Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sunday Sweets: Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Hi guys, Number 1 here!

I have fond memories of baking with my mother when I was growing up. Mom would make the most delicious homemade red velvet cake with the BEST butter cream icing every year for my birthday. (I still ask for it now, and I'll be 30 this year.) My mother is a Cake Wrecks reader. She forwards my (and Jen's) posts to her friends, and she is so super proud. So in honor of my remarkable mom - and the rest of you moms out there - I've scoured the web for cakes that remind me of her.

For the piles of stinky clothes you sorted and washed...

By Debbie Brown in her book 50 Easy Party Cakes

For the countless mittens knitted for my tiny hands...

By Pink Cake Box

(I know this is a birthday cake, but it's too cool and mom-ish to pass up. And I love the details! Fondant cat-eye glasses, sugar knitting needles, and rice-krispy treat yarn balls!!)

For all the torn hems you mended and homemade dresses...

By Zhanna Zubova

For the million messes I made that you cleaned up...

(Those suckers are adorable!)

For all the loads of dishes...

(This cake is from a page in Jane Asher's Calendar of Cooking from 1995. It wouldn't be my choice to remind mom of the constant mess in the kitchen, but it's too hilarious not to include. "Happy Mother's Day, Mom! Say, the kitchen's pretty messy - would you mind?")

And finally, for your beauty and elegance...

For all this and so much more, I just have to say thanks, Mom. I love you!

And for the rest of you moms out there: Happy Mother's Day! Here's hoping it's the sweetest one yet.

From John: Today's cakes are about Jen Dorsman's mom. And yup, they're a bit "Traditional." But that's who her mom is. If I had written this post, the cakes I would choose to represent my own mom would involve baseball and learning to fix things and becoming a gentleman. Because my mom had to be my dad as well. Just for today, let's look at the pretty cakes and
remember that it's all about Moms and the many and varied roles they have played in our lives.
cjk said...

Those cakes are truly beautiful (in particular I found the knitting basket one amazing), but I'm not sure what the message is supposed to be going by the cake selection. Being good at doing the laundry, knitting, sewing and washing dishes are not the first things that come to mind when I think of my mother, nor would I give her a cake that seems to say, "your place is in the kitchen, doing all sorts of domestic tasks for your children".

Anonymous said...

Those hoovers are Henry Hoovers!

Cute Things in Paint said...

i mean, i dont mean to be a feminazi here, but what about... anything at all that moms do that don't fit a 1950s mom stereotype? i mean... come on. knitting? vacuuming? dishes?

Marianne said...

knitting cakes FTW!!!

Anonymous said...

Heh, I hail from the land where Mother's Day was two months ago... but happy American Mother's Day!

Also? So much love for that knitting cake. It's one of those "I can't believe that's actually cake" cakes.

Anonymous said...

Fun cakes! My mom always baked me a red velvet cake, too. They are so pretty and yummy. I live in Europe, now, but if I am at my parents' anywhere near my birthday, she'll bake me one. When I turned 42 my Dad made a three-day drive to meet my husband and me in South Dakota to bringone us a car to use. He arrived on my birthday. Guess what he had in the cooler? He had driven that cake from East Tennessee to the Dakota prairie in searing July heat and taken great pains that it arrived in one piece. Now that is love from both Mom and Dad and a wonderful memory.

Anonymous said...

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms that read this today. As usual the posts are AWESOME! I'm really interested to know about that sewing machine cake. Do you guys know any details about what its made of and stuff like that?

Ashers said...

Those vacuums are Henry and Henrietta (aka Hetty) Hoover! I wish they had those in the US. It would make vacuuming that much more fun.

Rebekah said...

That last one is absolutely beautiful! The creativity of the others are wonderful, but that last one - wow! That's the kind of cake *every* mother would love, even if she doesn't do the cleaning or knitting ;)

Marie said...

Absolutely delightful cakes. Not sure I'd want to eat the one with the dirty dishes, though. Love the sewing machine and the knitting baskets. The details are so realistic. Wish I had a tenth of their talent.

Lindsey Peterson-Pope said...

I think that last cake turned out even prettier than the wrapping paper that inspired it!

. said...

Oh, come on, it's not like this post is a social commentary.. it's a fun Mother's Day-esque post. Everyone knows that moms can also be police officers and lawyers and doctors and CEOs. This feminist thinks some people are just too touchy. :)

That knitting cake is fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Wow... So we're honoring our mothers by making cakes that symbolize their domestic oppression now?

Unknown said...

I just love that knitting cake! I love to knit! I HATE to wash dishes (I have a terrific husband who does that chore in this household!). Tradition, shmanition! Moms do what need to be done. So do Dads.

Happy Mother's Day everyone . . . from China where the day is almost over.

Tricia L said...

That knitting basket cake is fabulous. I can just see my friends (and myself) carefully dissecting it to see how it was made.

Melissa said...

ohmywordthesewingmachine!!! That is amazing! And they really went to town with the bobbins and scissors and other items around it.

For the worried feminists - I see your point, but I read it as a tribute to all the selfless and unpleasant tasks that mothers have done for us (and usually get taken for granted), not a definition of a woman's role. It's limited to the topic of the frustration of raising kids, and some tradition, but it doesn't represent everything the woman is. It could have included changing diapers or mopping up vomit at 2:00 AM, or meeting with teachers, but balls of yarn are far cuter and more nostalgic! I'm okay with nostalgia.

A really appropriate cake for my Mom would have been a half-disassembled VCR. She loved pulling apart (broken) stuff and showing kids how they worked.

Jules AF said...

