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75+ Coolest Graduation Cake Ideas for the DIY Cake Enthusiast

Here are some of the coolest graduation cake ideas. Graduation celebrates the culmination of blood, sweat and tears, with a little school work on the side. Whether someone is finishing preschool or medical school, they have achieved their personal goals.

The best way to celebrate, of course, is always with a cake! Festive and fun, you can personalize your cake with school colors. Also, books and graduation caps are always a classic idea. In addition, you will find interesting themed cakes here. Everything from medical themes to zoology to art and drama themes. There is also a wonderful sports themed cake, complete with a tennis ball wearing graduation cap. In conclusion, the best cake will be enhanced with the qualities which make your graduate special.

After working so hard to reach this accomplishment, your homemade creation will be the literal icing on their delicious cake. We can’t wait to see what your design looks like! Please share it with us and inspire others with your creativity.

Latest Graduation Cakes

Cool Graduation Cake

Graduation Cake posted by Alice S.

Graduation Cake

My nephew was graduating elementary school and I was asked to make the cake.  I made a two tiered vanilla cake with chocolate pudding filling.  I made marshmallow fondant, covered the cake and had no clue how I was going to decorate it.

Then it came to me, I wanted to make an owl with a graduation cap!  From there it just took off!  I was making fondant books, graduation caps, pencils, globes, etc.  I placed them around the cake and was very pleased with the outcome, as were my nephew and the guests!  Sometimes not planning ahead and just “winging it” works out for the best!

Halloween Graduation Cake

Graduation cake posted by Cecile H.

Graduation Cake

I had a specific request for this Halloween graduation cake; it had to be text books because it was for a graduation. It had to have a knife stabbed into it and it had to have what was written on the ‘sheet of paper’ . The girl was graduating with a Social Work degree around Halloween so it had to be a bit creepy gory too!

I used her school’s names on the cakes for the book titles and her degree on the top book’s spine. All the cakes were covered in fondant after they were tiered and crumb coated. I used red tinted piping gel for the ‘blood’ representing the blood, sweat and tears she shed getting through the program. The knife was made out of poured sugar and wrapped in fondant. The text was written in gold lusterdust made into paint with vodka.

Cap and Diploma Graduation Cake

Graduation cake submitted by Carole

Graduation Cake

I wanted to make my daughter a special cake for her graduation from university. This is the graduation cake I ended up with. I covered the cake board with white and brown marbelled icing to represent wood. Then I made a dome shaped Madeira cake and covered it in black icing. I then covered a square cake board in black icing and fixed it to the top of the cake.

Made a tassel to match the colors on my daughter’s sash and mortar board. I modeled the pencils from different colored fondant icing and added a white certificate tied with a red fondant icing ribbon. Everyone thought it was a really good cake. My friend thought it looked so realistic she asked me when we had to return the mortar board to the university.

20+ Coolest Graduation Cake Ideas

Swimming Pool Graduation Cake

Graduation cake submitted by Robert

Graduation Cake

I made this Swimming Pool Graduation Cake for my co-workers son. He graduated from high school. The pool is made of chocolate sponge cake with a chocolate creme filling. The cake has a crumb coat of buttercreme icing and covered in fondant. I used clear piping gel mixed with blue coloring to make the water in the pool.

The cap is made of rice krisipe treats and covered in fondant, the top of the cap is gumbpaste painted black. The scroll is fondant rolled up and tied with a fondant ribbon. The swimmer is made from modeling chocolate.

Graduation Cake
Graduation Cake
Graduation Cake

Mascot Graduation Cake

Graduation cake submitted by William

Graduation Cake

I made this Mascot Graduation Cake for my Grandson’s High school graduation. It is one of three that I made for this event – A white cake with white chocolate ganache filling. It is frosted with Italian butter creme frosting and is made from 2- 10″ round cakes.

The characters are made from homemade gumpaste. They are the Mascots of all the conference teams that they played. The top one is the Cougar which is the Mascot of the school he was in. Their team placed top in the conference. So the Cougar got to go on top. The saying in the middle is a chant that the team does when they get a win. They got to say the chant quite often this year.

The stairs are made of rice krispy treats covered with frosting and fondant. He really liked the way the cake turned out and so did everyone at the party. I was very proud that he graduated and I was honored that he asked me to make his cake.

Monkey Graduation Cake

Graduation Cake

This homemade graduation cake was made for a friend’s daughter’s graduation… she loves monkeys. I made the monkey out of rice krispie treats, as well as the basketball. I then covered them with fondant.

