Happy New Year!

I'm so sorry I've been gone for so long, but my grandma passed on December 12th and I have been dealing with family matters. The night it happened, I was speechless. I couldn't believe that I would be there to witness it all. I hadn't seen her since a couple days prior and was feeling the need to. I left with my mom & cousin and arrived at her place around 8:45pm. The moment I saw her, I broke down into tears. I normally don't cry when I see her, but this time around I felt something inside me that was different. She laid there in her bed unmoving, breathing rapidly. All the life and energy already seemed as it was fading. I excused myself and cried a bit in the bathroom, and as I walked out, I started crying again. The tears didn't seem to stop, but the comfort from my family members helped. About an hour later we decided to change her & move her around as to not get bed sores. I went into her room with my cousin, and I felt compelled to talk to her. I said, grandma, it's me Stephanie, and she nodded. What happened from that moment till 10pm was a blur. Aunts and uncles running in and out, the calling of doctors & nurses, trying to talk to her so she remains calm, crying, weeping, anxiety... and then it stopped. Everything stopped. The hand that I was clutching stopped beating. Her breath stopped. The world around me came to a still. And I broke. I wept and wept. All night. And the tears didn't stop for days... for weeks. I feel like I lost a huge part of me. I miss her dearly and think about her everyday. Knowing she is no longer in pain and isn't suffering anymore eases my heart and mind a bit. I'm slowly coming to the acceptance of life without her, though it is a hurdle. I like to think that, that night, she waited for me. Thankful I got to say my last goodbye.

On a lighter note, this would've been a cake she would've loved to eat. The oranges I used were from the tree my grandpa and her grew together. She loved a little tart in her desserts and always told me to make sure it was not too sweet, so this one is for her. I hope you will enjoy it just as much as my family and I. Also, I will try to do my best to recreate some of her old recipes this year. It may seem out of the ordinary as I don't bake or cook much Asian foods, but thats what new years are for. Venturing out of your comfort zone & taking a plunge into things that interest you. Wishing you all a wonderful year ahead, and prepare for a little flood in your inbox with new & improved recipes. Cheers to 2019!


makes (1) 8in cake


  • 2 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 2 tbsp. orange zest (two large oranges)
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar 
  • 3 eggs (room temp)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk (room temp)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice fresh squeezed (one large orange)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 1 1/2 cup cranberries, coated in 1 tbsp. AP flour


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Butter and flour three 8in pans & line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder & salt.
  • In a small bowl, pour together the milk, vanilla extract & orange juice.
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter & orange zest till fluffy and fragrant.
  • Beat in one egg at a time, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl each time.
  • Add the dry ingredients in three batches alternating dry & wet, ending with dry.
  • Toss the cranberries in the flour & fold them into the batter.
  • Divide the batter amongst the three cake pans & bake for ~30mins, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cakes in in their pans for 10mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

*I frosted mine with a simple cream cheese frosting, but you can spice it up with more orange zest if you'd like.