Recipe: Absolutely Perfect Carrot Cake

Updated: Thursday, September 01, 2016 @ 9:15 AM
Published: Monday, February 01, 2016 @ 4:53 PM

By all accounts of those who tried it, this cake lives up to its superlative name. It's dense and moist, but with a light crumb. It's sweet, with a strong but not overpowering spice flavor. It gets a lot of good old-fashioned rustic texture from raisins, nuts and medium-coarse carrots and uses a little honey for a rich flavor. Perfect for Easter time, but this cake works beautifully for a variety of occasions.



Hands on time: 30 minutes  Total time: 1 hour and 10 minutes  Serves: 16


    2 cups all-purpose flour 
    2 teaspoons baking powder 
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
    1/2 teaspoon allspice 
    1 teaspoon salt 
    4 eggs 
    1 1/4 cups vegetable oil 
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 
    1/2 cup honey 
    2 cups grated carrots 
    3/4 cup baking raisins 
    3/4 cup chopped pecans 
    Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows) 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour (or use Baker's Joy) two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans. 
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Set aside. 
Combine with a whisk the eggs, oil, granulated sugar and honey and mix until well-blended. Fold in the flour mixture, carrots, raisins and pecans. 
Bake for 40 minutes, or until the center of the cakes spring back when touched lightly. Cool in pans for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks and cool completely. 
Ice with Cream Cheese Frosting: Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, mix together 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter and 1/2 cup vegetable shortening until creamy. Add 1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon oil (or extract) and mix until smooth and light. 


Per serving, with Cream Cheese Frosting: 663 calories (percent of calories from fat, 52), 5 grams protein, 76 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 34 grams fat (12 grams saturated), 78 milligrams cholesterol, 298 milligrams sodium

Would you be brave enough to buy a real haunted house?

Updated: Wednesday, October 26, 2016 @ 10:54 AM
Published: Wednesday, October 26, 2016 @ 6:36 AM
By: Natalie Dreier - Cox Media Group National Content Desk

            Would you be brave enough to buy a real haunted house?
Ann Starrett Mansion, Port Townsend, Washington (Bjorn/Flickr)

For some, a brand new home is the property they're looking for, but for others, an older home, filled with character is the perfect fit.

Is there a line that home buyers shouldn't cross? Homes that have a few extra "former residents" who just won't, or can't leave?

If a real haunted house is what you're looking for, then you're in luck. There never seems to be a shortage of homes with extra spirit on the selling block.

>> Read more trending stories  

Take a look at four homes that says are haunted and priced to sell.

5121 Franklin Avenue, Los Angeles

Cost: $4.79 million

Known as the Sowden House, the basement of the home is the supposed murder site of Elizabeth Short in 1947. Short is better known as the "Black Dahlia." People have said they see shadows of severed bodies and hear voices and chains dragging. Short's body was cut in half before being found dumped in a vacant lot in Los Angeles.

It features four bedrooms, four full and two half baths and is 5,600 square feet on a .32 acre lot.

138 E. Fulton Street, Canton, Mississippi

Cost: $850,000, but the price has been reduced to $699,000

Called the Priestley House, the large white home was built by Dr. James Priestley in 1852. Both he and his wife Susan died in the house. In 2002, a recent owner claimed that he saw a figure of a woman standing in a doorway and that something was targeting his family.

It features four bedrooms, four full baths and is 5,100 square feet.

744 Clay Street, Port Townsend, Washington

Cost: $850,000

The 5,796 square-foot mansion, called the Ann Starrett Mansion, is apparently the home of two apparitions - a redheaded woman and an older man who still walk the halls of the home. 

It was built as a love story from George Starrett, a contractor, for his wife Ann. It features a three-tiered spiral staircase that reaches into a 70-foot tower. At the top of the tower, the listing says there is a frescos of maidens painted in Ann's image.

It features 11 bedrooms, six full bathrooms and sits on a 8,470-square foot lot.

274 Charming Forge Road, Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania

Cost: $850,000

Unexplained slamming doors, stomping on the stairs and weeping being heard have been documented occurrences over the past 200 years.

The home, built in 1749 and expanded in 1784, features seven bedrooms and four full bathrooms and is a 7,821-square foot home on a 48.52-acre lot.

If a real haunted house is a little much for your nerves to bear, then there's a piece of horror movie magic that may be just the thing.

A home featured in the 1987 movie "The Witches of Eastwick" is for sale for $1.6 million, according to

Called the "historic Tea House," the Cohasset, Massachusetts home served as Michelle Pfeiffer's on-screen house in the movie that also starred Cher, Susan Sarandon and Jack Nicholson. The owners are moving out of state and are selling the 3,4000 square foot house for $1.6 million. It includes four bedrooms, two baths. It overlooks Bailey's Creek that opens to Cohasset Harbor and a yacht club.

'Trumpkins,' Donald Trump-inspired pumpkins, are back

Updated: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 @ 12:24 PM
Published: Thursday, October 13, 2016 @ 3:54 PM
By: Melissa Gotleib

            'Trumpkins,' Donald Trump-inspired pumpkins, are back
Trumpkins, the Donald Trump-Inspired Pumpkins

With Halloween approaching, many people are bringing out their holiday and fall decorations.

>> Read more trending stories

One favorite decoration are pumpkins, often carved with frightening and creative designs. And among those are Trumpkins, pumpkins carved in the likeness of Donald Trump, which have returned after becoming a trend last year.

Less than three weeks before Halloween and less than one month before the presidential election, Trumpkins of all shapes and sizes are popping up at American households everywhere.


