Decorative Sweet Washcloth Cupcakes and Cake Rolls

Washcloths are extremely practical little things – they help mop up spills and dribbles, clean up messes, wipe off sweaty brows, dry up wet hands, and also make the cutest little decorative cakes you can ever imagine.

You can easily make sweet little washcloth cupcakes with just one little washcloth folded in half and then half again and rolled rather tightly into a roll. Secure the roll together with a safety pin and stick into a cupcake wrapper. The cupcake can be topped with a pretty pin, button, earring or clip to serve as a decoration. You could also use artificial flowers to mimic the sugar flowers found on those chic decorator cupcakes.

If you can't find a cupcake wrapper in the right size, you could always substitute a piece of ribbon in the exact width of the washcloth cupcake or a piece of lace that is slightly higher to make a frilly edge. Secure the ribbon with a few drops of low-temp hot glue and the lace with another safety pin or a few quick backstitches.

A delicious looking variation is the swirled cupcake. Use two thin washcloths in contrasting colors, like cream and brown (for chocolate and vanilla) or pink and green (for strawberry and pistachio). Fold each one into half and then half again and then layer them one on top of the other. Roll them up tightly and secure with a safety pin.

This kind of cupcake could use a simpler kind of topper, like the ones found on the tips of decorative baby pins. Slip a baby pin between the folds of the washcloth cupcake and let it stand up like the rather common birthday cupcake decorations.

Of course, you don't need to stick to washcloths when making decorative cupcakes. A nice (and much bigger) variation is to use a newborn baby blanket. Folded and rolled in the same fashion, it makes a giant cupcake decoration and can easily be boxed by itself. Again, if appropriate cupcake holders can't be found, use extra-wide ribbons to form the wrappers for this giant cupcake.

Washcloths are not just limited to mimicking cupcakes, of course. Another delicious “dessert” can be made using contrasting colors of washcloths and a simple safety pin to make a pretty jelly roll. Fold each of the washcloths into half and in half again. Layer them one on top of the other and roll them up tightly, making sure that the “filling” can be seen between the layers of “cake.”

Secure the layers tightly together again with a safety pin. Take two contrasting colors of ribbon, one wider than the other, and layer the ribbons with the narrower on top of wider. Fasten these on the outside of the “cake” to form a decorative collar with another safety pin. Make sure that all the safety pins are hidden at the bottom of the cakes.

These delicious looking cakes can definitely fool the eye and make terrific conversation pieces. Whether you give half a dozen washcloth cupcakes packed into an aluminum foil cupcake pan, a large baby blanket cupcake in its own box, or a pile of washcloth cake jelly rolls in a cake pan, these washcloths are sure to delight the eye and tickle the imagination.