Mother’s Day Desserts

Coconut cupcakes
Nikki Baxendale

Literally Life logo

Working on crafting a Mother’s Day menu? No celebration is complete without something sweet. We’ve partnered with Nikki Baxendale, founder of Literally Life, to see how to create Mother’s Day desserts as delicious as they are beautiful.

This is part two of our Mother’s Day series. See recipes for Mother’s Day appetizers and cocktails, including a blackberry mint julep and goat cheese, pear and pecan phyllo cups.

My twin girls Chloe and Lily could hardly contain themselves for our Mother’s Day treats. Their eyes lit up at the sight of the counter set with all the tempting fare, and they were so excited to have their teachers visit them at their house. It was all just so magical.

Cupcake Centerpiece

Mother’s Day desserts

A centerpiece is essential to offering a wow factor, and this delightful cupcake stand filled with spring floral cupcake papers was perfect. In keeping with our tasting theme, we filled half the stand with decadent cupcakes and the rest with other temptations. We nicknamed the cupcake stand “Mummy’s Indulgence” because…well, why not! Isn’t this just the day to be spoiled and enjoy a little bit of what you fancy?

The Dessert Menu

  • Coconut cupcakes with lemon buttercream, decorated with pearls and flowers
  • White chocolate fruit and nut brittle with strawberries, pistachios and blueberries
  • White chocolate “Tutti Frutti” brittle with candied citrus peels, dark chocolate gogi berries and Himalayan sea salt
  • Chewy ripple meringues
  • Meringue and cream sandwiches
  • Sugared fresh fruits

The Cooks in the Kitchen

Drumming on bowls

Being the energetic helpers they are, Chloe and Lily could not wait to test out their own kind of beat on these colorful mixing bowls. First on the baking list was the girls’ favorite treat: moist coconut cupcakes topped with lemon buttercream frosting.

Making coconut cupcakes
Mixing cupcake dough

The recipe required vigorous whisking to make the cakes light and fluffy. Fortunately, Grandma was visiting us from England and was on hand to add a little extra help with this operation.

Tasting cupcake dough

While we were baking, the girls were entertained with stories of when their mummy was growing up and being a little kitchen helper. Of course, Chloe and Lily upheld the tradition of licking the spoon. They managed to polish off the bowl of cake batter, whipped cream and the buttercream frosting.

Fluffy Coconut Cupcake Recipe

Coconut cupcake with lemon frosting

Ingredients — Cupcakes

  • 12 tablespoons of room temperature unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups of cake flour
  • 3/4 cup of room temperature whole milk
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 coconut cream
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Ingredients — Lemon Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Instructions — Cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk the butter with an electric hand mixer for about three minutes until it is light and fluffy. Set aside.

In a second bowl, sift the cake flour and add baking powder, sugar and salt. Add the mixture gradually to the butter and beat continuously until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

In a third bowl, whisk together the egg whites, coconut milk, coconut cream, vanilla and coconut extract until combined. Gradually add this liquid mixture to the flour and butter mixture and beat with an electric whisk on medium speed for two minutes.

To add extra fluffiness to your cupcakes, beat the mixture in quarter stages and allow the mix to combine before adding the next quarter of liquid.

Pour the mixture into lined cupcake pans. I like to really fill my papers to give that impressive height to the cupcakes. Before putting in the oven, give the pan a little tap and wiggle to create  perfect shape and allow any air bubbles to escape.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 18 minutes, and use a toothpick to test. If they are done, the toothpick will come out almost clean without sticky residue.

Instructions — Frosting

To make the buttercream frosting, beat the butter with a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for about three minutes until light and fluffy.

Beating continuously, add sugar gradually, then add lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir until combined.

Icing Your Cupcakes

When your cupcakes are fully cooled, place the buttercream into a piping bag and swirl on the delicious zesty frosting to suit your taste. Decorate with edible flowers and confectioners cake pearls.

