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The 65 Best Mother’s Day Desserts to Treat Mom to on Her Big Day

Spoil her, she deserves it

mother's day desserts: naked olive oil cake topped with berries, next to a linen and stack of plates
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Mother’s Day, a celebration to honor the moms, grandmas, aunts and loved ones who raised us to be who we are today, is coming on May 12, 2024. So, grab a spatula and get into the kitchen with your stash of flour, sugar and spices to whip up something sweet for the most important guest of all time. If you’re hosting Mother’s Day brunch or dinner, you’ll want to have something for dessert.

Whether you have five minutes or five hours, we have plenty of recipes that will make her feel the love on her special day. Is your mom a chocolate lover? Check. Or maybe she’s more of a lemon dessert person—we have those too, plus seasonal treats using spring fruits like rhubarb and strawberries. Here, 65 Mother’s Day desserts she’s bound to adore, from cake to pie to cookies. (A bouquet of flowers might help drive the message home even more...just saying.)

The 64 Best Mother's Day Gifts for Every Type of Mom


1. Naked Lemon and Olive Oil Layer Cake

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 35 minutes
  • Why I Love It: special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser

Impress Mom with this professional-looking naked cake. Adding olive oil makes it kinda healthy, right? (Maybe not, but it definitely makes the texture extra moist and delicious.)

2. Sachertorte (Chocolate Apricot Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache)

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser

Presenting a homemade take on the Austrian classic from Vienna’s Hotel Sacher. While the real recipe is a secret, many have crafted their own delectable mashups of dark chocolate and apricot jam.

3. Strawberry Shortcake

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser

If your mom's a fan of fresh berries, look no further than strawberry shortcake. We bet she'll love digging into this pile of produce, whipped cream and homemade shortcake.

4. Grapefruit Meringue Stacks

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours
  • Why I Love It: gluten free, special occasion-worthy

Calling all citrus lovers: This cross between a meringue pie and grapefruit pavlova is the dessert you never knew you needed. (But be warned: Now that you know it exists, you’ll want it every weekend.)

5. Glazed Vegan Chocolate Bundt Cake

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: vegan, crowd-pleaser, dairy free

If your mom is vegan, whip up this plant-based chocolate Bundt, drizzled with dairy-free chocolate ganache glaze. You can make it in advance and store it for up to six weeks in the freezer.

6. Key Lime Pie

  • Time Commitment: 4 hours and 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, one bowl, beginner-friendly

Key lime is the queen of pies—the fresh, tart and sweet dessert will surely have Mom going for seconds. Even better, it’s easy enough for beginners to make. (Most of the time commitment is chilling.)

7. Chocolate Raspberry Fool

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly

Rushing to get Mother’s Day dinner on the table? Don’t stress about the sweets. This chocolate and raspberry mousse-ish dessert is ready in a flash.

8. Loaded Funfetti Dessert Nachos

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

Let Mom feel like a kid again on Mother’s Day with these loaded dessert nachos: cookies covered with rainbow sprinkles, meringue and chocolate chips.

9. Easy Lemon-Hibiscus Layer Cake

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 5 minutes
  • Why I Love It: beginner-friendly, special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser

The prettiest way to dress up a simple yellow cake? Use hibiscus tea bags to create bright pink frosting in honor of your mother.

10. Simple Butterscotch Pudding

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, one pot, gluten free

Dessert doesn’t need to be a big to-do. Sometimes a simple butterscotch pudding checks all the boxes.

11. Pear and Thyme Tarts

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours
  • Why I Love It: vegan, gluten free, dairy free

Here’s a dessert pairing we can get behind: this vegan, gluten-free fruit and herb tart, served alongside a glass of Champagne. We hope your mama loves bubbly.

12. Three-Ingredient Blood Orange Granita

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes (plus freezing time)
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, dairy free, gluten free, one pot

Finish your alfresco Mother’s Day dinner with the easiest warm-weather dessert: granita. This recipe requires just three ingredients—blood orange juice, sugar and water—and five minutes of prep.

