Easy and Festive Graduation Cupcakes!

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Cue “Pomp and Circumstance” because it’s graduation time! Do you have any soon-to-be graduates in your life?  If so, I bet you are looking for  ways to make them feel a little extra special during this important time.  These festive graduation cupcakes definitely fit the bill.  In addition to looking “smart,” they are amazingly easy and affordable to create! Whether you are celebrating kindergarten, middle school, high school, or college graduation, these celebratory cupcakes are sure to impress!

My favorite thing about this cupcake is the graduation cap that is made entirely out of chocolate candy that you can simply unwrap and use. I love this for two reasons:

  1. Using candy makes it easy to create consistently perfect graduation caps (not always the case when using frosting).
  2.  I’m a little bit of a chocoholic, so the fact that chocolate candy on these cupcakes consists of Rolos and Ghirardelli squares is a big win.  Plus, because Ghirardelli makes chocolate squares in a variety of flavors, you can customize which type you use to suit your graduate’s preference. I’m using the Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Caramel variety here.

Before you start decorating, go ahead and make the plain, base cupcakes that you will use for your graduation cupcakes. You can make this easy on yourself by using a box mix, or create something extra special by using a favorite “from scratch” recipe. The choice is totally yours! Once your cupcakes have cooled, you can get started with your graduation decorations!

First, you are going to need blue frosting in a piping bag (exact type in recipe below). Start a swirl on the outside of the cupcake, working your way to the center. The end result should be a spiral with a fluffy point in the middle of each cupcake.

Next, you will put a dot of the frosting on the narrow part of the Rolo candies and attach each one to a chocolate square.

The blue frosting acts as glue to hold together your chocolate graduation cap!

Use yellow decorating icing to pipe a dot in the middle of the square. Pipe a short, curved line coming from it to represent the tassel.

Press each completed chocolate graduation cap into each cupcake! Again, I love how simple this method is; it makes it so quick and easy to get professional and consistent-looking cupcakes.

Last, add colorful, star-shaped sprinkles to each cupcake to represent your graduate’s achievements and endless future potential!

This graduation cupcake decoration makes it easy to celebrate your graduate in style this May, but with minimal time or stress! We hope these simple and festive cupcakes allow you to make your graduate feel extra special while also saving time so that you can savor this special milestone too!

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Easy and Festive Graduation Cupcakes!

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  • Author: Wendy Hilton
  • Yield: 12 1x


This fast and easy method results in festive graduation cupcakes that will impress any crowd! Using chocolate candy to create graduation caps, you can have stunning cupcakes for any graduation celebration ready in a very short amount of time!



12 cupcakes made from your favorite recipe or boxed mix

3 to 4 cups blue frosting (Pictured: Pillsbury Funfetti Aqua Blue Vanilla Frosting, 15.6-Ounce)

12 Rolo Chewy Caramels, unwrapped

12 Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares, unwrapped (Pictured: Ghirardelli Dark & Sea Salt Square Caramel Chocolate, 5.32 Oz.)

¼ cup yellow frosting (Pictured: Wilton Yellow Icing Pouch with Tips, 8oz)

Star sprinkles (Similar: Star Sugar Sprinkles)


  1. Place blue frosting in a piping bag fitted with a 2A icing tip. Pipe frosting in a layer on cupcakes in an inward, spiral motion creating a small mound in the center.
  2. Apply a small dot of frosting to the narrow part of the Rollo. Attach it to a chocolate square.
  3. On the smooth side of each chocolate square, pipe a curved line to represent the tassel. Add a small dot to the middle.
  4. Press each chocolate graduation cap into the top of each cupcake.
  5. Add star sprinkles around the candy.


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