Graduation Cap Cupcake Topper Recipe

Graduation cupcakes
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  • 01 of 06

    Making the Caps on Graduation Cupcakes

    graduation cupcakes
    Graduation Cupcakes. Stephanie Gallagher

    I don't know what it is, but the mere sight of a mortar board can cause me to spontaneously well up with tears. And don't even get me started on Pomp and Circumstance. I'm a lost cause. Needless to say, I am a sucker for celebrating graduations. Graduations of all kinds — preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, well, you get the idea.

    When it comes time to throw your next graduation party, whether for your preschooler heading off to elementary school or your high school senior...MORE heading off to college, bake a batch of graduation cupcakes and make them unique by creating special, one-of-a-kind mortar board caps made of easy to find ingredients. To make them even more special, why not decorate with fruit roll-ups in the colors of your graduate's school?

    Continue to 2 of 6 below.
  • 02 of 06

    Graduation Cupcakes Step 1 - Gather Your Ingredients

    graduation cupcakes ingredients
    Ingredients for Graduation Cupcakes. Stephanie Gallagher

    You can use any flavor of cupcake as the base for these graduation cupcakes. Here are some good cupcake recipes to try:

    Once you have your cupcakes baked and cooled, you can gather your ingredients for these graduation cupcakes. You will need:

    • Miniature peanut butter cups
    • Square thin mints
    • Black gel icing
    • M&Ms
    • Kitchen shears
    • Fruit roll-ups (make sure you choose single-color fruit roll-ups; the graduation cap cupcakes...MORE won't look as good with multi-colored tassels)
    Continue to 3 of 6 below.
  • 03 of 06

    Graduation Cupcakes Step 2 - Start on the Caps

    mortar boards for graduation cupcakes
    Start the Motar Boards for the Graduation Cupcakes. Stephanie Gallagher

    Make sure you frost the cupcakes with a white frosting. My cream cheese frosting or my buttercream frosting are good choices. Now you are ready to start preparing the mortar boards for your graduation cupcakes:

    • Peel the miniature peanut butter cups and turn them upside down (so the wide part is facing down).
    • Place a dab of black gel frosting in the center of the upside down peanut butter cup.
    • Attach a thin mint, pressing firmly so the mint adheres to the peanut butter cup.
    Continue to 4 of 6 below.
  • 04 of 06

    Graduation Cupcakes Step 3 - Finish the Graduation Caps

    make the graduation cap tassels for the graduation cupcakes
    Make the Graduation Cap Tassels for the Cupcakes. Stephanie Gallagher

    The tassels for your graduation caps will be made out of the fruit roll-ups. It's a nice touch if you can find fruit roll-ups in the colors of your graduate's school, but don't worry if you can't. These graduation cupcakes look great with just about any color tassel. 

    • With clean kitchen shears, cut the fruit roll-ups into half-inch rectangles. You will need half as many rectangles as you have cupcakes. So if you have 18 cupcakes, you will need nine rectangles.
    • Now cut four thin...MORE strips to resemble tassel fringes out of each rectangle.
    • Next, cut the fringed rectangles in half lengthwise all the way through to the top. You are making two tassels out of each rectangle. So you will now have 18 tassels if you started with nine fruit roll-up rectangles.
    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Graduation Cupcakes Step 4 - Finish Making the Mortar Boards

    finish making the mortar boards for the graduation cupcakes
    Finish Making the Mortar Boards. Stephanie Gallagher

    Once you have the fruit roll-up tassels done, you are ready to attach the tassels to the mortar board base:

    • Squeeze a dab of black gel icing on top of the thin mints, and attach an M&M candy to it.
    • Next, squeeze a short line of black gel icing next to the M&M, and attach the fruit roll-up tassel to it, pressing gently to make sure it adheres.
    • Let the icing on your graduation caps dry for a few seconds before attaching the tassels to the cupcakes.
    Continue to 6 of 6 below.
  • 06 of 06

    Graduation Cupcakes Step 5 - Attach Your Graduation Caps to the Cupcakes

    graduation cupcakes
    Graduation Cupcakes. Stephanie Gallagher

    It's almost time to serve your graduation cupcakes! Once the caps from Step 5 are completed and dry (you only have to wait a few seconds), you're ready to attach them to the cupcakes.

    First, make sure you have plenty of icing on your cupcakes. This is the "glue" that will hold the candy mortar boards you just made to the graduation cupcakes. Now, press the candy graduation caps gently into the frosting of the cupcakes, making sure the caps are stable before moving.

    Now you can...MORE transfer your graduation cupcakes to a tray or cake plate. Cover with a cake cover or transfer to the refrigerator until ready to serve.