Graduation cap cupcakes are an easy way to make a festive dessert perfect for celebrating your graduate! These adorable commencement treats will be this hit of any end of school party!
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This time of year means a lot more than just the start of summer.
For us parents, it means graduation season is in full swing.
Sure it used to be just high school and college graduations that were a thing.
But my youngest son has had preschool and kindergarten graduations as well as moving up ceremonies between grades.
It doesn’t matter that it’s a lot of graduating.
My mama heart still swells with pride during each of these occasions and wants to celebrate each time.
And with this easy food craft, you’ll have an adorable dessert perfect for any graduation party from preschool all the way on up.
The fabulous part about this particular dessert is you don’t have to worry about making the whole thing from scratch. To make these you’ll need:
- Cupcakes– Don’t feel the need to make homemade cupcakes or even make the ones from a box mix. You can take a shortcut and get store bought cupcakes for this.
- Buttercream Frosting– Again store bought is fine. You could also use your favorite homemade recipe. You can skip the frosting if you’ve bought premade cupcakes.
- Decorator Gel– Black or brown decorator gel to act as glue.
- Candy– Ghirardelli squares, mini M&M’s, mini Reeses cups and Airhead Extremes sour candy.
How to Make
These adorable cupcakes may look complicated but they are actually a snap to put together!
To start, if you aren’t using store bought cupcakes, pipe frosting evenly onto your cupcakes using a piping bag, pipe frosting evenly onto all the cupcakes.
After the cupcakes are frosted, put them on a serving plate.
Cut the Airhead’s rainbows apart into individual ropes, by strands of color, and then chop them into 2-3″ strands for the tassels. Set them aside.
Add one peanut butter cup to the top of each frosted cupcake, setting it down upside down and making sure it’s centered as best as possible.
Gently press it in to make sure it’s glued in place. This will make the bottom of the cap.
Then, squeeze a dab of the decorating gel onto the top of each peanut butter cup bottom and set an upside down chocolate square on top, centering it as best as possible. This will finish creating the actual cap.
Add another dab of the decorating gel to the center of the chocolate square, then place both one piece of candy tassel and a coordinating M&M candy gently onto the dab of gel to ‘glue’ it to the top of the cap.
Refrigerate the cupcakes for 5-10 minutes to allow the ‘glue’ on the decorative toppers to set.
Serve, and enjoy!
Fun Graduation Party Ideas
My goal whenever I throw a graduation party is to keep everything as on graduation theme as possible.
Obviously that includes making these themed cupcakes.
Other cute ideas:
- Get your graduate, a fun shirt. This ‘Nailed It’ shirt is a really playful one we love.
- Have a secret giant candy card making station to let your guests send sweet well wishes to the grad.
- Put out diploma cookies made from Pepperidge Farm pirouette cookies and bits of curled ribbons.
- Don’t forget to theme your present! Every grad will love a Break in Case of Emergency Gift!
There are also tons of great easy graduation decorations out there to decorate. A few fun ideas:
- Balloon garlands or even paper streamers in the school colors
- Glitter paper star garlands
- Graduation cap favor boxes
Tips and Tricks for Making Graduation Cap Cupcakes
- Use a 2a sized piping tip in the shape of your choice to pipe the icing.
- Not a fan of piping icing? No worries! You can also buy pre-frosted cupcakes from the store.
- Feel free to sub Mini Reese’s pieces for the M&M’s. For added festivity, color coordinate them to match school colors.
- Twizzlers pull and peel candy will also work in place of the Airhead rainbow candy if you prefer something less sweet, sour and sugar coated.
- We used the caramel filled Ghirardelli squares here, but any of their varieties other than dark chocolate or white chocolate will work.
- You can make the caps ahead of time to make prep easier. Just put them on the cupcakes right before before serving, which is especially handy if traveling for a party.
- If you’ve refrigerated these cupcakes, do not plan on setting them out for long before serving. Inside and acclimated they should be ok on a dessert table, but heat will make chilled cupcakes sweat and this could cause your frosting to run and the decorative chocolate caps to slide off.
Other Recipes to Serve at a Grad Party
These graduation cap cupcakes are a fun dessert to celebrate your graduate’s accomplishment with. Make them to celebrate the grad in your life!
Looking for finger food type recipes to serve at a grad party? Try these:
- Chicken Club Sandwich Dip
- Pigs In A Blanket
- Crockpot Meatballs
- Cheddar Bay Biscuit Sausage Balls
- Italian Hoagie Dip
- Turkey Swiss Pinwheels
- Cuban Style Sliders
If you’ve tried these GRADUATION CAP CUPCAKES, or any other recipe on the site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!
- buttercream frosting
- decorating gel black or brown
- Ghirardelli chocolate squares unwrapped
- miniature Reese's peanut butter cups unwrapped
- mini m & m candies
- 1 pkg Airheads Extreme Rainbow candy
- Using a piping bag, pipe frosting evenly onto all the cupcakes. Then transfer them to the serving plate or platter of your choice.
- Cut the candy apart into individual ropes, sort the strands by color, and then chop them into 2-3" strands for the tassels.
- Add one peanut butter cup to the top of each frosted cupcake, setting it down upside down and making sure it's centered as best as possible. Gently press, just barely pressing, it in to make sure it's glued in place.
- Squeeze a dab of the decorating gel/frosting onto the top of each peanut butter cup bottom. Then set a chocolate square (again upside down) on top, centering it as best as possible. This will finish creating the actual cap.
- Add another dab of the decorating gel/frosting to the center of the chocolate square, then place both one piece of candy tassel and a coordinating m & m candy gently into it to 'glue' it to the top of the cap.
- Refrigerate the cupcakes for 5-10 minutes to allow the 'glue' on the decorative toppers to set.
- Serve, and enjoy!
This post may contain affiliate links. As an amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See my full Disclosure Policy for details. As always, all opinions are my own.