Achoo! – Revisited

Just over a year ago I saw a movie about the famous sneezing baby panda that became a YouTube sensation. No one really knew the identities of the sneezing baby panda or the mother panda who nearly drops her cookie in shock, although there was much speculation and many guesses. The film “Sneezing Baby Panda: The Movie” suggests the mother panda is Mao Mao and the baby panda is Chi Chi. You can read my review of the movie here.

But now, thanks to the wonderful Pandas International, the real identity of the sneezing baby panda and startled mother have been revealed. Why was it so hard to find out who these pandas were? The main issue was that the video was released on YouTube in 2006 and the assumption was that the footage was from 2006. But the footage was actually from a documentary filmed in 1998. This has caused much confusion and incorrect assumptions about who the pandas are. After much consultation and research, Pandas International recently revealed that the mother panda is Xue Xue and the sneezing baby panda is Mei Xiang!

If you know anything about famous pandas you’ll know that Mei Xiang is big news. Mei Xiang lives at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington DC and is the mother of two very famous pandas; Tai Shan (Butterstick) and Bao Bao.IMG_7812a

Ironically, Tai Shan is one of the stars of “Sneezing Baby Panda: The Movie” and plays the role of the sneezing baby panda Chi Chi. As we now know, the sneezing baby panda is not Chi Chi but Mei Xiang, Tai Shan’s mother. So the lovely and talented Tai Shan actually played his mother in the movie 🙂

Baby sister Bao Bao is also a sensation in her own right. She has been a Smithsonian Cover Girl and was voted the Smithsonian’s Most Iconic Item. Both Bao Bao and her parents have had silver coins made in their honour.

Bao Bao is also famous for her incarnation as Princess Pinky in The Panda Chronicles by Anne Belov. Princess Pinky is currently running for President of the United States in 2016. You can follow her exploits at the Chronicles and also her reaction to finding out that the sneezing baby panda is actually her mother! You can read Part One here and Part Two here.

So sit back, grab the popcorn and indulge in some pandamonium! And what better way to enjoy popcorn than in a cuppycake. From the (coming soon) cookbook “The Panda Chronicles Cuppycake Cookbook: Favourite Recipes of the Panda Kindergarten” by Anne Belov and me, is this delicious Popcorn Cuppycake. The Panda Cam Cuppycake is dedicated to all the wonderful pandas who have made us laugh and cry at their onscreen panda play and especially to the sneezing baby panda Mei Xiang and her mother Xue Xue.

Panda Cam Cuppycakes
Popcorn studded cornmeal cuppycakes with butter and cream cheese frosting are the perfect food for watching panda antics.

panda cam

for the cornmeal cuppycakes
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup almond meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup sunflower oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten

for the butter and cream cheese frosting
1 cup (8oz/225g) cream cheese, softened
1 cup (8oz/225g) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons powdered (icing) sugar
freshly popped popping corn, cooled

Preheat oven to 220C / 430F
Line a 12-hole muffin pan with 12 paper cases.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together the cornmeal, almond meal, baking powder, salt and sugar.
In a small bowl mix together the buttermilk, oil and eggs.
Add milk mixture to cornmeal mixture and stir until just combined.
Using an ice-cream scoop, spoon the batter evenly into the 12 paper cases.
Bake for 10 – 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cuppycakes are cooling, make the cream cheese frosting by creaming together the butter and cream cheese in a medium sized bowl with an electric mixer. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar and beat until frosting reaches a piping consistency. Spoon frosting into a piping bag and pipe onto cuppycakes.
Decorate with popped corn.


  1. Definitely will try the cuppycakes with a movie. I also can’t wait for the The Panda Chronicles Cuppycake Cookbook to come out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMGoodness, there was a movie based on the Sneezing Baby Panda?? Another reason to consider accepting employment in another state, it never showed up here in my area of North Carolina. Is it worth buying on Amazon? How cute is this concept? Actually, the very viral video, pun intended, was passed around The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) several years ago. All 6 and 1/2 members of my graduate school cohort (1 was part-time) loved it and posted it on their Facebook page. As did many traditional and non=traditional undergraduate students. As far as I could tell, The Sneezing Baby Panda had, and still has, universal appeal on Facebook, AKA The Timewaster From Hell.

    I am beyond excited to know about the movie. My birthday was a bust, considering my imitation of being feeble and me being a Weeble. You can imagine that I am incredibly excited to to have the opportunity for a redo celebration. Party at my house, because the movie is arriving tomorrow night, I ordered the DVD online between sentences. After this post, I am off to purchase supplies to make cuppycakes. Before, during, and after that endeavor, I seek extreme air conditioning.

    I never imagined that I, as a member of the general public, would know the identity of the Sneezing Baby Panda, and his or her mother.All Pandas are black and white, correct? Therefore how would I distinguish them apart, in pictures no less? To know who the baby panda is, and to have her be Bao Bao’s mother Mei, gave me great happiness. The Princess Pinky’s Mommee., the panda I have watched on Panda Cam, since before the birth of her first cub, the cuddle-boy, Tai Shan. The pregnant panda I rejoiced about when she gave birth a few years ago and cried when that cubby was lost and went onto, I hope, a better place. Since this revelation, I have wanted to ask each member of the Panda Fandom to share his or her favorite (panda)video. (No, I don’t want to know your favorite Adam Sandler or adult video. Or even your favorite art house video, at least not at this time) Bob T Panda must be a mind reader, and let slip that The Sneezing Panda is the favorite while using it as a point in a storyline.

    Without a doubt, the video that has captured my heart is the one where Yuan Zai, AKA ZaiZai, is reunited with her mother, Yuan.Yuan . Two years ago, a cherished friend posted the video of the mother-cubby re-union on my Facebook page. I met Jennie when we were both students at UNCG. She was a very successful non-traditional student, who has many talents. In the summer of 2013 I still denied myself the opportunity to embrace my interests and to experience joy, a holdover from my previous life. Jennie deserves the credit for helping me open myself up to the joys of panda again.

    I loved that video of the tiny baby being reunited with his or her mother. I loved that cubby, a little pink baby, in need of a mother, and caloric enrichment. ADHD me, I didn’t pay attention to country, zoo, or panda names. Then last Autumn, my new friend, Anne Lane, introduced me to Zai Zai. I may favor the Z Z as much as I do The Princess Pinky (please don’t tell The Pinkster). It is only recently that I came to understand that the baby panda in my favorite video and Yuan Zai, are one and the same panda. The same panda as the one now appears to have never missed a meal, or anyone else’s, are both “rice ball”, Zai Zai.

    Off to find an air conditioned freezer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so happy you are getting the video. I thought it was a very funny movie. And part of it is set in Australia! Please let me know what you think of it.
      I’m also so happy that you can have a belated birthday celebration. I think birthdays can be celebrated all year long 🙂 Let me know what cuppycakes you make.
      Isn’t it funny how some panda videos can touch us and then we discover who the pandas are and they are ones we know. Finding out that Bao Bao’s mother Mei Xiang is the sneezing baby panda blew me away.
      My favourite panda video – pandas on a slide!!

      Liked by 1 person

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