Things you don't know about Rosanna Pansino

If you like baking and enjoy watching videos on YouTube, chances are you've come across Rosanna Pansino's Nerdy Nummies channel. The show is an absolute viral hit and has amassed over 7 million subscribers and close to 2 billion views in the seven years since its launch back in 2010.

Every week, millions of fans tune in to watch Pansino bake up a storm and create unique treats based on her favorite video games, comic books and sci-fi characters. Her skills in the kitchen are no secret, but here are 11 surprising facts you may not have known about this online superstar.

She used to be a professional actress

Before she ever appeared on YouTube, Pansino was working hard, pursuing her first love: acting. "I fell in love with and have always been fascinated by the entertainment industry," she told Huffington Post. "In high school I participated in drama club and theater. Although no one in my family worked in entertainment, it's what I wanted to do more than anything. I decided to pursue it after college, so I moved to Los Angeles and took any oddball jobs I could find."

Working as a union actress, she landed a gig "as a hand double for the show Ghost Whisperer. Not for Jennifer Love Hewitt but the boy who played her son Aiden in the show," she revealed. "I was a stand in, an extra on Glee [playing a cheerleader] for two seasons, and even a Production Assistant. I wasn't the best PA though because I used to mess up all the coffee orders," she joked.

She was forced to choose between acting and YouTube

While working in Hollywood, filming YouTube videos for fun in her spare time, Pansino was presented with an ultimatum. "My agent pulled me into a meeting and told me I had to choose," she revealed to Cosmopolitan. "They said, 'You either have to quit your YouTube channel or I'm going to drop you. All this time you're spending making these videos, you should be spending that time interning. You should be spending that time auditioning. You should be spending that time on sets.'"

Although the decision wasn't an easy one, Pansino ultimately gave up her childhood dream to commit to her YouTube channel wholeheartedly. "I decided I'm going to do this," she recalls. "I'm not going to let YouTube go. My agent's going to drop me. And he did. That's when I totally invested 100 percent of my time and my life savings into my channel."

She inherited her love of baking from her grandmother

"I was originally introduced to baking as a child by my grandmother," Pansino told Business Insider. "I continued to bake for friends and family throughout the years for special occasions. I began to create themed treats after receiving continued requests from a lot of my friends." In an interview with New Media Rockstars, she added, "My grandmother loved baking and because of her, baking has always been a hobby of mine."

A single Nerdy Nummies video takes five days to complete

Pansino's viral baking tutorials usually range between six and ten minutes, but the amount of time it takes to actually shoot a clip is much, much longer. "Each video can vary greatly depending on what it is, but the average Nerdy Nummies episode takes over five days to create and produce," Pansino told Business Insider.

"The process includes developing ideas, gathering the ingredients, testing the recipes, filming, editing and posting the videos. After [more than] 120 episodes, the process hasn't changed much, but I am always looking for ways to be more efficient."

She keeps her business in the family

At the beginning, Pansino was doing everything on her own, from coming up with video concepts to shooting and editing the footage herself. Now, she has eight full-time employees and she's kept it all in the family. "My sister, mom, dad, and brother-in-law are all a part of the company," she told Huffington Post.

"I know some families would have a hard time working together but my family are all very close. I find it's a huge benefit and asset to have people you know you can trust." Pansino's dad has even appeared on an episode of Nerdy Nummies, helping his daughter bake Frozen ice cream treats.

She regularly works 100-hour weeks

It may seem easy, but there's a lot of prepping that goes into creating one of Pansino's scrumptious desserts. In fact, she's currently clocking in 100-hour weeks. "I spend 70 hours in the kitchen a week, just prep-baking and test-baking," she revealed while describing a typical day in the life. "I'm a host, a creator, a producer. I'm not hands-off with editing even though I have an editor. I check in with him all the time. I'm very hands-on in all aspects."

