Three Mother's Day Recipes to spoil your Mom with!

 Want to make mom some yummy desserts to show Mom how cherished she is? Here are a few FAB ones I love. One you make yourself, the other you can use our cake to help out a bit!

I am always looking for new recipes, both sweet and savory, and while there are thousands online, my go-to is always anything by Marlene Sorosky-Gray.

 Marlene worked with James Beard as well as Julia Child, and she has written 13 cookbooks, including the James Beard Award Winning Book, “Entertaining on the Run.” Most of all, however, I admire Marlene for creating some of the most delicious recipes ever.

One day, back in the 80s, my aunt made a delicious cheesecake so I asked her recipe; but it was Marlene's recipe! The same month I asked my friend Karin for her shrimp and chicken curry recipe. Yes, also from Marlene. That is when I discovered her “Cookery for Entertaining Cookbook”. I have used it SO much that the pages are all stained, and many have fallen out (I recently bought it again)! In fact, I have all 13 of her cookbooks!

I learned so much from Marlene over the years, yet I was a silent fan. Until one day a few years ago I decided to write her, and to my surprise, she wrote back! We've had such a lovely relationship since, and I often "attend" her "Cooking with Class" cooking classes via Zoom. On this night, Marlene taught a small group of us how to make a Lemon Celebration Cake with Lemon Curd and Swiss Meringue. It's such a special cake, truly a celebration in your mouth, that I thought I would share. It is PERFECT for Mother’s Day brunch!


Here is the recipe for Marlene's Lemon Meringue Celebration Cake:




  • Sponge Cake
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk


 Lemon Syrup

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice


 Lemon Filling

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks (save the whites for meringue)
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream, whipped to firm peaks


 Italian Meringue Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Dash salt



  1. Adjust rack to lower third of oven, preheat to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment.


  1. in a medium bowl, whisk together 3 cups flour, 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt. Using an electric mixer, cream 2 sticks butter until very soft and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups sugar and continue creaming until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add 4 eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 1/2 tsp. vanilla.
  1. On low speed, add a small amount of the dry ingredients to the batter using on-and-off bursts of the mixer. This keeps the flour from flying outside the bowl. Add 1/3 cup buttermilk. 1/3 the flour, repeat beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix to blend. Spoon batter into cake pans and spread it evenly.
  2. To bake: Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes until tops are golden, a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean and the sides of the cake begin to pull away. Cool in pans 10 minutes, gently go around edges of cake with a small knife and then invert cake layers onto a rack, turn right side up and cool completely. TO MAKE AHEAD: Cake layers may be wrapped in foil and held at room temperature up to 2 days or frozen.



In a small saucepan, heat 3/4 cup water and 1/2 sugar until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup lemon juice. TO MAKE AHEAD: Syrup may be refrigerated for up to 3 days.



  1. To make lemon curd: In a medium heavy saucepan over low heat, heat 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup sugar and 6 tablespoons butter, stirring occasionally. In a small bowl, briefly whisk 2 eggs and 2 yolks. When butter is melted, whisk some of the warm liquid into egg mixture, then stir the warmed eggs back into the pan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the curd thickens enough to leave a definite pattern on a spatula when you run your finger along it. (170 degrees). Press the curd through a strainer into a bowl.  Place plastic wrap directly on surface and refrigerate until cold. TO MAKE AHEAD: Curd may be refrigerated up to 3 days.


Several hours before filling the cake, stir curd well and fold into 3/4 cup whipped cream. Return to refrigerator to firm up.  



  1. Cut each cake in half horizontally.
  2. Arrange bottom layer on a cardboard round slightly smaller than the cake. Brush with a quarter of the syrup. It seems like a lot, but not to worry. You might use a little less on the bottom layer and go a little heavier on the top layers. Spread with 1/3 of the filling, stopping about 1/2-inch from the edges. Top with second layer, brush with syrup and spread with 1/3 filling Top with third layer, brush with syrup, spread with remaining filling and top with cake layer. Brush with remaining syrup.

TO MAKE AHEAD:  Cake is best refrigerated overnight and can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.



  1. Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/4 cup water in a 1 ½ quart saucepan. Cook over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium high and boil until a candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees.


  1. While sugar is boiling, beat the egg whites with cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form. If whites are almost ready before the syrup, reduce mixer to low and mix slowly until the syrup reaches 240 degrees.


