I have had a passion for cooking since I was able to take a Family and Consumer Sciences class in middle school. Since both of my parents worked and I wanted to learn new things, I convinced my dad to let me plan and cook dinner (and pay me too!).

I would go through magazines and cookbooks and plan out dinners for an entire month. After my dad approved it, I would write grocery lists for each week. We would go to the store, and my dad would help me get everything; then, I would cook every night when I was done with my homework.

I started watching Food Network, which is when my love for baking started. I wanted to make and decorate wedding cakes after watching Ace of Cakes. I went away to school for baking and pastry to follow that dream. Although my dad didn’t like that I left home, he supported me every step of the way.

This recipe is special because my dad’s favorite cake is carrot cake. He has always supported me and pushed me to do whatever I wanted to. I would not be where I am today without him. I now love to cook more than bake and love making people happy through my food.

-Chef Ellyssa, Executive Chef at Zoo Atlanta 

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Course: Dessert
Servings: 24 cupcakes


  • 3 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 lb unsalted butter softened (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 1 cup carrots shredded and chopped


  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
  • In mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Set aside.
  • Scrape down sides of bowl and beat an additional 5 minutes.
  • Combine vanilla, yogurt, and half & half. Set aside.
  • Add eggs one at time to mixing bowl. Beat until combined after each.
  • Add half wet ingredients, alternating with equal parts dry ingredients.
  • Stir in carrots.
  • Scoop into lined muffin cups—about ½ cup each.
  • Bake 15-20 minutes. Cupcakes should spring back when touched and are done when atoothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Let cool. Top with cream cheese icing.


Cream Cheese Icing

Course: Dessert


  • 1/2 lb unsalted butter softened (2 sticks)
  • 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla


  • Beat butter until smooth and fluffy
  • Slowly add cream cheese and beat until smooth
  • On low speed, add powdered sugar
  • Add vanilla and beat until smooth
by Dina Biondo in Recipes, Team