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Fancy making something fabulous for your mum this Mother’s Day? From simple biscuits to easy fudge, from extravagant Black Forest Gateau to a five-layer rainbow cake, be inspired by our Mother’s Day cake ideas.
Mother's Day, on March 27 in the UK and Ireland, (May 8 in Australia and the US), is a great excuse to try something new in the kitchen to impress your mum, granny, aunt, or any special woman in your life. "A homemade bake, big or small is a lovely touch for any special occasion and gives you the opportunity to personalise it to the loved one you are celebrating," says Senior Food Writer, Jessica Ransom (opens in new tab).
"Try to incorporate their favourite flavours or decorate with your own unique message written in icing. Biscuits, brownies, and Mother's Day cupcakes (opens in new tab) are quicker to bake and easier to transport. Use tissue paper and a nice box or tin to complete your gift. In fact, this could form part of your gift as there are lots of lovely cake and biscuit tins which make lovely presents."
Don't forget to think about how you will present your masterpiece before you bake it. "A layer cake is always an impressive centerpiece and a good opportunity to challenge yourself. However, this is probably better if you're hosting the celebrations at your house," says Jessica. "You could meet in the middle and present your smaller bakes on a tiered cake stand or stack them into a pyramid on a decorative plate."
Mother's Day cake ideas
1. Mary Berry lemon drizzle cake recipe
Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 30 mins
This is one of our most popular cake recipes. It’s a great choice for Mother’s Day because so many people love the delicate crunch of the icing and the sweet tang of the lemon. It uses the all-in-one method which makes it really quick and easy to prepare. In fact, it’s almost foolproof, a really good option for novice bakers.
You can keep the decoration absolutely simple because it’s the great taste of this cake that makes it stand out. However, if you want to add a little extra touch of prettiness, scatter some edible flowers over the top for a flourish.
Get the recipe: Mary Berry’s lemon drizzle cake (opens in new tab)
2. Cupcake bouquet
Skill level: Medium | Prep time: 50 mins | Cook time: 1 hr
One of our favourite Mother’s Day cake ideas, this edible cupcake bouquet turns simple vanilla sponge cupcakes into flowers by decorating them with buttercream icing piped in a circular motion.
There is nothing complex about the baking for this recipe - it’s a basic cupcakes recipe. In fact, you could even make the bouquet using un-iced shop-bought cupcakes. You can do the baking a day or two in advance, but the icing and assembly should be done the day you are presenting it.
Get the recipe: Cupcake bouquet (opens in new tab)
3. I love you mum biscuits
Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 15 mins
These biscuits are the perfect simple but thoughtful bake. They’re so easy to make and you can personalise them with any message you want, depending on what you call your mum.
We recommend laying them out in a presentation tin or box, so the whole message shows as she opens it. The recipe makes 20-25 biscuits, so there’s plenty of room for a short message, and any extra biscuits can be marked with hearts.
Get the recipe: I love you mum biscuits (opens in new tab)
Skill level: Medium | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 25 mins
Mini macaroons from fancy bakeries often come with a fancy price to match, but they are cheap to make yourself at home. This recipe needs a little more care than some on this list but the result is really worth the effort.
Colour the macaroons two or three of your mum’s favourite colours and bag them up in a clear cellophane bag, tied with a pretty ribbon. One of the best Mother's Day cake ideas.
Get the recipe: Macaroons (opens in new tab)
5. Mary Berry’s chocolate cake
Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 20 mins
Instead of a box of chocolates, how about baking Mum a whole chocolate cake? This indulgent sponge is perfect for chocoholics.
Mary keeps this cake really simple and classic but you can be more personal if you like. "Try decorating the cake with your mum's favourite chocolates and truffles," says Jessica. "Alternatively, why not melt some white chocolate and write her a special message on top. Read our guide on how to make a piping bag."
Get the recipe: Chocolate cake recipe (opens in new tab)
6. Mini Bakewell tarts
Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 1 hr | Cook time: 35 mins
A classic teatime recipe that can be made a couple of days in advance. You will need a couple of hours to make these, including cooking and setting times. If you want to speed up the process, use a shop-bought shortcrust pastry for the cases.
You could decorate the cakes with fresh or glacé cherries. Alternatively, if you put a letter on each one, you can spell out Happy Mother’s Day with one cake spare for a heart or an exclamation mark.
