Trophy Cupcakes are simple and lovely. I love their flavor ideas too.
I'm not there yet--I have yet to master real buttercream. For J's birthday tea party last summer, my strawberry "buttercream" was tasty, but too soft to hold much shape. On a side note, I was pleased with how my first ever petit fours turned out (gluten-free lemon pound cake covered with very simple fondant).
In my mind Cupcakes don't have to be too manicured or adorable to be appealing. The cupcakes from Babycakes NYC just look delicious. That flower on top is a nice touch.
These cupcakes from Swirlz Bakery in Chicago (the ones pictured are gluten-free!) have that same pleasing simplicity--with a little pizzazz.
(sorry I can't find the credit for the picture. It's lovely!)
Martha Stewart's cupcake book offers inspiration for getting more creative with cupcakes: monsters or witches for Halloween, gorgeous cupcakes for weddings and special events. Turning the pages of this book definitely makes me want to tie on an apron and START BAKING.
Okay. I think I have to go try to make gluten-free gingerbread now--or gingerbread cupcakes.