Flowers for Mom

Did I ever tell you I once had my own personal chef?

My chef would often create dishes with the veritable ease and skill of an Iron Chef, but with few ingredients, and even fewer, fancy gadgets.

I shall refer to her as "Chef Mom," because that is who she was, and still is today.

Sadly though, once mom retired to the state of Florida (as required by law), the pampering stopped. But this is not where the story ends. In the next chapter, you'll see how mom's culinary influence gave me the confidence to return the favor.

So this Mother's Day, I'll be indulging her sweet tooth with a classic dessert, her favorite, Carrot Cake.

No roses on mom's cake — she prefers daisies.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

2 ½ cups AP flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
1 pound carrots, peeled and finely shredded
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup chopped walnuts, or pecans

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 2, 9-inch pans with parchment paper, and grease lightly. Grease and flour a small (3 to 4-inch) ovenproof bowl.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, ground cloves and salt. Set aside.

Place eggs and both sugars in a mixer bowl with a wire whisk, and whip them on high, until light and airy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and slowly add the oil in a thin stream, until mixture is light in color and emulsified.

Stir in the carrots, walnuts and flour mixture, until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake about 40 minutes for the 9-inch pans, and about 20 for the small bowl cake. Cool cakes in their pans 15 minutes, then remove from pans and place on wire racks to cool completely, before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
Heavy cream

Using the paddle attachment on your mixer, whip the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until light. Stop mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add all the confectioner’s sugar and mix on low, until incorporated.
Add just enough heavy cream to create a medium consistency frosting.

You could replicate this simple cake for any Spring or Summer event. If you decide to, you're also going to need 1½ pounds of rolled fondant. I like Satin Ice, but homemade fondant will be just fine.

To decorate: Cover cakes with a thin layer of frosting. Allow frosting to set up. Tint a little of the fondant a mossy green, for the leaves.
Roll out fondant very thin, and cut out as many leaves as you like, to go around the bottom edge of the cake.

Roll out white fondant, and cut the daisy petals with a 3½-inch tear drop or oval-shaped cutter (Keep the fondant covered with plastic wrap while you work, to keep it from drying out).

To vein the petals, place each one onto a dry corn husk, cover with a piece of thin foam, or plastic wrap, and roll over it with an artist's brayer.
Add three thin layers of petals onto the cake, starting just above the leaves, and working your way up. Pinch the petals at the top edge before placing them on the cake.

Tint a small amount of fondant yellow. Roll it out, and cover the small round cake, neatly tucking the ends under. Place it on the flower, as shown. After the fondant has dried, you could brush it with gold petal dust.

So what're you still doing up at this ungodly hour!?

(I suppose you could say my bossy tendencies are yet another trait I inherited from dear ol' mom).

But seriously, go to bed. And don't forget to brush.

I'll be joining Foodie Friday.

Happy Mother's Day to my Foodie Brigade!


  1. Oh, that cake is magnificent and you are a talented cake decorator! A beautiful way of saying "I love you" to your Mom.



  2. I hope you'll come back and tell us what your mom says when she sees this work of art!! Yes, I am nosy ;o) A trait I inherited from my mom!
    Happy Mother's Day to you and your Mom.

  3. How utterly exquisite dear Sol..

    I bet maman is proud of her beautiful daughter..
    Sol..Happy Mother's Day to a great mom..
    You are always an inspiration..

  4. Gorgeous cake, Sol! You have such a lovely personal chef, as does your kids! My own personal chef made the best reservations, we were safer that way :)
    Stunning cake! Happy Mother's day to you and your Chef!

  5. That is so beautiful, Sol! What a sweet (no pun intended) tribute to your personal chef :)

    Happy Mother's Day to cute, bossy you and your daisy-loving mother!!

  6. Absolutely gorgeous! I'm sure your personal chef would be very proud... Love that it is mandatory to move to FL when you reach a certain age.

  7. Wow, I hope I'll have such a loving daughter someday like you are to your mother! Beautiful work of art, at first I was wondering where the cake was :))) Happy Mother's Day!

  8. That is absolutely exquisite.... I think it is an awesome tribute to what sounds like an awesome mother! I am sure she is super proud of you! I wish I could make cakes that looked this amazing! Thanks for sharing!

    Happy Mother's Day!

  9. Your comments always brighten my day. Thank you all!

    I hope you were spoiled rotten on Mother's Day!

  10. Exceptional! Masterpiece! Extra-ordinary!

  11. Oh my Marysol! That is just stunning! So close to real life, actually this is art :D

  12. Thank you ladies very kindly!
    This really is the type of cake anyone can make, but I humbly appreciate and embrace your comments.

  13. what an incredible work !! stunning !!

  14. This is such a beautiful and elegant cake to celebrate Mother's day. So unique. :)

    Just like you, I love my mom's cooking and even miss her more when we moved further away from each other. Hope you had a wonderful Mother's day weekend.

  15. I just found your blog and am your newest follower! This cake is stunning and sounds delicious. Thanks for creating such a fab blog full of inspiration (and for helping me realize I had a personal chef once too!). :)

  16. You guys are making me blush. But I don't mind :)

    Brandy, personal chefs are the best, and always create satisfying dishes on a whim, just for us. I never once had to send a dish back.

    Thank you for all your uplifting comments—they're always appreciated!

  17. That cake is a masterpiece - it belongs on one of those tv shows where they compete for the most beautiful cake.

  18. Wow, that is a beautiful cake! I thought it was a pillow or something at first because I normally don't see cakes quite that perfect looking. I'm lucky that I still live with my personal chef. Nothing quite tastes the same when you have to make it yourself, does it? At least that's the story I tell her!

  19. Gorgeous... an edible piece of gold! Truly mesmerizing. Once again I'm in awe at the perfection of what you do!

  20. That is a beautiful, very unique cake. A most thoughtful creation for your personal chef!

  21. You're all very kind. Thank you!

    The chef gave the cake high marks. Now, it's back to salads :)

  22. Oh My!

    Marysol, this cake is too beautiful for words. It's truly a work of art. It's clear that Chef Mom has passed on the love of cooking to her lovely daughter. I look forward to seeing more of her influence on you.

    I'm sure she loved it!


  23. What artistry! The best mother's day cake I've ever seen, hands down.

  24. Anonymous20/5/11

    You're amazing. But then, you already knew that.

    -Robin, aka rob333

  25. Hi Rockin' Robin!

    You're all the proverbial peach that's always in season!

    Have a good weekend friends!

  26. Wow, that's stunning, you must have spent hours making it!
    Hope you had or will have a good mother's day, ours has already been here, back in March.

  27. Have a lovely long weekend!