Get the recipe: Bakewell tarts (opens in new tab)
7. White chocolate and raspberry gateau
Skill level: Medium | Prep time: 35 mins | Cook time: 25 mins
This epic four-layer cake looks so beautiful and impressive and only gets better once you cut it open to reveal the layers. It starts with a basic sponge and the only tricky parts are cutting the two sponges into layers, and applying the nuts to the outside of the cake. We’ve added a video tutorial to this recipe though, so you can watch how to do these bits.
This is a big cake that can be cut into 16 slices, or just 8 if you all prefer thicker pieces.
Get the recipe: White chocolate and raspberry gateau (opens in new tab)
8. Prosecco, white chocolate and rose bundt cake
Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 1 hr
Bundt cake is a brilliant sharing cake as it slices so neatly into lots of pieces - great if the whole family is coming for Mother’s Day. This one has the added glamour of a little prosecco sparkle - we definitely recommend serving it with a glass of fizz on the side.
This cake freezes well if you want to get ahead. Wrap it, un-iced, tightly in cling film, and freeze for up to a month. Defrost it fully the day before you are decorating it.
Get the recipe: Prosecco, white chocolate and rose bundt cake (opens in new tab)
9. Coffee cake
Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 30 mins
This deep, rich coffee cake has an intense coffee flavour in both the sponge and buttercream. Coffee cake isn’t to everyone’s taste - even for coffee addicts - so check first that it’s something your mum will like.
Top generously with walnuts and pecans drizzled in maple or honey for an extra flourish. If you’re just dusting it with cocoa, you could cut a heart shape template out of a piece of paper and dust around it to show your love.
Get the recipe: Coffee cake (opens in new tab)
10. White chocolate and raspberry blondies
Skill level: Medium | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 35 mins
A great alternative to chocolate brownies, for mums who prefer fruity to thick, chocolatey treats. This recipe makes 12 slices of brownie, which you can either pile up on a plate or transfer to a pretty tin.
If you’re doing a whole meal for mum, these make a lovely pudding, served up with a scoop of ice cream. Serve them once they have cooled to get that lovely brownie/blondie stodginess, or while still warm from the oven for a slightly lighter, gooier texture.
Get the recipe: White chocolate and raspberry blondies (opens in new tab)
11. Parsnip, pecan and apple cake
Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 50 mins | Cook time: 35 mins
This lovely, homely cake is a beautiful choice for mums who like carrot cake. Like carrots, parsnips became popular in baking when sugar was rationed, because they have natural sweetness, and bring a light moistness to the sponge.
This cake is easy to make and rises well - good for less experienced bakers. Make it a day in advance if you like, and store it in a sealed tin until ready to present it.
Get the recipe: Parsnip, pecan and apple cake (opens in new tab)
12. Horlicks loaf cake
Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 1 hr
This soft malty cake is made with prunes and infused with Horlicks. It’s ideal served with a cuppa and will last about 2-3 days in an airtight container so can be made in advance. We love that you can have it for tea, but also a slice with your morning tea.
Loaf cakes are probably the easiest cakes to make. They’re naturally dense and bake for a long time, so there is less that can go wrong. As such, this is a good choice for first-time bakers.
Get the recipe: Horlicks and prune loaf cake (opens in new tab)
13. Heart cookie lollies
Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 40 mins | Cook time: 15 mins
These heart cookie lollies are easier to make than they may look. The only more challenging bit is the icing, which is done in three stages. First, you pipe an outline, then fill with flood icing, then add any decoration.
If you’re working with young kids, you may prefer to just use icing pens, or ice them yourself then allow the little ones to add sprinkles and extra decorations on top.
Get the recipe: Heart cookie lollies (opens in new tab)
14. Violet cream cupcakes
Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 35 mins
Fresh and floral, these violet cream cupcakes are a retro sweet treat. They taste like Parma Violets, but in cake form.
You will need to search out some violet syrup to make these. Find it in specialist cake shops or online. Top with sugar flowers, edible flowers, or purple sprinkles.
Get the recipe: Violet cream cupcakes (opens in new tab)
15. Lemon and vanilla cupcakes
Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 25 mins | Cook time: 30 mins
These light and airy lemon and vanilla cupcakes are perfect to try if you are a novice in the kitchen, or to make with the kids for grandma. They’re easy to make and decorate with two options - butterflies wings or full icing. Kids can add sprinkles or other decorations too.