The books are red velvet cake (each double layered) covered with buttercream and fondant… everything else on the cake is fondant (I used gel coloring to color the fondant). This homemade graduation cake was a BIG HIT at the graduation party!

Topsy Turvy Graduation Cake

Graduation cake submitted by Kristi

Graduation Cake

This Topsy Turvy Graduation Cake was made at the request of my neice. She wanted a special cake for her graduation party. I made this cake with a heavy pound cake weight layer. Tiers are 14 inch, 10 inch and 6 inch. Each layer is made in 3 parts. First layer is the acutal 14, 10, or 6 inch layer. Then take the second 14, 10 or 6 inch layer and cut from top right corner to bottom left corner. Making a crazy wide triangle. Flip the triangle over on itself. This goes on top of which ever layer you are working on (14, 10 or 6inch) You are left with a tier that has straight sides and a very slanted top. Do this for each tier.

Then carve out a small “bed” to set each tier in when you are stacking. I recommend using seperator plates, this cake will get heavy. You can carve the sides to get even more slope to make the effect even more drastic. All are iced in a heavy butter cream icing and then fondant is cut into diamonds and strips to make the patterns. The top tier was completely covered in fondant to make the mortar board. I used a small square peice of cardboard to make the top of the hat. Very fun to make and my neice was overjoyed with the final product.

Art Student Graduation Cake

Graduation cake submitted by Charlene B.

Graduation Cake

This graduation cake was made for a high school graduate who is on her way to attend college at the Savannah College of Art & Design.

The cake was made using Wilton’s square cake pans and iced in black & white buttercream. Daisies were made of royal icing and the lettering is fondant.

The sugar cookies were decorated with color flow icing.

Peanut Graduation Cake

Graduation cake submitted by Jenn F.

Graduation Cake

A friend of mine’s daughter was graduating from High School and he asked if I could make a cake shaped like a peanut (because that is his nickname for her). I think I did a pretty good job on it.

It is all homemade including the cake batter, Italian buttercream base layer and the white chocolate fondant.

It was baked in a full sheet sized pan and carved by hand and decorated with airbrushing and gold pearlized dust. The tassel was made out of fondant as well.

Cute Graduation Cake

Graduation Cake

To start out with this graduation cake, I made one 10″ round cake and one cake in the wonder mold cake pan. After the cakes were cooled, I placed the round cake on the silly feet cake stand, and the wonder cake on top of it. Then I frosted the entire cake in blue buttercream.

I rolled out a large piece of blue fondant (dyed the same color as the buttercream) and placed that over the cake. Then I trimmed the fondant to leave the hem for the graduation gown.

Out of peach colored fondant, I cut a large circle and put it aside to dry. I also fashioned a triangular nose out of peach fondant and applied it to the large circle with piping gel. Once the circle (the face) was dry (over 24 hours), I added eyes, mouth and hair using edible food markers.

Out of blue fondant, I cut out a mortarboard (freehand) and let it dry for over 24 hours. After it was dry, I attached it to the top of the face using piping gel. I took a small amount of fondant to fashion the circular top to the tassel. Then I used some yellow fondant, rolled thin and attached it to the circle. I took a small rectangular piece of fondant and attached it to the thin piece. I then cut thin strips to look like a tassel.

Cap and Diploma Graduation Cake

Graduation cake submitted by Ingka

Graduation Cake

I got this task for a Hat and Scroll Graduation Cake from my child’s teacher.

This is my first time I did cake decoration with plastic icing. I learnt a lot from making this one and since then I am very confident to decorate cakes with plastic icing. Few mistakes happened but it was an amazing experience and good lesson. Now I am learning how to make 3D cake decoration.

My first mistake was, I rolled the fondant icing on the display board which was really painful as it was not neat and tidy. It worked eventually.

Second mistake, I made the tassle too early then it was set and dry. It broke as I lifted it, then I knew that I should put it on the hat and let it dry.

I had so much fun making this cake and my child’s teacher was very pleased. Since then I got so many orders from the school to make all their celebration cakes or cupcakes.

Wilton Cake Pan Graduation Cake

Graduation cake submitted by Sarah

Graduation Cake

This graduation cake I made for my sister’s graduation party. The cake is a 2 layer 16in round iced in buttercream. The roses are royal icing that I made a few days ahead of time.

