50 Pretty Desserts That Are Perfect for Mother's Day

Show your mom just how sweet she is by making her dessert on her special day. Lemon bars, strawberry shortcake, chocolate pie, carrot cake and more — we’ve got recipes for all Mom’s favorites!

April 11, 2022

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For Someone Special

There’s no denying Mom deserves a sweet treat on her special day — as well as a special breakfast or brunch and a made-with-love lunch or dinner (hint, hint) — but how do you choose when there are so many delicious recipes to pick from? We’ve narrowed it down to some of our favorites, including this pretty and impressive pavlova that’s deceptively simple to make. Basic meringue is flavored with tangy buttermilk, sweet honey and fragrant vanilla before it’s baked. Once the meringue cools it’s dressed up with a little whipped cream and fresh fruit for a dessert that Mom is sure to love.

Get the Recipe: Honey Buttermilk Pavlova

Sunny's Strawberry Fool

You could have fooled us! This impressive dessert is deceptively simple! What exactly is a strawberry fool? Whipped cream dressed up with macerated strawberries — Sunny likes to serve her version with cinnamon graham crackers to use as a scoop.

Get the Recipe: Sunny's Strawberry Fool

Strawberries and Wine Flower Cheesecake

Put this beautiful, no-bake cheesecake out at your next soiree and people might just think you're a professional baker! We used sliced strawberries and mandarin oranges to create the flower on top, but you can use other fruit to create your own design. Just make sure to avoid pineapple, kiwi, papaya, mango and guava, which all contain an enzyme that will prevent the gelatin from setting properly.

Get the Recipe: Strawberries and Wine Flower Cheesecake

Lemon Pudding Cake with Berries

Finish a special meal for Mom with something sweet: individual lemon pudding cakes topped with fresh berries.

Get the Recipe: Lemon Pudding Cake with Fresh Mixed Berries

Spice Cake with Lemon Sauce

Trisha’s tender Bundt cake is perfect when you need a make-ahead dessert. She says, “This is absolutely something you can make a day ahead and it will be great the next day.”

Get the Recipe: Spice Cake with Lemon Sauce

Daisy Cupcakes

Because cupcakes are way more creative than a flower bouquet! Show Mom how much you care by baking a dozen daisy-topped treats. Use kitchen shears to slice marshmallows into petal shapes and place yellow nonpareils as each flower’s center.

Get the Recipe: Daisy Cupcakes

Raspberry Tiramisu

Tiramisu with a twist: This version is made with raspberry jam and Grand Marnier liqueur along with traditional ingredients — mascarpone cheese and ladyfingers.

Get the Recipe: Raspberry Tiramisu

Easy Chocolate Tart

Ree uses crushed up chocolate cookie sandwiches for this double-chocolate tart that any chocoholic will love.

Get the Recipe: Easy Chocolate Tart

Raspberry-Lemon White Chocolate Domes

These white chocolate shells are filled with luscious pudding and a tart raspberry center perched atop fresh lemon cake.

Get the Recipe: Raspberry-Lemon White Chocolate Domes

Run for the Roses Cheesecake

Damaris uses fragrant rose water to give classic strawberry-topped cheesecake a touch of elegance — elevating it to a dessert worthy of any Mother’s Day celebration.

Get the Recipe: Run for the Roses Cheesecake

Ricotta Ice Cream

Ree’s easy, no-churn ice cream has the perfect balance of flavors. It gets a citrusy sweetness from orange zest, a light floral note from fresh vanilla bean and rich, milky flavor from the addition of ricotta cheese. It’s so tasty you won’t believe it’s not from a 5-star restaurant!

Get the Recipe: Ricotta Ice Cream

Chocolate-Filled Almond Macarons

These cookies are the perfect combination of crispy and chewy. Don't worry if the tops crack; they will still be delicious.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Filled Almond Macarons

Carrot Cake with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

Molly's carrot cake is the perfect spring dessert. She uses hawaij, a cardamom-forward Yemeni spice blend, to add warm, spicy flavors to both the cake and the frosting in this recipe (you can even sprinkled it in coffee!). If you can't find any at your grocery store, make a substitute: Mix together 1 tablespoon ground ginger, 1 tablespoon ground cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Get the Recipe: Molly's Carrot Cake with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

Almond Honeycomb Cake

This melt-in-your-mouth cake is soaked with the flavors of wildflower honey, citrus and cardamom before getting a finishing touch of glossy honey glaze — just like a real honeycomb!