You could make these days a day or two in advance and ice them on the day or the afternoon before. They’re even freezable (un-iced) if you want to make them well in advance. One of the prettiest Mother's Day cake ideas.
Get the recipe: Lemon and vanilla cupcakes (opens in new tab)
16. Lemon and blueberry drizzle cake
Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 1 hour
The citrus lemon and tangy blueberries work wonders together in this loaf recipe. Finished with a bold, violet drizzle, this cake is an elegant showstopper.
"This is a great cake to add to your repertoire," says Jessica. "It's popular at any time of year and the addition of blueberries gives both the appearance and the flavour a subtle boost. Try serving the cake with a scattering of extra berries and a dollop of thick Greek yogurt."
Get the recipe: Lemon and blueberry drizzle cake (opens in new tab)
17. Chocolate beetroot cake
Skill level: Medium | Prep time: 25 mins | Cook time: 1 hour 5
We love a cake that includes one of your five-a-day. It doesn’t taste of beetroot per se, but the earthiness really brings the chocolate flavour to life. This cake would really suit a mum who’s into gardening - you can decorate it with flowers and even beet leaves. And it’s perfect with a cup of tea.
If you want to put a message on the top, use white chocolate icing to contrast with the deep purply brown colour.
Get the recipe: Chocolate beetroot cake (opens in new tab)
18. Strawberry cloud cake
Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: No bake, but 4 hours to freeze
This beautiful strawberry cloud cake needs no baking, though you do need to leave enough time for it to set in the freezer. It’s perfect on a warm sunny day - in case you’re spending Mother’s Day somewhere nice and hot. Whip it up in 10 mins and leave to set in the freezer. The result is like an ice cream cake, or a chilled mousse.
If you need to transport the cake, leave it to set in the freezer in the box or tin you intend to transport it in, and give it an extra hour of setting time. It will be fine to be out of the freezer for about 45-minutes to an hour. It’s meant to be eaten partially - not entirely - frozen. One of our favourite Mother's Day cake ideas.
Get the recipe: Strawberry cloud cake (opens in new tab)
19. Raisin muffins
Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 25 mins
Muffins are one of the easiest and most foolproof bakes - ideal for first timers and also great for getting kids into the kitchen. They can do all the mixing and spooning into muffin cases themselves (though, we’d recommend you expect to up the prep time to about half an hour).
The ideal option for breakfast in bed. These easy raisin muffins are made in just four simple steps and you can have them ready to go in just half an hour. Add icing on top to make them more of a teatime treat, and tie a bow on each one for extra flair.
Get the recipe: Raisin muffins (opens in new tab)
20. Red velvet layer cake
Skill level: Medium | Prep time: 25 mins | Cook time: 25 mins
A rich, dark, triple layer sponge. Making a cake in three layers is really not any harder than a two layer one, you just need to be gently and confident when you put them together - and it helps if they're as straight as possible.
The delicate crumb decorated buttercream on the outside of this cake means it's best made and served in the same house, so it doesn't have to travel far and risk being squashed.
Get the recipe: Red velvet layer cake (opens in new tab)
21. Raspberry and almond kisses
Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 25 mins | Cook time: 25 mins
Who doesn’t want to be able to give their mum kisses on Mother’s Day? These little almon bites are so pretty, they’re really easy to dress up and make them into a perfect present. You can just put them in a cellophane bag tied with a pretty ribbon, or arrange them in a presentation box like chocolates.
This recipe makes 15-20 so there will be plenty for mum to treat herself, and the rest of the family to get a taste as well.
Get the recipe: Raspberry and almond kisses (opens in new tab)
22. Ginger crunch
Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 20 mins
If you’re heading over for mid-morning coffees with your mum, these are a perfect option to take along with you. You can make them earlier in the week, they keep really well. Do leave enough time for the base to cool before you add the topping, and for the topping to set, if you’re cooking on the same day.
Ginger is such a great flavour to bake with - bright and vibrant, but also soothing - it’s really good for digestion and helps calm nausea. These pack a punch of ginger flavour in every bite. Ideal if you’re looking for something a little different as a Mother’s Day cake idea.
