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Graduation Cupcakes - Cupcake Decorating Ideas

Updated on May 21, 2012

Graduation Cupcakes

Graduation cupcakes for my son's kindergarten class.
Graduation cupcakes for my son's kindergarten class. | Source

Graduation Cake Ideas

Graduation is a special day in every student's life which signifies many months or years of hard work and the completion of one's studies. This kind of accomplishment is certainly one that deserves a big celebration. If you have an upcoming graduate in your life, recognize this amazing achievement with cupcakes topped with one of the following fun and easy decorating ideas.

Whether your graduate has finished kindergarten, high school, or college, read further to discover several different decorating ideas for your graduation cupcakes.

Decorating Graduation Cupcakes

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We used fun size Hershey's chocolate bars, M&M's, and Fruit Roll-Ups to decorate our cupcakes.Cut small strips in the fruit roll ups to make the tassel for the graduation caps.Our finished graduation cupcakes.We also left a few cupcakes plain to spell out "2012 GRAD" for those little ones who may not like candy toppings on their cupcakes.
We used fun size Hershey's chocolate bars, M&M's, and Fruit Roll-Ups to decorate our cupcakes.
We used fun size Hershey's chocolate bars, M&M's, and Fruit Roll-Ups to decorate our cupcakes. | Source
Cut small strips in the fruit roll ups to make the tassel for the graduation caps.
Cut small strips in the fruit roll ups to make the tassel for the graduation caps. | Source
Our finished graduation cupcakes.
Our finished graduation cupcakes. | Source
We also left a few cupcakes plain to spell out "2012 GRAD" for those little ones who may not like candy toppings on their cupcakes.
We also left a few cupcakes plain to spell out "2012 GRAD" for those little ones who may not like candy toppings on their cupcakes. | Source

Candy Substitutions

You can also use these substitutes to make our graduation cupcakes:

  • Hershey's chocolate bars - Ghirardelli chocolate squares or chocolate covered cookies
  • Fruit Roll-Ups - Twizzlers or fondant
  • M&M's - Reese's Pieces or Skittles

How to Decorate Graduation Cupcakes

Wanting to do something special for my son's kindergarten class, I decided to make cupcakes to celebrate their upcoming graduation. These cupcakes were very easy to make and got the kids super excited for their closing ceremony which was later that night. Below you will find a list of supplies and step-by-step directions for creating our graduation cupcakes.

Supplies:

  • Yellow cake mix

  • Buttercream icing

  • Red and yellow food coloring

  • M&M's

  • Hershey's chocolate bars

  • Fruit Roll-Ups

Directions:

  1. Bake cake mix according to directions on box and let cupcakes completely cool before icing.
  2. Add yellow food coloring to a batch of buttercream icing and frost cupcakes. Leave a small amount of icing to be able to make the red mouths.
  3. Break the Hershey's chocolate bars into square shape for the graduation caps. (I used the fun size and broke them in half.) Place the chocolate square arranging it to look like a diamond at the top part of the cupcake.
  4. Cut 3-4 small strips in a red Fruit Roll-Up to make the tassel. Attach the tassel to the cap with a small amount of icing.
  5. Use a small amount of icing to add your desired color of M&M to the top of the tassel. (My son's school colors are purple and gold, so I used purple M&M's.)
  6. To finish up the cupcakes, add 2 M&M's for the eyes and use red icing to create the mouth.

