Today is my mother's birthday. Happy Birthday Mom!
So of course, cupcakes were in order. Mom loves casino card games, so I went with a combination of winning blackjack hands and casino chips for decorations.
Here they are in my cupcake carrier earlier today, all ready for the trip to Mom's.
The cupcakes themselves are about as simple as it gets. I just made a marble fudge cake mix. I used enough of the batter to make a dozen cupcakes, and the rest I poured into a large loaf pan to make the center cake. I baked them separately since the cake took longer (about 4o minutes) and I didn't want to have to open the oven halfway through baking it to take the cupcakes out. In my experience, if you open the oven too soon when baking a cake, it doesn't raise properly.
The frosting is a plain buttercream. I used Wilton's delphinium blue to colour half of it. I love this colour! The poker chips are actually made of chocolate (purchased at a local candy store).
By far the most time consuming part were the fondant decorations. The letters in "Happy Birthday Mom" were quick enough to punch out of rolled fondant. I used a heart punch for both the hearts and spades. The cards were made by cutting rectangles out of white fondant and then rounding out the corners. The A's and K's took forever! My sister helped out though, so it went a bit faster.
I have to say though that I found that I don't particularly enjoy cake decorating as much as cupcakes. I spent way too much time trying to get the icing smooth and doing the borders. So for my mom, I would go to the trouble of making a cake, but I think I will stick to wonderful, fabulous cupcakes for everything else.