Monday, May 14, 2012

Piya's Orange Chocolate Cupcakes on Mother's Day

Yesterday was Mother's Day. I am sure you had a nice one if you are one or made it nice for some Mother if you are not one.


Mine started on Friday itself with a Mother's Day Tea at Little Sis's school. I am very excited about these pre-school activities as I get to see the child in a different scenario than I am used to and this time I was going back to the same school where I had attended many such teas for Big Sis.

I took along Big Sis and we had a nice half hour in the school. The teacher had helped make the kids pretty flower cards with their picture and then she took our hand prints to make a laminated card later. It is a relief to see Li'l Sis finally settled in her school and besotted with her teachers. The little mite even has the gals to tell me "Today I don't love you. I love Miss K and Miss L.Tomorrow I will love you." Never knew such a statement could make me so happy.

Speaking of happy, Mothers and Mother's Day have any of you watched this new TV show called Satyamev Jayate ? I do not get the channel but discussions about the first episode regarding female foeticide  made me go to their website and watch a part of the episode in which Aamir Khan talks to two mothers. As much as we know that such things happen, since I have personally not known anyone pressured to abort a girl child, it was a thing which I complacently believed happened only in few remote corners of India. As a result it was very hard to watch these women speak and I was amazed at their courage and spunk as much as I was disgusted by the act of the Fathers. The show claimed that according to 2011 Census, the rate at which the unborn female child is killed amounts to killing off 10,00,000 girls a year. In a modern India shining with multiplexes, snazzy malls and booming economy it is a shame to know that there are multitude of families both educated and not who think killing of a girl is road to good karma.

After watching that episode any Mother's Day celebration seemed kind of frivolous and shallow but then again I decided it is an occasion to celebrate Motherhood and life and applaud Mothers, more those who have fought an adverse society to raise and protect daughters.

Yesterday after the usual morning routine of breakfast which I made sure the Dad made and loads of hand made cards gifted by the girls, Big Sis wanted to make cup cakes for Mother's Day. They also wanted to decorate it courtesy a "Cookbook", R Mashi had given to Big Sis. After having promised them frosting and sprinkles and having watched videos of "how to frost a cup cake" for the whole of last week I had no energy to get into such hard task. Big Sis wanted to make pretty cup cakes like Sunita's. "Tough luck kiddo", I said.

After much negotiations we zeroed in on orange flavored cup cakes with chocolate chips, colored with food colors and then slathered with Nutella. What is not to love here, tell me.


Now to the cake recipe which some months back Shreya's Mom, Piya, had sent me. In her exact own words.
"All purpose flour – 2 Cups
Baking Powder – 2 ½ Tsp(Tea spoon)
Eggs – 4
Sugar – 2 Cups
Vanilla Essence – Few Drops
Vegetable Oil – 2 Cups
1/2 Tsp salt.
In a mixing bowl, mix the sugar and the vegetable oil. I use a spatula first to get it all together and then I use the hand beater. It will not rise as much as it does with butter.

When mixed well, add the egg one at a time. Add Vanilla drops.Beat this mix for long to get a nice consistency.
In a separate bowl, mix the all purpose flour, a pinch of salt and the baking powder together. Mix it well.
Now add the flour slowly into the egg-sugar-oil mixture. I alternate between my spatula and hand beater. You can do it all in the food processor if you are using one. You will know when the batter is all ready and done. If it is too thick, I sometimes add a splash of milk(sorry this is the "aandaj" part)
Bake it at 350F for 35 mins or so, varies by oven. Bake it till the knife comes out clean from the center of the cake.
I usually like to add on flavors to the cake – Like a layer of chocolate for the marble cake, orange rind and cinnamon gives a nice flavor too or simple add whatever nuts/raisins the kids are fond of.
Try it and let me know if it comes out well for you. I do not use Baking soda, some folks do. I personally think it makes the cake a bit crumbly. Also, you can do half butter and half oil if you do not want to do it with just oil. Half butter and half oil makes the cake more moist. "
It is a simple recipe, no frills, no stand mixer and not even butter. That suits me. The whole "beating the butter" thing bothers me terribly.

In the course of the last few months her cake recipe has become my "go-to-cake-recipe". We add something or the other to her base recipe and always make cup cakes. They turn out to be soft, fluffy, moist and everything a cup cake should. 


This time it was fresh orange juice, orange zest and chocolate chips.

Then the kids went wild and there was color.

