I do not exactly have a reputation as a master chef.  Ask my family about my culinary prowess, and they will probably regale you with a story of the time I managed to botch up a batch of Betty Crocker brownies by forgetting to add the eggs.  My dad, always the optimist, pointed out that I had invented a nearly indestructable building material.  What a kidder.

1 Egg and Oil!

"Just Add: Drywall and Insulation!"

Now that I live in an apartment, however, I cook my own meals, with surprisingly edible results:

Her range of dishes, initially limited to Spaghetti And Other Assorted Shapes of Pasta, has in recent weeks included rosemary-thyme lamb chops and a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

The rest of her family regards her meteoric culinary rise with a mixture of pride (Dad), skepticism (sister), and astonishment (Mom).”

Excerpt from this year’s family Christmas newsletter

In order to prove to my disbelieving family that I am indeed capable of such feats, I baked another carrot cake a few days ago, using the same recipe as before.  The recipe I am about to share with you is, to the best of my knowledge, the most epic carrot cake recipe of all time.

Ultimate Carrot Cake

Here it is, in all of its carrotty applesaucey pineappley walnutty glory.

It originated from the “Carrot Cake III” recipe on allrecipes.com; I like to imagine user “Tammy Elliott” working feverishly in her underground kitchen/lair, inventing carrot cake after carrot cake until, in one triumphant moment, she shouts, “I’VE GOT IT!” and posts her recipe for a third-generation carrot cake so good that it deserves its own Roman numeral.  Next, the recipe was further improved upon by suggestions from 1,390 reviews, and consolidated into one list of alterations by user “gneebeanie”, whose perplexing choice of username is, I can only assume, a secretive anagram for “A Bee Engine” or “Inane Be(e) Gee”.

Saturday Night Fever for carrot cake?

Saturday Night Fever for carrot cake?

My humble contribution to this global effort has been to incorporate these alterations back into the recipe, which I have fittingly entitled “Ultimate Carrot Cake”. Both times I have baked this cake, it has garnered rave reviews:

“Some sort of cooking god needs to bow down to you.”

If you never make this again, I will kill you.”

“After nineteen years, I finally believe Katherine can cook.”

Here is the recipe, if you’d like to try it for yourself:

ULTIMATE CARROT CAKE

Beat together:
4 eggs
3/4 c vegetable oil
1 c brown sugar
1 c white sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract

Then mix in:
2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp salt
3 tsp ground cinnamon
0.25 tsp nutmeg

Then fold in:
3 c grated carrots
20 oz canned pineapple, chopped/crushed and drained (optional)
0.5 c applesauce (optional)
1 c chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Bake at 350 degrees in a greased 9X13 baking pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool before frosting.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Beat together:
0.5 c butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3.5 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Frost cooled cake and sprinkle on:
1 c chopped nuts

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