Celebrate your grad's commencement by serving a batch of Graduation Cupcakes. Each little cake is decorated with a frosting graduation gown topped with a modeling chocolate graduate wearing a mortarboard and holding a diploma. They are perfect for a graduation party.
Graduation day is such a momentous occasion, so make it extra special by serving these cute Graduation Cupcakes.
I've created desserts for many graduation parties over the years and I can't believe I have never thought to make these graduate cupcakes before now. Aren't they cute?
They would make a fantastic centerpiece display on your dessert table.
I made these decorated cupcakes for a friend's party and they were a huge hit. The school colors are black and gold so I created black and gold (yellow) caps and gowns.
You can make your caps and gowns to match your school's colors.
- You'll want a nice firm consistency to create the bodies of the graduates. I used Wilton's Decorator Icing which is pretty thick right out of the tub but I still added 2-3 tablespoons of powdered sugar per cup of frosting to make sure it held stiff peaks
- If you use homemade buttercream frosting, be sure to add enough powdered sugar so that your frosting will hold a stiff peak.
- One cup of frosting will decorate about 8 cupcakes.
- Color the icing using gel or paste food coloring. For each cup of yellow frosting, I used about 15 drops of yellow coloring.
- To make black icing, add 2-3 tablespoons of sifted cocoa powder to the white icing instead of the powdered sugar then add black food coloring.
Coloring modeling chocolate.
- Add drops of the yellow coloring to your white modeling chocolate and knead until well blended. Be sure to wear food-handling gloves when coloring your modeling chocolate.
- OR you can use Yellow Candy Melts to make Candy Clay (the same recipe as modeling chocolate, only made using Candy Melts).
- You'll need red modeling chocolate too. I prefer to make it using Red Candy Melts, but you can add red coloring to white modeling chocolate.
How to make skin tone modeling chocolate.
- Pinch off a tablespoon-sized piece of the white modeling chocolate and add a drop of light yellow and light pink. Knead together.
- Then knead small pieces of that peach color into more white modeling chocolate until you achieve your desired skin tone.
- For darker tones, add some milk or dark modeling chocolate or brown food coloring.
cookie sticks - I used Pocci cookie sticks to hold up the graduates.
frosting (about 1 cup to decorate 8 cupcakes)
powdered sugar or cocoa powder - Mix into the frosting to make it stiff. Use cocoa powder to make black frosting.
Modeling Chocolate (Recipe) - You'll need about ½ ounce of modeling chocolate per cupcake.
1 ¼ inch round cutter
silicone graduation cap mold
clear piping gel
black candy writing pen
rectangle cutter (or knife)
fondant rolling pin
You can find items needed to make the graduate cupcakes on amazon
(commission earned for sales) or at craft or discount stores.
Watch this video tutorial to see how to make and decorate your Graduation Cupcakes...
How to decorate your graduate-topped cupcakes:
- Roll out skin-toned modeling chocolate to about ⅛th inch thickness and cut out 1 ¼ inch circles.
- If you roll out your modeling chocolate (candy clay) on a silicone baking mat using a silicone fondant roller you don't need to use any cornstarch or powdered sugar. If you roll it out onto a cutting board, lightly dust your work surface with cornstarch or powdered sugar so it won't stick.
- Press modeling chocolate into silicone graduation cap molds. Allow to dry for 5 minutes then remove.
- Use clear piping gel to attach one grad cap to one skin tone circle.
- Use a candy decorating pen to draw a face onto each circle.
- Roll the white modeling chocolate out as thin as possible to make the diplomas.
- Cut into ⅞ inch by 1 ⅝ inch rectangles and roll up forming diplomas.
- Press red candy clay through a clay extruder fit with a single hole.
- Cut the thin logs into 2-inch strips, then wrap around the diplomas, cutting off the excess.
- If you don't have a clay extruder you can roll the red modeling chocolate into thin logs to be wrapped around the diplomas.
- Break a cookie stick in half and insert it into the center of a cupcake.
- I baked my cupcakes in Wilton's Wave Baking Cups.
- You can buy cookie sticks at the grocery store in the International Food aisle. They come filled or dipped in chocolate.
- Pipe stripes of frosting from the cupcake to the top of the stick.
- Use a Wilton 4B pastry tip to get the grooved stripes like I did.
- The cookie stick will give your graduates structure and help to hold the bodies upright.
- Pinch off small pieces of skin tone modeling chocolate and shape into hands.
- If you prefer, you can roll out the modeling chocolate and use a small teardrop cutter to cut them out.
- Attach one head, two hands, and a diploma onto each cupcake.
- Display on Wilton's 4-Tier Stacked Cupcake and Dessert Tower
Have fun making your Graduation Cupcakes.
If you recreate these and share them online be sure to link back to this tutorial, mention Hungry Happenings, and use #hungryhappenings.