I love that last one. And I probably would use the other cakes as an ironic symbol for my mom haha.

Sydney said...

I always ask for a red velvet cake on my birthday and will also be 30 this year! Maybe hospitals handed out a pamphlet to new moms in 1980. Great cakes, happy Mother's Day!

Robyn said...

For a couple of pretty funny people, you both did a beautiful tribute to your Moms.
I'm a huge fan of the dirty laundry cake.

Anonymous said...

The first cake may be from Ban Bakes, but I think the original was made by Debbie Brown and is on page 33 of her book "Easy Party Cakes". Debbie's is much more detailed (and executed better) than the one pictured.

Sharon's Edible Art

Anna said...

They're all so beautiful - but that knitting cake - wow. Amazing!

Michelle P. said...

Fabulous post!!!

Symbolizing domestic oppression?? NO!! (jeez...)
Clearly this is celebrating ALL the caring and nurturing that mom's do - note John's addendum. Jen felt drawn to these cakes (and probably more, but couldn't post all) for a few memories of special things her mom did for/with her.

Anonymous said...

I love all those cakes, they are great. And for the anonymous feminist, please realx and chill, people like you are the reason I would never ID myself as a feminist-too much pressure, not enough light hearted fun in life, if you see everything as oppression

Catherine said...

While shouldn't be solely a mom's job to wash the dishes, sew, do laundry,buy groceries, cook, carpool, etc., etc., I never saw my dad do _any_ of those things. And I get the impression that's more the norm than not. So I think this is a greater testament to mom's hard work than anything else--most of them work all day and come home to domestic jobs everyone just assumes they will do. And that's one of the things that makes being a mom a hell of a hard job.

And here's a big hug to my honey, who does the dishes, vacuums, keeps the kitchen clean, and is always game to cook, even though he doesn't know how!

Anonymous said...

For me, as a mother, all those "traditional" things are the things I WANT to be thanked for doing. They're the things that I HATE to do, but do anyways, because I love my family. They're the things that usually go unthanked, unnoticed.

Non-traditional women's roles? You usually get more recognition for a job well done.

Besides, this is MOTHER'S day. The things I remember about my mother are the things she specifically did for me and with me. The sacrifices she made for me, the things she did with me.

Same with my dad. I might say "thanks for working so hard for providing for us" but the things I am most thankful for is the example he was for us, the things he did for us. I'm not going to name any of his achievements at work on FATHER'S day, except for the fact that he kept us from starving. Otherwise, what's important to me is the time spent with us, the sacrifices he made for us, the dishes he did.

Amyann6 said...

Amazing! I love looking at these as much as I love laughing at the wrecks!

Errantmolecule said...

I think hessica has a point - of all the things to choose from to put on the cakes, every one keys in to the stereotype of the domestic female.

I don't think you can say they represent all the caring things women do either - if I made a cake of a black guy picking cotton, I'd be hard pushed to convince people it represented all the hard work black people do in any jobs...

Anonymous said...

Remember that these cakes symbolize what the author's mom meant to her. It may not be every mom. There is a lot of talent and creativity that go into all of these Sunday sweets!!!

Unknown said...

Jen, these are lovely, and a beautiful tribute to your mother. To all the people out there upset about how "traditional" these cakes are, I don't care how traditional or nontraditional a mother is--she still deserves love and respect. Being a mom, especially a mom that takes care of all the domestic tasks of a household, takes a LOT of work and dedication. This is a day to recognize that contribution, not say unkind things about it.

Luna said...

The Singer!!! It's so beautiful!!

Kat said...

haha! These cakes are GREAT and they totally represent my life as a young mother (I'm 24, with 2 girls ages 3 1/2 and 2). I look forward to many MANY more years of taking care of my family in these (and more) ways! Happy Mothers day all!!

Liz W said...

Geez people RE-lax! I consider myself a fairly non-traditional mom (for fun and relaxtion I head to my workshop and build furniture for family and friends) and I would be thrilled to receive ANY of these cakes! Because they are a way to thank me for doing the things that have to be done, not the things I love to do, because my family needs me. And who doesn't want to be thanked by those who need you?

Mercy Langille said...

Those have got to be some of the most creative cakes I've seen in a while. So well done that you have to look closely to see that they are actually cake and not the real thing.
The sewing machine one would be perfect for my mom. She had a machine like that for years.

Wrench said...

Oh, get over yourselves, people. I'm a mother, and the bread-winner of my family, my husband is a stay-at-home father and I'm in the Navy, and I see absolutely nothing wrong with these cakes representing motherhood. Domestic duties aren't oppressive, they're something every family needs someone to do and thank God for all the mothers who are able to do them! Most of us have very fond memories of our mothers making a special meal, or heart-to-hearts over folded laundry, or the joy of wearing something our mothers made just for us. I often wish I didn't have to work so I could do these things for my own son. Mothers do these things out of love -- to compare washing my son's diapers or giving him a bath or knitting him a teddy bear to SLAVES PICKING COTTON is so insulting, to mothers AND to black slaves, I can't even begin to dignify such a comment.

LOVE these cakes, especially the gorgeous laundry cake! Would that I were so talented!

Jemma said...

You "feminists" give me, a woman and a MOM a bad name....and a bad taste in my mouth.

This post was about the simple memories of one woman and her joyful honoring of her Mom.

If you can't see the love, joy and humour in this post, you have a seriously closed mind.

Feminists are supposed to support and defend women. Not look for an evil in every word a person says. Your bashing of this post clearly shows the issues *you* have....for it is not in jen, it is not in her mother...and it is not in me...a mom with three kids who laughed and shed a tear at this wonderful tribute.

