I started out by drawing out a simple cupake with two layers of frosting on top. I thought of putting numbered candles on the top of the cupcake, but in the end, I decided to go with a simple lit candle. As you can see, my writing is pretty illegible when I think I'm the only one who's going to be needing to read it. I might make things a bit neater now that I know I'll be taking more photos of these sketches in the future.
Once I began creating the cupcake in Illustrator, I decided to add in a bit of purple into the cupcake along with the original pink and brown. I hand glittered the first layer of frosting so it looked like it was sprinkled with sanding sugar. I also hand-glittered a purple flower on the side of the cupcake and on the back of the card, along with the candle and flame. The card was personalized with "Kat" on the cupcake liner and was printed on pearlescent white metallic cardstock. The metallic brown envelope matched the chocolate cupcake, and I hand-lettered "Katherine" in white ink.
Doesn't this card make you want to unwrap the cupcake and eat it? I loved using multiple colors for the hand-glittered elements, and will probably try to do that more often in my upcoming designs. If you would like me to design a card for your friend's upcoming birthday, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.