Get the Recipe: Almond Honeycomb Cake

Lemon Bars

Ina's portable dessert bars have a shortbread dough that makes for a lot less fuss.

Get the Recipe: Lemon Bars

Red Berry Shortcakes with Honey Yogurt

The finishing touch for Mom’s special day, these delightful shortcake sandwiches are stuffed with a Greek yogurt cream and juicy berries. The shortcakes are prettier with jagged edges, so use a fork to split them open.

Get the Recipe: Red Berry Shortcakes with Honey Yogurt

Raspberry Creme Brulee

Classic creme brulee gets a springy makeover just in time for Mother's Day. Everyone will love cracking through that sugary shell on top.

Get the Recipe: Raspberry Creme Brulee

Bottle of Wine Chocolate Pie

We managed to fit a whole bottle of wine in this decadent dark chocolate pie. Perfect for a grown-up dinner party, it offers the best of both worlds.

Get the Recipe: Bottle of Wine Chocolate Pie

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

Valerie makes her trifle completely from scratch (pound cake and all) but if you need a shortcut you can easily substitute store-bought instead. Either way, this dessert is sure to make Mom’s day extra sweet!

Get the Recipe: Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

Blueberry Nectarine Crisp

Ree incorporates the best flavors of summer into her fruity dessert. Don’t forget whipped cream for serving!

Get the Recipe: Blueberry Nectarine Crisp

Baked Donuts with Blood Orange, Rhubarb and Blueberry Glaze

Make Mom’s day extra special with a batch of Molly’s baked donuts. Use freshly squeezed blood orange juice, rhubarb stalks and frozen blueberries to whip up three colorful glazes.

Get the Recipe: Baked Donuts with Blood Orange, Rhubarb and Blueberry Glaze

Raspberry-Swirl Pound Cake

A bright treat that's easy to prepare, Food Network Magazine’s recipe for raspberry-swirl pound cake yields eight to 10 slices of cake, enough to feed a crowd at your Mother’s Day festivities. If possible, we suggest using premium butter and organic cane sugar — it’ll give the cake a nice, crunchy top.

Get the Recipe: Raspberry-Swirl Pound Cake

Chocolate Strawberry Cups

Giada's makes serving a crowd on Mother's Day super easy: Use a silicone muffin pan to create the chocolate cups, fill with in-season strawberries and top it all off with a little bit of whipped cream.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Strawberry Cups

Tea Cake

Have little ones who want to help make Mother's Day special? These adorable teacup cakes are the perfect single-serve treat that they can make — no oven required — just mix the ingredients together and microwave. Just make sure the teacups you use are microwave safe.

Get the Recipe: Tea Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

This classic Southern cake is really simple to make. Damaris reserves a little bit of the pineapple juice to use in the cake itself, which really brings out the flavor.

Get the Recipe: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Strawberry Corn Cakes

Use store-bought corn muffin mix, but add lemon zest and vanilla for a sweet twist. The perfect finishing touch? Top with strawberries and cream.

Get the Recipe: Strawberry Corn Cakes

Rhubarb Custard Pie

Rhubarb, technically a vegetable, is known for its very tart flavor and the fact that only the stalks are edible. There are many varieties of rhubarb, which accounts for how the stalks vary in color from a deep red to a pale green. Although all kinds have a delicious flavor, this pie looks prettiest with the red-stalked varieties. Look for thinner stalks, as they will be more tender and less fibrous than thicker stalks.

Get the Recipe: Rhubarb Custard Pie

Hazelnut and Nutmeg Gelato

Add Nutella to homemade gelato for the ultimate Mother's Day indulgence.

Get the Recipe: Hazelnut and Nutmeg Gelato

Sprinkles Cake

Make a bright, cheerful dessert with Molly’s easy recipe. All you need are a few baking staples and some colorful sprinkles. Best of all, this recipe can be used to make a 3-layer cake or cupcakes — whichever mom likes more!

Get the Recipe: Sprinkles Cake

Double Chocolate Red Wine Bundt

Red wine does double duty in Giada’s decadent dessert — the wine gets mixed into the cake batter and whisked with powdered sugar to make a pretty-in-pink glaze.

