When it comes to baking and cooking channels on YouTube, there are plenty of players, but only one queen.
Rosanna Pansino uploaded her first video, a tutorial on how to make a Super Mario Bros. cake, in 2010. She hoped to use YouTube to become more confident on camera in order to pursue her dreams of becoming an actress. Those dreams quickly changed, however, when her channel unexpectedly took off; her Super Mario cake led to the creation of Nerdy Nummies, a cooking and baking web series where Rosanna concocts recipes inspired by pop culture.
During her 11 years on the platform, Rosanna has branched into vlogs, gaming videos and challenges. But the core of her channel still focuses on her baking videos. She creates fun and impressive recipes, but she makes sure to show every step in detail so that aspiring bakers can follow along. Rosanna’s energetic attitude and constant optimism have earned her 12 million subscribers and made her cooking channel the most popular one on YouTube, yet her videos remain relatively kid-friendly and educational for her younger viewers.
Rosanna clearly has a passion for baking, a passion she wants to share with her audience. She takes time to explain her processes and includes detailed instructions with her videos. By making recipes inspired by movies, video games, and more, Rosanna encourages her younger audience to learn how to bake. The fun and easygoing atmosphere she cultivates make her videos entertaining and informative; even older viewers can learn something from the tips and tricks Rosanna reveals.
Rosanna also talks about how much she values her friends and family. Her sister, Molly, appears in a few of her videos, though she mostly assists behind the scenes. Rosanna often talks about how close they are, as well as their tight bond with their mother.
The majority of Rosanna’s videos revolve around baking various desserts. But even though she’s open about her love for all things chocolate, Rosana also promotes healthy eating through a balanced lifestyle. In one video, in which she shows how to make some of her favorite meals, Rosanna discusses the importance of eating healthy food while still enjoying your favorite desserts. “It’s all about balance,” she says. She’s also open about her workout routine and how important it is to stay active.
Rosanna’s channel is mostly aimed at children and younger teenagers, but she does occasionally wear mildly revealing or low-cut outfits. Language problems are mostly absent, other than uses of “oh my gosh” here and there.
Rosanna clearly lives with her long-term boyfriend, esports commentator Mike Lamond, a fact which comes up in some of her videos. In one Q&A video, in which she’s asked if she and Mike are married, she replies, “We’ve been together so long, it feels like we’re married.” Though they hardly ever get even close to intimate on camera, in a challenge video where Rosanna wears incredibly long acrylic nails for 24 hours, she asks Mike to help her take off her pants so she can use the restroom.
Because Rosanna’s Nerdy Nummies videos are centered around various themes from pop culture, some of them promote content that’s not appropriate for children. For instance, she makes a chocolate cake from rapper Snoop Dogg’s cookbook and bakes recipes inspired by everything from Mortal Kombat to The Walking Dead to Game of Thrones. While her creations don’t necessarily reflect the questionable content of their inspirations, these adult-themed movies and TV shows are still brought to the attention of younger viewers.
Rosanna also uses large knives and heavy-duty cooking equipment. So parents should be ready to supervise if their aspiring bakers attempt to recreate any of Rosanna’s recipes.
Rosanna Pansino has made a name for herself by creating fun, positive, and educational content that appeals to a large range of fans. She can be very open about her life behind the scenes—for better and for worse—and parents should be aware of how her lifestyle choices might be influencing their young children.
Still, Rosanna’s optimistic attitude and infectious love for what she does could inspire younger viewers to pick up a new hobby and gain the same appreciation for it as YouTube’s queen of baking herself.
Lauren Cook is serving as a 2021 summer intern for the Parenting and Youth department at Focus on the Family. She is studying film and screenwriting at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. You can get her talking for hours about anything from Star Wars to her family to how Inception was the best movie of the 2010s. But more than anything, she’s passionate about showing how every form of art in some way reflects the Gospel. Coffee is a close second.