Thursday, September 5, 2013

Review: Vanilla Cupcake Bakery

I have visited two branches of Vanilla Cupcake Bakery already - Trinoma and Glorietta 3. In general, the bakery is nice and comfy place. The interiors are a little bit whimsical. It has a certain feel of "Alice in Wonderland." It's a perfect place for people to have tea time or for kids to "play tea." It brings you back to your childhood. 

The Trinoma branch is located in the middle of the second floor near the Mindanao Wing. It is a bit noisy here, since you can hear the throng of people walking/rushing in. There is no real privacy to talk here. It has a limited seating capacity. Maybe that's why they built a new and bigger branch in Trinoma near the gardens. Though I have not visited this new branch in Trinoma, I like the Glorietta 3 branch better. You have more privacy here. There is more space, more chairs and even has its own comfort room. 

From the serving platter, water goblets, pitchers, glass jugs, and down to paper straws, these made their products more dainty and pretty to look at. I must admit I have reservations on food that are too pretty. I have this notion that most of the beautiful and perfect pastries are usually just pretty to look at and not really yummy. 

Their cupcakes and drinks were decorated and presented beautifully. I was in for a surprise. Their goodies tasted really good. They proved me wrong this time around. The cupcakes are moist. The icings have just the right amount of sweetness. It has a wide variety of cupcakes, from nutty, chocolate, cheesecakes, fruit-based cupcakes, pretty pastel frosted vanilla cupcakes, and coffee-based cupcakes. There is a cupcake for everyone. 

My son, Joaqui, loved it here. He wanted to try the different whimsical chairs in the bakery. He finished his chocolate cupcake so fast. If he really liked his food, he would finished it in five minutes or less. He was even offering me to try his cupcake because he said that it was really yummy. 

Vanilla Cupcake Bakery is a family-friendly cafe too. There are a lot of choices for kids and adults. They serve non-caffeine drinks. Our favorites are Smore's and the Very Vanilla drinks. It is a nice place to meet your girlfriends here for an afternoon tea or this could be the dessert/coffee place after lunch/dinner. It is a perfect lounge area for they have free WIFI too. Kids and adults will be entertained here, since they have an open kitchen where you can see and learn how they frost the cupcakes. 

This is a welcome addition to my family's list of favorite places.  =)

Note: The first four photos were taken from the Glorietta 3 branch and the succeeding photos were from Trinoma branch. 

Sticky Rice aka Biko

I have always wanted to learn how to prepare a native delicacy. I want to help in preserving Filipino heritage and family tradition by sharing valuable recipes. When we were kids, my mom used to cook the following native desserts for us: biko, maja blanca, leche flan and ube halaya. I remember that we took turns in stirring these various mixtures. it took a lot of time, effort and love to prepare them. 

I'm glad that my Auntie Becky, my dad's sister (a Kapampangan), taught me how to prepare this sticky rice. Even if she has migrated to the land down under for more than two decades, she still remembers how her mother (my grandma) cooked the sticky rice. 

Thank you, Auntie Becky for helping me on this one. Indeed, food creates wonderful memories for us. 

Let me share this recipe:


2 cans coconut milk (400ml/can) or extract milk from 3 coconuts to get 3 1/4 cups of coconut milk or 800 ml of coconut milk
! can condensed milk (330 ml)
1 1/4 cup muscovado sugar
1 kilo of sticky rice (malagkit)
6 cups of water


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Celsius. 
  2. Wash the sticky rice. Pour it in a big pot, and add 6 cups of water. Let it boil, and stir a little to prevent it from sticking to the pot. Cook until the water is just absorbed (half-cooked). Turn off the heat, and set aside. 
  3. In a bowl, mix the coconut milk and condensed milk. Pour half of the mixture into a saucepan and add the sugar. With medium fire, cook until the sugar is melted and the mixture is slightly thick (caramel). 
  4. Mix the caramel mixture into the sticky rice. For the caramel to be evenly distributed, divide the caramel mixture into two, add half of the sticky rice to pan of caramel. Then, add the remaining mixture and sticky rice. Stir well. 
  5. Transfer the sticky rice into 2 (8 x 12) pan. Flatten the rice and top it with the half of the coconut milk and condensed milk mixture. 
  6. Bake the sticky rice for 45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.