So there's really no such thing as Angel Cupcakes. But they were made in celebration of a new book written by Judy Yung (my aunt) and Erika Lee called Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America, about the many immigrants who came to America through Angel Island in the San Francisco Bay.
The festivities began on July 31, 2010 which commemorated the centennial anniversary of the Immigration Station, with a series of events on Angel Island itself, including a tour of the restored barracks. From 1910 until a fire caused it to close in 1940, it’s what stood between the immigrants and America, or Gold Mountain, as it was called by its many Chinese detainees, including both of my grandfathers who were incarcerated here as young men.
The Immigration Station was slated to be destroyed until a park ranger discovered an important piece of history - Chinese calligraphy carved into the barrack walls, in 1970. It was these poems of loneliness, frustation, sadness and longing that marked one of the darkest moments in immigrant history. Over 150,000 Chinese and thousands of others including Russians, Koreans, Filipinos, Japanese and Mexicans were incarcerated here as their papers were reviewed for weeks, months, and in some cases, even years.
The festivities continued a week later at the book’s formal release party, for which these cupcakes were made. Truth be told, they are Black Bottom Cupcakes (and in full disclosure, due to time constraints, had to be made from a box!) But on this day they were more than that.
On this day they were Angel Cupcakes, for the angels that left their lives behind and journeyed to a foreign land, the angels who scraped and sacrificed and hoped for their descendents a life better than theirs. For all the angels, like my grandfathers, who are smiling down on us from up above.
"ANGEL" BLACK BOTTOM CUPCAKES
makes 40-45 mini cupcakes
prep time: 20 min / cook time: 20 min
1 box Devil's Food cake mix
1/3 c vegetable oil
1 1/4 c water
16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature (2 packages)
1/3 c sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 c mini chocolate chips
• Preheat oven to 350˚F.
• Prepare cake batter according to box instructions, fill each well of lined mini cupcake pan 1/2 full.
• Using a mixer at low speed, blend together the first 5 filling ingredients until smooth.
• With a spatula, gently fold in chocolate chips.
• Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of filling on top of prepared cake batter.
• Bake for in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
SAMIWICH'S DIFFICULTY RATING
SAMIWICH'S TASTE RATING