Go shake your fist and be rude somewhere else. But leave one woman's tribute to her OWN mom alone. And try your best to realize what love...real

J.R. said...

wow- the knitting cake just takes the prize.
Are those yarn balls really made of rice crispy treats? The yarn texture is what I find just amazing!

The last one was really beautiful too. Still, yarn takes a special place in my heart!

thechubbygrl said...

Henrey Hoovers!! Those are absolutely adorable! I don't think my mom ever touched one though. That was always dad's job. hahahaha

Melvira said...

John, your comment at the end choked me up for REAL! God bless your mom for being mother, father, and friend.

And to those who are worried about what kind of message the selected cakes are sending, I think John said these were cakes that made Jen think of HER mom. Those are the things that her mom did. Doesn't mean that EVERY mom HAS to do that. :)

Scarlett Robyn said...

aaaaaaaaaaaah! i love the last one!!!

Nancy D. said...

My daughters and I are in awe of these cakes. My daughters do their own laundry and take turns doing the dishes. One daughter shares the hobby of knitting with me.

Show me a mom and I'll show you a woman who washes the dishes, does the laundry and vacuums the carpet. Wait. Show me a woman and I'll show you a person who does all those things.

All you complainers... do you not wash your dishes? Do you wear dirty underwear?? (wait, don't answer that. we don't want to know.)

These chores are things that must be done. It's part of making a home. Dad's day might find a lawn mower or some power tools.

I can (and have) mowed the lawn. I know how to wield power tools.

As a mom I've built furniture and removed stains. I've fixed peanut butter sandwiches and taught my children how to ride a bike.

Really.... if your life is defined by a cake you need to get a life. These cakes are adorable. It's just hard to make a cake that depicts the advice given, the boo-boos kissed, the broken hearts mended.

The only problem I would have with getting one of those cakes is cutting into them!

BTW.... if one is a knitter or a sewer, it's called "having a hobby". I also have a full time job. Knitting is my "me" time and relaxing. Those of you who are uber-offended at these cakes might do well to take up a hobby.

Linda said...

I am offended.

I turned 65 a week ago. I have three children. Two sons and a daughter.

I am "just" a mom.

I "just" raised my kids.

I "just" did the laundry every day.

I "just" cleaned the house every day

I "just" just knitted every week.

I "just" wiped up vomit when they threw up

I "just" gave them hugs when they cried

I was "just" a mom.

And I am proud of it. I have three kids. One is a teacher, one has their own bakery and one is a cardiologist.

I was "just" a mom who "just" took care of the house and "just" raised my kids.

I was "just" a "50's sterotype.

How DARE you "feminists" make the job of a mother sound as if it is something you wouldn't want to walk in??????

How dare you lessen the power of a a mother better because she has as you call it...a JOB??

You just punched million's of women in the face by calling this post an insult.

I love "just" being a mom.

And I wouldn't trade all the laundry, baking or knitting to have the mindset...or "values" of the "femisnists" who commented today.

Just a Mom


(please excuse any errors in post here may be a wreck in that way...I just got very angry and let my emotions go)

Julia said...

Amazing Cakes!

Also, are we seriously getting offended over CAKE now???? People are WAAAY to touchy these days.

Shirley said...

I think all those cakes are brilliant - I love the knitting and the sewing machine ones!

I have the best of both worlds as I am in europe but with a daughter in the US so I got a second mothers' day today, prezzie and all!

Robyn B. @Leave the Lights On said...

Aaahhhh, as a gift wrap addict I LOVE the last one! Hey, give us a Sunday Sweets of cakes that look like wrapped gifts! I would drool for more reasons than one...

LaurieD said...

Oh, geez. Lighten up! Those cakes are really cute. My mom manages a financial portfolio that puts Charles Schwab to shame, but she'd appreciate the humor/cleverness of these cakes!

Anonymous said...

Even those moms who are working "high-powered careers" probably have to do laundry and clean dishes. There's nothing ANTI-woman about those activities. It's about caring for yourself and your family. My mother worked (and still does, at 72) running her own business, but she managed to be a traditional mom when it mattered most. I'm the same. I have a career, but I'm also a caretaker.
That doesn't make me any less of a feminist, thanks.

GREAT cakes. I love the laundry one. If laundry was so tasty, I probably wouldn't mind it so much!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing array of cakes.

Anonymous said...

Really Linda? People who don't like this collection because of the message they feel it sends really just punched every mother in the face by not liking it? I mean really? Hyperbole much?

Here's the thing, a mother's role is defined by having and taking care of her own children--sorry, but none of those cakes really have anything to do with that. Really those cakes just represent duties that everyone has to do at some in their lives. Single people living alone do most of those things, whether they are male or female. Many men with families do those things. None of those cakes represent anything that is inherently motherhood or even womanhood. So someone not particularly caring for the message that this series of cakes sends doesn't reflect ANYTHING on how they feel about motherhood itself. Now, maybe if the series had cakes with images of mothers interacting with their children and people were complaining about that message, you might actually have a point.

Anonymous said...

True--my Mom did all these things--dishes, laundry, etc. She also kissed boo-boos, never let me win at checkers, and smacked my butt more than once when I well deserved it.

These are all valued too, but harder to put in cake-form... Besides--Making Mom as nurse/lawyer/etc. would be almost too specific for a broad audience. Most moms do what has been pictured here. You want a more specific cake for your mom? Make it. And send Jen the pictures. :)

I am very surprised though--My Mom has made at least 210 cakes for my family over the years. Where is the Mom making a cake?!?!?!

