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Graduation Cap Cupcakes: Cute Grad Party Dessert Idea

Cupcakes are a must on any dessert table. Kids and adults both love cupcakes and there are endless possibilities to decorate the cupcakes to match your party theme.


For these special Graduation Cupcakes, I made Funfetti Vanilla Cupcakes. I topped the cupcakes with completely edible Chocolate Graduation Caps. The Graduation Caps are made out of Hershey’s Chocolate Bars, cut into small squares, mini Rolos, and small pieces of Sour String candy.

These cupcakes will be the winning dessert on any Gradation Party dessert table!



  • For the Funfetti Vanilla Cupcakes:
  • 2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 Cups sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 Teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles (or colored sprinkles to match your graduation school colors)

For the Vanilla Buttercream:

  • 1 ½ Cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 Cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Ingredient 4
  • Pinch of salt

For the Chocolate Grad Caps:

  • 24 Mini Rolo Candies
  • About 2 Hershey’s Chocolate Bars
  • String Sour Candy (I used Sour Straws cut in half lengthwise, but you can also use the string red Twizzlers or any other candy that resembles a string)
  • Extra frosting

To Make the Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cupcake pans with baking liners, then set aside until needed.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until fully incorporated. Mix in the vanilla.

With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the batter is smooth. Fold in the sprinkles.

Using an ice cream scoop, divide the batter among the prepared cupcake liners, filling the liners 2/3 of the way. Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into a few of the cupcakes comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 2 minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.


To Make the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting: While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. Cream the butter in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix (gradually increasing in speed) until the sugar is fully incorporated, about 5 minutes. You may need to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple times. Add the vanilla and salt and whisk until the buttercream is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.


To Frost the Cupcakes: Place the buttercream is a piping bag fitted with a open star tip (of your favorite piping tip). Starting the center of the cupcake, pipe in circles working your way up. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.


Toa Make the Chocolate Graduation Caps: break the Hershey’s Chocolate Bars into pieces along the perforated areas. Cut each bar piece in half to create a small square piece of chocolate. Set aside. Cut the String Candy into small 1-1½-inch pieces.

To assemble the Chocolate Graduation Caps, place the small square piece of chocolate on top of the mini Rolo. Place a small dab of frosting (to act as glue) on top of each piece of chocolate square and place one side of the string candy in the frosting. Place the assembled Graduation Caps on top of each cupcake. Serve and enjoy!

These are best enjoyed the day they are made. If stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator they last up to 5 days.

Makes: 24 cupcakes


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