Graduation Cupcake Decorating Ideas

Updated on May 20, 2019
alissaroberts profile image

I am a mom of two sweet boys with another one on the way. I worked in the financial world for 5 years before becoming a stay-at-home mom.

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 that 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

Click thumbnail to view full-size
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

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.

Ingredients and 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 the box. Let cupcakes completely cool before icing.
  2. Add yellow food coloring to a batch of buttercream icing (see recipe below)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 shapes 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.

Buttercream Icing Recipe

I have never been a fan of store-bought icing, so I always use this buttercream icing recipe given to me by my mom.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick of butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 pound of powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of milk (add more if too thick)
  • Dash of salt

Directions

Mix all above ingredients with a mixer for 1-2 minutes. If making a colored icing, add desired food coloring and mix again. Spread on top of cupcakes once they are completely cooled.

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 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?

See results

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!

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • alissaroberts profile imageAUTHOR

        Alissa Roberts 

        7 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!

      • profile image

        Iris 

        7 years ago

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

      • alissaroberts profile imageAUTHOR

        Alissa Roberts 

        7 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!

      • LauraGT profile image

        LauraGT 

        7 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 imageAUTHOR

        Alissa Roberts 

        7 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!

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 

        7 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 imageAUTHOR

        Alissa Roberts 

        7 years ago from Normandy, TN

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

      • profile image

        Master Chef 

        7 years ago

        om nom nom nom nom

      • alissaroberts profile imageAUTHOR

        Alissa Roberts 

        7 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!

      • vespawoolf profile image

        vespawoolf 

        7 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 imageAUTHOR

        Alissa Roberts 

        7 years ago from Normandy, TN

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

      • alissaroberts profile imageAUTHOR

        Alissa Roberts 

        7 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!

      • randomcreative profile image

        Rose Clearfield 

        7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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

      • theclevercat profile image

        Rachel Vega 

        7 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.

      • alissaroberts profile imageAUTHOR

        Alissa Roberts 

        7 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!

      • alissaroberts profile imageAUTHOR

        Alissa Roberts 

        7 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 imageAUTHOR

        Alissa Roberts 

        7 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!

      • missolive profile image

        Marisa Hammond Olivares 

        7 years ago from Texas

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

      • emilybee profile image

        emilybee 

        7 years ago

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

      • Shesabutterfly profile image

        Cholee Clay 

        7 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! :)

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, delishably.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://delishably.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)