Amelia said...

These are all incredibly cute cakes, but also depress me to the point of never wanting kids. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing-I was on the fence anyway?

elle said...

omg, Anonymous at 5:00.. nitpick much? and you pick at other commenters for not making points in their comments. Right.

On to the CAKES which is the POINT of this post.. Can anyone explain to me how someone creates a knitted fabric pattern out of fondant, like on the yarn cake? That is just amazing to me.

Anonymous said...

These are cute, although, I celebrate mothers day and fathers day for my father... my mom left us when we were very little and he took care of us so well. Worked 3 jobs at one point, cooked, did laundry, the dishes, everything 2 parents are supposed to do together...but the only reason he knew how to even do any of that is because his mom showed while he was growing up. So thank you Grandma, and Dad... I don't see much wrong with these cakes, becaues it's not about gender..its about someone that sacrifices for people they love, mom, dad, sister brother.. you don't have to think of only mothers when you see this, even though thats the point!

Unknown said...

I agree with anonymous..

The cakes are pretty well done though, and pretty cute in and of themselves.

Would have been great if one could have been found of a cute little baby with a fig leaf over it's nether regions though, or a little knee with a band-aid on it with a lipstick mark on top of the band-aid :)

Anonymous said...

I say three cheers for Linda! And this is a beautiful tribute to your mom Jen. Even if she did personify the 50's stereotype. I wish I could be a domestic goddess :)

Emaline said...

To anon who responded to linda:

1) How brave to be "anon"!!!!!

2) You obviously missed the point of Linda's comment.

3) You obviously missed the point of Jen's post.

Jen's post was about HER memories of HER mother. Linda defended this AND pointed out that being a mother INCLUDES you say...duties.

Linda and Jen found these "duties" as " just" a mom to be important...and a part of who they are.

Linda pointed out that people finding fault and thinking these were " just" duties felt that was an insult...the 'punch in the face"

I agree.

Millions of women send their kids off ti school you say..."just do what everyone does at some[sic] in their lives"

Really? So making sure a home and family is cared for is "just" a duty?

I agree with linda. By making these daily efforts of moms and reducing them to "just" a "duty" is a punch in the face to millions.

Jen, linda many readers here...and I "get" it we get that jen appreciated those "just duties" and remembered them with love and joy.

To Linda and all moms: We get it, we love you...and we apologise for this handful of outspoken individuals who insulted you by not being able to see how difficult "just a duty" really can be.

Unknown said...

Fantastic choices! I am in love with the sewing machine one. It brings back fond memories of having a homemade Christmas dress given to me by my mom every year with a ton of love put into every stitch.

asteroid1717 said...

Hoppy Mather's Day in Red!

Maevrim said...

That sink cake looks like a Wreck to me. Dirty water...really?

Let Them Eat Cake said...

Poor John,

You couldn't stop the Mother's Day Epcot Train Wreck of 2010, even though you tried...


Leah said...

I am startled by how many posters (or it may just be one or two posting a lot) seemingly can't manage to read or process the phrase "cakes that remind me of her". Not "cakes that remind me of YOUR mother" or "cakes that symbolise motherhood".

If a poster has intimate personal knowledge of Jen's mother and wants to quibble over the choice of images, then -- sort of -- fine (rude but at least on topic).

But complaining about the selection because it doesn't match the relationship you had with your own mother, or what you consider to be the ideal mother-daughter relationship, is about as smart as complaining that a photograph of Jen's mother doesn't look like your mother, or like the average American woman. In other words: NOT SMART AT ALL.

msyendor said...

Well, gee. Then Here's to Epcot and Happy Parental Unit(s) Day.

Off the soapbox. The cake & frosting box is the point.

Favorites are knitting cake and sewing machine. You sure those are cakes?

Amanda said...

@Let Them Eat Cake:
"Mother's Day Epcot Train Wreck of 2010"

Love it! I was thinking about Epcot as I was scrolling through these posts.

These cakes are beautiful and obviously sentimental to the Jen who wrote this post. Why can't we just look at the pretty, pretty cakes and be happy??

Dana said...

I would take such delight in eating the washing machine cake!! These are all amazing. And, there are as many ways to pay tribute to moms as there are moms in the world. We are all different. Jen and John, I think you did a beautiful tribute to YOUR mothers today.

Martin said...


Henry and his siblings are distributed in the United States through NaceCare Solutions ( I own a Henry myself and instantly recognized him! Henry's smiling face staring out at you does make cleaning more fun. Those cakes are fantastic!

M M said...

Wow, those are some great Sunday sweets, and laughing at the little "shop vac" cupcakes.

Anonymous said...

I think all of those cakes are beautiful. Love the knitting one and BTW, my mom and I (also a mom) have never picked up yarn or knitting needles!)
Jen, any chance of getting your Mom's buttercream recipe?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the cake pics, and thanking your mother for all the sh!tty jobs she did because, hey, 30 odd years ago that's what mums did, and still do.
Hell, I love sewing, knitting, baking etc, and I love healing people and feeling proud of a hard days work well done.
You have kids, you have to put yourself out sometimes. That's life. Unless you employ staff to do the job for you.
Despite what should be the way, most women with children will put in an 8 or 10 hour day in paid employment, and come home and put in another 8 hour days work, compressed into 3 or 4, doing mum things.
Yep, things are changing, but a mum 30 or 40 years ago would have done most of those things the cakes depict.
The cakes are whimsical, cute and well made.
They're cakes, not contracts carved in stone to bind you to a tradition you're not into.
Thanks Jen, and thanks to my Mum for all you did :-)

mlaiuppa said...

