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DIY Grad Cap Cake Push-Ups

Celebrate a recent graduate with these delicious Graduation Cap Cake Push-Ups! Cupcakes, cake balls, cake pops – the opportunities to create out-of-the-box confectionery treats for parties has grown amazingly diverse and fun in the past few years. The big trend nowadays is to serve your sweets a la push pop style in what party-goers are now calling cake push-ups.

These individual dessert pairings might look intimidating, but don’t be fooled – they’re super, super simple to make. A cross between a parfait and a cake, what makes these desserts stand out most are the cute containers they come assembled in.



For a recent high school graduation party we hosted, our cake push-ups were adorned with the easy grad cap candy trick we learned a few years back. Combining a bit of old with lots of new, this dessert idea is a guaranteed hit at any grad party.


  • 1 chocolate sheet cake
  • 1 large container vanilla Duncan Hines frosting
  • 8 mini chocolate peanut butter cups
  • 8 squares of chocolate
  • Candy string
  • 8 “Congrats Grad” Personalized M&Ms
  • 8 cake push-up containers
  • 4 bags personalized gold M&Ms
  • 1 bag rice cereal (or rice will work)
  • 2 Small Galvanized Tins

Step 1: Bake your sheet cake – or purchase a plain one from your local bakery. Allow it to cool completely.

Step 2: While the cake is cooling make your grad cap toppers. Apply a dab of frosting to the mini peanut butter cup’s bottom (the smaller surface) and rest a square of chocolate on top. Let set. Next, place a dab of frosting on the top of the square at its center, then attach a piece of string candy and cover that with a personalized M&M. Place your grad cap candy toppers in the refrigerator for an hour or so to set.

Step 3: Next, punch out circles from your sheet cake using the push-up pop container. This will ensure you get the right size for your layers of cake. We used 2 layers for our push-ups but you may be able to squeeze in three. Once you've got your cake punched out, fill a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip with your frosting.

Step 4: Assemble your cake push-ups: start by placing a layer of cake at the bottom, then layer with frosting, then another layer of cake and a hefty topping of frosting. You can stand your cake push-ups in Styrofoam while they set. Repeat this process for your 8 push-ups. Then, place in the fridge to set - about 1/2 an hour.

Step 5: While that sets, assemble your displays. Fill your galvanized tins 3/4 of the way with rice cereal. Then, top with your personalized M&Ms. Remove your cake push-ups and candy grad caps from the fridge. Top each push-up with a cap and securely place into your rice cereal/M&M filled tins.

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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