Miss Maudie usually makes three small cakes for Jem, Scout, and Dill. After the trial, she makes two small cakes for Scout and Dill and cuts Jem a piece from the adult cake, symbolizing that he is growing up.
Miss Maudie is an adult, but the children count her as a good friend. She cares about them and listens to them, and makes them little cakes.
She made the best cakes in the neighborhood. When she was admitted into our confidence, every time she baked she made a big cake and three little ones, and she would call across the street… (ch 5)
Miss Maudie makes poundcakes and something called a “Lane cake.” After the trial, Miss Maudie is aware that Jem is upset. He expected Tom Robinson to be acquitted, and when he was convicted Jem lost his confidence in people. Miss Maudie understood that it was a sign Jem was growing up. She showed him this by giving him a piece from the adult cake.
There was a big cake and two little ones on Miss Maudie's kitchen table. There should have been three little ones. … But we understood when she cut from the big cake and gave the slice to Jem. (ch 22)
Throughout their childhood, Miss Maudie seems to understand what is going on with them. She does not talk down to them, and she appreciates their problems. She also makes them feel better when they are upset, and always seems to know what to do to cheer them up.