That Singer hand crank sewing machine cake is simply amazing.

Sharon said...

The washing machine cake is just adorable. <3

halfbakedcake said...

ADORE the knitting cakes. I would love to learn how to make the balls of yarn...the texture is so fantastic.

My mom's cake would be decorated to resemble a piece of burnt toast, with the inscription "it isn't burnt, it's just really, really brown" written in black frosting. The woman makes a mean meatloaf and transcendent stuffed peppers, but don't let her anywhere near a toaster.

Aliza said...

I liked today's selection of cakes. My mother loved to sew, knit, cook and bake-- and my grandmother had a Singer like that. And both of them would have LOVED this blog had they lived long enough to see it.

Thanks for keeping the sentimental level just perfect for those of us who are missing our loved ones...

PS: yes, my mother was an educated career woman, but she still loved the 'traditional' domestic arts as hobbies. And passed that on to me. All you missed was the house plants :)

Anonymous said...

I would have appreciated a larger, more diverse cake selection then such a horrible representation.

I know it's just about HER mom, but there are two people who post pictures here, why exclude one for the other?

For Fathers Day are you going to exclude fathers that raised their children and did cooking, cleaning, boo-boo fixings too?

I usually love this site, but I think we need a secondary post to explain ALL the roles mothers and their helpers portray.

This was a little TOO oppressive and 1950's to make me comfortable even LOOKING at the pictures without wincing.

mimi said...

Aaacckk!! Jen and John, we've emailed back and forth about these people, and I still feel bad for you guys for having to put up with it. I swear they don't read the text, they just come look at the pretty pictures of cakes and then infer what they want to. If they took the time to read, they would see -- at the end of the very first paragraph -- "So in honor of my remarkable mom... I've scoured the web for cakes that remind me of her."

Again: These are cakes that remind Jen of HER mother!!

I wonder if any of those haters feel ashamed now? If so, please apologize.

A said...

Perhaps a more appropriate post would have been a variety of cakes that represent Mothers Day, then a select few that reminded Jen of her mother. This would have made it more clear that mothers play many different roles. I read the text very clearly and I was still disappointed with the post.

Being a feminist means supporting women, whatever they choose to do with their lives. I support mothers, whether they work in the home or outside the home. I think the concerns other commentors have raised regarding these cakes are valid. This does not, in any way, demean women who have willingly taken on those duties.

john (the hubby of Jen) said...


It's the end of the day and I'm still moderating comments from people who are upset about today's post. It's funny to me that a girl like Jen Dorsman, who is a brilliant, articulate, independent woman, gets trashed by some of you guys for honoring her mom in a way that I thought was charming and sincere. There was no ulterior motive, no statement about what a mother should or should not be. Just cake and sentiment.

Honestly, I'm kinda sad.


Anonymous said...

WOW...Those cakes are amazing!!! Great tribute to your mom Jen.

I have one comment though....

Jen if you are #1 what does that make Jon??

T.S. Timmons

bkbills said...

Wow! It's amazing how bent out of shape people get over cakes! They are beautiful and I loved this post. I'm a mom and will not lose an ounce of sleep because this post made me realize how "domestically oppressed" (or whatever that person said) I am because I do most of the the laundry, dishes and cleaning. I hope you had a great mothers day!

Anonymous said...

WOW - these are AWESOME!! That sewing cake is UNBELIEVABLE!

Also unbelievable, though, is how the first one is from a book entitled "Easy Party Cakes." Uh, sure, that looks SUPER easy! On an alternate universe of talented robots, perhaps! :-)

WV: ghtngba
I ghtngba! (I got nothin'. Bye!)

Anonymous said...

Pah! "Domestically Opressed". What rubbish. My mother is an OBGYN, but loves cooking, and has done many thankless jobs over the years to care for her family. I have fond memories of her turning on Superman music as we all raced around trying to finish cleaning the kitchen before the song ended. For everyone saying "Well I think it should represent more than just Jen's mother." Why should it? I imagine you got your mothers flowers or cards or powertools or whatnot? Well, Jen got her mother her own personal Mothers Day post on a popular website. So There.

Anonymous said...

Your Mom Donna is the bomb! I loved meeting her at the Orlando book signing. She couldn't have been prouder!

From Ariel from West Palm Beach

Maggie said...

If you're looking for more diverse representation, or cakes that have more this or less that or what have you, then write your own darn blog.
This was Jen's tribute to her mother, a sort of public mother's day card and you all ought to be ASHAMED that you smeared it with your pseudo
feminist nonsense (I would not, under any circumstance, call what I read here real feminism).

I certainly hope that Jen's mother didn't read the comments today. How insulting, to see such a beautiful tribute defamed by a bunch of nasty-minded trouble mongerers. Plenty of women still do this work, and obviously Jen's mother is one of them (like my own Mum) and that's why Jen chose these cakes. Get off your high horses.

Anonymous said...

I love the cakes today! Don't like the Feminazis get you down :)

My mom had to be my dad as well. She had two jobs and still did most of the housework when we were little and as soon as we were big enough to be trusted with the housework, we did it.

The cakes are very sweet and very cute. For those of you who enjoy pooing on everyone's happy day, go thank your mother (or Father) for being a great person instead of being a Negative Nancy.

Arlene said...

Lol my mom would love the dishes in the sink and the laundry one. Those cakes look so realistic it is hard to believe that they are edible! I wish I had the talent to make something like those cakes.

Anonymous said...

I love it, Jen, what a great tribute.

