Treat your mom (and her tastebuds) to a decadent dessert this Mother’s Day. No matter what her sweet tooth craving may be, we’ve compiled 6 recipes she won’t be able to resist. Serve your mom a sophisticated sweet like Frozen Hazelnut Mousse Cakes with Armagnac, brighten her day with a creamy Lemon Tiramisu Trifle, or surprise her with a sinfully delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart.
These desserts aren’t your run-of-the-mill sweets — they use decadent layers, indulgent flavors, and enticing ingredients to go above and beyond standard desserts, ensuring you have the perfect treat to show your mom how much you care. Nothing says “I love you” quite like these scintillating sweets.
1. Butterscotch Torte
A graham cracker cake is topped with whipped cream filling and heavenly butterscotch sauce in Taste of Home’s recipe. For best results, make the graham cracker cake for this torte the day before, as the flavor improves as it mellows. After you bake three cake rounds and make your butterscotch sauce and whipped cream, you can begin assembling your layers.
Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread with a third of the whipped cream, repeating the layers twice. Drizzle some of the sauce over the cake and serve the remaining topping alongside the dessert. The recipe yields 12 servings.
- 6 eggs, separated
- 1½ cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup finely chopped nuts
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Dash of salt
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup butter, cubed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
Directions: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line three greased 9-inch round baking pans with waxed paper and grease the paper; set aside. Let egg whites stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a large bowl, beat yolks until slightly thickened. Gradually add sugar, beating until thick and lemon-colored. Beat in the vanilla. Combine the cracker crumbs, nuts and baking powder; fold into egg yolk mixture.
In another bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Fold a fourth of egg whites into the batter, then fold in remaining whites. Pour into prepared pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
For topping, in a large saucepan, combine the brown sugar, flour, and salt. Stir in orange juice and water until smooth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir a small amount of hot filling into egg; return all to pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Gently stir in butter and vanilla. Cool to room temperature without stirring.
In a large bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form. Beat in confectioners’ sugar until stiff peaks form. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with a third of the whipped cream. Repeat layers twice. Drizzle some of the topping over cake. Serve remaining topping with cake. Refrigerate leftovers.
2. Petits Fours
Petit Fours is a label given to small fancy cookies, pastries, and confections. Joy of Baking notes that the term Petit Four originated in the 18th century, and when translated, means small oven. Family Circle modernizes the classic sweet a touch, giving the bite-size beauties a lovely pink hue and rich, cakey flavors. Your mom won’t be able to resist these scrumptious sweets!
- ¾ cup cake flour (not self-rising)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 5 eggs, separated
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3 boxes (1 pound each) confectioners’ sugar
- ¾ tablespoon water
- Pink food coloring
Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 15½-by-10½-inch jelly-roll pan. Line with parchment or waxed paper; grease paper. Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt in small bowl. Beat yolks, ⅓ cup granulated sugar, and vanilla in bowl until thick and lemon-colored, about 1 minute. At low speed, beat cake flour mixture into yolk mixture.
Beat egg whites in medium-size bowl until foamy. Slowly add remaining ⅓ cup granulated sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter. Spread batter evenly over prepared baking sheet. Bake in 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly golden and firm. Cool on rack 10 minutes. Invert onto rack. Peel off paper.
Melt apple jelly mixture in small saucepan. Spread over top of cake. Cut lengthwise into eight 1¼-inch strips. Cut each strip crosswise into twelve 1¼-inch squares. Spread cut surfaces with remaining preserves. Place on rack over paper. Mix confectioners sugar and ¾ cup water in bowl. Add 2 tablespoons water as needed for coating consistency. Using forks, dip half the cake pieces in glaze. Decorate with candied flowers as desired. Tint remaining glaze with pink food coloring. Dip remaining cake pieces into glaze. Decorate as desired.