13. Damn Good Peanut Butter Banana Cake

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: gluten free, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

This peanut butter and banana cake may be the ultimate dessert: It’s sweet, gooey, chocolatey and enrobed in peanut butter frosting.

14. White Chocolate Citrus Pots de Crème

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 50 minutes (plus chilling time)
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, gluten free, special occasion-worthy

So fresh, so clean. Whisk melted white chocolate with citrus juice and egg whites for these restaurant-level pots de crème this Mother’s Day.

15. Kiwi and Lime Curd Fools with Blackberries

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: gluten free, make ahead

Fool is an English dessert that combines fruit and custard or whipped cream. Try this refreshing kiwi and lime version topped with juicy blackberries.

16. Easy Tiramisu

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why I Love It: no bake, beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients, <30 minutes

Mom’s face when you bring out homemade tiramisu? Priceless. (Especially if she's a habitual espresso drinker.)

17. Red Velvet Lava Cakes

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, kid-friendly, special occasion-worthy

If chocolate is her kryptonite, mom will go gaga for this restaurant-caliber cake that's begging to be sliced.

18. Banana Cream Pie Parfaits

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

Magnolia Bakery has nothing on you. These banana cream pie parfaits take about an hour to make and will look gorgeous in Mom’s crystal dessert bowls.

19. Carrot Cake Roll

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

Hi, spring. We missed you. Want to dress up basic carrot cake? Fill it with cream cheese icing, roll it up and cut it into slices.

20. Limoncello Prosecco Floats with Lemon Sorbetto

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why I Love It: no bake, <10 ingredients, <30 minutes, special occasion-worthy

Remind Mom of that epic trip to Italy you took way back when with this tangy dessert made with limoncello and lemon sorbet. Best part? It’s doused in Prosecco.

21. Heart Thumbprint Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

Show Mom some love with simple heart-shaped thumbprint cookies, filled to the brim with her favorite flavor of jam.

22. Foolproof Vegan Applesauce Spice Cake

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, vegan, dairy free, beginner-friendly

No one said Mother’s Day dessert had to come after dinner. Serve this vegan applesauce spice cake for brunch alongside coffee or tea.

23. Mixed Berry Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Mascarpone Whipped Cream

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, gluten free, special occasion-worthy

We’ll admit that a pavlova isn’t the easiest dessert to make, but you’ll be so satisfied once it’s done. Layer homemade meringue, mixed berry compote, lemon curd and mascarpone whipped cream to blow her away.

24. Yogurt Coffee Cake

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser

Start Mother’s Day off right with a sweet treat. This yogurt coffee cake includes classic streusel topping and cream cheese glaze.

25. Easy Chocolate Mousse

  • Time Commitment: 5 hours and 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients, kid-friendly

Searching the pantry for Mother’s Day dessert inspo? You likely already have the ingredients you need for this oh-so-simple chocolate mousse.

26. Cardamom Cream-Filled Bundt Cake

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 50 minutes
  • Why I Love It: special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser

Surprise Momma with this Swedish twist on Bundt cake. It’s cut in half and filled with cardamom-laced whipped cream, so each forkful tastes like a fluffy bite of heaven.

27. The Best Classic Lemon Bars

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

Is lemon her go-to? We got you. Try these bittersweet, bite-sized sweets, dusted with powdered sugar. Use Meyer lemons if you can find them.

28. Mini Blackberry Cheesecake Tarts with Walnut Crust

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: special occasion-worthy

These bite-sized tarts topped with ginger peanut brittle will make a great addition to the dessert bar at your Mother’s Day celebration. Even if it’s just the immediate family, they’ll really dress up the party.

29. Easy Turtle Sundae Ice Cream Pie

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, kid-friendly

Six ingredients (including store-bought salted caramel ice cream) come together to create this decadent pie. We bet Mom will be impressed.