And really, what I love is that those are so many of the jobs that moms do that they never get thanks for. Growing up I never said, "Gee, mom, thanks for doing my laundry!" but now that I have to do my own, my lack of gratitude is recognized. *grin* Not anti-feminist at all. Beautiful. <3

Anonymous said...

You don't have to put this on the comments page, but I just want to show my support for Jen.
It was HER post on HER blog (well, shared blog) about HER mother.
I am really REALLY p!ssed off by the narrow minded gits who have the nerve to blast her for honouring her mother.
I like to think I'm a feminist, and I'll do my darndest to support any woman in any role she has chosen.
The role of motherhood is by far the greatest a woman can choose. I say more power to Jen's mum for being the sort of mother who did all those things.
I've had to comfort women who have been so brainwashed with the super-mum-who-can-do-everything cr@p we have been fed that they have broken down under the strain. They want to be mothers, stay at home and nurture their children. But perceived peer pressure has then running themselves ragged.
Why are woman so hard on each other? If you want to have a career, good on you. If you want to stay at home and raise your babies, and can afford the luxury, more power to you.
Jen, don't take these comments personally. They're only other peoples un-thought out thoughts.
You love your mum, she did a great job, and I say that's better than all the blah blah blah spoonfed to the ignorant, feminazi propaganda that's been bandied around today.
Take pride in your mother and HER choices; they have made you the woman you are today.
Pffffft! to those who want to put a dump on your honouring your mum.

Sharon Crowter; mother, knitter, quilter, patchworker, midwife, doula, palliative care nurse, family planning counsellor, artist, aged care worker, woman.

Anonymous said...

These are great photos. I am especially impressed by the yarn -- looks like someone had to hand-twist each length of fondant to make each individual strand.

Erm... question. The intro to the post says "My mother... forwards my (and Jen's) posts to her friends... So in honor of my remarkable mom... I've scoured the web for cakes that remind me of her" so I thought it was written by John and the cakes were for his mom. But then the last paragraph says "From John: Today's cakes are about Jen Dorsman's mom." Which is correct? And when will the other mom get her own turn??

Lissy said...

To all the feminazi's: thank you for trying so hard to make me feel like a piece of worthless sh*t because I'm a stay-at-home mother.
For me, it's not my 'duty' but I'm doing it because it's what I want to do with my life. I don't feel I'm worth a penny less than when I was employed as a paper pusher in some anonimous agency...
Oh, and I knit, too. I even bake slightly wrecky but very delicious cakes. With the kids.

Unknown said...

Dear Feminatzis:

If anything about Jen's cake selections upset you or make you think of 'feminine oppression' then you were either
1. hatched from an egg or
2. never a mom yourself.

Or maybe you walked around with blinders on?

My mother was a single mom. She made me the prettiest dresses and entered me into pagents.

Her mother's sewing machine looked hauntingly similar to the old Singer style pictured in cake.

She did the laundry, washed the dishes, and everything else that comes with being a mom, or
*gasp* living on your own with a baby!

Like changing diapers, cleaning up babyspit, and putting her daughter's entire highchair in the shower because feeding her daughter involved washing EVERYTHING down, even vacuuming the floor, after every meal!

My mother is also a successful, business saavy administrator of a multi-million dollar healthcare business, a strong proponent of women's rights and equality.

Now that she doesn't have to take care of her little daughter anymore, you know what she does in her spare time? She Knits!

Chores are chores that we all have to do. It's not a symbol of oppression. It's a snapshot of daily life.

Unless someone else does your chores for you, then get used to it.

And if someone else does do your chores for you, give me their number so I can ask them to do mine, too.

You know what's more oppressive than doing laundry? Having to work for some schmuck of a boss 5 days a week, making less money than my male colleagues, and taking more crap because "more is expected of me". HA! now THAT'S oppressive!

The 1950's are LONG gone, as are the 80's. You can put your skirts and bras back on ladies. Some of us actually relish the trials and success of motherhood (and all the chores that come with it) and the balancing act that comes with being part of the business world.

Get with the times. Nobody's burning bras anymore and getting pissed off about this sort of thing [cake!? REALLY?!] is exactly what sets us back a step. So stop it! You make women look DUMB!

We're just fighting for equal recognition of the work we do, and if it comes in cake, then I'd be glad my husband noticed and appreciates the household chores I do!

*steps off soapbox*

Trixie61 said...

To quote Monty Python (Holy Grail)...
"Help, Help! I'm being repressed!"

These cakes are amazing, the Singer cake especially. Also, if I had polka dot bloomers, I would feel entirely different about doing laundry. LOL

Ferralyn said...

I can't believe nobody noticed the obvious mistake on the page. That first cake was in a book called "Easy Party Cakes"? REALLY? I do cakes and that looks anything but 'easy'. :)

Wonderful cake choices, Jen. They're beautiful.

A said...

Don't be sad John! I don't think anyone disputes that Jen is amazing and we all love her wrecks! The wonderful thing about social media is that it instigates discussions. Sometimes we don't always like what people have to say but, hey, at least you got people talking.

Abby said...

"I think we need a secondary post to explain ALL the roles mothers and their helpers portray."

What? Why? As others have pointed out, the object of the site is cake, not social commentary. The site isn't dedicated to solving the world's ills, or making sure women get a fair shake out there, or making you all feel better about yourselves. It's about cake. It's about whatever the authors want it to be. No second post is needed to make you feel better, because this website isn't for that purpose. Talk to your friends if you want to feel better, but it's not Jen's or John's job to do that. It's also not their job, or apparently even their intention, to dedicate the post to every mother out there on Mother's Day, only one. Who cares if Jen's mom is like yours or anyone else's? Who cares if you think she was oppressed? If the post wasn't about you or your mom personally, then you all need to calm down.

