Sugar Crush: Molly Yeh!

citrus confetti cake molly yeh interview

When I think of Molly of My Name Is Yeh, I think of this song by Ex Hex, for its whimsy, guitar sounds, fun party lady times. Like a party with Molly would just turn out like this – chuckles galore, gorging on food, deviled eggs, cake, cocktails, sweet guitar vibes and crushing on life. Molly World!! As with many of us old timer bloggers, Molly has been around these interweb parts before, blogging since 2009 in fact…

courtesan au chocolat by molly yeh

But there is a reason Molly has stuck around, and become a huge part of the food blogosphere as we know it today –  Molly is HEE-larious, her personality is infectious, her photographs are bonkbonks and she is an all around treasure trove of coolness and cuteness. She is like a dreamcatcher, ladling up delightful snacks and new friendships and blasting out delicious, off-kilter recipes in her sweet sweet spell. As I wrote about her before, which I still profess to now: “Molly brightens the internet like a half Chinese half Jewish, percussion-playing gorgeous firecracker blasting through the milky way!” Truth.

mousse moose cake molly yeh

Molly’s marzipan moose mousse cake. Hehe!

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Love this sparkly gal so much I even got to make a PIE for her wedding.

courtesan au chocolat by molly yeh

(Also, last year, Molly, Renee and I triple teamed up to make courtesan au chocolat, a la Grand Budapest Hotel … it was FUN!)

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And here is Molly and Nick, cutting into the eggiest cake that could ever be at their wedding last year. So here you go: I’m sugar crushing on my buddy today – Molly Yeh! Go Yeh Go! (say that five times fast)… 

Molly! Using your favourite ingredients, walk us through making us a cake from start to finish! 

I have a very particular order to things when I make a cake. Very particular. Dry ingredients always come first, that way you can reuse the measuring cups without washing and drying them. And the retired mathlete in me always tries to find a common denominator in my measurements, like do I need 3/4 cup of sugar and 1 1/2 cups of flour? Great, I can get away with only dirtying up the 1/4 cup. Once I have my dry ingredients mixed together, then I mix the wet ingredients in this order: eggs, extracts, oil, other add-ins like nut butters or tahini, milk, and then if it’s a chocolate cake (hopefully it’s a chocolate cake), boiling water. Eggs come first because that way if something unexpected happens like there’s a double yolk or there’s some blood in it or if I get a shit ton of eggshell in the bowl, it’s easier to fix, whereas if I cracked an egg into a whole bowl of batter, it would be a great deal harder to fix. After eggs come extract, if I’m feeling nostalgic it’s clear imitation vanilla, and then hopefully a bit of almond as well. I love almond. Oil comes next, and I try to think ahead so that if I need to measure out peanut butter or some other sticky substance like molasses or honey, I can use the same measuring cup because whatever oil is left in the measuring cup will help the sticky stuff slide right out. And then dairy, usually buttermilk. Whisk up the wet ingredients, add it to the dry ingredients, whisk in the boiling water, pour it into cake pans, and bake! When those are done and cooled, I level them, freeze them, and then hopefully by then I have some sort of idea in mind for how I’ll decorate them. Marzipan shapes are my go-to. And sprinkles! Of course. Many many sprinkles.

sprinkles cake molly yeh

Using your least favourite ingredients, walk us through making us a cake from start to finish!

First I put a gas mask on so that I don’t have to smell any of this. I mash up bananas, add mushrooms, decorate it with olives and then ship it off to anyone that I have beef with at the moment. My second to last Uber driver! I’d send it to him.

molly yeh cake

You’re basically (and well-deservedly!!) the It Girl of the blog world – cute, stylish, aspirational, creative, hyper-talented and hilarious – What has been your greatest bloggy related accomplishment, small or big? 

If no one read my blog, and if I didn’t make one cent off of it, I would still do it. And being able to say that about my job is what I consider to be my greatest accomplishment.

strawberry hi hat cupcakes

You have a beautifully minimalist modern meets casual country vibe to your photos – what are some of your favourite photography, lighting or styling tips? 

Wait til a storm’s a comin, and then snap away. “Deliciously cloudy,” I call it.

snail cake molly yeh

What are your top three favourite songs or albums, and why? 

I wasn’t a complete person until I heard Sufjan’s latest album. I’m not a lyrics person, I just let his sounds wash over me like a hot sauna. Son Lux and Punch Brothers and Lorde’s music tend to get into my bones like that too.

painted striped cake molly yeh

Your favourite piece of music?

Mahler 2 and Philip Glass’ Satyagraha. Oh! And Schönberg’s Verklärte Nacht. And if you don’t know them, listen to them in that order. Get a little bit drunk for Satyagraha.

What are you favourite movies? 

