Home baking is a simple but delicious way to show you care this Mother's Day.

The older I get the more hectic Mother's Day seems to become. What was once a lovely time to treat my mother is now a crazily busy day where, in between working, I try to fit in time to show appreciation to not only my mother, but my stepmother and my mother-in-law. Plus there is finding time for my children to treat me. (Although a long, undisturbed, bath is all I crave.)

Baking is always a great way to show you care. Today it's cakes. Take one to morning tea, have people over to share a cake in the afternoon, or curl up in the evening with a slice all to yourself. For Mother's Day, doting children armed with vintage plates, a bowl of cream, napkins, and a carefully balanced pot of tea or a glass of champagne, helps complete the picture.

The cherry bread and butter cake here looks and tastes fantastic. A nice take on the traditional pudding, it is also quick to make. I use croissants but brioche or French bread also work, just add extra sugar if you use French bread. You could substitute tinned plums or apricots and chocolate for the cherries. This cake is best eaten warm. If you have any left the next day, gently warm it again.

The chocolate cake is gloriously rich and decadent; the guavas give it a slight tartness to balance the flavours. I have estimated the serving sizes - this one could easily be cut into more pieces, especially if using as a dessert. If you are, I suggest you warm it slightly and serve with creme fraiche on the side.


The third option is a traditional apple cake to which I have added walnuts, spices and a touch of either calvados or brandy. It's the perfect cake to dish up to a bigger crowd but will last up to three days in an airtight container.

Enjoy, put your feet up and have a lovely Mother's Day!

Chef's tip

Line a springform tin by cutting a circle for the base then lining the sides, making it easier to remove when the cake is released. Fresh guavas are dropping off backyard trees in many neighbourhoods. They are bursting with vitamin C and delicious eaten fresh; they can also be found at fruit and vegetable shops and some speciality food stores.

* Check out Viva's Facebook page, the place to find out what's hot in fashion, beauty, food, wine and design.