Extension Viewpoints

Colorado Proud Recipe of the Month: carrot cake


Colorado Proud is a program of the Colorado Department of Agriculture that promotes food and agricultural products grown, raised or made in Colorado. 

The program’s more than 3,000 members include growers, processors, schools, restaurants and retailers statewide. February’s recipe is Decadent Carrot Cake.

Carrot cake has earned its place as a timeless classic in the world of baking. This delectable treat perfectly combines the earthy sweetness of carrots with the rich, moist texture of cake. With its garden origins and well-earned status as a beloved dessert for any occasion, carrot cake has proven its versatility and ability to captivate hearts with every delicious bite.

Carrots are renowned for their health benefits, making them a nutritious addition to a well-balanced diet. Carrots are rich in nutrients, providing a good source of essential nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Vitamin A is particularly important for maintaining healthy vision, skin and immune function. They also have antioxidant properties; carrots contain antioxidants like beta-carotene, which gives them their vibrant orange color.

Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A in the body and helps protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals and promotes eye health. Regular consumption of carrots may help prevent conditions such as night blindness and age-related macular degeneration (Food Smart Colorado). Carrots also aid in digestion due to fiber, are low in calories, provide hydration and support heart health.

Fun fact: Originating in Iran and Afghanistan, carrots were originally many colors, ranging from red and purple to black. The iconic orange color and sweet taste that most people prefer in carrots today did not appear until the 17th century in the Netherlands, a product of cross breeding by botanists (Food Smart Colorado).

Colorado carrots are typically available August through November and can be stored through the winter in the appropriate setting (Food Smart Colorado).

You can find several other ways to make this carrot cake even more Colorado Proud by purchasing local flour, eggs and dairy as ingredients. 

Try this delicious recipe from Jennifer Yu and make your next dessert memorable.

Decadent Carrot Cake

Prep time: 20 minutes 

Bake time: 35 minutes

Serves: 8 slices



1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon allspice

2/3 cup cooking oil

2 eggs

1 cup finely shredded raw carrot

1/2 cup crushed pineapple (with syrup)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup of walnuts, chopped


8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1 pound confectioner’s sugar


Stir dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add remaining cake ingredients and mix until moistened.

Pour batter into a greased and lightly floured baking pan. For a 9-inch by 9-inch by 2-inch baking pan, bake at 350 F for about 35 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean or with moist crumbs.

Or, bake in 2 6-inch round pans at 375 F for 45 minutes (at elevation).

Remove cakes from the oven and, when slightly cooled, invert onto a cooling rack out of the pan and let cool completely.

Cream cheese frosting:

Cream the butter and cream cheese together until completely blended.

Add vanilla and salt. Blend.

Gradually beat in confectioner’s sugar to desired consistency.

Note: Make as a layer cake with 1.5 times the amount of frosting. If there is any leftover, the frosting works beautifully on cinnamon buns.

Visit www.coloradoproud.com for a complete list of recipes. 

This article was written by the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

Save the dates

• Feb. 22: Livestock and forage growers updates. Biosecurity, current diseases and outbreak issues, emergency preparedness, and influences on meat quality. 

Go to https://abm.extension.colostate.edu/lfg-update/ for more information.

• Save the dates for Tuesday evenings in April at 6 p.m. for the Landowner Stewardship Series. 

Do you own property in Archuleta County? Would you like to know more about your land and its resources? 

The Colorado State University (CSU) Extension office and the San Juan Conservation District are hosting an in-depth landowner series on stewardship practices on your land.

Registration is coming soon. 

CPR and first aid classes

CPR and first aid certification classes are offered every other month by the CSU Extension office, generally on the second Monday and Wednesday of each month from 6 to 10 p.m. The cost for the classes is $80 for combined CPR/first aid and $55 for CPR, first aid or recertification. Call the Extension office at (970) 264-5931 to register.

Check out the online option on our website, https://archuleta.extension.colostate.edu/.