"From preparation, prep-baking and test-baking, that's like four days," she elaborated during a chat with Feast of Fiction. "And then the actual filming is only one day. I didn't know that. When I'd watch Martha Stewart or Rachel Ray, I didn't realize all the prep work that goes into it. It's actually a lot of work!"

She's a New York Times bestselling author

In 2015, Pansino released a cookbook, The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook: Sweet Treats for the Geek in All of Us, which debuted at No. 5 on The New York Times' Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous list.

"I wanted to create a really fun, colorful, easy-to-use cookbook that would spark creativity and encourage people to have fun with food," she said of its inspiration. "I have a hard time following some cookbooks that don't include enough how-to pictures, so I really focused on making The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook as accessible as possible." The book features a whopping 420 color photos — showcasing "sweet treats for the geek in all of us."

She has been featured in a Nintendo game

A quick glance at Pansino's channel reveals her deep love of video games. In fact, her debut video (which in 2017 has raked in over 7 million views) involved a DIY Super Mario cake. Nintendo decided to return the love in 2014 by featuring Pansino in one of its games.

The baking sensation was a guest visitor in the StreetPass Mii Plaza on Nintendo 3DS. "It is such an honor to be a gold pants character," she gushed to Nintendo News. "It has been really exciting to see everyone's pictures of finding my Mii on their StreetPass."

She's a real pro at managing money

"My dad really instilled good money management habits, and I've saved 10 percent of my paycheck, every paycheck, since I was 15," Pansino told Cosmopolitan. "Every penny I was able to save, that 10 percent savings, was about $20,000."

When it was finally time to launch her channel, she used that money to start a small production company and paid the utmost attention to every single penny she spent. "$20,000 isn't big, but for me, it was everything," she explained. "I had to be really careful about the best camera I could get on that budget, the best lighting I could get, the best computer."

She once tried to launch a music career

In 2015, Pansino took to her channel to premiere a music video for "Perfect Together", her first foray into the music industry. "I am so excited to share with you my very first music video and original song," she wrote in the vid's description. "I have done musical theater as far back as high school and have always wanted to make my own song."

The video includes scenes reminiscent of a Baroque dance party, lots of cake and cute lyrics like, "If you were Sunday brunch, I'd be eggs and bacon."

She earns $2.5 million per year

Pansino is one of the most popular YouTube stars out there — and, not surprisingly, she's also one of the site's biggest earners.

According to Forbes, she made about $2.5 million per year in 2015. The publication later reported that by 2016, however, the YouTuber was making $6 million a year. The majority of Pansino's income comes from YouTube ads aired before her tutorials, as well as from endorsements, such as the occasional book video sponsored by Audible. Her cookbook deal and various appearances also bring in additional earnings.

This is the food she credits with starting it all

Although you may (rightly) think of Pansino as a baker, it was actually her love of making pizza — yes, cooking — that inspired her to start her YouTube channel. In an article for Bustle, Pansino revealed, "I'm always making pizza with different toppings on it, and it's probably the one food I could eat every day and never get tired of. It's simple, warm, and very comforting." In case you're wondering, Margherita pizza is her fave. Nevertheless, Pansino's love of the cheesy, doughy concoction runs a little deeper than just loving the taste.

The YouTube sensation explained that she and her dad make themed pizzas together — a tradition that started when the star was very young. "He was always making food cute because I liked it," Pansino said of her father. "And we're still doing it!" Pansino further revealed that this tradition inspired many of her videos. 

She spent "more than a year" working on her second cookbook

In July 2018, Pansino revealed a project that she said she'd "been working on for more than a year." In an Instagram post, Pansino confirmed: "I'm releasing a new cookbook!" The New York Times' best-selling author also briefly outlined some of the things that would be in her second book, Baking All Year Round. "This book includes recipes for the holidays and special occasions I celebrated growing up. It has you covered all year round!" she explained. The YouTuber also shared a photo of the book's cover, prompting many well wishes from fans.