3. Frozen Hazelnut Mousse Cakes With Armagnac
Food & Wine’s sophisticated dessert will take your mom’s breath away. This cake has it all: warm notes of hazelnut, rich mousse, and melted chocolate, all of which work together to create an enticing and tasteful treat. This recipe does take time and patience; fortunately, it can be made in advance, ensuring you don’t spend all of Mother’s Day preparing it.
- 2 cups roasted and skinned hazelnuts, chopped (7 ounces)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 8 large eggs, separated
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons Armagnac
- ¾ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- 8 large egg yolks
- 1¾ cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons Armagnac
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup roasted and skinned hazelnuts, chopped
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (1½ cups), 1 cup melted
Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 11½-by-17-inch jellyroll pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the parchment. In a food processor, finely grind the hazelnuts. In a medium bowl, combine the ground hazelnuts with the flour and cinnamon. In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with ½ cup of the sugar at high speed until light yellow, about 3 minutes.
In another large bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt with the electric mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar and beat at high speed until the egg whites are firm and glossy. With a large spatula, fold one-fourth of the dry ingredients into the egg yolk mixture. Fold in one-third of the beaten egg whites. Working in 2 batches, fold in the remaining dry ingredients and egg whites. Fold in the melted butter until just incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared jelly-roll pan and smooth the surface.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cake is golden and springs back when lightly touched. Let cool. Using the edges of the parchment paper, lift the cake out of the jelly-roll pan. Trim the edges and cut the cake into four 4½-by-8½-inch rectangles. Line each of two 9-by-5-inch glass loaf pans with a cake rectangle. In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup with the Armagnac until blended; brush half of the syrup on the cakes in the loaf pans. Reserve the remaining syrup and cover the 2 remaining cake rectangles with plastic wrap.
Prepare an ice water bath in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately high heat until the sugar syrup reaches 220 degreeson a candy thermometer, about 8 minutes. In a heatproof medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with a handheld electric mixer until light yellow, about 3 minutes. While beating the yolks at high speed, carefully and slowly pour in the hot sugar syrup; the mixture will thicken. Set the bowl in the ice water bath and beat the egg yolk mixture until chilled and very thick, about 4 minutes.
In large bowl, whip the cream to stiff peaks. Fold in the Armagnac and vanilla. Fold in the egg yolk mixture. Fold in the hazelnuts and chopped chocolate. Scrape the mousse into the loaf pans. Brush one side of the remaining 2 cake rectangles with the remaining maple-Armagnac syrup; set them, brushed side down, over the mousse. Cover with plastic and freeze overnight or for up to 5 days. To serve, fill a large bowl with 4 inches of very hot water and dip the bottoms of the loaf pans in the water for 10 seconds. Invert the cakes onto platters. With a sharp knife, slice the cakes crosswise 1 inch thick and transfer to plates. Drizzle the slices with the melted chocolate and serve.
4. Lemon Tiramisu Trifle
Lemony layers are separated with bright berries and ladyfingers in Food Network’s no-bake dessert. You’ll want to make this recipe in advance, as it needs at least 8 hours to chill. Just before serving, top your treat with 2 cups of berries and dust with powdered sugar. As an added bonus, easy preparation ensures you have a dessert that your little ones can pitch in and help make! It yields 6 to 8 servings.
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 (8-ounce) jar prepared lemon curd
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 22 hard ladyfinger cookies
- 3 cups mixed raspberries and sliced strawberries
- Powdered sugar, for garnish
- Whipped cream, for serving
Directions: In a small measuring cup, mix the lemon juice with the sugar and ¼ cup water until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside. Place the cream cheese, lemon curd and heavy cream in a food processor and process until smooth and a bit fluffy.
To assemble the tiramisu, place half the ladyfingers in the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish, breaking a few to fit, and drizzle with half of the lemon syrup. Top with half the lemon cream and 1 cup mixed berries. Repeat the layers, using the remaining ladyfingers, syrup and lemon cream.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 8 hours or overnight. Before serving, top with the remaining 2 cups of berries and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with whipped cream on the side.
