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Congrats, grad! You deserve a cupcake

Mortarboard cupcakes (you know, the cap part of cap and gown) are the perfect way to celebrate with your recent graduate. After years of classes, they deserve a special cupcake.

Mortarboard decorated cupcakes

These cupcakes are simple to make and perfect for a graduation party or a sweet way to congratulate your graduate.

Just start with a simple cupcake. You can use your own cupcake recipe or use a cake box mix. I used a yellow cake mix to make these cupcakes. After they are done baking, let them cool completely before frosting them.

Mortarboard decorated cupcakes

Once the cupcakes are cooled, fill a frosting bag with cream cheese or vanilla frosting. I used frosting from the tub to make these cupcakes as simple as possible.

Fit your frosting bag with a star tip to achieve the swirled frosting design. Once the cupcakes are frosted, decorate them with sprinkles. I used rainbow-colored sprinkles, but a fun idea would be to use sprinkles that are the same colors as the graduate’s school colors.

Mortarboard decorated cupcakes

Next, get a lollipop stick or a skewer. I used a skewer that I cut into thirds.

Unwrap a Reese’s candy, and place the top of the candy onto the skewer. Then fasten a chocolate square to the top of the Reese’s candy using frosting to secure the 2 chocolates together.

Place the skewered candies into the center of the cupcake.

Mortarboard decorated cupcakes

Next, you will need some kind of string candy for the “tassel.” I used an Airheads Xtremes candy rope that I sliced into thin pieces. I attached the “tassel” with a little bit of frosting.

Mortarboard decorated cupcakes

And finally, using frosting, attach an M&M’s candy to the top of the tassel for the button. A nice touch is to match the tassel and button colors, but again, school colors would be a fun idea to decorate these.

There you have it — a perfectly adorable and simple graduation cap cupcake. Enjoy!

Mortarboard decorated cupcakes

Graduation cupcakes recipe

Yields 24


  • 1 yellow cake mix plus the ingredients called for
  • 1 (16 ounce) container vanilla or cream cheese frosting
  • Colored sprinkles of choice
  • 24 lollipop or skewer sticks
  • 24 Reese’s candies
  • 24 chocolate square candies (I used Ghirardelli)
  • 24 M&M’s candies
  • 1 package Airheads Xtremes sweetly sour belts


  1. Follow the package directions to make the cupcakes. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners, fill up the liners, and bake.
  2. Allow the cupcakes to completely cool before frosting them.
  3. Fit a frosting bag with a star tip, and fill it with the vanilla or cream cheese frosting.
  4. Pipe frosting onto the cupcakes. Decorate with sprinkles of your choice.
  5. Fit an unwrapped Reese’s candy onto a lollipop stick. Using frosting, attach an unwrapped chocolate square candy to the Reese’s candy.
  6. Place the lollipop stick with the attached chocolate candies into the center of the cupcake.
  7. Slice the Airhead Xtremes candies into small strips, and attach them to the top of the chocolate square with frosting.
  8. Using frosting, attach an M&M’s candy on top of the candy strip.

More cupcake recipes

Mini strawberry lemonade cupcakes
Ice cream cone cupcakes
Blueberry lemon beer cupcakes

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