Chewy Ripple Meringues Recipe

Chewy ripple meringues

Next up were the meringues. We just love meringues, especially when they are crisp on the outside with just the right amount of gooey chewiness on the inside. These are so easy to make and can be the base of lots of creative desserts.

Forming ripple meringues
Making meringues

The girls may have gotten a little messy, but they loved whipping up the meringue mixture and piping their creations. Because we wanted a variety of sizes, such as pearls, larger rounds and also a few odd shapes to crush up, this was the perfect project for little helpers.


  • Egg whites from 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • Food coloring


Preheat oven to 220 degrees.

With an electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites until they have soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat between additions for approximately four minutes in total.

Place egg mixture in a piping bag, and pipe mounds to the desired size. Add a drop of food coloring and use a toothpick to swirl a pattern through each mound.

Bake in the center of the oven at 220 degrees for 45 minutes. Towards the end, check to make sure they are not browning. You can always reduce the temperature and bake on a very low heat for longer if you feel they are browning.

Pearl Bouquets

Meringue pearl bouquet of flowers
Meringue pearl bouquet of flowers

To add a dramatic touch to your table, use the tiny pearl-sized meringues and create a beautiful bouquet with fresh or artificial flowers. I love these artificial lilies mixed with fresh tulips.

For a novelty holder, I used a sugar cone and arranged the flowers on the counter, adding a confetti of the meringue pearls and sprinkles. These pearls are so tempting that I think my little helpers will eat the decor long before the flowers wilt.

Candy Striped Eton Mess

Eton mess dessert with raspberries

A great treat from back home is Eton Mess and as the name indicates it looks just that. It is, however, absolutely delicious and a good way to use up all the not-so-pretty or cracked meringue.

To make Eton Mess, simply place a large handful of meringue into a bowl and gently break up into medium-sized chunks. Pile a generous portion of your favorite berries and combine with heavy whipped cream. Carefully fold together to create a colorful “mixed mess.”

Eton mess mixture

Serve in one large dish or have some fun with individual sizes in a mismatched collection of tea cups and ice cream glasses. I loved the retro feel of these ice cream dishes. To finish, simply add a little extra whipped cream and top with a raspberry.

White Chocolate Brittle Recipes

White chocolate brittle with strawberries and pistachios
White chocolate brittle with candied ginger

This white chocolate brittle is simple, effective and delicious.

Ingredients — White Chocolate with Strawberries, Pistachios and Blueberries

  • 2 large bars of premium white chocolate
  • 3/4 cup dried strawberries
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries
  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • Sea salt

Ingredients — White Chocolate with Candied Citrus Peel, Dark Chocolate Gogi Berries and Himalayan Sea Salt

  • 2 large bars of premium white chocolate
  • 1/2 cup of dark chocolate-covered gogi berries
  • 1/4 cup of candied citrus peel
  • 1/2 cup of caramelized ginger, cubed


To make, melt white chocolate and pour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Before the chocolate sets, sprinkle with toppings of your choice. Once set, break it into uneven pieces. The tulip dishes really showed off these tempting bites.

Finishing Touches

Painting a vase
Blue painted pot

To add a handmade touch to the table, the girls and I also painted some glass vases and tiny flower pots to serve as nameplates for all of our dishes. To hold the tiny chalkboards in place, we filled the pots with crushed chocolate graham cracker for dirt and planted the skewer with heart marshmallows.

Dessert pots

Mother’s Day Soiree

Mother's Day treats

These little girls are filled with joy and color our lives in the brightest hues. I’m so glad we could celebrate Mother’s Day with the wonderful women who have taught them so much and who love them right back. Thank you, Mum, Grandma and all the ladies who make us who we are.

Looking for more Mother’s Day dessert recipes? Check out the Cakes, Tarts & Cupcakes Pinterest board from Crate and Barrel.


  1. […] is part two of our Mother’s Day series. See recipes for Mother’s Day desserts, including cupcakes, meringues, and white chocolate […]

    May 1, 2015 |

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