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Funfetti Rose Cake Smash!

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

I can’t believe it’s been a year since my baby girl was born, it went by so fast, how do we stop the clock?! It’s baby #5 for us, so it hasn’t been the easiest transition, but I was surprised and excited to still have those “first baby” feelings, even though I’ve been through this stage so many times. Maybe it’s because she came after two boys, but I couldn’t wait to put all the headbands and frilly things on her, and I still relish dressing her up each and every morning.

I’ve been dreaming about her cake smash for months, pinning for inspiration and changing my mind a million times about the style and theme of the shoot. I knew I wanted to do it all on my own, especially the cake – even though I dread making layered cakes ‘cuz I suck at it! Most of the cake smash shoots I found had a clear color scheme and were done indoors, but I wanted something unique and whimsical, so I went outdoors.

It’s funny how the cake really brought the whimsy I was looking for – because it kinda happened by mistake. I mean, I basically screwed up the whole first layer of marzipan, and I needed to cover it up with something, so I decided to make a skirt. I had originally wanted to do a smooth layer of marzipan and spread the roses around the cake, but I’m so in love with this accidental design because it’s everything I never knew I even wanted!

I knew I wanted funfetti inside, ‘cuz baby cake just needs sprinkles, so I went with my easy no-fail, no-mixture recipe, ‘cuz that how I do cake. Or should I say, how I don’t do cake? Layered cakes literally give me nightmares – and for good reason. I won’t even try to explain the mess of me trimming the layers down, but let me just say – THANK GOD FOR MARZIPAN. And thank you Molly Yeh for teaching me that you can use the most delicious paste instead of bland fondant to decorate cake. It’s basically like working with playdough, and it can do miracles to destroyed crumbly layers. Especially when those crumbly layers are doomed to be smashed by little hands.

Let me just say that I know these photos make it look easy, but here’s the thing – photographers can’t photograph their own kids. It’s just too stressful. Thank G-d I brought my 11 year old with me to the shoot  – her help was indispensible, especially when she jumped up and down, making funny faces so my daughter would stop crying and actually smile. There were a lot more tears than smiles at that shoot (and I’m not talking about the baby…just kidding…I didn’t actually CRY!).


I don’t know who invented cake smashes, or how long they’ve been around, but I don’t remember it being a thing with my older kids. I love that I have these beautiful momentos of my daughter’s first birthday, and that I had an excuse to play around with marzipan. I’d never go back to boring fondant again, and I look forward to getting over my fear of layered cakes and making some more intentional designs!


If you’ve got a baby birthday coming up, I hope my cake smash inspired you to think outside the box and create your own!


Cake Smash Deets:

Wreath: Amazon
Outfit: Etsy
Shoes: Century21
Carpet: Homegoods
Stool: Homegoods
Balloons: Family Dollar
Lanterns: Michael’s
Cake Banner: Homemade (craft paper, bakery twine and skewers)
Location: Liberty Municipal Park

3 layer rainbow cookie cake

blogoversary funfetti cake
it’s a girl!

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3-Layer Rainbow Cookie Cake

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

I came to the realization today that I’ve been posting quite a number of cakes for someone who calls themselves a non-baker. Am I right? As much as I don’t like to bake, it seems YOU all like when I do. Remember when my funfetti bundt cake went viral? And judging by the amount of  parsnip honey cake pictures that flooded my inbox, I’d say it was a huge hit!

With Parshas Noach this week, I thought it was just the right time to finally post THIS cake. I made it last November for my husband’s birthday, and I never quite found the right time to post it. I was thinking about what kind of rainbow recipe I could do in honor of the Torah portion in which a rainbow appeared as a symbol of G-d’s promise never to destroy the world again with a flood. I started looking through some old photos and I remembered this amazing 3-layer marzipan birthday cake, and it was just the thing!

3-layer rainbow cookies are my husband’s all time favorite, so I set out to make a birthday cake version for his surprise party. I’m not one for layered cakes, and each time I make them, I’m reminded just why I hate making them so much. But the end result is always worth it! Especially in this case.

If you’ve ever tried 3-layer rainbow cookies, you know what they taste like – marzipan. They’re cakey and chocolatey with a bit of jam in between the layers. But one thing they are not is FRESH. Once you make this stuff from scratch you can really taste the difference. Preservative-free cake is the way to go, and making it in a stacked layer cake is just SO. MUCH. FUN.


My husband is the founder and CEO the boutique marketing firm AjaxUnion.  I call him Yossi, but in the workforce, he’s just “Joe”. In fact, is his GrowTime YouTube series, he teaches entrepreneurs “How to go from average Joe, to CEO”! Can you tell I’m just a wee bit proud of my hubby?

So back to the cake, I thought it would be fun to put a little Joe banner up in the same rainbow colors as the cake, and I just love how cutesy and Etsy-esque it is! What do y’all think?

My husband was gaga over the cake, but so were my kids. They’re big fans of 3-layer rainbow cookies, so it was a no-brainer. They keep asking me to make it again, so I’m thinking of going the old fashioned route and doing it sheet-style. It should be easier. Or maybe harder. Uh oh. I hate caking. I mean baking.

There’s only one reason for my venturing into cake territory and it’s all Molly Yeh’s fault. She just inspires me so much with her whimsical creations and I want to be her. Her rainbow mini cakes were the inspiration for this rainbow cookie birthday cake, and her funfetti cake was what got me to make this viral recipe. She also loves tahini everything, I even sent her halva from the shuk for her wedding present! So Yeh (pun intended), thanks Molly for making me fat.