Go behind the scenes at Netherworld, 1 of America's top haunts

Updated: Friday, October 21, 2016 @ 12:16 PM
Published: Friday, October 21, 2016 @ 6:46 AM
By: Nelson Hicks - WSBTV

Chainsaws, soul eaters, toxic foam -- it's just another October night at one of the country's top haunted attractions, Netherworld in Norcross.

This year marks the 20th year of haunts, terrifying screams and fear at Netherworld.

"We have so much crazy new stuff," co-owner and creator Ben Armstrong said. "We've got these creatures called soul eaters. They are these bizarre monstrosities.They're all over the place. They're upstairs in 'Monsters.' And downstairs, in 'Meltdown,' it's a nuclear meltdown. There's missiles. There's a reactor. There's mutants. It's absolutely insane."

Netherworld features two haunts. There's "Monsters" upstairs and "Vault 13 Meltdown" downstairs.

>> Read more trending stories  

In "Monsters," there's an invasion of horrific aliens released from the unknown. They threaten our world and only the return of ancient creatures from Netherworld’s past can defeat them. It has been 20 years since Dr. Colber opened the doorway to Netherworld and now the invasion of our planet reaches a fevered pitch in an epic war of the monsters. Experience the Flying Angel, the Lair of The Sea Witch, the Feasting Vampires and an army of hideous Soul Eaters in "Monsters."

Descend into Netherworld’s dark basement to a secret government facility filled with unnameable horrors in "Vault 13 Meltdown!" During the events of last year’s "Vault 13 Unearthed," the mad artificial intelligence Proteus seized control of Vault 13 and used its resources to capture his creator, the Mangler. Proteus now demands that the Mangler create him a “bride” or the world will be destroyed with the massive nuclear arsenal of Vault 13. Can the chaos be stopped or will mutations, aliens, robots and nuclear destruction be unleashed on an unsuspecting planet, slaughtering millions? Vault 13 includes the Xenomorphic Terror, the Collapsing Missile, the Blast Off Inferno, the return of the Toxic Foam Room and more.

"You can't describe it," visitor Austin Kunis said. "It's like you're in a movie. It's like everything is around you. You look up and there's something. You look down and there's something. It's all around you."

A number of fan favorites from the past 19 haunts are back this year. Armstrong and co-owner and creator Billy Messina have resurrected legendary characters such as the Collector, the Harvestman and the Boogeyman.

Netherworld Haunted House has been rated one of the top high-tech haunts in America and noted for having one of the best haunted house casts by USA Today Reader’s Poll named Netherworld as one of America’s best haunted attractions.

It's open every night through Halloween and select nights in November.

America's favorite Halloween candies by state

Updated: Friday, October 21, 2016 @ 11:16 AM
Published: Friday, October 21, 2016 @ 11:15 AM
By: Brianna Chambers - Cox Media Group National Content Desk

            America's favorite Halloween candies by state
WHEELING, IL - SEPTEMBER 19: Halloween candy is offered for sale at a Walgreens store on September 19, 2013 in Wheeling, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) (Scott Olson)

With Halloween approaching, many excited children are practicing their "trick-or-treat" mantras and imagining what sweets and candies will fill their baskets.

At the same time, adults are gearing up to go to stores and purchase bags of all kinds of treats and sugary goodies.

>> Read more trending stories

A list released by product-review site Influenster aimed to make it easier than ever to make sure no candies are left unwanted at the bottoms of barrels.

The report, which reveals which candies were most liked in each state, compiled data from more than 40,000 people who voted in a 2015 survey. 

The results show candy corn, often known as a love-it-or-hate-it candy, as the No. 1 pick in the most states: Oregon, Wyoming, Texas, Tennessee and South Carolina.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups collected the most votes overall with a total of 4,348 votes.

"If the U.S.A. were compared to other countries in the rest of the world, Reese's would be our (national) candy," said Aydin Acar, co-founder and CEO of Influenster. "I personally love M&M's, so I stand by Michigan and Oklahoma."

Here are the most popular Halloween treats by state, according to Influenster:

Alabama: AirHeads

Alaska: Snickers

Arizona: Toblerone

Arkansas: Skittles

California: Life Savers

Colorado: Milky Way

Connecticut: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Delaware: 3 Musketeers

Florida: Nestlé Crunch

Georgia - Pixy Stix

Hawaii: 100 Grand Bar

Idaho: Butterfinger

Illinois: Snickers

Indiana: Reese’s Pieces

Iowa: Twix

Kansas: Twizzlers

Kentucky: Whoppers

Louisiana: Swedish Fish

Maine: Starburst

Maryland: Almond Joy

Massachusetts: Starburst

Michigan: M&M’s

Minnesota: 100 Grand Bar

Mississippi: Hershey’s Kisses

Missouri: Hershey’s Kisses

Montana: Kit Kat

Nebraska: Skittles

Nevada: Jolly Ranchers

New Hampshire: Tootsie Rolls

New Jersey: Sour Patch Kids

New Mexico: 3 Musketeers

New York: Sweetarts

North Carolina: Butterfinger

North Dakota: Sour Patch Kids

Ohio: Milky Way

Oklahoma: M&M’s

Oregon: Candy corn

Pennsylvania: Swedish Fish

Rhode Island: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

South Carolina: Candy corn

South Dakota: Laffy Taffy

Tennessee: Candy corn

Texas: Candy corn

Utah: Nerds

Vermont: Almond Joy

Virginia: Reese’s Pieces

Washington: AirHeads

West Virginia: Oreos

Wisconsin: Laffy Taffy

Wyoming: Candy corn

District of Columbia: Twix