Amanda said...

If any one reads this far down in the comments:

There seems to be a lot of confusion.

This post was written by Number1 aka Jen DORSMAN not by Jen Yates, proprietor/blogger/author of Cake Wrecks.

John (the husband of Jen) (all around great egg who needs to be cloned ASAP)is married to Jen Yates.

This mother's day post is about JEN DORSMAN's mother and written by guest blogger Jen Dorsman hence the final line "for the rest of the mom's out there..."

I gave up on the "feminist debate" but this one misunderstanding was driving me crazy. Cheers.

john (the hubby of Jen) said...


Awww shucks!



Shelley said...

Thanks, Amanda. It was driving me crazy as well. I'm so glad I got to your post and didn't have to do it myself.

Caroline B said...

Well done Annie, you took the words out of my mouth! Such a shame there are always people ready to put the boot in.
The knitting cake is just about the best thing ever - I would love one of those.

Miranda said...

I am extremely impressed with the quality of these cakes.

The chores, yeah...I can see why that message might be less enjoyed by some...but sewing and knitting are cherished hobbies of many people, including men. A cake depicting your mom's hobby sounds all right to me.

Anne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Love the cakes! Thanks for helping me remember my own dear mother, who has been gone for two years now.

As for the rest - I'm a mother of four, a third year medical student, about as modern/liberal as they come, and I think that the people who would ruin Jen's tribute to her mom are just tacky. It's RUDE to insult other people's kind gestures with your own insecurities or agendas. Learn when and where to speak your piece (hint: this is not it). It's also unbelievably self-centered to visit a personal blog and expect the owner (or guest writer) to arrange things to suit you. If you wanted to see a different representation of Mother's Day, you should have created a blog and posted it yourself.

Stephanie said...

As usual, the feminists and anti-feminists are talking past each other.

What the feminists are trying to point out is not that women's work ought to be devalued or that moms don't do a disproportionate amount of household maintenance-- what they're trying to point out is that we reinforce the stereotype of moms doing the dishes, laundry, knitting, and sewing by presenting them with cakes that depict them as doing predominantly traditional tasks.

Moms (and women) do a huge amount of thankless and massively difficult work, and no feminist is going to deny it. WHAT FEMINISM ARGUES IS THAT THE WORK OF HOUSEHOLD MAINTENANCE AND CHILDCARE IS DIFFICULT ENOUGH THAT WOMEN AND MOTHERS SHOULDN'T BE STUCK WITH ALL OF IT. And it shouldn't be devalued just because it's traditionally been relegated to women.

Don't get defensive because you think feminists don't value you as a mother and as the primary executor of household. What feminists argue for is your freedom to do differently, if you so choose, and not to be devalued for choosing to stay home and not to be stuck in that role if you want to do something else.

And I, for one, would like to thank my "feminazi" mother for teaching me that.

Stoich91 said...

Golly, John - I don't know which is more super: The cakes and all their beauty (and certainly girly things that a good lot of mothers enjoy to this day!), or the fact that you both take the time to kindly run an acclaimed site about cakes and take the needless, pointless, don't-these-folks-have-better-things-to-to-with-their-lives bashing just to bring a smile to someone's morning. Happy (belated) Mother's Day, everyone! Let's celebrate Moms and how they taught us "If you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all." :D

MommaWriter said...

This was an awesome post and I loved John's addendum as well. Thank you!!

Ebyl Humorless Ball Busting Bitch said...

Show me a mom and I'll show you a woman who washes the dishes, does the laundry and vacuums the carpet. Wait. Show me a woman and I'll show you a person who does all those things.

Speak for yourself. Some of us women find ourselves partners who don't insist on rigid gender roles. Sorry if you couldn't.

How DARE you "feminists" make the job of a mother sound as if it is something you wouldn't want to walk in??????

Yes, dear, the ebyl feminazis are the ones who denigrated housework. Not male-run society in general. Keep on telling yourself that.

And I wouldn't trade all the laundry, baking or knitting to have the mindset...or "values" of the "femisnists" who commented today.

What, you mean that we're just as intelligent as men and we deserve to have equal opportunities at work and equal participation from our menfolk (if we're heterosexual)? How awful.

Oh, geez. Lighten up!

No, how about you OPEN YOUR EYES, instead of dismiss cultural criticisms? Oh, wait that's too hard; it'd force you to work badly atrophied intellectual muscles, and your maaayyyyyunnnnn might not be happy. Oh, well.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Amanda! The identifier "Number 1" didn't tell me anything: I think Jen and John and Jen could all be called "Number 1".

Jessica W said...

These are beautiful cakes and a beautiful loving tribute!

Too bad it had to be surrounded by drama. Some people are looking so hard for controversy and a fight, they can find it anywhere, including cake.

WV: Heart (seriously) - what mom uses in every selfless act she does for her child. Even chores can be an act of love. And when done in that attitude, it is most certainly not oppressive.

Jill said...

Seriously... calm down people. Its cake.

Its not a political statement nor is it a belief that all women must knit, do dishes and use cute little vacuums to be a mom.

Its cake.

If you want political happy fuzzies... go watch Katie Couric.

craftinqueen said...

Okay Number 1.... you're holding out on us. What is this mysterious homemade red velvet cake of which you speak? And why haven't you posted the recipe? Please, please, please with ice cream, sprinkles and a cherry! (Or a cake that is level, w/o poo animals, in non-seizure inducing colors, spelled correctly and with proper grammer?)