How to Make Graduation Cap and Diploma Cupcake Toppers

More Decorating Ideas for Graduation Cupcakes

If you are celebrating a high school or college graduation, here are a few more fun and easy decorating ideas for your graduation cupcakes:

  • Graduation Cap Cupcakes - Use a peanut butter cup for the bottom of the graduation cap. Add a small amount of icing to attach the chocolate square. Attach a candy tassel and button with icing to the top of the cap.
  • Diploma Cupcakes - Melt a vanilla flavored Tootsie Roll in the microwave and flatten out. Cut into square and roll into diploma shape. Cut a long strip out of a Fruit Roll-Up and twist around the diploma.
  • Star Cupcakes - Cut star shapes out of fondant with star shaped cookie cutters. If you are attaching multiple stars, use icing to glue the stars together.
  • Monogrammed Cupcakes - Use fondant or icing to create the graduate's initials. You could also use this same method to create the school's initials to top your cupcakes.
  • Chocolate Cupcakes - After baking chocolate flavored cupcakes, tear off the cupcake liner. Turn the cupcake upside down to make it the base of the graduation cap. Use icing or melted chocolate to attach a chocolate square, candy tassel, and button to the top of the cupcake.

Graduation Party Poll

Which do you prefer at a graduation party?

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Graduation Party Ideas

If you are hosting a graduation party for your upcoming graduate, any of these cupcake design ideas would be the perfect dessert to serve your guests. Not only are cupcakes much easier for your guests to handle, but you also save yourself from standing at the cake table half the night handing out plates of cake. All you need is a cupcake stand in the middle of the food table and you are free to celebrate this special day with your graduate and loved ones.

I hope you have found some fun and easy decorating ideas for your graduation cupcakes. If you have any questions or comments about our cupcake design or any of the other decorating ideas, feel free to leave these in the comment section below. Congratulations to your special graduate!

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    • Shesabutterfly profile image

      Cholee Clay 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      Great decorations alissaroberts! My baby sister graduates from high school next month, and I'll just have to use some of these great ideas. Thanks for sharing! :)

    • emilybee profile image

      emilybee 5 years ago

      These came out great!! They're so cute :) Thanks for sharing these ideas.

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      Very cute idea. Lots of graduation parties this month. Thanks for sharing. Note: I LOVE buttercream frosting!

    • alissaroberts profile image
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      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks Shesabutterfly! Oh how exciting - congrats to your baby sister on graduating! Hope she enjoys the cupcakes! Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks emilybee! So happy to hear you like the cupcake design! Appreciate your visit and for the sweet comments!

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks missolive! We had two graduations this year in our family so I had to come up with some cupcake designs to celebrate. And I am so with you on the buttercream frosting - I will take it over chocolate frosting any day :) Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

    • theclevercat profile image

      Rachel Vega 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      I really love the cupcake series, Alissa! It always makes me smile, and who doesn't love cupcakes??? Voted up and awesome.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I love your cupcake series! Thanks for some more great cupcake ideas.

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks theclevercat! My boys are loving all the cupcakes but my husband says I am ruining his diet...oops! Guess that means he doesn't want cupcakes for Father's Day ;) Appreciate you stopping by and for the votes!

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks so much randomcreative! Appreciate you stopping by and for your sweet comments!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      I can't believe I'd never thought of cupcakes instead of cake at a graduation party. Not only do we love cupcakes, but it sounds so much simpler as well. Thanks for sharing your great ideas!

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Hi vespawoolf! Cupcakes are so much easier to serve than cake and it leaves you all that extra time to mingle with your guests. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

    • profile image

      Master Chef 5 years ago

      om nom nom nom nom

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Sounds like you are enjoying those cupcakes Master Chef! :) Thanks so much for stopping by!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      This is posted just in time for all those who have graduates in their family. I would love to see the graduation chocolate cupcakes. Love your yellow cupcakes!

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks teaches12345! The chocolate cupcake idea was so cute because it looked exactly like a graduation cap but it was missing all that yummy buttercream icing that my boys love! lol :) Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

    • LauraGT profile image

      LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

      Cute ideas! My son just graduated from preschool last night. I guess I'll have to save these ideas for my daughter's graduation in a couple of years!

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 4 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks so much LauraGT! Yes you will have to come back for the next graduation. Appreciate you stopping by and for commenting!

    • profile image

      Iris 4 years ago

      Love the fact that we can get this great ideas :) thank you :)

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 4 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thank you Iris for your visit and taking the time to comment! So happy to hear you liked the ideas!

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