15 Mother's Day Dessert Recipes (Almost) as Sweet as She Is

Lemon Verbena Ice Cream Pie
Photo: Dana Gallagher

Breakfast in bed is just the beginning. Keep the scrumptious surprises going with a Mother's Day dessert table, filled with pies, cookies, cakes, and other enticements your favorite lady can enjoy all day. She'll love the sweet reminder of how much you care.

01 of 15

S'mores Icebox Cake

S'mores Icebox Cake recipe square white dish
Brie Passano

Give Mom and your big mixer the day off with a no-bake cake. This quick-and-easy Mother's Day dessert will transport everyone back to summer nights making s'mores—no fire required. The only oven time required is for broiling the marshmallows to toasty perfection.

02 of 15

Homemade Tres Leches Cake

Homemade Tres Leches Cake with spatula in glass dish
Jason Donnelly

Top this poke cake with fresh berries for a dessert that's as bright and cheery as Mom (especially when savoring her first bite). She'll rave over the tender texture, courtesy of cake flour and whipped egg whites, but what will really impress her is the homemade tres leches sauce coating the cake inside and out.

03 of 15

Lemon Verbena Ice Cream Pie

Lemon Verbena Ice Cream Pie
Dana Gallagher

No need for a Mother's Day bouquet. This edible-flower-topped pie deserves to be the centerpiece of your Mother's Day dessert table. Citrus-infused homemade ice cream fills the part gingerbread-part shortbread crust for a treat your mom won't soon forget. Bake it in a pretty white ceramic baking dish ($16, Crate & Barrel) for picture-perfect presentation.

04 of 15

Heart Cookies

Heart Cookies

Why be subtle about how you feel? Show your affection for Mom with these adorable cutout cookies, made with a set of heart-shape cookie cutters ($10, Walmart). A splash of almond extract gives the sugar cookie batter an extra layer of complexity, setting these treats a notch above the rest.

05 of 15

Brownie Pie

Brownie Pie
Blaine Moats

Do chocolate cravings run in the family? Then this is the ultimate Mother's Day treat to make for your mama. It features rich, dark chocolate brownies wrapped in buttery pie crust, delivering two delectable desserts in one edible gift.

06 of 15

Red Wine Ice Cream

Red Wine Ice Cream

If she's pro-Pinot or part of team Tempranillo, show Mom you're attuned to her red wine preferences with this thoughtful treat. Wine-infused ice cream is a spirited and special way to raise a glass to your best happy hour pal—and it lets you enjoy your drink and dessert all at once. Pair this treat with a new set of stemless wine glasses ($7 per glass, Crate & Barrel) as part of her Mother's Day gift.

07 of 15

Chocolate-Stuffed Churro French Toast Hearts

Chocolate-Stuffed Churro French Toast Hearts
Matthew Clark

Whether you serve this dish as breakfast or dessert, you can't go wrong with heart-shape treats for Mother's Day—especially when they're stuffed with chocolate chips. Dusted with churro-inspired cinnamon-sugar, this French toast is a super-sweet way to celebrate Mom (literally!). To finish, drizzle with honey, chocolate sauce, or powdered sugar icing.

08 of 15

Rhubarb-Strawberry Brownie Skillet

Strawberry Rhubarb Skillet Brownie

May is the month to stock up on all the rhubarb you can. We, of course, advise using it for a berry pie like this one, which features a flavor combination reminiscent of chocolate-covered strawberries. Bake it in a cast-iron pan ($40, Crate & Barrel) for that irresistible edge-of-pan brownie texture on every piece.

09 of 15

Lemon Tiramisu

Lemon Tiramisu
Carson Downing

Fresh as a sunny spring day, these happy parfaits are the perfect fruity addition to a Mother's Day dessert table filled with chocolate treats. This tiramusu includes the traditional mascarpone cream and ladyfingers you love from the espresso-spiked version, but it also calls for just-tangy-enough lemon curd. Serve these layered lovelies in gold metallic old-fashioned glasses ($32 for 4, World Market) to make the treat extra special.

10 of 15

Devil's Food Cake with Fudge-Nut Frosting

Devil’s Food Cake with Fudge-Nut Frosting

With melted dark chocolate in the batter and the frosting, this is one of the most decadent Mother's Day desserts our Test Kitchen has ever developed. Thanks to a splash of vanilla and whipped cream cheese, the frosting tastes fluffy and light rather than overpowering. If Mom's a fan of a hint of salt and crunch, garnish the sides with chopped walnuts.

11 of 15

Easy Flower Macarons

EasyFlowerMacaron RU304351.jpg

Just like roses, this adorable Mother's Day dessert is better by the dozen! So pack up 12 (or more) of these macaron cookies for a delicious gift Mom won't soon forget. Add lemon or lime curd to the filling for a refreshing spring snack.

12 of 15

Honey-Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Cream

Honey Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Cream

If carrot cake is always a hit at Easter, put a fresh spin on the favorite with this dessert. With much less oil than traditional carrot cake, as well as a scoop of whole-wheat flour, this honey-infused cake is actually quite healthy—though no one would ever guess it by the over-the-top taste.

13 of 15

Pink Peppercorn and Rose Tea Cakes

pink peppercorn rose tea cakes
Victoria Pearson

This surefire star of the Mother's Day dessert table is sprinkled with pink peppercorns and edible rose petals for a confetti-like look. A teaspoonful of rose water mixed into the batter is a beautiful nod to the garden garnishes.

14 of 15

Angel Food Cupcakes with Chocolate-Hazelnut Frosting

Angel Food Cupcakes with Chocolate-Hazelnut Frosting

Commemorate Mom's special day with light-and-airy angel food cake. The batter is made with whipped egg whites and contains just one stick of butter, bringing each serving to just 126 calories—chocolate-hazelnut frosting included!

15 of 15

Sparkling Cranberry-Ginger Panna Cotta

Sparkling Cranberry-Ginger Panna Cotta
Carson Downing

With equal parts nostalgia and elegance, this panna cotta parfait tastes even better than it looks (if you can believe it!). Ginger ale or ginger beer echoes the fresh ginger in the cranberry blend, while Greek yogurt and vanilla unite in the vibrant white layer.

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