Duluth woman competing to be “The Greatest Baker”

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Carol Marsh has a baked good in her oven pretty much every day.

“Gosh, I started baking when I was little with my mom. She taught me all the basics,” Marsh said. “I think I made my first pie when I was 8 years old.”

Since then, she’s probably made too many pies to count.

“Today, I made a pie because a friend of mine’s dad is turning 90. I started baking Christmas cookies that I can send to people,” Marsh said. “I just bake for the family. I like to bake bread as well. I make cakes occasionally. I make a wedding cake or two.”

But believe it or not, she doesn’t eat a lot of what she makes. Her family is often on the receiving end of her hobby.

“She made my wedding cake,” Rachel Lofald, her daughter, said. “She makes my birthday cake. She does amazing carrot cake and a blueberry cake with this incredible cream cheese frosting that is like — it doesn’t get better than that.”

Carol’s grandkids even call her ‘Grandma Cookie.’ And since late October, ‘Grandma Cookie’ has been competing for a new title: The Greatest Baker.

It’s an online competition that also serves as a fundraiser for the Andrew McDonough Foundation, a childhood cancer nonprofit.

“As someone who is an adult cancer survivor, I can really get behind that. I can’t imagine what it is like to have a child with cancer,” Marsh said.

People can vote for her once a day for free, or more votes can be bought with donations.

“Her bakes have blessed so many people, and so is it kind of like a popularity contest? Yes. And someone like her deserves it,” Lofald said it.

If she wins, she’ll get a spread in “Bake from Scratch” magazine and $10,000, which she said she’d use to buy a new oven since one of hers just went out. The contest runs through Dec. 29.

Regardless of the outcome, Carol’s oven will be warm and trays full of cookies.

“You can say things with food that you can’t otherwise say,” she said. “If someone’s grieving, we bring food to them. If they’ve had a tragedy in their family, we bring food to them. We do it for birthdays. Sometimes we do it just because we say it’s an, ‘I love you.'”

“It makes me a little bit teary-eyed because my mom is incredible, and she doesn’t get how incredible she is,” Lofald said. “If anyone deserves it, she does.”