Reach For the Prize

Reach For the Prize

I was a military wife for 20 years.  I confess I don’t enjoy travel, but I loved to pick up & move.  Weird, right? 

We were stationed at Offutt AFB in Omaha, NE, & expecting our second child.  Our base commissary was sponsoring a cake contest. (that’s a grocery store to you Civilians)  I was encouraged to enter my Carrot Cake by a neighborhood friend.

My husband dropped off the dessert, & I followed later with Kiddo #1 (AKA Emily) I was thrilled to discover that I had WON the $150 gift certificate for the prettiest cake & also the $300 gift certificate for the most delicious cake!

Greg & I determined early on to be givers in this life.  But how does one tithe on a gift certificate?  We actually didn’t have $45 to spare from our tight budget at the time, so we asked our Pastor & his wife to make out a grocery list of desired items.  Missionary friends on furlough were visiting, so they, too, gave us a list of needs.  I shopped for us all at the commissary.

I’ve never entered another contest, but for a brief shining moment, I enjoyed the prize & the compliments.  This would be more impressive if you didn’t know that only 6 cakes were entered that year… BUT I beat out the previous year’s winner, and there were 50 contestants that year.  :-)

 The funny thing is, I’m not a fan of carrot cake, but my husband was.  So sometimes self is denied so that others will be blest. Today’s recipe is for my Prize-Winning Carrot Cake. 

 Phil 3:14 tells us ALL to “press toward the mark for the PRIZE of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”  We can ALL be prize-winners!

 Confectionately Yours,



2 c. sugar
1-1/2 c. vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 c. sifted flour
3 tsp. cinnamon
3 c. finely grated carrots
2 tsp. vanilla extract

 Cream oil and sugar until light and fluffy.   Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.   Add vanilla.  

 Sift dry ingredients together; add to creamed mixture, blending well.   Bake in three 8″ greased and floured pans for 40 minutes in a preheated 325° oven. 

 Cool 10 minutes in pan and turn out onto a cooling rack.   Cool completely and frost with cream cheese frosting.  


Cream Cheese Frosting

2 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
½ to1 c. butter, softened
2 lbs. Confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

 Beat cream cheese and butter until there are no lumps.  Gradually mix in confectioner’s sugar and vanilla.

 If you want a softer frosting, use the full amount of the butter.    I use the smaller amount of butter for a stiffer frosting so that it can be piped onto cake attractively.

 It freezes well, so if you are a plan-ahead kind of person, make this cake, wrap well, and freeze for up to 3 months.