Sweet & Simple Graduation Cupcake Toppers

Graduation season is upon us! Whether you’re celebrating a high school or college grad, cupcakes can make the perfect celebration treat! Customize your graduation cupcakes with fondant toppers matching the grad’s school colors.

Say congratulations with these sweet graduation cupcake toppers!

Graduation Cupcakes tutorial

What you need:

  • Fondant in black, white and school colors
  • Water or edible glue and brush
  • Fondant rolling pin with 1/8″ and 1/16″ guide rings
  • 7/8″ round cutter
  • Rolling pastry cutter
  • Multi-ribbon fondant cutter (optional)
  • Round decorating tips Nos. 1, 7 and 12
  • Precision knife

Part 1: Making the graduation caps

grauation cupcakes tutorial step 1

Step 1:

Roll black fondant thick (approximately ½”) and cut out a circle with the round 7/8″ cutter. 

Step 2:

Shape the black fondant circle in between your fingers, smoothing it out while making it a bit taller for the bottom of the graduation cap. Set it aside.

grauation cupcakes tutorial step 2

Step 3:

Roll out black fondant with the rolling pin and 1/8″ guide rings. Cut out a few ribbons of black fondant.

For this, I used a multi-ribbon cutter because it lets me cut several ribbons at a time and it ensures they’re all the same size. The tool is especially useful when making larger quantities. If you have one, you can cut a couple of ribbons out of the fondant, then cut the ribbons in the opposite direction and you’ll have perfect squares!

If you do not have this tool, don’t worry — you can easily use a rolling pastry cutter or any straight cutter (squares, rectangles, etc.) to cut your squares to make the top of the cap.

Step 4:

Allow the square(s) to dry enough that they’ll hold their shape prior to gluing. Once dry, turn the square upside down and glue the bottom cylinder on top. Allow it to dry a bit longer so the top won’t droop down.

grauation cupcakes tutorial step 3

Step 5:

Now it’s time to make the tassel! Pick a color of fondant that matches the school’s colors — I used yellow. Roll the colored fondant out with the rolling pin and 1/8″ guide rings. Punch out a circle with round decorating tip No. 7, and glue the circle to the center of the graduation cap.

Step 6:

Punch out another circle from the colored fondant with round decorating tip No. 12. Roll the circle into a ball with your fingers.

Then, slowly roll it on your work surface with your finger, forming it into a rope-like shape. Press one end of the rope together with your fingers (this part will eventually become the fringe).

Place the fondant back on your work surface and continue rolling out the rest of the fondant, making it long enough that it will fit on top of the graduation cap and fall over the side. Then, use your precision knife to make about 4 gentle cuts on the flattened end to create the fringe.

Step 7:

Glue the tassel on the graduation cap, allowing it to fall over the side.

Create as many graduation caps as you need! The steps are fairly simple that you can create a large assortment. 

Part 2: Making the diplomas

graduation cupcakes tutorial step 4

Step 8:

Roll out white fondant thin with the rolling pin and 1/16″ guide rings. Using the rolling cutter, trim the white fondant to rectangle, approximately 1½” in length. Pull the corners out a bit with your fingers to stretch it a little. At one end, roll the fondant into itself to make a rolled-up diploma. 

Step 9:

Roll out colored fondant thin with the rolling pin and 1/16″ guide rings and cut a thin ribbon strip. Trim it to fit around the center of the diploma and glue it in place.

Step 10:

Roll out colored fondant with the rolling pin and 1/8″ guide rings and cut out a small circle with round decorating tip No. 7. Make an indentation in the center of the circle with round decorating tip No. 1, then glue it to the center of the colored ribbon on the diploma.

graduation cupcakes

Get creative with your graduation cupcakes by further customizing them! Use number cutters to punch out the graduation year to accentuate additional cupcakes. Or, only roll the very ends of the diploma, allow it to dry completely, then use an edible marker to write the graduate’s name. There are so many ways to make these cupcakes one of a kind!

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