Graduation Cap Cupcake Topper

Cupcakes topped with edible graduation caps

The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 25 mins
Serving: 1 cupcake
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
4263 Calories
211g Fat
594g Carbs
38g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 4263
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 211g 271%
Saturated Fat 66g 332%
Cholesterol 207mg 69%
Sodium 3440mg 150%
Total Carbohydrate 594g 216%
Dietary Fiber 23g 82%
Total Sugars 456g
Protein 38g
Vitamin C 18mg 90%
Calcium 362mg 28%
Iron 29mg 162%
Potassium 2822mg 60%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

One note of Pomp and Circumstance and we're a lost cause. Needless to say, we are suckers 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 heading off to college, bake a batch of graduation cupcakes and make them unique by creating special, one-of-a-kind mortarboard caps made of easy-to-find, edible ingredients. To make them even more special, why not make tassels from fruit roll-ups in the colors of your graduate's school? Make sure to use single-color roll-ups; the graduation cap won't look as good with multi-colored tassels.

This recipe is flexible, but we'll start with 12 cupcakes and you can cut down or increase the ingredients to suit your needs.


  • 12 medium baked white buttercream frosted cupcakes

  • 12 miniature peanut butter cups

  • 12 squares chocolate thin mints

  • Black gel icing, as needed

  • 6 (1/2-inch) rectangles fruit roll-ups

  • M&M candies, as needed

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make graduation cap cupcakes are gathered on a work surface
    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm
  2. Remove the wrapper from 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.

    Mortarboards assembled for the graduation cap cupcake toppers
    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm
  3. The tassels for your graduation caps will be made out of the fruit roll-ups. With clean kitchen shears, cut the fruit roll-ups into 1/2-inch rectangles. You will need half as many rectangles as you have cupcakes. So if you have 12 cupcakes, you will need six rectangles. Now cut four thin 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 12 tassels if you started with six fruit roll-up rectangles.

    Cutting fruit roll-ups to make tassels for the cupcake graduation cap toppers
    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm
  4. Attach the tassels to the mortarboard base by squeezing a dab of black gel icing on top of the thin mints, and attaching 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 placing the caps in the cupcakes.

    The M&M and fruit roll-up tassel is then attached to the top of the graduation cap
    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm
  5. Once the graduation caps are completely dry, they can be attached to the cupcakes. First, make sure you have plenty of icing on your cupcakes. This is the "glue" that will hold the candy mortarboards you just made to the graduation cupcakes. Now, press the completely dry candy graduation caps gently into the frosting of the cupcakes at a jaunty angle. Transfer your graduation cupcakes to a tray or cake plate, cover with a cake cover and leave at room temperature, or transfer to the refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy!

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