Get the Recipe: Double Chocolate Red Wine Bundt Cake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cakes

Valerie’s yummy cakes taste just like your favorite childhood snack. If the nostalgia factor doesn’t hook your guests, the peanut butter and chocolate combo will!

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cakes

Chocolate Chevron Cake

Ina’s chocolatey cake is both elegant and rich. To spend more time with Mom on the holiday, bake the cake in advance, then wrap and refrigerate it until Mother’s Day. Once the cake is frosted, it can be left at room temperature for up to eight hours.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Chevron Cake

Vanilla Pudding Raspberry Napoleon

This kid-friendly dessert is all about the assembly. Let them take turns layering vanilla pudding and crisp wafer cookies.

Get the Recipe: Vanilla Pudding Raspberry Napoleon

Victorian Rose Geranium Cake

You'll need rose geranium leaves for Anne's pretty-in-pink cake.

Get the Recipe: Victorian Rose Geranium Cake

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

This is not your average mall-bought giant cookie cake. Molly uses a mix of almond and hazelnut flours as the base — a touch of almond extract really makes the nutty flavors shine. Top it all of with gorgeous buttercream frosting for a dessert that mom will love.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Vanilla Brioche Bread Pudding

"Warm vanilla bread pudding with cold creme anglaise. Now who wouldn't want to eat that for dessert??!" says Ina.

Get the Recipe: Vanilla Brioche Bread Pudding

Sprinkles Biscotti

Molly’s adorable biscotti are the perfect treat to serve with post-brunch coffee.

Get the Recipe: Sprinkles Biscotti

Chocolate Creme Brulee

Make creme brulee in minutes using a secret ingredient: store-bought pudding.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Creme Brulee

Passion Fruit and Chocolate Sorbet Cake

A luscious chocolate ganache coats this chocolate-and-passion-fruit sorbet cake with a chocolate cookie crust. What could be more delicious than that?

Get the Recipe: Passion Fruit and Chocolate Sorbet Cake

Salted Caramel Sundae

Ina's over-the-top sundae got the ultimate vote of approval: more than 30,000 likes on Instagram. Homemade caramel popcorn and roasted peanuts add an unexpected texture to your creamy gelato treat.

Get the Recipe: Salted Caramel Sundae

Tri-Berry Trifle

If you don’t have a trifle dish, layer your ingredients in a large glass bowl or individual glasses instead. As long as you can see through to the deliciously colorful layers, you’ll end up with an impressive dessert.

Get the Recipe: Tri-Berry Trifle

Crispy-Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookies

All moms will adore this perfect combination of a crispy chocolate chip cookie and a cakey one.

Get the Recipe: Crispy-Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

To achieve the perfect level of pucker, Ina uses the zest of four to five lemons, plus lemon juice in her top-rated lemon poppy seed cake. Once it's cooled, just glaze and serve.

Get the Recipe: Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Coconut-Lime Banana Pudding

Surprise Mom with a flavorful twist to a classic dessert. All you need is the zest and juice of one lime plus coconut extract, coconut cream and shredded coconut to make it happen.

Get the Recipe: Coconut-Lime Banana Pudding

Grapefruit Mousse

This refreshing, easy-to-make dessert is ready in minutes and is just as delicious as it is lovely to look at.

Get the Recipe: Grapefruit Mousse

Marmalade Cake

This ultra-moist cake is spiked with double orange flavor — the batter is made with orange marmalade and the warm cake is drizzled with orange syrup.

Get the Recipe: Marmalade Cake

Sorbet with Candied Flowers

This Mother's Day, treat Mom to flowers and dessert — all in one.

Get the Recipe: Sorbet with Candied Flowers

Strawberry Macarons

Pretty, strawberry-filled macarons take some TLC, but these photo-worthy treats are worth it.

Get the Recipe: Strawberry Macarons

Lemon Tiramisu Trifle

Creamy, lemony layers are brightened by berries in this no-bake cross between tiramisu and trifle. Kids can assemble this treat with very little help.

Get the Recipe: Lemon Tiramisu Trifle

Toffee-Coffee Tartlets

Fill individual frozen puff pastry shells with a creamy, caramel-coffee flavored filling and top it with melted chocolate and toffee bits for a super-special dessert for the special mom in your life.

Get the Recipe: Toffee-Coffee Tartlets

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