Making something for Mom

by Brittany Gilbert

No matter the occasion, most moms adore homemade treats created by their kids.

Depending on your kids’ ages and abilities, there are many crafts that your kids can make. Here are a couple of my favorites:

A handmade card featuring a youngster’s handprint and fingerprints.

Handprint flowers

I love this craft because it is also a cute way to keep your child’s handprint and see their growth.

Paint of different colors (green, yellow and other spring colors for flowers)
Orange construction paper
White paper
Scissors and glue/tape

Cover your child’s hand with green paint. I like to paint their hand with a foam brush instead of dipping it. This makes for easier transfer and cleanup. Now, place their handprint in the center of the white paper.

At the top of each finger will be a flower. Make this by dipping one fingertip in yellow paint and then dot at the top of each finger, making the center of a flower. Dip another finger in a different color and put dots around the yellow dot as the petals of the flower. Do this for all five fingers. Now you have a hand full of flowers.

Cut the orange construction paper in the shape of a flower pot and attach to the bottom of the hand so it looks like flowers are growing out of the pot. You may want to write a note or poem on the pot before gluing in place.

Flower Pot Cake

Dessert is the way to my heart, especially cake, so this is definitely a favorite of mine. Any favorite chocolate cake recipe should do the trick, but I like a Martha Stewart recipe, mainly because she is the one who gave me this idea several years ago for Mother’s Day gifts for the moms in my life, and it has never steered me wrong. This recipe calls for six unglazed terra cotta flower pots (6-ounce capacity, about 2 3/4 inches tall) or use nine 4-ounce pots. Wash thoroughly in hot water before using.

1/3 cup vegetable oil, plus more for pots
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Quick Chocolate Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 3 tablespoons of whipping cream (amount varies depending on consistency)
2/3 cup cocoa

Beat the butter. Add the powdered sugar. Beat until right consistency (can take several minutes). Add vanilla and whipping cream. Beat really well. Add cocoa and beat again.

1/2 cup crushed chocolate wafer cookies (about 10), for garnish
Multicolored pebble-shaped chocolate candies, for garnish
Mint sprigs, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush inside of each flowerpot with oil and line with parchment paper; brush with oil and dust with cocoa.
Sift cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Add egg and yolk, 3/4 cup warm water, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Mix on low speed until smooth, about 1 minute.

Divide batter among pots, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake on a cookie sheet, rotating sheet about halfway through, until toothpick comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Let cakes completely cool in pots on wire rack.

Frost cakes; sprinkle with crushed cookies for “dirt”; top with candies and “plant” one mint sprig for each cake.


Brittany Gilbert is a former FACS teacher at Maumelle High School. She and her husband, Levi, have two sons and a daughter and live in Conway. Brittany can be reached at [email protected].