Cupcakes are the most versatile of baked goods; while a single large cake can be decorated in any fashion, multiple small cupcakes can each hold a different design. Making image-themed cupcakes can be a challenge, as modelling and painting fondant, gum paste or marzipan takes practice, but it can be done with a little patience and attention to detail. Baby clothes cupcakes are the perfect treat to serve at a baby shower or baby's first birthday.
Bake any flavoured cupcake following your preferred recipe. However, as baby clothes tend to either be a light pink, blue, yellow or other pastel colour, try to keep the colour of the cake to a neutral colour such as chocolate or vanilla white cake. Allow the cupcakes to completely cool before continuing.
Draw and cut out baby clothing templates. As the clothing will either be made out of gum paste, fondant or marzipan, the clothing will need to be carved as a flat model. Draw (or print out) an image of baby clothing on to sturdy pieces of cardboard to make the template. Include a bootee (or sock), a onesie, bonnet, bib and T-shirt (throw in a diaper if you are feeling creative). Each template shape should have rounded edges and be about 1-½ to 2 inches in either length or height. Cut out the shapes and set them aside.
Prepare the fondant, gum paste or marzipan. You can purchase all three from confectionery stores or make your own (refer to Resources below for links to recipes). All three can be coloured, moulded and painted. Marzipan tends to have the best flavour, while gum paste and fondant tend to have a sturdier and more claylike finish. For each colour that you need for the base of the clothing item (baby pink, baby yellow or baby blue), separate the modelling substance into portions. Try to stick to as few colours as possible. Add food colouring to each portion and roll until completely incorporated. (Or you can leave the portions white and paint them with a brush.)
Roll the modelling substance flat to a thickness of about ¼ inch. If it sticks, sprinkle confectioners' sugar on the rolling pin and work surface. Place one of the templates on top as a guide and, using a sharp knife, cut around the template until the shape is released. Use your fingers to round out any rough edges. Move to a tray lined with waxed paper for decorating. Repeat until all of the clothing shapes are cut out.
Decorate the clothing items. You could leave the items as they are or add details using a small paintbrush (make sure it hasn't been used for paint) dipped in food paint or food colouring. Shape unused modelling substance, such as rolled white fondant, to create small buttons for a shirt, ribbons for a bonnet or letters. You can make small images such as hearts, stars or "ABCs" by using small modelling tools or toothpicks. To attach the fondant details to the base, mix a paste of confectioners' sugar and water together for a "glue" and use a paintbrush to apply it and attach. Let dry so as to harden slightly.
Frost the cooled cupcakes with your choice frosting. Use either a smooth frosting with no chunky additives (such as chocolate chips, nuts or coconut flakes). Traditional butter cream or cream cheese frosting are good options. Stick to a basic colour as the clothing items contain multiple colours. Chocolate or white vanilla (or lemon, orange or other extract flavours) cream work best. Apply a smooth layer as the clothing items will be placed on top.
Place the clothing items on top of each cupcake and allow the frosting to act as a glue.