Although Pansino's second cookbook didn't make the New York Times' list like her first book did, it was still well-received by readers. With over 80 holiday and special occasion recipes — as well as vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free recipes — Pansino's cookbook is definitely one that will prove useful to the average baker for many years.

She underwent an elective surgery

In October 2018, Pansino took to Twitter to let her fans know that she was going in for surgery. "I finally decided to freeze my eggs. I have been on hormones and daily injections for 5 weeks," the 33-year-old star wrote. "I'm really excited but also nervous." Although some fans offered their support, others chimed in asking why she made the decision and some general confusion about the procedure took root. 

Pansino politely rebutted some of the misconceptions that took place in the comments, including the idea that freezing eggs eliminates the ability to have children naturally. Although she, of course, didn't have to give any reasons for her decision to move forward with the procedure, she satiated her fan's curiosity and revealed her reasons. "I'm freezing them early so they are healthy and it gives me more options in the future," the popular YouTuber shared in another tweet.

She inspired a younger generation to start baking

Nyah Rosado, a 12-year old middle school student from New Rochelle, New York, was chosen to be a part of the sixth season of the Food Network's Kids Baking Championship. Rosado is one of only 12 young bakers that were chosen to participate from across the United States and Canada and could end up winning a feature in Food Magazine and $25,000. Not bad for being 12, right? In an interview with lohud.com, Rosado revealed that she started baking with cookie and brownie mixes when she was 8 years old. 

"Then, when I was 10, I started to bake from scratch," she explained. Rosado revealed that she would watch Pansino's baking videos, as well as Yolanda Gampp's, on Youtube. These days, the young baker only whips up treats from scratch. Pansino may only be, as of this writing, 33 years old herself, but she's already inspiring younger generations to continue the art of baking.

She has a learning disability

As you can imagine, Nyah Rosado isn't the only young one who's been inspired by Pansino. Two 12-year-old girls gushed to NPR about the YouTube star's unicorn cake — and we're sure there are plenty more doing the same. Pansino herself recognizes the importance of visual media not just for children, but anyone who is a visual-learner. "I have a learning disability," she told NPR. Pansino revealed to the publication that she has dyslexia. "And the best way that I learned was through visual content and clear communications that are very clear and direct," she continued. 

For years, Pansino has been open about her struggles with her fans. When a Twitter user asked what she found most difficult about writing a book, the YouTuber tweeted back, saying, "Since I am dyslexic I found writing to be challenging but very rewarding! Went through many drafts." Pansino proves that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. Undoubtedly, she is a great role model for the over two million American children receiving help with a reading disorder.

She turns down almost all sponsorships

When Pansino first started making YouTube videos, she didn't know it was a way to make money. When speaking to CNBC, she explained, "I was making videos for over a year and a half before I found out it was even possible to make a career out of making content online." By 2016, however, the YouTuber was making $6 million a year. This number is even more impressive once you consider how Pansino handles ads and sponsorships. 

"Whenever I decide to partner with a brand, it has to be a brand that I absolutely love and I use in real life," she revealed. "I would say that I turn down over 90 percent of opportunities that come my way." The baker said she does this to remain authentic. Plus, her fans would notice if she promoted something she doesn't use in her videos. "That's something that's really beautiful about being a digital creator," said the star. "People keep you honest."

She once considered being an FBI agent

Before taking up acting or pursuing YouTube, Rosanna Pansino attended Pacific Lutheran University (PLU). According to the school, Pansino, like many students, was unsure about what she wanted to do during her first couple of years. It wasn't until she took an art class — a requirement — that she discovered acting and fell in love with show business. Before that, though, she considered many other career paths. "She juggled the ideas of becoming a nurse, or a television reporter, or even an FBI agent," PSU revealed.

During her time at the university, Pansino became a cheerleader and even studied abroad in China for a semester — an experience Pansino credits with helping her become more outgoing and more comfortable in the acting industry. Although Pansino ultimately decided to leave acting to pursue a YouTube career, the insights she gained over the years have likely still been beneficial.