  1. Turn the mixer to low and while it is running, very slowly pour the hot syrup into a steady stream toward the edge of the bowl onto the whites. Continue to beat on high speed until the whites are room temperature, thick and glossy like marshmallow cream, about 10 minutes. The sides of the bowl should no longer feel warm.


  1. Frost sides and top with frosting using a spoon or a star tip to make swirls. Brown the tips of the design with a culinary blow torch!


TO MAKE AHEAD: Cake may be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature several hours before serving. Serve at room temperature.

 Makes about 14 servings.


Or you can link to the recipe in our baking blog:


Mini Tres Leches in Mason jars


This is one of the most requested items I make at home. Super easy, though many steps. Do not let this intimidate you! It’s easy, and SO WORTH IT!! Your fav Mom will love it!

Yields: 10-12 individual servings


  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  •  5 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9x13-inch baking pan.
  1. Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.
  1. Cream butter or margarine and the 1 cup sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste; beat well.
  1. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture 2 tablespoons at a time; mix until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  1. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Cool. Pierce cake several times with a fork.
  1. Combine the whole milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk together. Pour over the top of the cooled cake. Set in fridge. Allow cake to absorb the milk mixture for at least 30 minutes.
  1. Whip whipping cream, the remaining 1 cup of the sugar, and the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste together until thick. Set aside.
  1. Cut soaked cake into small squares, just enough to push carefully into bottom of a small Mason jar for an individual serving. Then pipe whipped cream on top. Put another square of cake on top, then pipe whipped cream on top of that, allowing whipped cream to fill in open spots. Shave a nice amount of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate on top. Screw on mason jar lid. Refrigerate overnight or for several hours before serving.


Refrigerate until serving & enjoy!!

Or you can find it on our blog here:



My Mother-in-Law Mona, who was from Leeds, England, taught me how to make a proper English Trifle.  She wrote out "her" recipe and gave it to me at my bridal shower. I never asked if she created this recipe, but to me, it was hers. Whilst (she would always say "whilst" instead of while) she, admittedly, “wasn't a very good cook,” she made one heck of a trifle. I miss our daily rituals of drinking tea and eating crumpets, sitting in her Texas kitchen at 4 PM. We saved the trifle for family gatherings and special occasions. I would sneak out of work and sit at her kitchen table for hours. She left England after WWII and moved to Borger, Texas. From there she landed in Ft. Worth, Texas, where I met their son. While our marriage ended almost as soon as it began, we remained friends (we were so young), but my love and respect for my Mona lasted. So, in honor of this Mother’s Day, I share Mona's Trifle with you. And, it is REALLY super easy as you make it with Hungry Monkey’s Lemon Cake with Lemon Buttermilk & Zest Icing!


Strawberry Sauce

  • 4 pints Strawberries, saving 4 berries, sliced thickly, for the top
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch

Combine the berries, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice in saucepan over medium heat. Bring to simmer and cook just until the berries begin to breakdown and give up their juices, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cook. The mixture will cook as it cools. Set aside to use in layering for the trifle.


Custard Filling

  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 TBS cornstarch
  • 3/4  tsp salt
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 TBS vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)
  • 5 TBS cream sherry (optional, but so yummy)
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 - 2 1/2 Hungry Monkey Lemon Cakes or your own cake, 10 - 16 oz each.


  • 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (+1 TBS powdered sugar) for the top of the trifle
  • Candied Cherries
  • Pastel candies (or sprinkles)


In saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually add milk, stirring continuously until smooth. Stir constantly over medium heat until mixture is thickened and comes to a boil. Boil only one minute and remove from heat. In a separate bowl, slightly beat egg yolks. Add a little bit of the hot mixture to the egg yolks mixture. Stir continuously until custard just begins to boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla bean paste and only 1 tbs of the sherry. Strain over a larger bowl. place plastic wrap on top to prevent a film over the top. Chill. Whip 2 1/4 cups whipping cream and fold into the chilled custard.

Cut the pound cake or lemon cake lengthwise into 1/2" slices and then sprinkle each slice with sherry.  Cut into 2" squares. Arrange cake squares preserve side up in the bottom of a trifle dish or large glass bowl. Spread berry mixture on top, then custard over the strawberry sauce. Top with remaining cake squares, then strawberry sauce, then remaining custard. Depending on what type of bowl you use, you can do two or three layers, possibly four.

Whip the additional 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream with 1 TBS powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Top entire trifle with the whipped cream.

Place plastic wrap over top and chill overnight and for up to 2 days.

Remove from the refrigerator and top with candied cherries, candied sprinkles and the 4 sliced (saved) strawberries.