The graduation cap is a candy plaque using the Wilton cake pan. I started by piping in melted yellow candy melts into the portion for the tassle. Then I put that in the refrigerator and let it set for about 15 min. I melted blue candy melts in the microwave. I had to add blue candy coloring to achieve the dark blue color. Then I poured the melted blue candy into the pan and let it set in the fridge for about 30 min. After it was set.

I removed it from the pan, just by turning it over onto a towel and placed the candy plaque on the cake and added the lettering. This was real easy and relatively quick to do.

Perfectly Piped Buttercream EMT Graduation Cake

Graduation Cake submitted by Laura A., Mechanicsville, MD

Graduation Cake

My girlfriend had just gotten her EMT training done and I wanted to let her know how proud I was of her by baking this graduation cake for her birthday. I made a two layer round cake then using wax paper traced the outline of the star of life in the center with frosting. Then, I used a medium star tip and filled the rest in blue and the outside in white.

I made the staff and serpent middle and then wrote happy birthday on the center. She loved it!

Wilton Pattern Graduation Cap

Cake by Jayne N., Le Mars, IA

Graduation Cake Photo

This graduation cake is an 8” round cake, three layers tall. It is covered with white marshmallow fondant with stripes in red and black marshmallow fondant.

The cap on top is made from black gum paste made a few days before and left to dry. The pattern for the hat is in one of Wilton’s yearbooks.

There is a small paper diploma on the front part of the top that is hard to see in the picture. The tassel on the hat is made using a clay extruder. The white dots are royal icing left to harden.

Reese Peanut Butter Cup Cupcake

Cake by Becky E., Strawn, IL

Graduation Cake Photo

I had been searching for a graduation cake/cupcake idea for over a month. So, it was getting down to crunch time and I was on the phone with my mom and the idea just came to me.

I made regular cupcakes and tinted icing (school colors or close to it). I added black coloring (Wilton) to chocolate icing and micro waved the container so the icing was the consistency of whipped cream and could be poured ( just 5-10 seconds at a time).

Using my cooling racks with wax paper underneath I covered small square Lorna Doone cookies with the icing. Let them dry maybe a couple hours.

I placed a mini Reese’s peanut butter cup no outer wrapper still in the paper upside down on the iced cupcake. I put the iced cookie on top of the peanut butter cup to create the grad cap.

You may want to put a dab of icing on the peanut butter cup to hold the cookie in place. Finally, I piped a tassel in her school colors.

Wilton Star Cupcake Pan

Cake by Marylee O., Houston, TX

Graduation Cake Photo

I made this graduation cake for my son’s college graduation party May 2007. I baked two layers of cake in my 16″ Wilton round pan (that’s two boxed mixes per layer, four boxed mixes). Usually, I make one layer a yellow/butter cake and the other milk or dark chocolate layer. Also, my secret is to add two to three tablespoons of dry non-dairy hazelnut creamer to my chocolate cake mix and it is extra yummy!

I spread one jar of raspberry jam (not preserves/no seeds etc.) between the layers instead of icing this time, it seemed a bit more masculine and was a fruity touch!

Then, I iced the two layer cake with homemade chocolate buttercream icing (two batches of the Wilton recipe). I baked eight cupcakes in a Wilton star cupcake pan I picked up on eBay. These were made from a rainbow chip cake mix (for the little kids at the party!).

I iced those separately with Duncan Hines canned cream cheese icing and placed them around the top of the cake. Then, I colored the same cream cheese icing with maroon (his school color) and used a star tip to decorate a shell border around the cake and around the stars.

The Photo Finish

I printed out eight 1-1/2″ square photos of my son, each three years of his life (he’s 24 now) on one sheet of paper and had it laminated (cost $1). I cut them out and placed them on each star. Then, I added eight star candles to light.

I picked up a male graduation cake topper on eBay and hot-glued it to a graduation cap I found at a party store. The cap opened up like a truffle holder; we folded up a $100 bill and our son got to open that as he blew out his candles in front of 50+ family and friends.

In conclusion, I love to make my own cakes! They are never perfect but they are each spectacularly different! This particular cake was very heavy, it used five cake mixes!

Graduation Cake With Marzipan Blocks

Cake by Julie B., Sunderland, England

Graduation Cake Photo

This was my daughter’s graduation cake she made herself. It was a first attempt as part of her primary teaching degree. She had to do design and technology and the theme was “celebration” (so she chose her own graduation).

