Graduation Cap Cupcake Topper

Cupcakes topped with edible graduation caps

The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Serving: 1 cupcake
  • Yields: 12 cupcakes

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.

Ingredients

  • 12 baked cupcakes (frosted with white buttercream)
  • 12 miniature peanut butter cups
  • 12 square chocolate thin mints
  • Black gel icing
  • 6 (1/2-inch) rectangles of fruit roll-ups
  • M&Ms

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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