Vegan Carrot Cake Cookies

flufy and moist vegan carrot cake cookies
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These vegan carrot cake cookies are surprisingly delicious and moist, packed with some secret- and healthy- ingredients! Adapted from my great grandmother’s 100 year old recipe, the secret ingredient to keep these soft and most is sauerkraut. I know it sounds crazy, but you have to trust me! I’ve adapted the recipe in a few ways, including making them dairy, soy, egg and gluten free!

Jump to Recipe

I recently acquired my great grandmother’s recipe box and discovered a number of gems- but this was the first one that I attempted because I was SO intrigued. I found the hand written sauerkraut recipe card and was floored- these have to be so disgusting, right!? Wrong! The Sauerkraut imparts zero fermented cabbage flavor, and a ton of moisture. The flavor profile is actually complex, but overwhelmingly these are a sweet, spice cookie that will surprise all of your guests. All three of my children loved them, as do I! There’s a good amount of sugar, but these also have some healthy ingredients: sauerkraut, carrots and dates. While these are definitely a dessert, I like that I can provide my children with a little hidden healthiness in there desserts.

Ingredients Notes

Any sauerkraut will do so long as it doesn’t have extra flavor. Usually ‘plain’ sauerkraut is just sea-salt and caraway; there are dill or spicy varieties, for instance, and I think that those would make for an interesting, less ideal, flavor. I really like Bob’s red mill gluten free oat flour for baking. It is important that you sift the flour and re-measure for accuracy. Or you can weigh the flour.  Most dried dates will have pits, simply slice in half vertically and remove before adding to food processor. I like the Spectrum organic shortening: it’s sustainable palm oil, dairy, soy and gluten free.

Making the Vegan Carrot Cake Cookies

First Step: prep the hidden ingredients.  In a strainer, rinse the sauerkraut with warm. Press into strainer with a paper towel to help remove moisture. Turn out the sauerkraut onto double layer of paper towel and roll, squeezing out excess moisture. Repeat and set aside. In a small food processor, add sauerkraut, baby carrots and pitted dates. Pulse until ingredients are ground. I like the Cuisinart mini for a job this size.

Make the cookies: preheat the oven to 375 °. In a stand mixer, cream together shortening, sugar and eggs. Beat well. Add sauerkraut, date and carrot mixture along with cold water and mix well.  In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients: oat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt. Add to the batter and mix well. Add in the lemon extract and mix to combine. Line a baking sheet with a mat or parchment paper. Spoon out dollops of batter. Place a couple of inches apart on the cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden.

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Yield: 25-30 cookies

Prep time: 15 minutes

Bake time: 12-15 minutes

Carrot Cake Cookie Ingredients

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • ½ cup carbonated, unflavored water or club soda
  • 1 cup sauerkraut, rinsed and dried
  • ½ cup baby carrots
  • ½ cup pitted dates
  • 3 cups gluten free oat flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Scant ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • Scant 1 teaspoon lemon extract

Carrot Cake Cookie Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°
  2. Add the sauerkraut to a colander and rinse. Pat dry with paper towels.  Turn out onto double sided paper towel and roll, squeezing to remove excess liquid. Repeat and place sauerkraut in small food processor. Add pitted dates and baby carrots to food processor and pulse until ground. Set aside.
  3. Sift together dry ingredients (flour- baking powder) and set aside
  4. In a stand mixer, cream together sugar and shortening. Add club soda and beat well.  Add in sauerkraut mixture and mix well. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix to combine. Finally add the lemon extract and stir to combine.
  5. Line a baking sheet with a slip mat or parchment paper. Spoon out the dough into 2 inch dollops space ~2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or just until golden

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