BTW... loved the cakes you selected for YOUR mother's day tribute. I hope she had a wonderful day.

And Jen and John (the hubby of Jen)... thanks for your work moderating the comments (must have been fun yesterday). After reading some of the comments on news articles... I definately appreciate you keeping the trolliest of the trolls off of here.

May you all get your cake and eat it too!

Andrea from St. Louis

Whimcees said...

Great cakes! And you obviously love your mother! :<)

I love your blog!

Wishing you a happy week!

Barbara Diane

The Gravekeeper said...

This is a lovely post and a tribute to the fact that it usually is mothers who do the little things around the house that need to be done (but that no one really wants to do) and who will usually teach us how to look after our own homes when we leave the nest. To me there's not much that's more pathetic than someone who doesn't know how to wash their own clothes, tidy up the house properly or even make simple meals from scratch for themselves.

When I can afford a really nice cake for my mom, I think I'm going to design it myself as a tribute to the fact that she taught me how to ride a horse (starting with holding me in the saddle on a pony before I could really walk).

And for the record, I'm a feminist. I don't see domestic chores as oppressive; I see them as things that need to be done in every home. It is frustrating when you realize that there are still many men out there who believe that they're women's work and thus won't help out even if the lady of the house has a full-time job. Help us out, guys! Many hands make light work, after all, and we're much more pleasant to around when we're not tired out from work and chores.

vischa said...


those cake is beautiful, so creativ

Diana said...

That last cake is LOVELY. I wanted a similar design on my wedding cake. When we first announced the impending date, we were informed by my Mother in Law to be that we were not to be part of her group's "pact". In this sacred agreement, made back when she and her friends were first popping out babes, they would all get together and make wedding cakes for each other's kids. They didn't designate gender.

Now that her SON was marrying me, and he was the first boy, a little wrench got thrown in the works. Had they meant "daughters" and not "kids"? Really, after so many kids, I think they were damn tired of making cakes, doing tasting parties and such.

So I started to look for a baker, and the cherry branch/blossom design was one I liked. Only maybe with dogwoods. Or magnolias. I was born in the south. I eagerly anticipated a cake tasting at some great bakery in Santa Barbara.

Lo and behold, My MIL called to tell us that they had decided to do our cake after all. But they weren't going to do a party to taste. I missed the cake tasting part, but I got a three tier home made wedding cake- chocolate on one, lemon on the other, and spice on the third. It was divine. They were not pro bakers, and fondant is not something I would dream of asking them to mess with. Instead, it was lovingly frosted and decorated with yummy frosting (tastes better) and fresh flowers.

It was so special.

So, see, this is a Mom is cool story after all, because my MIL used every favor she had to get her friends to do that for us, and it was more special than an expensive fancy cake. It tasted great, which few wedding cakes do, and t didn't cost a thing for us, as it was a gift. GO FRAN, BEST MIL in the WORLD!

Unknown said...

Good LORD people. It's CAKE.


Got it?

I am a working woman and a wife and hopefully someday a mother. I knit, I clean, I'd like to learn how to sew, I do the frikin' laundry every week, and I DO NOT in any way shape or form feel threatened, beaten down, downtrodden, insulted, locked in a 50's stereotype, etc, etc EPCOT EPCOT EPCOT EPCOT

That said: I LOVE the knitting cake. As a tribute to what is NOW mostly a hobby (and yet once was a necessity) it's fabulous.

Gah. I'm going to stop reading comments for a while.

hpoldcrow said...

@ No.1

Thanks for so many memories of mom and childhood. The styles may change and the appearances of mom memorabilia, but the day itself traditions and trimmings are only the gift wrap of life...your blog today was a precious gift to a mom and granny to be Catherine, (former owner of Classic Confections) These fondant cakes are true labours of love.

Anonymous said...

I will begin by saying that all these cakes look amazing. I'm a burgeoning cake decorator myself, and I look forward to the day that I will be able to do all this and more. HOWEVER--I do feel like kind of being a jerk right now, and I'm surprised that no one's pointed this out yet--how much cooler would the knitting cake be if the knitted swatch actually looked like it was made of knitted stiches? I also knit, and I just wish that if making a knitted swatch from fondant was too difficult, that they should have left it out entirely. I'm sorry, but it just reminds me of other well-intentioned knitting art that shows incorrect placement of needles or someone knitting a full sweater (complete with sleeves)with two straight needles--it can't be done. Alright, I'm done--let the bashing begin!

Jenna (^-^) said...


Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure most people who had a problem with these cakes do not have a problem with them because they think that moms do not do house work or that you should not show your gratitude for said house work. I believe it was because on a day honoring your mother (with the exception of the knitting and sewing cakes) you have reduced her to the traditional "mother role" instead of celebrating her interests and hobbies.

I mean my mother would be way more pleased with a cake that had something she loved to do rather then some chore she does.

I mean, for father's day, cakes are probably about his interests, not about the hateful house chores he has to do!

Natalie said...

Holy freaking cow. I can't believe people are so bothered that Jen would post cakes thanking her mom for all she did for her.

And guess what, by including the sewing and knitting cakes, it DOES show her hobbies. I love to sew and that Singer cake is amazing.

Fuzzy Squid said...

love the laundry cake! (... but is is that poor woman(?) stuck in the washing machine, cause that happened to me once, cuz I was playin hide and go seek with my brother and I hidden in the waashing machine and my mom started the thing and I was like, "holy shiiit!" and I thought I ws gonna die but I opens the door befofe it started spinning. true story) the knitting cake reminds me of my mom. She's constantly knitting these tiny little sweaters for her shadow boxes XD.