A recipe for success
By Deb Silverthorn
Dani Reiman has all the right ingredients to bake delicious treats and to live as a mensch — all at the same time. Her search for a mitzvah project came to an end when, during the pandemic, she decided to take her hobby of baking to the next level.
In advance of her own bat mitzvah, which was celebrated on April 2, Dani began selling her “Dani’s Cakes and Treats,” donating the first $1,800 she earned to Jewish Family Service.
“Like everyone, I had lots of free time during the pandemic and I learned to bake. I watched YouTube, I read books — it started out just for fun. I gave away what I was making to friends and family, but soon realized I could sell them and do something good with the money,” said 12-year-old Dani, who continues baking, now sharing her profits between JFS and her own account.
With more than 30 custom cake orders to her credit, along with many dozens of cupcakes, cookies, brownies, cinnamon rolls and more, Dani enjoys spending time in the kitchen. Dani bakes her cakes fresh and from scratch in about four hours. Her favorites are her chocolate cake, with Oreo buttercream frosting, and strawberry cake, with vanilla frosting.
“Dani’s cakes are amazing — not ‘for a child baker amazing,’ they are simply just amazing,” said Ashley Grossfeld, who has ordered strawberry cakes, a tres leches cake, sugar cookies and many other items from Dani. “She’s a natural who understands the flavors and chemistry of the art of baking. Aside from her unbelievable talent in the kitchen, she’s a kind and wonderful person.”
Steve Zimmerman, who recently ordered three dozen cupcakes for his wife’s birthday and a birthday cake for his daughter, says he knows if Dani is baking, it will be delicious. “She’s as good as or better than any bakery and she has this in her heart —and she’s super-cute,” he said. “It’s like she’s been doing this for 30 years and I know I can trust her to create something special, exquisite and beautiful.”
The daughter of Drs. Risha and Steven Reiman, Dani is the sister of Pierson. She is a seventh grade student at Ann and Nate Levine Academy and a competitive cheerleader. She and her family are members of congregations Anshai Torah and Shearith Israel.
“No one should go hungry and I’m glad to help people in whatever way I can,” said Dani. In December 2020, she, her brother and friends Jacob and Sarah Grossfeld collected three carloads of food for JFS’ Food Pantry. Volunteering for JFS has become a family affair in recent years; her mother serves on the agency’s board of directors.
“I’ve always been amazed how the spirit of philanthropy is passed on by parents, grandparents and throughout this community to our children,” said Cathy Barker, JFS of Dallas CEO. “This is a living example of l’dor v’dor — from generation to generation — as a way to help those less fortunate and also promulgate social change.”
“For my mitzvah project, I wanted to do more than ask people for money for a cause; instead I wanted to earn it,” said Dani. “Baking is a lot of fun and I’m glad so many people are enjoying what I create.”
To reach Dani’s Cakes and Treats, visit danicakesandtreats on Instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org.