Tag Archives: cake

Chinese New Year Celebrations (and Cake)

dessert - holidays

The other day, I received this tweet:

Ami, I’m so glad you requested this – it made me realize that in the last 6 years, I’ve been SERIOUSLY LACKING in Chinese New Years posts.  I’ve blogged about the symbolism/importance of certain foods in the past, but haven’t really celebrated in the last decade.  And there’s a reason for this – it’s a family holiday, and since my mom/brother are on the other side of the country, I have nobody to feast with!  WAAAAAAH. That’s okay, I’m too old for red envelopes anymore, anyway. I did turn to people on Facebook to see how they celebrated, and what they ate.


There were many insightful comments on both my Acting and Personal Pages.  I even scored a recipe from Thi Tran, the mastermind behind Starry Kitchen (<—their Kickstarter is still going on).  Here’s her recipe for Chinese New Year Cake, which I’ve never even heard of before!

Chinese New Year Cake (年糕)


  • 2 cup of wheat starch
  • 4 cup of glutinous rice flour
  • 2 Tbsp of dark brown natural molasses
  • 4 slabs of Chinese brown sugar in slabs (片糖)
  • Dates/Sesame Seeds (optional)


In a bowl, combine the wheat starch and glutinous rice flour. Mix well and set aside.

Oil an 8″ pan and set it aside.

In a pot, add 4 cups of water and 4 slabs of the Chinese sugar. Once the water boils, add 2 Tbsp of dark brown natural molasses or coconut sugar/palm sugar, whatever you want to use. Mix well and let the sugar dissolve.

Combine hot sugar liquid to the flour mixture and mix well. It will be lumpy, so you can run it through a strainer. The mixture will then be smooth. Pour the hot mixture into an 8″ oil pan and steam on high heat for 1 hour.

Stick a chopstick in the middle of the cake, if it comes out clean, it’s done.

Place your dates in the middle to cover the hole. You can garnish it with some white sesame seeds as well.

You can eat this as is or you can pan fry it with some eggs. I like to pan fry using coconut oil. Depending on how sweet you want the cake, you will need to adjust to your liking.

Processed with VSCOcam with a4 preset

Thanks to my virtual family for helping me celebrate early!


Podcasts and Pastries

dessert - podcast

I’ve been doing podcast interviews lately, since my next few months are going to be a little crazy with acting work.  There are some really good ones lined up, like Roy Choi


….YES, THE ROY CHOI.  He came over with sweets from Pot Cafe – a Nutella-Stuffed Bun and Candy Bar…


…I was also baked up some goodies from another guest, my favorite yogi, Anna Gilbert Zupon!


IMG_2836 Gotta get this recipe.


I know everyone’s into Serial, but if you haven’t subscribed to my podcast yet, now’s the time!  The next two are gonna be spectacular!

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

More Podcasts <—click!


A Rose and a Cake for Mom



I did not bake this cake – the photo and recipe are by my friend Adrianna, which came up after frantically googling “rose cake” this morning.

You see, it’s my mother’s birthday.  Don’t ask which one, because she never told me her age.  In fact, I’m not even positive it’s her birthday because she liked to go by the Chinese Calendar.  But one year I remembered it was on January 12th, one month away from my Dad’s (who for some reason, went by the American system) and so that is the day I celebrate.

Obviously, she doesn’t love birthdays – as evidenced by the statements above, and the fact that I can’t remember – not once – eating a cake with her.  So today, I send her a virtual one – covered in roses because she loves them.


Happy birthday, Mom.