Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Birthday Cupcakes for Mary

Today is the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary!
This feast has been celebrated, particularly in the Eastern Church, since at least the sixth century.

This year, the children and I made cupcakes to mark the occasion. They are white (vanilla) to symbolize Mary’s holiness from birth; we filled them with white frosting to symbolize her Immaculate Conception, and we frosted them blue because it is Mary’s color, the color of the Virgin. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a real party without sprinkles, so Sophia supplied those! (And yes, there was a HUGE mess—and yes, it was worth it!)

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I know a lot of my Protestant brothers and sisters don’t understand the love we Catholics and Orthodox bear our Blessed Mother. Don’t worry, we know celebrating Mary’s birthday isn’t a prerequisite for passing the pearly gates. All the same, who wouldn’t want to celebrate the woman whose humble “Yes” conceived the Savior of the World, whose prayers are ever for us, and who loves us as her own children just as Jesus asked her to?

Well, to each her own convictions. As for me and my household, we will light birthday candles for His Mother—and ours!

Happy Birthday, Blessed Mother! Pray for us always! We love you!



1 1/3 c. shortening
5 1/3 c. confectioners’ sugar
1/4 t. salt
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 c. heavy cream

Beat shortening until fluffy. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat slowly for 30 seconds, or until sugar is somewhat incorporated. Then, beat on high for about 2 minutes. Add food coloring, if desired. There is enough here to fill and frost 24 cupcakes. (With a little leftover for licking the beaters!)

The shortening in this recipe will make the frosting truly white, as opposed to a traditional buttercream recipe that uses, um, butter. It is also extremely fluffy.


  1. What a beautiful way to celebrate Our Lady's birthday! Thank you so much for this post, the wonderful pictures of your family, the frosting recipe and everything! I hope you don't mind but I would love to recreate this special time with my grandchildren, so you might see something similar next year...I will make sure to let them know just where this idea came from!

    God bless

  2. I knew this feast was coming, but then I forgot and I just noticed again tonight. I wanted to make something special today, too. *sigh* Your cupcakes look and sound yummy. Sophia looks simply thrilled in that picture where she's with all the cupcakes.

  3. Emily - Sophia was quite thrilled. She also insisted that we sing "Happy Birthday" to Mary and was ecstatic to get to blow out the candle herself!

  4. One sentence in this blogpost bothered me enormously, I can't help it. I have been thinking about it and what it could imply since yesterday. It's: "Don’t worry, we know celebrating Mary’s birthday isn’t a prerequisite for passing the pearly gates."
    What does that mean? That protestants are further away from the truth or heaven by not venerating Mary the way catholics do? That the protestant form of christianity is less perfect or the way it should be?
    But even if that is the case for you, why make that known in a sentence like that? It feels like you could say, don't worry protestants, even when you are not doing the Blessed Virgin as much right as we catholics do, you still have a chance of a good afterlife. Do you feel the awful presumptuous tone? I am sure it was not meant that way, but for me, that makes it worse, because it seemed to be written down so naturally.

    Best wishes from a brought up protestant but to be catholic reader.

  5. Dear Elizabeth,

    I am sorry you were offended. I further apologize, because I do not think I understand what you mean. Or, perhaps you did not understand what I meant. I simply was saying that veneration of Mary is NOT obligatory for salvation. From what I understand of your comment, it seems that you thought I meant the exact opposite. ?? I only wrote it at all because I know many Protestants get upset over our devotion to Mary and, for some reason, tend to jump to the conclusion that because we venerate Mary we think it somehow brings us nearer salvation.

    I never meant to imply anything about Catholicism being "better" or "more complete" in that statement. To touch on that hot topic would be a post in itself, so I won't attempt to do so in this limitted space on an (admittedly) unrelated blogpost.

    God bless,

  6. Beautiful!

    I am a converted Catholic. I still um...don't follow some of the traditions and beliefs. My hubby is so good about teaching me. He is so good about allowing me to ask him vs. him teaching me forwardly (in my words: force feeding). He's a good man :-)

  7. Thank you, Bethany, for explaining this. It all makes more sense now. I would like to see a blogpost about the 'hot' issue though, if you can find time in the future. It's something that I think about and something that naturally comes up when you convert to a totally different type of believing. But I also feel like I need to stand up for what I once was, a protestant. That is why the tone of my comment is rather upset.


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