The Back to the Future trilogy.

cute smile molly yeh interview

Do you ever wish you still lived in NYC? Do you see a greater movement of people returning to slower, rootsier lifestyles? 

NO. I wish I still had access to Breads Bakery and Hummus Place and all that pizza and my friends and the music scene. But no, day to day life, having to use that subway system, living in an apartment with a small kitchen, I do not miss that.

confetti cake molly yeh interview

How do you deal with blogger burn-out?  Sometimes it feels so rat-racey to me … like I can’t bear to look at another DIY or recipe and it’s rare to find a new blog (food or otherwise) that isn’t trying to be a template of one that already exists … food styling, recipes, everything’s repeating itself – who do you find to be innovative, or fresh, funny or interesting to read these days? 

There are two points where I get stuck most often in the blogging process: the photo styling and the writing. Styling is challenging for me because while I love looking at photos that use beautiful props and effortlessly scattered ingredients, every time I go to do it myself, the logical part of me (which is a big part of me) is like, no, none of this makes sense. So that really results in a minimalistic vibe, but that can feel too minimalistic to me at times, so when that happens I’ll just like stare at Cynthia and Linda Lomelino‘s photos and even try to replicate their styling as an exercise. Once Cynthia and I did a shoot together and I couldn’t believe the styling magic that she was doing before my very eyes. When I hit a writing rut, my first line of defense is usually to go read Nico Muhly’s blog. He doesn’t write often enough, I guess he’s busy writing operas, but his use of the English language makes things like the entryway in a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Indiana sound fascinating. I want to make the entryway in a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Indiana sound fascinating. Other people I love are Graham Blackall, Josh Scherer, and this new-to-me blogger called Beau (Probably Baking). They say it like it is and they’re not a-holes! It’s great.

marzipan cake molly yeh

What are some of your favourite cookbooks, and why?

Jerusalem and Janna Gur’s Book of New Israeli Cuisine because I could eat Israeli food every single day, three meals a day, if I had the produce for it. Rose Bakery’s Breakfast, Lunch, and Tea has the photography that got me into food photography. A stack of my mother in law’s church cookbooks has taught me so much about my new home. And then Food52 Genius Recipes is exactly genius. And Tara O’Brady’s book… heavens, her photography takes no prisoners. You’re gonna have to stop me because I could go on and on about this, I have a large stack of cookbooks that I sit with on the couch and cuddle with on a regular basis, I’m still working my way through.

strawberry hi hat cupcakes molly yeh

What would be your last meal on Earth? 

Mac and cheese.

Any last words of inspiration for the readers out there??

“When life gives you lemons, squeeze them on a schnitzel!”

Go Yeh Go! This should be a tshirt, I believe. Thanks so much Molly! Check out more of Molly’s wonderful insanity over at My Name Is Yeh, or glomp onto her Instagram feed, because everyone is possibly painfully addicted to Instagram!

10 Responses to “Sugar Crush: Molly Yeh!”

  1. Sara @ Cake Over Steak

    I love Molly! (How could you not?) Your way of describing her is nothing short of perfection.

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      Hehe Sara thank you … our Molly really is a delight! ^__^

  2. Laurel (@abubblylife)

    This was a great read!

    My fav part:
    If no one read my blog, and if I didn’t make one cent off of it, I would still do it. And being able to say that about my job is what I consider to be my greatest accomplishment.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. So tired of hearing the money talk all the time, I L-O-V-E what I do. Earned a good living during my former career and I hated all 12 years of it… So much happier now.
    But, I will always have at least one reader, my Mom :)

    Hope you are feeling well Lyndsay, xo

    Reply
    1. Laurel (@abubblylife)

      and sh*t my post tomorrow will have a wine quote in it (again!). Seriously, it is just a coincidence!! (but i really do love wine)

    2. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      Hehe – thanks so much Laurel! always nice to hear from you. WINE! ^__^

  3. Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)

    I LOVE this, and I LOVE Molly’s work! She is such a source of inspiration, and her style is effortless (or at least, it appears to be, which is half the battle!). Also, that last sound bite about snitzchel is spot on.

    Reply
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  5. Mel

    Thank you for this interview!! I love Molly. She (and you) are the ones who’ve inspired me to get better at making (and decorating) cakes! Her blog is a great reminder that everyday is and should be a celebration. She makes the simplest meals seem like a party.

    Reply
  6. Sarah Hopwood

    What a great little interview!! I love Molly’s site- she is doing such an amazing job! I also super appreciate the question about blogger burnout. It’s hard to find new inspiration! She does a great job at staying rooted in what makes her unique.

    Reply
  7. Isabelle von Randow

    Your work is just amazing. Everything looks so delicious, and your photos are beautiful. I really like the way you set up the table.

    Reply

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