the butter, cream cheese and eggs to come to room temperature. This will help them mix better and easier.

Next, add the room temperature butter and cream cheese and mix with an electric mixer until creamy.

Mixing butter and cream cheese in mixing bowl.

Then add the dry carrot cake mix, eggs and vanilla extract to the creamy mixture.

Adding eggs to cookie dough.

Mix until well combined. The dough will be a little thick and it will be sticky.

Cookie dough in mixing bowl.

At this point, you can add in any additional ingredients you want, like raisins, chocolate chips, nuts etc. and then just mix up with a large spoon.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonsful onto baking sheets and make sure there are a couple of inches between each cookie.

Cookie mounds placed on cookie sheet.

Bake the cookies in a preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, then cool.

While the cookies cool, make the frosting.

Mixing bowl with frosting.

Once the cookies are completely cooled off, spoon frosting onto each cookie.

Hand spreading frosting onto cookie.

You can also then sprinkle them with crushed walnuts if you like.

Hand sprinkling crushed nuts onto cookie.

Tips & FAQs:

How do you turn a carrot cake mix into cookies?

It’s very easy and quick to make cookies out of a cake mix. For this recipe, you’ll use a dry carrot cake mix and add in a few extra ingredients, spoon mounds onto a cookie sheet, then bake.

What brand of cake mix should I use?

You can most likely use any brand, but I used Betty Crocker carrot cake mix. Duncan Hines will also work well.

Should I prepare the cake mix by adding in the other ingredients listed on the cake box or just use the mix dry?

No, just use the cake mix dry. Do not add the other ingredients called for on the back of the box.

I don’t have unsalted butter, what can I use?

Unsalted butter is best, but if you can’t get it, you can substitute it with salted butter. Just know that the end result will be a little saltier than if you had used unsalted butter.

Tip for mixing the cookie dough:

Make sure to set out the butter, cream cheese and eggs ahead of time as they’ll mix much better when at room temperature.

I don’t have parchment paper, what should I use?

Parchment paper is great because it helps keep the cookies from sticking and it’s faster to clean up. Depending on what type of pans you have, these cookies can most likely be baked right on the cookie sheet. You’ll just have a little more cleaning to do than if you used parchment paper.

Cookie Sheet Tip:

If you use a dark-coated non-stick cookie sheet, you will need to watch the cookies closely and check them several minutes ahead of time as dark-coated pans tend to bake and over-brown baked goods much quicker than light-colored pans.

Frosting tip:

When making the frosting, make sure the butter and cream cheese are room temperature, but not melted as that will make the frosting consistency too thin.

Why does this recipe call for corn syrup in the frosting? Do I have to use that?

Corn syrup helps to firm up the frosting a bit. It helps it form a thin outer shell so that the cookies can actually touch each other without the frosting completely messing up and smearing everywhere.
The corn syrup is optional and if you don’t have it, you can still make the frosting, just know it may not firm up as fully.

Can these cookies be made in advance? Can they be frozen?

These cookies can be made in advance and stay soft when covered well in an airtight container. The cookie dough and the baked cookies can also be frozen.

To freeze the cookie dough, place the cookie dough in a freezer bag and freeze for up to a month. Thaw completely before baking.

To freeze the baked cookies, make sure the cookies have cooled, then add to a freezer bag and freeze for up to three weeks. Let thaw completely before adding frosting.

How should these cookies be stored and how long do they last?

Since the cookies and glaze contain cream cheese, these will need to be stored in an airtight container, in the refrigerator. They will last for about a week.

What’s the best way to eat/serve these cookies?

These cookies are best served at room temperature but should be stored in the refrigerator since the frosting contains cream cheese. To eat, set cookies out ahead of time to come closer to room temperature.

What can be added to these cookies?

These cookies are amazing with chopped walnuts, but you could also add mini chocolate chips, chopped pecans, raisins, or even white chocolate chips.

How to tell when these cookies are done?

Cookies will start to firm up and darken just a bit in color. The bottoms will be golden brown.

When’s the best time to make these cookies?

These cookies are perfect for a sweet Easter treat, for the springtime, or really any other time you get a carrot cake craving.

Broken soft cookie on a white plate.

Supplies used for these cookies:

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Rack with baked carrot cake cookies and icing on it.

Carrot Cake Cookies from a Cake Mix (with frosting)

These easy carrot cake cookies are made from a cake mix, are super moist and soft then covered in cinnamon cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with crushed walnuts.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake mix cookies, carrot cake cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 26 cookies
Calories: 87kcal
Author: Kara @ Quick and Easy Baking

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (1 stick)
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature (1/2 block)
  • 1 15 oz box carrot cake mix (I used Betty Crocker Carrot Cake Mix) (dry mix only…do not add the ingredients listed on the box)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup mix-ins optional: nuts, raisins, mini chocolate chips etc.

For the frosting:

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature (1/2 block)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (1/2 stick)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup (optional, but will allow the glaze to firm up)
  • crushed walnuts for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions

For the cookies:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set them aside.
  • In a large bowl add the room temperature butter and cream cheese. Mix with an electric mixer on medium until smooth.
  • Add the dry carrot cake mix, eggs and vanilla extract and mix on medium until well combined.
  • Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again to make sure all ingredients are well combined.
  • Add any additional ingredients you want, like raisins, chocolate chips, nuts etc. Use a large spoon to stir them in. Dough will be sticky.
  • Drop by rounded tablespoonful onto baking sheets. Make sure there are a couple inches between each cookie.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 15-18 minutes. Cool the pan on a wire rack for five minutes, then transfer the cookies to the cooling rack to cool completely before adding the frosting.

For the frosting:

  • Add the room temperature cream cheese and the room temperature butter to a mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer on medium-high.
  • Add the vanilla, cinnamon, confectioner’s sugar, milk and corn syrup and mix until smooth. The corn syrup is optional, but will help the frosting set up (firm up) on the cookies a bit better.
  • Use a spoon to swirl frosting onto each completely cooled cookie.
  • Optional: Sprinkle the tops of cookies with crushed walnuts.
  • Let the cookies sit out for about 20 minutes for the frosting to firm up a bit.

Notes

These cookies are best served at room temperature. However, since the frosting contains cream cheese, these will need to be stored in an airtight container, in the refrigerator. They will last for about a week.
To eat, set cookies out ahead of time to come closer to room temperature.
Nutritional values are an estimate.
Make sure to check out the TIPS & FAQs for this recipe in the blog post, which may answer questions you may have.
This recipe card may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition

Calories: 87kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 37mg | Potassium: 19mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 300IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg

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