These aren't your mom's cupcakes. That is, unless your mom was one of the decorators who entered cupcake designs in the National Capital Area Cake Show or the more than 50 cupcake bakers that took part in the NCACS "cupcake cocktail hour" challenge. Cupcake bakers and decorators are turning cupcakes into single-serving works of art—sometimes so realistic they don't even look like cupcakes!

Take a look at some of these interesting creations from the cupcake division of the cake competition:



And the cupcake cocktail hour proved that even traditionally decorated cupcakes can get a new twist when you get creative with their merchandising. The "cocktail hour" competition gave a platform for champagne flutes and tiny beer mugs as mini cupcake holders. But you can take the basic premise to create your own merchandising creations. What kinds of glasses or other household items tie in with your cupcake flavors? Think about the theme, as well. Champagne flutes and candles are perfect for a festive cupcake display for an event like a wedding—or even prom, the latest occasion to call for cake.