Graduation Cupcakes

Celebrate a signficant mile stone with these amazing graduation cupcakes!


Liven up your cupcake display by using school colors, pom poms or a banner with the school initials. Tinted butter cream or colored sugar sprinkles can help you do this. Don't think that your decorations have to be limited to icing. Experiment with different colored cupcake wrappers or liners, too. Adding embelishments to paper wraps is easy and you can mix and match whatever colors you like. And don't forget cupcake toppers. They can be made to announce the year of graduation, your special grad's name or a congratulatory message.

Graduation Cupcake Tutorials


Mortar Board Cupcakes

Create an amazing graduation cap cupcake with this simple mortar board design. Customize the tassel to any color you like!

>>Check out the step-by-step directions for our Mortar Board Cupcakes


Grad Year Cupcakes

Celebrate your grad's year with these easy to make cupcakes. A few toppers, fondant stars and twirls are all you need to pull off this festive design.

>>See how to make our easy Grad Year Cupcakes.


Diploma Cupcakes

What would graduation be without a diploma. Fashion yours from white fondant to celebrate your special grad.

>>See how to make our Diploma Cupcakes



Grad Photo Cupcake Wrappers

Try these Favorite Photo Cupcake Wrappers for a unique way to decorate your graduation cupcakes.

>See Favorite Photo Cupcake Wrapper instructions for full details.


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Simple Mortar Board
Graduation Cupcakes

Difficulty Level: Easy

Bakery/Cake Goods Needed:

  • Your favorite batch of vanilla or chocolate cupcakes
  • Your favorite butter cream frosting recipe

Mortar and Tassel Decorating Supplies:

  • 1 small batch of black tinted fondant (we used Duff Goldman’s Buttercream Fondant in Black)
  • Small ball of fondant tinted yellow or color of your school tassel (we used Wilton's paste food color)
  • Small rolling pin
  • Butter knife
  • Wax Paper

Cupcake Icing Tools:

  • Wilton 1M Star Tip
  • Icing Bag

Finishing Touches:

  • White cupcake liners or wrappers that match your school colors

Making the Mortar Boards:

Step 1: With the small rolling pin, roll out black fondant on a flat surface.

Step 2: With the butter knife, cut a 1-1/4” x 1-1/4” diamond. Set aside on wax paper to harden.

Icing and Decorating the Graduation Cupcakes:

Step 1: Fill the icing bag with butter cream and fit the opening with the Wilton 1M Star metal tip.

Step 2: Starting from the outside edge of the cupcake, use a circular motion and squeeze the icing out to cover the cupcake.

Step 3: Place a black fondant square in the center of each cupcake.

Step 4: Roll the yellow fondant into a thin toothpick width string. Cut off a 1/2" length and place at an angle from the center of the diamond or mortar board.

Step 5: Cut 3 - 4 additional strings about 1/4" in lenghth. Gather them on one end and attach to the end of of the fondant string to form the tassle. Roll a very small amount of fondant into a tiny ball and place it at the center of the mortar board.


Graduation Keepsakes

Need an idea for an enduring keepsake? Preserve those special memories in a unique slideshow presentation. Visit Treasured Moments in Time for great ideas.


Grad Year Celebration Cupcakes

Difficulty Level: Easy

Bakery/Cake Goods Needed:

  • Your favorite batch of vanilla cupcakes
  • Your favorite butter cream frosting recipe

Cupcake Decorating Supplies:

  • 1 small batch of premade fondant
    (you can use premade or homemade)
  • Metal star-shaped cutter
    (we used the small ½”star cutter from Wilton’s Star Fondant Cut-outs)
  • Red and Yellow Food Coloring (we used Wilton’s paste food coloring in Golden Yellow and Red-Red)
  • Small rolling pin
  • Small Knife
  • Wax Paper
  • Bamboo Skewers

Cupcake Topper Tools:

  • Round 2” Punch
  • Round 1” Punch
  • Red Scrapbook Paper
  • White Scrapbook Paper
  • Glue Stick
  • Black Marker
  • Tape
  • Toothpicks

Cupcake Icing Tools:

  • Wilton 1M Star Tip
  • Icing Bag

Finishing Touches:

  • White or Red Cupcake Liners

Making the Cupcake Decorations:

Step 1: Break off two medium balls of pre-made fondant. Tint one ball yellow and the other red. Leave the remaining fondant white.

Step 2: To make the stars: With the small rolling pin, roll out fondant on a flat surface.

Step 3: Using the star cutter, cut out stars. Repeat this step with all the colors of fondant. You’ll want to cut out approximately 2 – 3 stars total per cupcake.

Step 4: To make the twirls: Roll fondant out on a flat surface with the small rolling pin. Using a small knife, cut strips of fondant about 1/8” wide.

Step 5: Wrap these strips around the bamboo skewers and allow to set. You’ll need approximately 3 – 5 twirls total per cupcake.

Making the Numbered Toppers:

Step 1: Using the 2” paper punch, punch out red circles from the red scrapbook paper. You will need four circles total. Set aside.

Step 2: Repeat this step with the 1” paper punch and the white paper. You will need four circles total.

Step 3: Using the black marker, write out the numbers for the year on each circle. (You can also print the numbers out using a computer and printer.)

Step 4: Using the glue stick, glue the white circles with numbers on top of the red circles.

Step 5: Attach a toothpick to the back of the two circles using tape. Punch out another red circle from the paper and glue onto the back to hide the toothpick and tape.

Icing and Decorating the Cupcakes:

Divide the butter cream into two bowls. Tint one bowl red and leave the remaining white.

Step 1: Fit the opening of the icing bag with the #1M Star icing tip. Fill the icing bag with white butter cream.

Step 2: Starting from the outside edge of the cupcake, use a circular motion and squeeze the icing out to cover the cupcake. Repeat this step with the red butter cream.

Step 3: For each cupcake, add twirls and stars on the surface. For a final touch, place the numbered cupcake topper.


Graduation Diploma Cupcakes

Difficulty Level: Easy

Bakery/Cake Goods Needed:

  • Your favorite batch of vanilla or chocolate cupcakes
  • Your favorite butter cream frosting recipe

Diploma Decorating Supplies:

  • 1 small batch of white fondant (we used Wilton’s Ready-To-Use Rolled Fondant)
  • Small rolling pin
  • Butter knife
  • Wax Paper
  • Red food coloring (we used Wilton’s paste food color)

Cupcake Icing Tools:

  • Wilton 1M Star Tip
  • Icing Bag

Finishing Touches:

  • White cupcake liners or wrappers that match your school colors

Making the Diplomas:

Step 1: With the small rolling pin, roll white fondant out on a flat surface.

Step 2: With the butter knife, cut a square about 1-1/2” x 1-1/2”. Dampen the suface with a paper towel and water and roll the square up. Set aside on wax paper to set.

Step 3: Tint a small amount of fondant red. Roll out on a flat surface and cut into thin strips.

Step 4: Wrap one strip around the "diploma." With a separate strip form a bow by curling each end around to create a loop. Use a damped food safe paint brush to attach strips and "bow" if needed.

Icing and Decorating the Cupcakes:

Step 1: Reserve one cup of butter cream. Use the remaining frosting to ice your cupcakes. Fill the icing bag with butter cream and fit the opening with the Wilton 1M Star metal tip.

Step 2: Starting from the outside edge of the cupcake, use a circular motion and squeeze the icing out to cover the cupcake.

Step 3: Top each cupcake with a diploma.


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