Graduation Cupcakes {and How To Make Fondant Graduation Caps}

I have two exciting thing for you today… Graduation Cupcakes and a fun announcement!

Many of you, my lovely readers, have been requesting more cupcake decorating ideas, and I’ve been listening!  So if you know someone graduating pre-school, middle school, Jr. High, High School, or college, these are a great way to help them celebrate!

And… the fun announcement is that I have joined The TomKat Studio team as a regular contributor!  I’m sure most of you know The TomKat Studio as a great source for beautiful party inspiration and custom party printables.  I will be adding to that sweet combo with ideas for fun and beautiful cakes, cupcakes and desserts.  My fridge is stocked with butter and cream, and I can’t wait to get started!  =)

For this set of Graduation cupcakes, I made a few special fondant Graduation Hat Toppers (full instructions below), topped some cupcakes with printable toppers from The TomKat Studio, and dressed up a few cupcakes with simple paper “diplomas”.  The diplomas were made by simple rolling a piece of white paper, and tying with a gold ribbon.

The cupcakes themselves are my favorite Chocolate Cupcakes with delicious Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting.

~ How to make a fondant Graduation Cap ~

If you’re not familiar with working with fondant, start with my Fondant 101 post.

1.  Color your fondant as desired (more detailed instructions HERE).

2.  Roll out the color of fondant you plan to use for the hat.

3. and 4.  Cut fondant into strips about 3/4 inches wide and 3 3/4 inches long.

5.  Roll up a strip of fondant to create a ring (overlapping slightly).  Use a teeny, tiny bit of water or corn syrup to help the ends stay together.  Set aside to dry.

6.  Cut a square (for the top of the hat) about 1 3/4 inches x 1 3/4 inches.

7.  Allow hat bases (the rings) and tops (squares) to dry for several hours or overnight.  They should be totally firm before moving to the next step.

8.  When the pieces have dried, use a tiny bit of “edible glue”- made with a few tablespoons of powdered sugar and a tiny bit of water (it should be the thickness of toothpaste) and apply with a (clean) paintbrush along the top edge of one ring.  Set the top of the hat (a fondant square) on top, and set aside to dry.

9.  Once the top of the hat has been secured to the base of the hat, make a tassel.  For the tassels, simply roll a tiny piece of fondant into a little “snake”.  I used my finger to press down one end just a bit, then used a knife to create just a bit of texture to represent the individual strings at the end of a tassel.

10.  Add just a drop of your “edible glue” to the center of the hat, and attach the tassel.  Bend tassel over the side of the cap just a bit.  Set aside to dry (at least 1 hour).  Add toppers to cupcakes right before serving (up to a few hours before).   Fondant decorations added more than a few hours before serving will begin to get soft and lose their shape.

Congratulations graduates!


  1. Congratulations Glory! Can't wait to see you over at the Studio. 🙂 Beautiful cupcakes too!!

  2. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO excited! These are AMAZING. PS…sad the stands were out of stock =( COngratulations! I cannot wait to see more!

  3. sooo excited for you! yay!!! thanks for letting us know

  4. Congrats! Your cute creations make the perfect complement to TKS!

  5. These are great! I can't wait to try them. Thanks, Glory. And congrats!

  6. Thank you for the idea. My son is graduating from college this coming 26th. Btw where can I get those cute cupcakes pedestal?

  7. Congratulations!! I love TomKat Studio and I love your blog, what a perfect combination!!

  8. Cute! Can't wait to see what the two of you guys come up with together!

  9. Love it..Congrats! Where are the single cupcake stands from? I would love to purchase one for my sons party. Thanks!

  10. Thanks ladies!

    The individual cupcake stands are from here,

    They are currrently out of stock, but I'll assume they will re-stock them.

  11. Wow! Those are great! I'm making graduation cupcakes for someone and will definitely try your fondant caps! THANK YOU!

  12. Adorable caps! Congratulations, too! (:

  13. These are so adorable! I want to make these for my brother's graduation. I'll be featuring this on my facebook page!

  14. Nice job and great tutorial! What a good idea 🙂


  15. These are super cute! I still need to try making your chocolate cupcake recipe…hmmm….maybe I'll have Britt make them next week for my big day!
    Love you!

  16. You always do such a fabulous job!

  17. You always make things look so easy. Congatulations on your Tom Kat Studio opportunity. I love you.

  18. Hi Glory! I was wondering what tip you used for the cupcakes? I normally use the one that makes it ruffly (is that a word :-)?) but i like the smooth look yours have. Thanks!

