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Funfetti Cream Tart Number Cake

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

I’ve always held on to this self-limiting belief that I’m “not a baker”. I backed it up by telling myself that baking is a science and I’m more of a creative.
I hate following the rules and I always think outside the box.

For 8 long years – yes 8! – I’ve been blogging here on BUSY IN BROOKLYN and sharing my love of food, family and tradition (+ some crafts!). I’ve always pushed myself to try new techniques, explore unique ingredients and cook up cultural dishes that I’d never tried before. But one thing always got the better of me – DOUGH. Because “I’m not a baker.”

I always fell back on frozen pizza dough, puff pastry, and store-bought Artisan bread because I was afraid of anything that involved yeast. There was a short stint with sourdough, but I gave that up when more of my loaves flopped than succeeded.

In the school of Hassidic thought, the number 8 resembles that which is above nature, and to celebrate Busy In Brooklyn’s 8th Blogoversary, I decided to step outside my comfort zone and bake up something that’s been both intriguing me and intimating me at the same time – the beautiful layered cream tart!

To stick with my blog anniversary theme of FUNFETTI, I designed this tiered sprinkle cookie cake in the number 8, and decorated it with colors inspired by my cookbook, Millennial Kosher! After 8 years of honing my skills in the kitchen, I am officially done with labels. I can be anything I want to be!

With close to a decade in the food industry, I have learned a lot of things.

How to develop and write a recipe.
How to compose, style and photograph food.
How to teach people about food in a fun way.
How to cook with color!
How to compose a dish.
How to plan a menu.
How to multiply a recipe for a large crowd.
How to network with people.
How to write a cookbook!!
and the list goes on…..

I’ve learned a lot of things, and I’ve acquired a lot of skills, but above all, I’ve come to realize that nothing stands in the way of good, old fashioned HARD WORK. Looking back at 8 years here on BUSY IN BROOKLYN, I can’t believe that what I thought would be just a passing hobby, has turned into the most fulfilling career. That the young mom who was cooking traditional Ashkenazi food became a recipe developer with a broad palate. And that the clueless lady with a camera, became a food photographer with a pretty impressive portfolio and a cookbook to show for it. HOW DID THIS ALL HAPPEN??!!

OK I’m a officially drenching my keyboard at this point, feeling so overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude. I don’t know where I would be if all of YOU AMAZING PEOPLE weren’t actually reading this and cooking up my recipes, and buying my book, and supporting me, and showing me so much love and appreciation and respect. How can I ever thank you?!

I always say that cooking is about so much more than satiating ourselves and others – it’s about expressing yourself and showing love to the people who mean the most to you. I don’t know how to thank you – so I will continue to do what I do best – cook – AND BAKE – for you all, because I am so grateful for this platform and it means so much to me.

Thank you for joining me for these 8 wonderful years of cooking, crafting and coping here in Brooklyn. Looking forward to many more to come!

Related Posts:

7th Blogoversary} Funfetti Rice Krispie Bites
6th Blogoversary} Funfetti Raspberry Palmiers
5th Blogoversary} Funfetti Pecan Turtles
4th Blogoversary} Funfetti Cake
3rd Blogoversary} La Brochette Blogoversary Dinner
2nd Blogoversary} BBQ Brisket
1st Blogoversary} Mulled Wine

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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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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!