30. Salty Dark and Milk Chocolate Skillet Cookie

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

“No, I don’t want a giant salted chocolate chunk cookie,” said no mom (or human) ever.

31. No-Bake Berry Tiramisu

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 40 minutes
  • Why I Love It: no bake, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

No-bake desserts are our love language. We have a *major* crush on this layered treat made with store-bought ladyfingers, raspberry jam and ricotta-cream cheese filling.

32. Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

Mom will love whatever you decide to make her, but what she really wants for Mother's Day is quality time. Luckily, these cuties will only take you 30 minutes to make, so you'll have plenty of time to hang.

33. Cantaloupe-mint Sorbet

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 40 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, dairy free, gluten free

What has four ingredients, comes together in a blender and tastes like sunshine? This refreshing cantaloupe sorbet, of course.

34. Puff Pastry Plum and Thyme Galette

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why I Love It: beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

Every mom loves a shortcut. Thanks to frozen puff pastry, you won't have to fuss with making pie dough from scratch.

35. Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

Behold, the most delicious mashup of all time. These handhelds have a secret to boot: They're filled with sweetened fresh strawberries.

36. Lemon Pie with Blueberry Meringue

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 35 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser

Part pie, part work of art. You can thank freeze-dried blueberries for the meringue's gorgeous lilac hue.

37. Mini Strawberry Ice Cream Pies

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

Cool off with these simple pies filled with uber-sweet roasted strawberry filling. If you don't have mini pie pans, ramekins will work just fine.

38. Cheater’s Mini Rhubarb Galettes

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, dairy free, special occasion-worthy

How gorgeous are these pretty-in-pink treats topped with in-season rhubarb? They're just begging to be topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

39. Coconut Rice Pudding with Rhubarb Compote

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes (plus chilling)
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, special occasion-worthy

Speaking of rhubarb, she can do way more than just pies and galettes—and this three-ingredient compote proves it.

40. Botanical Shortbread Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

If your mom loves her plant babies or garden (almost) more than you, these cookies will be an easy win. You can find edible flowers like violets, pansies, roses or lavender online at Gourmet Sweet Botanicals.

41. Lemon-Raspberry Whoopie Pies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 5 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

Be sure to brag to mom about not using food dye in the cream filling. Raspberry jam and fresh raspberries turn it pink naturally.

42. No-Bake, Gluten-Free Rose Petal Brownies

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: no bake, gluten free, vegan

How can brownies this fudgy and chocolatey also be gluten-free and no-bake? We're glad you asked. The recipe calls for a base of sweet pitted dates instead of traditional flour.

43. Blueberry Crumble Pie

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser

Why not pregame your Mother's Day celebration with a trip to the local farmers market for fresh berries? This one's all about the produce, so feel free to use a store-bought pie crust.

44. Strawberry, Cardamom and Pistachio Pavlova Bites

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours and 25 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, gluten free, special occasion-worthy

They're as stunning as they are delicious, so much so that Mom might not even believe you made these light-as-air pavlova bites yourself.

45. No-Bake Coconut Cream Pie

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: no bake, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

Trust us: This no-bake gem is the next best thing to gifting her a tropical vacation for Mother's Day.

46. Meyer Lemon Loaf Cake

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

Might we recommend digging into this breakfast delight with a batch of lavender lattes?

47. Ice Cream Cone Cannoli

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: no bake, <10 ingredients, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

Easy store-bought sugar cones > challenging homemade pastry shells. Thank us later.

48. Ricotta-Honey Ice Cream

  • Time Commitment: 4 hours
  • Why I Love It: no cook, <10 ingredients, gluten free

Repeat after us: “I do not need fancy equipment to make ice cream.” All you need to pull it off is a large casserole dish or pan instead of an ice cream maker.