After which there was gooey Nutella. Those cake could not help but be good. could they ?

Orange Chocolate Cup Cakes

I reduced the recipe to make only 6 cup cakes

All purpose flour – 1/2 Cups 
Baking Powder – 1/2 + 1/8Tsp(Tea spoon) 
Eggs – 1 
Sugar – 1/2 Cups 
Vanilla Essence – Few Drops
Vegetable Oil – 1/2 Cups 
1/8 Tsp salt 
Orange Juice -- Juice of half an orange 
Orange Zest -- 1/2 tbsp 
Whole Milk -- 2 tbsp (if needed) 

 How I Did It 

In a bowl mix the dry ingredients -- flour, baking powder and salt. 

Blend the sugar + oil. You can use the hand mixer. I simply use my blender. 

In a mixing bowl put the wet ingredients -- oil + sugar, egg, orange juice. Beat the eggs into the mix and with  a whisk beat for about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla essence and orange zest. Mix. 

Next add the dry ingredients to the wet. Do it in steps mixing with a spatula. After you have mixed all the dry into the wet, add milk if you think the batter is too thick. I added about 2 tbsp 

Mix in the chocolate chips. Pour in greased cup cake liners. Bake for 30-35 mins at 350F.
Cool and then decorate.


  1. I have been hearing aobut this show in fb too but i don't have any indian tv channel so will have to wait till they put in fb.
    I miss those school period when S was little.
    Cupcakes look yumm.

    1. Finla, you can go to the website and watch parts. The link is in the post

  2. you can watch full episodes here

  3. Cupcakes looks damn fantastic, i couldnt stop myself watching Satyamev jayate,simply loving this show.

  4. look amazing… Thanks for Sharing

  5. bongmom, on the depressing note of the first part of your post, i have not seen satyameva jayate and will wait for it to be avaiable on netflix or similar, but, a long time ago, I read a book called May You Be the Mother of a Hundred Suns by Judy Miller (of discredited NYTimes fame) - it was about female infanticide in India, and was a real eye-opener for me; i am afraid that a few sporadic attempts via shows like the one you mention will not make any difference to the problem.... there is a lot of work to do in terms of valuation of women/girls before we see a change.

    1. I don't think it will be on netflix. Does netflix have Indian shows too ?
      I agree about the "lot of work" and a show alone can hardly do anything except probably building awareness. Can't say much since I have not watched the show in full but all I felt is "anything is something". If even a single situation benefits something will have been achieved.

  6. I just watched a news clip about the show on Al-Jazeera. I hear that this problem is not isolated to villages or the poor, the biggest offenders are the rich, middle class and the educated.

    1. Improbable when you think of it. Asking for equal opportunity looks so ridiculous in face of this. If a person cannot let his own girl child live what can you expect of them ?

  7. Didi... I follow your blog closely, and use your recipes to recreate my own all the time. Youve been a saviour to me, a newly married bong wife, especially when I crave the bengali classics! Tomar boita kobe berochhe? I am anxiously waiting for it... Ill be one of the first to get it!!!

    On the topic of Satyamev Jayate the show has its own channel on youtube, and shows are uploaded to the channel, full length. In fact, I would have agreed with Rajkonya above that had this been a show that was just about talking heads, the end of each show might have been the end of the cause. However, I have to say, even though I am extremely critical of shows like these, this show is extremely well done. It is well researched, and seeks to blow certain stereotypes out of the water. Also, so far both the shows have ended with action - at the end of the first show Amir khan talked about sending a letter to the Chief Justice of the High Court in rajasthan to create a fast track court for the doctors who have been carrying out female foeticide, (which ended up with significant action being taken in both MP and in Rajasthan) yesterday he undertook a very well done workshop with children, and basically showed parents who were watching how to tackle the issue of child abuse with their children.

    1. But isn't detecting sex of child illegal in India these days ? As far as I know legally a doc is not supposed to disclose that.
      Honestly since I haven't seen the show in full I cannot say much but at least he and the channel is tackling situations which are not talked about in mainstream India and people are getting aware of it. Some good will definitely come out of any such action. Someone has to start somewhere right ?

    2. As far as I know it is illegal... but on his show, Aamir brought on these two jounalists who did a sting op on doctors in rajasthan and across the rest of the country who do it anyway. The footage they showed was so disturbing. There was a female doctor who basically said aborting now will give a live baby girl birth, but its okay, just throw the half dead foetus into the the Yamuna! Crazy people. Sigh. yeah, like I said, the videos are available on the youtube channel of the show, full length ones.... so hopefully you can catch them!