Next up on my baking list? I’m thinking a pecan pie for Thanksgiving featuring one of my favorite spice blends. Stay tuned. It’s gonna be epic!

Happy Rainbowing!

Other Rainbow Recipes:

rainbow slaw with poppyseed dressing
rainbow cobb salad
rainbow pommes anna
rainbow cupcakes

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Blogoversary Funfetti Cake

Monday, January 19th, 2015


The past few months have been a whirlwind! Case in point: I actually made this funfetti cake for my son’s first birthday back in November, but I didn’t have a chance to blog about it until now. I’m sure he won’t mind if I share it with you all in honor of my FOUR YEAR BLOGOVERSARY. Yippee!


It almost makes me tear up a little to think about it, but I can’t believe I’ve actually been blogging consistently for four. whole. years. That’s one thousand, four hundred and sixty days of thinking, dreaming and writing about my food memories and adventures in the kitchen.


Four years in, I can honestly say, I have never been so proud of what I’ve accomplished. Just sticking with something, and not getting bored of it is a testament to having found my niche in life. And you guys – my awesome, amazing fans, who have constantly encouraged me with your emails, comments and feedback – you keep me on my toes, always pushing me to dream up something bigger and better!


And I could never have dreamed up what this year would bring! Writing an ebook (and selling hundreds of copies!), a video series with TorahCafe, Joining the Blogher and Culinary Content Network, Features on The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Cosmo and The Daily Meal, friendships with food bloggers, The front page of The Wall Street Journal, a spot on The Meredith Vierra Show, my own magazine column (info coming soon), a social media campaign with a huge brand (info coming soon) and relationships with kosher food brands that I’m honored to represent.


It was such a thrill watching some of my recipes go viral this year. My drunken hasselback salami was by far the hit of the year, with poutine latkes and cauliflower nachos coming in at a close second.


What shocks me more than anything is how much I have been recognized this year. I get stopped in restaurants and groceries in all different communities, by people from all walks of life. It’s weird to be perceived as somewhat of a celebrity, but also so humbling. I love when people come up to me and tell me how much they love following my instagram, or how it’s not Shabbos without my hasselback salami. It truly makes my day. And my week. And my year.


Over the last few months, I’ve been working hard on living a healthier lifestyle by adopting a mostly Paleo diet. I completed (almost) 3 rounds of the Whole30 cleanse and I’m about to embark on my first half-Marathon! I’m walking to support the work of The Friendship Circle, an amazing organization that does so much to help children with special needs. When I started training 2 months ago, I could barely walk a mile, and now I feel strong and ready to tackle a 13-mile walk/run. I would love if you could support my efforts by donating towards my run and the work of The Friendship Circle, here.


In the past year, I’ve also watched my youngest grow from a baby to an infant (who’s 1st birthday cake we are celebrating here) and I learned to deal with difficult food allergies for the first time. I cut the adorable JewFro off my older son at his upshernish, and I watched my two beautiful daughters continue to grow into the young girls they are becoming.


It’s not easy juggling work and family, but one of the realizations I came to this year was that I CAN’T DO IT ALL. I am learning to let go and realize that it’s ok if my house isn’t always picture-perfect, and no-one will starve if I order take-out every once in a while, and most importantly, it’s ok to ask for help.


As I enter into my fifth year of blogging, I’m filled with excitement for the many new opportunities my blog has opened for me. I’m looking forward to continuing my journey of creative expression and Jewish pride with many more healthy, kosher and inspired recipes that will nourish my family, and especially, my fans.

Now, a little bit about this cake! Y’all know I’m not much of a baker, so I love any easy recipe that looks adorable and comes together in no time. That’s where this no-mixer, super-easy yellow cake comes into play. It’s my go-to for quick party cupcakes, an iced sheet cake, or my favorite, a bundt cake, spruced up with sprinkles. Molly Yeh’s sprinkle experiment is what inspired this funfetti version, and it makes the perfect quick party cake for a baby birthday, kids party or apparently, a 4 year blogoversary ;)

What were some of your favorite recipes on Busy In Brooklyn this year? Share them with me in the comments below!

Here’s a short video clip of some of the best moments of BIB’s 4th year! Enjoy!

Easy Strawberry Shortcake

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Having two daughters born in the spring and summer, this time of year just feels like birthday season to me. Well that, and the fact that my kids seem to be coming home with birthday bags every other day. I’ve mentioned before how I’m not the biggest baker, and most definitely not a cake decorator either. Birthday cakes, however, are the exception. I feel like it’s that one momentous day when I get to make something special for the ones that I love. So depending on the day, week, or how hectic life is at the time, I decide on how much of a patchke that cake will be :)

Recently, we celebrated my daughters third birthday. She absolutely adores strawberries, so the kind of cake was a no-brainer. I wasn’t even planning on blogging about it, until my sister-in-law called me for the recipe. I decided if it was good enough to want to make again, I might as well share it with you guys :)

This cake recipe has become a favorite of mine because it uses oil as opposed to margarine, and it is super quick and easy. It’s a one bowl recipe that does not require a mixer. The batter works well in cupcakes, a sheet cake, or a round birthday cake. The orange juice adds a nice, mellow citrus flavor as well.

Some of my more memorable birthday cakes!

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