49. Oatmeal Cookie Cream Pies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

Remember all those times mom slipped one of these into your lunchbox as a kid? It's about time you return the favor. Little Debbie would be proud.

50. Strawberry Pie with Strawberry Crust

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 45 minutes
  • Why I Love It: special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser

Presenting the most gorgeous pie you'll ever make from scratch. Good looking out, freeze-dried strawberries.

51. Peanut Butter Cream Pie with Raspberry Meringue

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Why I Love It: special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser

Your grade-school PB&J, all grown up. The elegant swoops of pink, fruity meringue make the pie look like it was pulled straight out of a fairy tale.

52. Carrot Cake Doughnuts with Cream Cheese Glaze

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

Doughnuts for dessert” has a nice ring to it, no? Even picky kids won't be able to resist.

53. Salted Peanut Butter and Honey Ice Cream

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes (plus chilling)
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, dairy free, gluten free

Free of dairy and added sugar? Pinch us, we’re dreaming. Oh, and pass the hot fudge.

54. Big Raspberry-Rye Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, one bowl, beginner-friendly

Tart-sweet freeze-dried raspberries are the ultimate foil for nutty, malty rye flour. We'd have cold milk at the ready if we were you.

55. Lemon-Earl Grey Polenta Loaf

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 5 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, dairy free, crowd-pleaser

If an hours-long Mother's Day brunch is on the agenda, this elegant loaf peppered with loose-leaf Earl Grey tea is a stellar starter.

mother's day desserts: cheater's mini strawberry vanilla galettes
Photo/Styling: Katherine Gillen

56. Cheater’s Mini Strawberry-Vanilla Galettes

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, kid-friendly, special occasion-worthy

And once again, the day is saved, thanks to store-bought puff pastry. You'll be shocked what a difference a teaspoon of vanilla paste can make.

mother's day desserts: biscochito biscotti
Photo/Styling: Katherine Gillen

57. Biscochito Biscotti

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 5 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients

You know how your mom always starts the day with a latte? Consider this New Mexico-inspired, cinnamon-laced treat her new BFF.

mother's day desserts: gluten free ricotta cheesecake
Infraordinario Studio for Dalcò Edizioni S.R.L.

58. Gluten-Free Ricotta Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: gluten free, <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

Because wheat shouldn't stand between Mom and dessert, especially on her special day. Finish the cheesecake with melted chocolate, berry compote or caramel sauce.

mother's day desserts: clementine meltaway cookies
Photo/Styling: Katherine Gillen

59. Clementine Meltaway Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 35 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser

The cookies' melt-in-your-mouth texture is courtesy of cornstarch in the dough. Feel free to substitute Meyer lemon or blood orange for clementine.

mother's day desserts: dulce de leche skillet brownie
Photo/Styling: Katherine Gillen

60. Dulce de Leche Skillet Brownie

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: beginner-friendly, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser

All you need to pull off that decadent, caramelly dulce de leche swirl is a can of sweetened condensed milk.

61. 7-Layer Bars

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, make ahead

Whether you know them as seven-layer bars, magic bars or Hello Dolly bars, one thing's for certain: This confection *never* gets old. Bring on the condensed milk.

62. Claire Saffitz’s Raspberry Almond Thumbprints

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, make ahead

Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, these bite-sized treats are very similar to French macarons—but a million times easier to prepare.

63. Orange Creamsicle Granita

  • Time Commitment: 5 hours and 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

Dessert is only four ingredients away, including easy store-bought vanilla ice cream. Make it Saturday night for minimal stress on the big day.

64. Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Pie

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead, special occasion-worthy

Don't let the from-scratch crust intimidate you: It's surprisingly low-fuss. As for the filling, it's as easy as whisking the ingredients together and baking until slightly jiggly.

65. Strawberry Half-Moon Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly

Nothing against the O.G., but these cakey cookies were overdue for an update. No one will miss the chocolate, promise.


purewow author

Freelance PureWow Editor


taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...