When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies (gluten-free, vegan)

It snowed here today. (Don't even get me started on the ridiculousness of that on April 15th, although this post reminded me recently that the weather was equally ridiculous in April last year.)  It seemed like a good day to spend some time in the kitchen baking and doing some advance prep for our Easter celebrations this coming weekend, because then I could ignore the fact that I needed winter boots and a parka to properly go outside.  I made our family's famous sweet potato casserole to freeze for Sunday's dinner, and then for some reason I got carrot cake on the brain.  Rather than baking a cake, I decided to create some almond flour and oatmeal cookies that had all of the delicious flavours of carrot cake in them.  The cookies turned out wonderfully -- they are chewy, cinnamony, lightly sweet, and cheerfully decorated with a coconut butter and maple syrup icing that makes them especially fun for kids.  Yum!

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies

For the cookies:

2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1 1/2 cups certified pure gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tbsp ground chia seeds
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup finely grated carrot
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

For the icing:

3 tbsp raw coconut butter
3 tsp coconut oil
3 tsp pure maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, rolled oats, coconut sugar, chia seeds, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil and vanilla extract.  Stir the grated carrot into the oil mixture, and then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Stir well until a uniform dough forms.  (The dough will be somewhat dry-looking, but it should stick together nicely when you press it between your fingers.  You may want to knead it a little with your hands.)  Stir in the raisins and walnuts.

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.  Using your hands, roll the dough into balls that measure approximately one and a half inches in diameter.  Place the balls in rows on the parchment paper lined baking sheets, and press them down with the palm of your hand to make flat circles measuring about half an inch high.  Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, until they are lightly golden.  Cool the cookies completely.

To make the icing, combine the coconut butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until a smooth icing forms.  Place the icing in a piping bag with a small round tip and pipe the icing across the tops of the cooled cookies in a zig-zag pattern.  Serve and enjoy!

These cookies are fun and easy to make with kids, who might want to leave some for the Easter Bunny this weekend.  (After all, why should Santa get all the goodies, right?)

This post is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays.


  1. These look delicious! Great idea. :) I will let you know how they are if I try them! They are on my top list of recipes to try.

    1. Thank you -- I'm really glad to hear that! :) I'd love to know what you think of these cookies if you make them -- please do come back and let me know.

  2. These look wonderful! Thanks for sharing at Gluten-Free Wednesdays!

    1. Thank you, Linda, and thanks, too, for the opportunity to share the recipe on your site! :)

  3. The icing recipe couldn't possibly make much icing, could it? lol

    1. Hi Tammy. The icing recipe will make enough to zig zag across the top of the whole batch of cookies the way I did it in the photo. If you'd like to use more icing than that, just increase the measurements of the icing ingredients using the same ratios (1 tablespoon of coconut butter for every teaspoon of coconut oil and maple syrup.) :)

  4. what is coconut sugar and coconut butter, and where do they sell it?

    1. Coconut sugar is an unrefined brown sugar made from the flower of the coconut palm tree. Here is a link to the website of the brand I use to give you more information: http://www.wholesomesweeteners.com/Products/productdetail/tabid/170/PId/13/Organic-Coconut-Palm-Sugar.aspx . Coconut butter is a nutritious spread made by pureeing whole coconut flesh. I use Artisana brand: http://www.artisanafoods.com/coconut/coconut-butter/ . I buy both of these items at my local health food store. (I live in Canada.)

  5. Can I omit chia seeds? & is there anything I can substitute for coconut butter? I really want to make these ASAP. All my favorite things in one cookie

    1. I'm not sure if the recipe would work if you omit the chia seeds or not (they act as a binding ingredient)... but you could substitute ground flax seed instead and I'm pretty sure that would work. Unfortunately I can't think of anything to use in place of the coconut butter for the icing. If you do any experimenting of your own with this recipe, please let me know how the cookies/icing turn out! :)

  6. THank you, Lisa! I think we'd love these. Because one of my allergies is oats, I'll be subbing in quinoa flakes, and ground flax seed for the chia seeds. I'll let you know how this works.

    1. I think those substitutions sound like great ones, Jeanne! Please do let me know how the cookies turn out -- I hope you enjoy them! :)