One of the great things about having a DIY mentality is that “do it yourself” doesn’t have to mean “do everything yourself.” You can skip a few steps, cut down on prep time and dirty dishes, and still have something special and homemade.
Once a month at church, we gather in our social hall before services to drink some coffee, eat some cakes and sweets, and celebrate any birthdays happening that month. Among this month’s birthday honorees is my big sister, whose birthday is today! Happy Birthday, Lara!
Since my sister introduced me to the goodness that is carrot cake, I opted to bake something carrot-based for this month’s party: Carrot cake whoopie pies!
Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies (adapted from Sandra Lee’s Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies)
- 1 box of cake mix – I used spice cake mix instead of carrot cake mix, because something about dried and bagged carrots weirds me out.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened.
- 3 eggs
- 1 or 2 grated carrots – I had baby carrots on hand and used about 12 of those. If you use spice cake mix like I did, two carrots would be a good idea.
- 1 container of whipped cream cheese frosting
- Optional ingredients: 1/2 cup raisins or chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, beat together the cake mix, butter and eggs. Mix in the grated carrots (plus raisins and/or walnuts if you’re using them. The walnuts could also be a garnish for finished cookies), then set the batter in the fridge for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Keeping the batter chilled helps the cookies keep a dome shape when they’re baked.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper, and drop teaspoon-size mounds of dough onto cookie sheets, making sure they stay rounded.
Bake for about 8 to 9 minutes, until the tops are set. Cool for five minutes on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
These cake cookies can be delicate. I wouldn’t recommend spreading the icing with a knife or they might break. Instead, you can fit a star tip to an icing bag and fill it with your cream cheese frosting, or put the icing in a ziplock bag and cut the tip of a corner off to pipe the icing onto the cookies.
Flip half of the cookies over so they’re flat-side-up (hint: save the prettier ones for the top halves). Starting at the center of the cookie, swirl a blob of icing onto each cookie (as much or as little as you want. I had plenty left over). Top with another cookie to complete the sandwich. Done!
I had about 15 sandwich cookies in the end. I probably had enough cookies to make closer to 20 sandwiches but, well, I got a little sample-happy and ate a bunch of them before I got to the icing phase. Oops!