She made it as a fruit cake (a recipe from Marks and Spencer recipe book) and the writing she stenciled in edible pen. Then she made the blocks from marzipan, covered in icing and brushed the edges with edible gold dust.

I think she made quite a good job for her first one and enjoyed it so much she has done a few more since for friends.

Wilton Graduation Cake Pan

Cake by Debra H., Far Rockaway, NY

Graduation Cake Photo

This graduation cake was made for an elementary graduation party. In addition, the colors are the colors of the party which was a barbeque.

I used a Wilton’s Cake Pan with a rainbow confetti cake mix. In order to decorate it, I piped the frosting according to instructions provided with the pan.

More Graduation Cake Ideas

Cake submitted by Debra H. from Far Rockaway, NY

Graduation Cake

This graduation cake was made for an elementary school graduation party. I used a Wilton Mold and one Lemon box mix. I piped entire cake according to directions provided with pan.

Cake submitted by Belinda M. from Bronx, NY

Graduation Cake

Cake submitted by MaryKay C. from Kiev, Ukraine

Graduation Cake

I was asked to make two high school cakes this year, and was very disappointed with what I was able to find on line, so came up with this graduation cake.
For the cake I wrote all the graduates names on a fondant scroll.  The gold “paint” was made from luster dust and a drop of vodka.  (All advice I’ve read about luster dust is that it’s best to mix it with a clear spirit — NOT water.  Clear vanilla would probably also work).

Because ready-made Wilton fondant is not available in Kiev, I made my own for this graduation cake.  Melt contents of one bag of marshmallows – I a used microwave. Then stir and knead in one pound of powdered sugar.  This takes a LONG time to work it all in.  Let it sit in a sealed zip lock bag for a day or two (from what I read, this makes it easier to work with). The cake roses are made from butter cream icing using a rose tip and rose nail.

Graduation Cake with Fruit Roll-Up

Cake submitted by MaryKay C. from Kiev, Ukraine

Graduation Cake

This was the second of two graduation cakes I made this year.
For this cake, first bake and frost a cake (I used white butter cream icing and chocolate cake).  For the mortarboard, I found a picture in clip art and enlarged it on the photocopier.

I placed a piece of wax paper over the graduation cake image and made the top of the mortarboard (the diamond shape) by piping the outline in melted chocolate candy melts, and then filling it in with chocolate – so that it formed an oblong diamond shape. While the chocolate was still “wet” I sprinkled it liberally with black sanding sugar and edible glitter, and let this harden overnight at room temperature.  The next day it peeled right off the wax paper.

For the bottom of the bottom of the graduation cake mortarboard I traced the photocopy image onto wax paper using a sharpie pen.  Then outlined the backside in black piping gel and placed it on top of the frosted cake, after the frosting had set.  Then outlined it with black butter cream icing using a number 3 tip, and filled it in with black stars, over which I sprinkled a bit of black sanding sugar to that it would be similar to the chocolate top.

After the bottom of the mortarboard was complete, I squeezed a glob of black icing just above it and then positioned the mortarboard – giving this cap some depth  (otherwise, if done in all black stars flat on the cake top, I think it could end up looking like a blob.) The graduation cake diploma is made from fondant with a strawberry fruit roll-up bow (a day or two in advance unroll your fruit roll-up and brush it with water using a pastry brush; then cover with red sprinkles and/or red edible glitter). The cake tassel is also made from fruit roll up (use scissors to cut).

Graduation Cupcakes

Graduation cake submitted by MaryKay C. from Kiev, Ukraine

Graduation Cake
Each of the 18 graduates got their own smiley face graduation cupcake.  Graduation cupcake mortarboards were made from chocolate candy melts piped onto wax paper using decorating bag and then sprinkled with black sanding sugar. The cake and cupcake tassels are butter cream icing strings with fruit roll-up tassels.

Graduation cake submitted by Diane L. from Hebron, KY

Graduation Cake
This graduation cake was made for my daughter’s kindergarten graduation. This is a large decorated chocolate chip cookie. To make the cookie – prepare chocolate-chip batter. Lightly grease and flour flat cookie sheet. Trace 9″ circle in grease/flour. Spread dough in circle and bake.

After the cookie cooled, I decorated mostly using the star tip (except piped outlines and yellow dots). I used a star tip with white icing to do all trim, writing and shape of grad cap. Then I piped the black outline of the cap, and used a star tip again to fill in the cap, rewrite and retrim. I piped tassel. Decorations stand out much better on cookie with white icing background, plus there’s more icing!

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