Get the recipe: Ginger crunch (opens in new tab)
23. Chocolate and morello cherry fridge cake
Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 5 mins, plus setting time
Short of melting the chocolate, this cake takes no cooking at all, making it another brilliant choice for reluctant bakers. Making it is child’s play - you’re pretty much just mixing everything together and pressing it into a tin.
Having said that, it’s probably best for adults in terms of eating, because the dark chocolate and tangy morello cherries can be a bit overwhelming for young palettes. It’s brilliant as an after dinner treat with coffees.
Get the recipe: Chocolate and morello cherry fridge cake (opens in new tab)
24. Chocolate, toffee and peanut squares
Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 20 mins
This is one of those recipes that when we make it for a bake sale, it always sells out before everything else. People don’t seem to be able to get enough of it - it’s like eating a Snickers bar in cake form. It’s a great treat to share with family and friends on Mother’s Day.
You don’t need long to put these together - only about 30 minutes in total, but you will need time in between for the layers to chill and set. About 4 hours should be plenty. You can make them up to three days in advance.
Get the recipe: Chocolate, toffee and peanut squares (opens in new tab)
25. Red rose cupcakes
Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 35 mins | Cook time: 30 mins
What could be lovelier than giving mum a dozen roses? We’ve marked this recipe as easy because the baking is simple to do and, once you have the knack with the icing, it’s plain sailing. This recipe makes 12 cupcakes, so if you want to give your mum a dozen roses and it’s the first time you’ve made them, we recommend doing a couple of piping practice runs on paper, before you try on the cupcakes. Certainly one of our best Mother's Day cake ideas.
If red roses feels a bit to Valentinesy, go for pink or yellow ones instead, or even a mix of pastel colours.
Get the recipe: Red rose cupcakes (opens in new tab)
26. Pistachio and yoghurt cake
Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 40 mins
This is a really great option for health conscious mums (and daughters who might be sharing in the eating). It’s lower-fat but still full of nutty pistachio flavour. The yoghurt and olive oil instead of butter make a lighter sponge.
Because it’s only one layer, and quite low, it doesn’t need to rise like a traditional sponge, which makes it really easy to bake. Top with berries and a low fat crème fraîche and it looks really beautiful, without being too naughty.
Get the recipe: Pistachio and yogurt cake (opens in new tab)
27. Rose and pistachio cupcakes
Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins
Another great Mother’s Day cake idea - these don’t just look like roses, they smell like them too. Infused with rosewater and topped with pretty pink icing and green pistachios, they’re a perfect springtime treat.
These are brilliant with a really aromatic tea like an Earl Grey or rosehip. This recipe makes a dozen so there’s plenty to go round if your mum feels like sharing.
Get the recipe: Rose and pistachio cupcakes (opens in new tab)
28. Gluten-free blueberry cupcakes
Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 30 mins
Need to make something gluten-free for your mum? We have a whole collection of gluten-free baking recipes, including these delicious blueberry cupcakes.
"These can actually be made with regular flour if you don't need them to be gluten-free," says Jessica. "If you have children a nice decoration idea is to attach small drawings onto a cocktail stick with a little sellotape and insert them into the cupcakes."
Get the recipe: Blueberry cupcakes (opens in new tab)
29. Lemon cupcakes
Skill level: Easy | Prep time: 35 mins | Cook time: 30 mins
With fresh lemon, lemon curd and lemon icing, these cakes are just so fresh and zingy. They’re like a ray of sunshine for Mother’s Day. Each one is topped with a fondant flower with a centre of sprinkles. Arrange in a presentation box or stacked in layers on a cake plate, they look so pretty.
Kids can definitely help with the icing for these - cutting out the fondant flowers and adding the sprinkles especially. This recipe makes a dozen, so there are plenty for all helpers to get their reward too.
Get the recipe: Lemon cupcakes (opens in new tab)
30. Rose and raspberry cake
Skill level: Medium | Prep time: 35 mins | Cook time: 25 mins
This is one of our most decadent Mother’s Day cake ideas - perfect if you fancy a challenge. We think it’s even more beautiful than a bunch of flowers. You can make a slightly less ostentatious version using just two layers - if you’re going for all three make it with half as much sponge again. This recipe is perfect for mothers who love time in the garden.
You can make and ice the cake the day before you plan to eat it. Add the rose petals and final decorations in the morning, and dust with icing sugar just before you plan to gift it.
Get the recipe: Rose and raspberry cake (opens in new tab)