Mother’s Day is an opportunity to please Mom and to show off with a special dessert. A homemade decorated cake in Mom’s favorite colors is one possibility for the finale of a picnic lunch or dinner party in her honor. Using a mix for the cake will leave more time for the decorating.
Kids can help decorate a butterfly-shaped cake created by Family Fun. Bake the cake in a round cake pan; if you’re feeding more than six people, you’ll need to make two of these butterflies. After the cake is cool, you cut it in half and place the rounded edges so they are touching in the middle; these are the butterfly wings. A Twinkie in the middle of the butterfly serves as a body; then you cover the whole thing with chocolate or pastel-tinted frosting. The finishing touches are candy decorations on the wings and licorice antennae.
Sugar Paste Flowers
In her book “Cakes to Inspire and Desire,” Lindy Smith suggests using sugar paste, also known as gum paste and available at shops that carry cake-decorating supplies, to instantly glamorize a plain cake. You simply roll out the sugar paste and cut it with tiny cookie cutters in the shape of flowers, butterflies or other spring designs. For Mother’s Day, you might use bright- colored flowers to decorate a plain white-frosted cake or pastel flowers to decorate a chocolate cake.
An edible Mother’s Day basket filled with fruit, starts as a cake baked in a bundt or angel-food cake pan. You turn the cooled cake upside down, cut out the hole so it is slightly larger and stuff the extra cake into the bottom of the hole. Just before serving, you can fill the hole with strawberries or other fruit. A sparkly or clear headband tied with a gauzy bow can serve as a handle for the basket cake. Experienced cake decorators might want to pipe basket-weave icing; directions are available at Epicurious.
The creative part of making a hat cake is that you can get as carried away as you like when decorating it. Betty Crocker’s version starts with baking two round cakes and cutting one into a smaller circle to form the crown of the hat; the company suggests a 6-inch circle on top of a 9-inch circle. You’ll frost the entire hat in Mom’s favorite color and then decorate with candies she likes. Another possibility is to use edible flowers as decoration. For a final touch, you can add a ribbon tied with a bow for a hatband.