Giving back

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you hopefully have noticed that I try to support my community when I can. My parents raised me and my brothers that way. Dad was a volunteer fireman for more than 50 years. Mom was in their auxiliary and raised money for the American Cancer Society. And, they both did quite a bit for their church, even leading the youth groups for many years.

Back at Christmas one of our local animal rescue groups, Noah’s Arc Animal Rescue, put together an online auction for baked goods. I offered 2 cakes and together they raised $675! I was blown away to say the least. I couldn’t afford to make a donation a donation that large, so being able to give my time was where I put my focus.

Last week they were holding their largest fundraising event of the year. I offered what I could, but decided to up the ante. I modified my World Famous Carrot Cake (my world is kinda small, so being famous is pretty easy!) and added a little moonshine. I guess I’m kinda on a kick cooking with spirits. They put it in a silent auction, but I don’t know yet how much it raised. The Old Forge Distillery helped me out with it, providing me with a jar of their Oatmeal Cookie Moonshine to use in it, and, they donated a basket of great products for another item in the auction. See, when you tell someone you have an opportunity to give back, they want to give back too! It’s a win, win.

So, here is the recipe. Try it for yourself and let me know what you think. If you get by Old Forge Distillery in Pigeon Forge, TN, tell them Thank You! Small businesses need support right now and they are a great small business, tied to several other great small businesses. They didn’t pay me to say that, and you may know that I have been working with the family of businesses for 21 years now, so I could be a little biased. But, I think our philosophies on life align pretty well, so even if I didn’t work here, I would tell you that they are great supporters of our communities.

Moonshine Carrot Cake

Makes Three 8 inch layers or Two 9 or 10 inch layers. I used Old Mill Plain Flour, but you can use your favorite flour.


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups white granulated sugar

4 large eggs

3/4 cups vegetable oil

3/4 cup whole buttermilk

1/4 cup Old Forge Distillery Oatmeal Cookie Moonshine

2 1/2 cups grated carrot

8 oz crushed pineapple, drained

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1 cup chopped pecans


Spray and line your pans. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Mix the sugar and eggs until well combined. Add the vegetable oil, buttermilk, and moonshine and combine well. Add in the dry mixture a little at a time until all is combined and then add the carrot, pineapple, coconut, and pecans. Mix until fully incorporated.

Separate equally into your prepared pans and bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven on the middle rack for 35-45 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean they are done. You will also see the sides of the cake begin to pull away from the pan a bit when they are done. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes. Run a knife gently around the edges of the pans and turn out the cake. Immediately remove the parchment liner from the bottom of the cake so it does not stick. If you wait until full cooled, it can be difficult to remove. Let cakes cool completely before frosting.

Moonshine Buttercream Frosting


2 sticks butter, room temperature butter

2 8oz boxes of cream cheese, room temperature

2 tablespoons Old Forge Distillery Oatmeal Cookie Moonshine

4 – 5 cups powdered sugar


1/4 cup shredded coconut soaked in 2 tablespoons Old Forge Distillery Oatmeal Cookie Moonshine

1/2 cup chopped pecans


Cream butter and cream cheese. Add moonshine and whip until well combined. Add powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time until each is well combined. At 4 cups, frosting should be coming together. You want it the consistency of a peanut butter. Add more powdered sugar as needed.

To frost your cake, spread a generous amount between layers as you assemble. Crumb coat the sides and top and set the cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up. Also chill the remaining frosting. Finish frosting and garnish the sides with pecans and top with the coconut. Get creative and use as many pecans and as much coconut as you like!

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The Appalachian Tale

Memories, recipes, and Tales of an Appalachian Boy.

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