Celebrating Mother’s Day with Vanilla Cupcakes~ 母親節快樂!

Part of my excitement about baking comes from my Mom.  She bought me my first cookbooks when I was five or six years old (I still have them!)


My first cookbooks

Well before I knew I liked to bake, My mom accumulated a kitchen full of utensils and gadgets for me.  I still use the Sears Kenmore handheld mixer that she bought when I was five.  The wooden rolling pin that can occasionally be seen here on the blog was also purchased by my Mom when I was around that age.


My first cookbooks

My Mom loves desserts, but is always a little disappointed by some of the store bought desserts bought in Taiwan, because they are not as sweet as American desserts.  She says “why bother eating it, if it’s not sweet?”  So a few times a year, I indulge my Mom and make some of the “American” desserts from my childhood that she really loves.

最近太忙了 一轉眼就是母親節了! 還好我的秘密武器 是會烤媽媽喜歡吃的蛋糕。過節的前夕 衝去買蛋糕的食材 早上做也還來得急。 我媽媽是喜歡吃美式甜點的~大部份台灣的甜點會讓她覺得不過癮 (因為不夠甜, 沒有奶油的香氣)所以特別節日的時候, 我會烤一個讓她滿意的 “American Cake”  (可是我還是會減糖份)


其實我喜歡baking 也是因為我媽媽的影響。 在我五歲時, 媽媽幫我買了我第一本食譜 (那時候大概以為我看看圖片就算了!) 然後陸陸續續幫我收集了好多器材。 我現在用的擀面棍 跟攪拌機都是她幾十年在美國買的, 後來也是費心把他們寄回台灣來讓我隨時使用。 另外個重點是, 媽媽超級愛吃甜點的, 我也隨時會想用好食材跟愛心做出讓她吃的會有小確幸的點心 (甜點只能 occasionally 吃,但表達對媽媽的愛確應該是 everyday)

This year for Mother’s Day, I baked vanilla cupcakes from Magnolia’s Bakery’s cookbook. For a real treat, I iced the cupcakes with vanilla buttercream, and topped them with sprinkles.


For these occasions, I prefer cupcakes, because they are easy to transport and share.  I saved a few for us to have to celebrate at home.


The rest of the cupcakes are headed to my Mom’s office on Monday, where she can share them with her friends.


後來發覺比較實際的方法是烤杯子蛋糕 因為小小的, 吃幾口就沒了,而且方便攜帶,好跟周邊的親朋好友分享。

Some notes about the equipment and ingredients:

Even though I knew I would be baking cupcakes this weekend, somehow the logistics didn’t work out.  I had all the ingredients ready, and I realized that I forgot to buy cupcake liners. My bad.  Then I remembered that I had bought these silicon mini cake cups at IKEA, and unintentionally, this became the perfect occasion for their first use.


最近在IKEA 發覺了這些小小的蛋糕模子。 非常好用, 不用再買杯子蛋糕專屬的烤盤跟紙杯。 直接可以進烤箱, 而且清理也很方便。


The sprinkles

I rarely make desserts that involve frosting or sprinkles, unless it’s a special occasion. I found the Flowerful Medley of sprinkles from Wilton to be perfect for my purpose.  This little canister contains size different types of sprinkles, each neatly contained in their own compartment.  (For those of you in Taipei, I bought mine at City Super)


我做甜點很少會用到 sprinkles, 可是偶爾也是會想讓蛋糕跟點心有一點繽紛的點綴。 我發覺 Wilton出了一盒很使用!有六種, 分裝在一罐 很方便, 不佔空間。

Happy Mother’s Day!  祝我親愛的媽媽 母親節快樂!


Update: I talked to my Mom today~ and she mentioned that she shared the cupcakes with her friends, and also with one other mom she met during her work day, who had a particularly difficult Mother’s Day. I’m glad that I was able to bring a bit of cheer to her life with my baking.  




1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 2 (1/2 cup-12 capacity) muffin tins with cupcake papers.

In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Yield: enough for 2 dozen cupcakes or 1 (9-inch) layer cake


Vanilla Buttercream

The vanilla buttercream we use at the bakery is technically not a buttercream but actually an old-fashioned confectioners’ sugar and butter frosting. Be sure to beat the icing for the amount of time called for in the recipe to achieve the desired creamy texture.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/magnolias-vanilla-cupcake-recipe.html?oc=linkback




  1. 那個繽紛的裝飾小碎片真得很適合一般家庭,不然有時候一大包沒用完也挺可惜的!發明這樣小瓶裝的人真懂得烘焙人的心

  2. funny how your mom complains about the dessert in taiwan not being sweet enough because my mom often complains that the dessert here in the u.s. are too sweet. i have to admit that i prefer asian desserts, particularly birthday cakes, over the typical western type. were the cookbooks purchased from the scholastic book orders at school?

    • According to the faded price tag still hanging on for dear life on the front cover, the cookbooks were purchased from Gemco (I think it was Target’s predecessor?) A bargain bin purchase for $1.99!
      My dessert preference definitely depends on my mood. Sometimes I love a lovely fluffy matcha chiffon cake, with minimal or no frosting, but other times, I really enjoy a buttery cake with a dense, buttercream frosting. What kind of Asian cakes are your favorites? Do you like them with or without frosting?

  3. Pingback: Late Night Cooking Series: Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake~深夜食堂第一話: 香草豆 Bundt 蛋糕 « Ciao desserts! 「 焦點心 」

  4. Pingback: Late Night Cooking Series Part 4: Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting and Sprinkles~深夜食堂第四話:巧克力蛋糕+ 巧克力糖霜 « Ciao desserts! 「 焦點心 」

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