  8. beautiful preparation and colorful.

    Santanu @

  9. good one - looks like u have had a blast celebrating Mother's Day ! BTW, the second episode of Satyameva Jeyate was even better than the first - in depth analysis & info on child sexual abuse !

  10. Ummm they look yum....i saw the show,,amidst cooking ,running after advay and doing so many other things,so couldn't catch the whole episode,,
    Happy mothers daym

  11. Belated Happy Mother's Day Bong Mom. konyabhruuN hotya, amar extended family-tei arektu hole hoto. bhagyis USG-te beriye gelo, bhruuNti putro. bhaba jay na.

  12. Happy Mothers Day once again to u and to all of us! Thanks for the cupcake recipes.

    1. Thank you Aditi. Tomar o Mother's Day nishchoy khub bhalo keteche. Ei recipe ta sottiy khub sundor ar shoja

  13. Satyamev jayate is there on youtube. That is where I have been watching it.

    Cupcake daroon dekhte hoaychay !

  14. Love the chocolate orange combo and love Big Sis and Little Sis' creative decorating. Sounds like an awesome mother's day.

    I have heard of Satyamev Jayate on fb but haven't had a chance to catch it. But the sound of female infanticide is disturbing and very troubling.

    1. And since the show was not dry docu and had real people my insides churned.

  15. Happy Mother's Day! U had a fun weekend!
    About the show - i haven't watched yet- need DH help to translate for me.
    Every class has their own reason. Middle class- can't give dowry.
    Rich - wants boy for their generation.
    I even heard- there are couples (of course Asian) who choose the gender (mostly boy) via expensive treatment in US.

    1. Rich - wants boy for their generation. -- Why in this date ?

  16. Lucky Mum! Those chocolate cupcakes look delicious!

  17. The cupcakes look pretty! Did you add the color to each cupcake from the top? Did you brush it on? Or did you pour in a little bit and stirred it around?
    They look almost too pretty and colorful to have an additional topping.

    1. My daughters did it. They just dropped food colors and swirled it around. The topping was also their idea.

  18. Wonderful!!
    Happy Mothers day !!Enjoy........


  19. One show wont change's the mentality or thinking process which needs to be changed at the grass root level..when we will raise our children without expecting anything from them in return then perhaps some changes would surface..but still a long process..This "paraya dhan" mentality should go..and for me any day is mother's day, or V-day or has just become a normal day to me..a major change in me I would say :-)))..
    I adore the cupcakes both made..khob shundor lagche..hugs and smiles

  20. The cupcakes look just wonderful and such a lovely gesture from Big S. Tomake ekta e-mail pathichi regarding the previous post movie... check koro.

    1. Mail dekho Mandira. DVD noi, Online

    2. Thanks Sandeepa. Will check it out :)

  21. Aw, how cute are those cupcakes? And the cards are even cuter! I hope you had a wonderful mother's day! My celebration will be delayed as my mom is visiting me next month! I too do not get Indian channels, but my sister in Kolkata watches the show and we had in fact had a discussion on this topic (based on that particular episode) last week. I am particularly disgusted by the fact that even so called educated families do this. I don't have kids yet. When I do, I sincerely hope I have a girl.

  22. Just returned from a trip to Rajasthan ... could see banners all over "Kal apne beton ke liye dulhan kahan se laaoge"? Gave me the shivers.
    Cup cake guli ki shondor hoyeche ... love the colours. Tomar choto tir kotha shunte khub bhalo lage ... koto assurance'r shonge bollo tomake kaal bhalobashbe. :-)

  23. Hi dear I am a big fan of bong recipes have tried your luchi and cholar dal long back and they were very tasty. How do I follow your blog. Do visit my blog in your spare time.

  24. love the technicolour cupcakes, sandeepa! very hip food :)
    in one of my daily chats with Ma, she mentioned Satyameva Jayate, and I managed to catch the last episode on child sexual abuse. very well done, i thought. and the workshop, invaluable.

  25. Those cupcakes look like planets - all those swirly colours!

    SJ is polarising people, at least from what I've seen on FB, and there's criticism that it isn't well-rounded. One of the weekly mags here, Outlook, I think, has quite a bit of reportage and comment on the issue.


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