  19. The cupcake look amazing with the graduation hats on! I just have some questions about the fondant. How many days in advance should I make it if I need it by Friday Morning? It is my first time making fondant so I am not sure if the fondant going to dry out if I make the graduation hat tomorrow night.

  20. Come join my blog party! It's called A Themed Baker's Sunday and this week's theme is cupcakes!

  21. I'm working on grad cookies as we speak!

  22. You inspired me to make graduation cupcakes!

  23. What icing tip do you use for icing like this? Trying to expand my selection, but I'm not sure what I should be buying. 🙂

  24. Amy- I used a large round tip. The opening is about 5/8" diameter. I have a post in the works for cupcake decorating that will include some help and sources for decorating with large tips, but I'm not sure how soon I'll be able to get together the post (I'm always limited by the 24 hour day!)

  25. I love this idea, how many pounds of fondant do you think I need to make 25 or 50 caps

  26. I am going to make these cupcakes for a party on Saturday. I am going to put cupcakes around the base of my cake. Would it help keep the toppers stiffer if I mixed half gumpaste half fondant. And how did you get this perfect burgundy its the exact color I want!!!!

  27. Smc823- I'm not sure how many pounds you might need, each cap only requires a small amount of fondant, so I would guess you could make 25 caps with one pound or so.

    Anonymous- Yes, adding gumpaste would make the caps stiffer, although you don't need it if you let the caps dry fully before adding to the cupcakes, unless the caps will be on the cupcakes several hours before serving. The burgandy color is a mixture of colors I have… mostly burgandy, with some brown and red as needed.

  28. i am nervous since i haven't used fondant much before. how long should i let them dry? i bought americolor burgundy coloring i will try. i just keep adding a little and kneading it in right? i really want them to look perfect. do you guys think it will look ok to use a 1M swirl on the cupcakes and then the toppers on that?

  29. by the way the above anonymous post about making these for the party saturday was me…Lisa 🙂 I just figured out how to add my name

  30. also, how did you make the diplomas? is that fondant as well?

  31. Lisa- The fondant topper should dry at least overnight before you add them to the cupcakes. Frosting the cupcakes with a 1M tip will work great. And the diplomas are just paper with ribbon around them.

  32. thank you so much i can not wait to make these! i am nervous about coloring the fondant i hope it comes out ok!!!! I am debating if i should add gumpaste or not. The cake will probably be outside a few hours and it will probably be 80-90 degrees, i dont want the cute little hats to wilt. once they are hard do they stay hard?

  33. Hi, your cupcakes look beautiful! I was wondering, if I wanted to make these for a party occuring n two weeks, is it possible to store the fondant caps in advance without them drying out? If so, how far in advance should I make them? I'm very new to this, but your pictures were really helpful. Thanks!

  34. I started making these tonight for a party on Saturday. I did a fondant gumpaste mix so they would get really stiff, it's been over 100* here and I need them to be ok outside for an hour or 2. They did not come out the color I wanted though. I wanted a deep burgundy (school color) instead I got a mauve color. I used Americolor Burgundy coloring. I am also struggling coloring the buttercream for the cake. It comes out a mauve color. At this point I will probably just use the mauve I am just disappointed because I really wanted this nice color. How did you do it?

  35. Kayla- Yes, you can make the toppers up to a couple weeks in advance. Just store them in a dark place, or the color can fade a bit.

    Lisa- Sounds like you just need more coloring, or the brand your using may not be very concentrated. I would try adding some red, and a bit of brown.

  36. I made these and they are so adorable! I am even putting a few on the cake!

  37. Thank goodness for this perfect blog, just what I was looking for and in time for my son's graduation in July. love love love

    Beverley xoxo

  38. These look awesome, Glory! And done in my alma mater's colors too 🙂

  39. Where do you get the cupcake and cake stands that you used in this post? Thanks bunches!

  40. Iam writing from Turkey.I love so much your blog, your graduation cupcakes wonderful,They are suitable for my son.Iam trying to make.Thanks…

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  43. How many hours prior to event do you think you can put caps on cupcake. What to know if I can set up prior to leaving for graduation ceremony. Is four hours too long?

  44. This is a wonderful tutitorial, I’ve been looking all morning and finally found yours. Made me feel oh so stupid when I realize how simple it was.

    Thank you!!

  45. Thank you so much for this amazing tutorial. Mine came out amazing, well not as beautiful as yours .. lol but I was tickled how great they came out.

    Thank you, I’m posting links to you.

  46. Fabulous, just what I was looking for, with such simple instructions! Made my life a whole lot easier, thanks so much! xxx

  47. Hi, just making sure, is it ready to roll icing/fondant that you used or a gumpaste/ flower paste


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