This Mother’s Day Cake is a celebration of everything we love about the day devoted to mums. And while it looks fancy, it’s quite simple to put together.
Chrysanthemums and cake for Mother’s Day
The chrysnathemum, our most popular Mother’s Day flower in Australia, is the star of this cake.
This flower is a favourite of many mums. Not only is it blooming beautifully in May, when we celebrate this special day, but it also has the word “mum” in it. Perfect!
I’ve also learnt that chrysanthemums are edible. So what better way to decorate a Mother’s Day cake than with this lovely flower.
You don’t have to eat the flowers, of course. I’ve also included some sweet berries and cream (which I’d much rather eat with cake than flower petals!)
The chrysanthemum has an extra special meaning for me. Growing up, my Nan Mac (Nana Ling‘s daughter) would grow rows and rows of these flowers.
Us kids would sell them on Mother’s Day weekend and pocket the profits.
It was always a big family event, and a combined effort.
Me (on left) and my cousins Rebecca (centre) and Meegan (right) working the Mother’s Day flower stall in the mid 1980’s.
Our grandparents, Nan and Pop Mac, would grow and care for the plants during the year. Our mums would spend hours cutting the flowers and bunching them the night before the big day. They’d get us up early to sell, sell, sell and Nan Mac would cook us up hot chips for lunch. Pop Mac would be in charge of signage and anything else Nan told him to do.
How lucky were we to have mums and grandparents who put in all the work, on Mother’s Day weekend no less, to let us kids have fun and make some cash? Very lucky indeed. And while I loved the cash at the time, it’s the memories I treasure now.
Let’s make cake
I’ve used one of Nana Ling’s handwritten cake recipes from 1941. She’s called it “Angel Cake” but it’s not the light and delicate Angel Cake we know today. It’s a denser cake, with just the right balance of sweetness.
If you want to save time, you could also simply buy a sponge or buttercake and then proceed to decorate it following this recipe.
Decorating the cake
Here’s what you’ll need to bring this cake to life:
- thickened cream
- a little pink or red food colouring
- a bunch of chrysanthemums (while they’re generally edible you should only eat them if they’re also labelled as edible) or other edible flowers
- strawberries and raspberries (or any other berries you prefer)
- a few sprigs of mint.
Once you whip the cream, divide it into two bowls and colour one part with the food colouring. Mix it in only a little to create a marbled effect.
Use two piping bags (or a freezer bag with a smaller and larger diagonal cut to the corner) to pipe small and larger amounts of cream around the cake plate and on top of the cake.
Then, just use a little creativity to arrange the berries, flowers and mint.
If you want to see the decorating process in action, scroll back up for a quick how-to video.
Nana Ling’s Mother’s Day Cake recipe
Keep scrolling for the tested and tweaked version.
Mother's Day Cake
- 1/2 cup butter (115 grams)
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 3 egg whites
- 2 cups SR flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 200 mls thickened cream
- 7 strawberries
- 10 raspberries
- 15 edible chrysanthemum flowers
- 2 sprigs mint (or another green edible)
- 2 drops pink or red food colouring
- Pre-heat oven to a moderate temperature (160 degrees celsius, fan-forced).
- Grease a small round tin (18-20cm diameter) and dust with flour, tipping excess flour from tin.
- Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer.
- Add vanilla essence and continue to beat until pale and creamy.
- Add milk slowly while beating on medium speed.
- Add sifted flour gradually while mixing on lowest speed.
- Beat egg whites to form stiff peaks and then gently fold into mixture.
- Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake for 50-60 minutes.
- Allow to cool.
- Sit cake on a serving plate or stand.
- Whip cream to form stiff peaks. Divid the cream in half and add food colour drops to one half. Stir through a little to get a marbled effect.
- Use piping bags (or a freezer bag with the corner cut out) to pipe small and larger amounts of cream on the top of the cake and around the cake plate. (See video above)
- Place washed and air dried berries, flowers and mint around the top of the cake and around the cake plate. (See video above)