April 30, 2016

Baking a cake is one of the sweetest ways to show Mom just how special she is. It's a meaningful gesture because you've spent time creating something with care and love from your own hands. Whether you are a seasoned baker or a novice, there's a cake you can make that will leave Mom impressed, proud, and touched with your thoughtfulness.

Build a beautiful three-layer coconut cake iced with a homemade marshmallow-y frosting and adorned with big flakes of toasted coconut. Showstopper!

MAKE AHEAD TIP: Bake the cake layers a few days ahead of time. Wrap them well in plastic wrap and store them in the freezer. You'll have half the work done when it's time to assemble. Another bonus: trimming cold cake layers is a much easier and neater job than ones that are just baked or at room temperature.

If you 're more of a one-bowl-one-pan kind of cake baker, stir up the batter for this aromatic Orange Cardamom Cake. The dramatic drips come from the simplest of citrus glazes. (And extra points for choosing a cake that has the word "mom" in it.)

PRESENTATION TIP: Glaze the cake once you've placed it on the serving plate or cake stand for really pretty pools of the glaze at the bottom of the cake.

Can't decide between giving Mom flowers or cake? Do both: Spread a simple yellow sheet cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting, then top it with some pretty edible flowers.

FLAVOR TIP: Add a tablespoon of raspberry, hazelnut, or coffee liqueur to the frosting in place of some of the milk for a twist on the typical icing.

A loaf pan cake can seem pretty darn special if it gets soaked in a orange-flavored syrup and then topped with pretty cutouts of orange rind.

If mom is gluten-free, no worries. Roll up some berries in a delicate sheet cake made with almond meal and rice flour. This one is quick enough you can do it somewhat last minute. Set aside about hour to get it done.

HOW-TO TIP: This is a twist on a classic jelly roll cake. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to roll up this unique cake option.

So you are NOT a baker? That's okay! You can still serve this version of cake and strawberries. Let the bakery take care of the cake. Your job: marinate strawberries in balsamic vinegar and sugar to make a sweet-tangy sauce to spoon over angel food cake.

DIY TIP: Feeling like you want to make your angel food cake from scratch? Bake it up! Make sure to cleanly separate your egg whites—even the finest bit of yolk will prevent them from whipping into stiff peaks. And make sure you plan enough time for the baked cake to completely cool (while inverted).

For some just Mom-and-me time, make hot chocolate cakes for 2. These little cakes take only about 15 minutes to put together and 20 more to bake, so they're a perfect finish for a special Mother's Day meal.

PREP TIP: To serve these after dinner, measure out all the ingredients beforehand and prepare the ramekins. Set the oven to preheat right when you sit down to eat that way your only job will be to mix up the batter after dinner is over.

More Mother's Day Ideas:

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