5. Chocolate-Peanut Butter Tart
Rich swirls of peanut butter and chocolate sit atop an ultra-chocolaty crust. Martha Stewart’s recipe is another that takes some time to prepare, but we promise the effort is well worth it, particularly if your mom’s a fan of peanut butter-and-chocolate combos. The dough must be refrigerated for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days, so we recommend starting on this dish earlier in the week. After it’s been fully assembled, it’ll need another hour (or up to 8) to set in the fridge.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces (1½ cups) cocktail peanuts, finely chopped in a food processor
- ¾ cup smooth peanut butter
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 5 ounces semisweet chocolate (61%), chopped
- Pinch of salt
Directions: To make the crust, whisk flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, and beat until combined, scraping down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to low, and gradually beat in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with cream and beginning and ending with flour mixture. Shape dough into a rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. Let stand at room temperature 5 minutes before rolling.
Roll out dough into a 7-by-16-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Fit into a 4½-by-14-inch rectangular tart ring on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Push dough into corners of ring to create sharp edges; trim so that dough is flush with top of ring. Prick dough all over with a fork. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line crust with parchment, pressing so that it is flush with dough, especially in corners. Fill with pie weights or dried beans; bake until edges are set, about 20 minutes. Remove weights and parchment; bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
To make the brittle, bring sugar, butter, corn syrup, and water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to brown. Reduce heat to medium, and cook until golden brown. Stir in baking soda, salt, and peanuts until well combined. Immediately pour onto a nonstick baking mat, spreading out as thinly as possible with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon. Let cool completely, about 30 minutes. Finely chop half the brittle with a heavy knife to yield ½ cup. Reserve remainder for another use.
To make the filling, heat peanut butter in a microwave until fluid, about 30 seconds. Pour ½ cup into crust, and top with chopped brittle, pressing it into peanut butter. Freeze tart until peanut butter is firm, about 10 minutes. For ganache, bring cream to a boil; pour over chocolate in a small bowl. Add salt; let sit 8 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a disposable pastry bag with remaining fluid peanut butter, and snip off end. Whisk ganache until smooth, and immediately pour into tart, smoothing with a mini offset spatula if necessary.
Pipe peanut butter in continuous diagonal zigzag lines down length of tart. Draw a wooden skewer perpendicularly through peanut butter lines in a zigzag motion down length of tart. Then draw skewer in a continuous sideways loop pattern down length of tart to create swirls. Refrigerate tart until set, at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours. Cut into wedges, and serve.
6. Eclair Cake With Chocolate Ganache
In case you don’t want to put in too much time and effort (but want your mom to think you did), we recommend making AllRecipes.com’s Eclair Cake With Chocolate Ganache. A light, flaky pastry shell provides the perfect base for a divine, creamy filling and a glorious chocolate ganache topping. This recipe comes together easily but does need to chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. You know what that means — no procrastinating!
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 (3.5-ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
- 2 cups cold milk
- 2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream
Directions: Preheat an oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Place a mixing bowl in the freezer to chill. Combine the water, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the flour. Cook and stir until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and beat in the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Spread the dough evenly in the bottom of the baking dish.
Bake the pastry in the preheated oven until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack. Remove the chilled mixing bowl from the freezer and pour in 2 cups of cold whipping cream. Whip until the cream thickens, about 1 minute; stir in the confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla extract. Continue to whip until the cream forms stiff peaks. Refrigerate the whipped cream while you mix the pudding. Pour the pudding mixes and the milk into a mixing bowl and stir until creamy. Fold in the whipped cream. Spread the filling over the cooled crust and refrigerate.
Place the chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Bring 1 cup of cream almost to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow it to soften for 1 minute. Whisk the mixture until smooth. Let the mixture cool slightly to thicken, about 10 minutes. Pour the ganache over the cream filling, spreading to cover the entire surface. Return the pan to the refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.