Monday, June 3, 2013

Let Them Eat Cake ... Graduation Cap Cakes

If you follow me here or on Facebook you will know I've been on a mission.  My friend asked if I would make a cake for her daughter and niece who were graduating college.    She was so funny she said I was thinking a sheet cake lol I told her what I was thinking.  2 graduation cap cakes and then 70 or so cupcakes decorated in a graduating theme.  They were expecting around 75 people, figured the girls may not want to cut into cake and share ... lol.

So on the mission I went to find a tutorial on making a graduation cap.  Well I found many pictures but no step by step.  Now I saw MANY beautiful graduation cap cakes but all were from professional sites that they wanted you to buy. So I just figured I'd wing it.  

Here is what I came up with.  
I made 3 total cakes! 
1 for Each Girl and then 1 trial cake I made for Caden:

PLU Cake (College Color's were Black & Gold)

Seattle University Cake (College Color's White & Scarlet)

Here was my first attempt that I made for Caden's Class
His School Colors are Black & Red

What you need:

  • 2 baked round cakes (I used 10")
  • Buttercream frosting (for middle and dirty icing)
  • Fondant
  • Wood dowels 
  • Wilton Icing Colors (In school Colors)
  • Silicone molds Numbers / Letters
  • Fondant Mat
  • Cake board (round)
  • Cake board (square)
  • Cake release
  • Rolling pin or fondant roller
  • Fondant Cutter / Pizza Cutter

Before I started this project I researched the school colors and what I would need and bought most of the items off Amazon.  I did make a test one that I gave to Caden's graduating Kindergarten Class.  I found PLU was Black and Gold.  Black Wilton Icing Color I bought at Walmart (I say you must use Icing Color's instead of food coloring, $1.57 at Walmart for a mini jar).  For the Gold I went to the Wilton icing color chart and found that for a antique gold you need add just an extremely small touch of Leaf Green to Golden Yellow (Both of these I found at Michael's).  I MUST say Gold is a pain the butt to make it just right.  For Seattle University I found their colors to White and Scarlett.  White was easy I just kept the fondant it's normal color (make SURE you use CLEAR vanilla extract found at most craft stores or Amazon). For Scarlet back to Wilton icing color chart to find Maroon (the closest match) you need Burgundy and Red Red.  I have Red Red that I picked up at Walmart, the Burgundy was a tougher one to find here so I ordered on Amazon.

I also ordered on Amazon (since they were half the price as the stores here) Wilton Roll and Cut Mat and Wilton Fondant Silicone Mold Numbers and Letters.  I picked up some 10" cake round pans also.

I started with my favorite homemade yellow cake mix.  NOW make sure you use Wilton cake release, this can be bought at Micheal's or even Walmart. It will make sure your cake comes out nice. Believe me I had to throw out 2 cakes that didn't come out, in pieces was my heart and the cakes. Let the cakes cool before you do any thing.  While the cakes cooled I whipped up a few batches of my favorite Sturdy Buttercream frosting.  I used a Wilton circle cake board, put a dollop of frosting on the board.  I then put one of the cooled cake rounds on the board the dollop of frosting is like the glue to hold in place. I then added frosting to the top to be the middle of the 2 tier cake.  I added a cake on top, then lightly frosted the the sides and the top to be like the glue when you put the rolled fondant on (See photo's below for step by step).

Then I made my favorite rolled buttercream fondant, one I dyed with Wilton black icing colors and the other I left white (side note I used clear vanilla extract so it didn't make any color).  This is the easiest fondant, I found if you roll it out on a Wilton fondant mat, I then used the mat to drape the fondant on, I found this was the easiest and it didn't rip.  You will have to do a little smoothing out the bumps and any lumps.  I Added 4 wood dowels to make sure the cake didn't slip.

For the top of the graduation cap I came up with using a square cake board the I rolled fondant out and covered it.  It worked perfect.  I added frosting to the board as the glue, rolled the fondant and the put the frosting side down. And like a present I pulled the sides up and pressed them on the backside that be came the underside of the cap (see picture below).

For the tassel I rolled out fondant in the 2nd color I then cut into strips (use a Wilton fondant cutter or pizza cutter) and added to the top of the hat.  I rolled a ball that I used for the button on the top.   My friend April came up with adding little balls in the two school colors around the base of the cake.  She is the fondant rolling queen and helped me out so much!!

I added Congrats, their name and the year on top of the cake.  I pushed the fondant into the mold. Put in the freezer and when it hardened up I popped the letters/numbers out and added onto the top of the cake.  To add to the top of the cake use a little water as glue.  My friend April also gave me a tip of using corn starch in the mold to help the fondant pop out easier!

It was a bit time consuming but it was so worth it! They looked so great!  Ok I'm bragging but I was so excited!

Here are all the cakes!

For Caden's class I added to a clear bag & tied with a ribbon.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.


  1. Those are incredibly creative and came out SO good. You should open a shop and sell all your cakes/cupcakes and party bags. You'd probably make a small fortune.

  2. You always come up with the best... very best ideas. You make it look easy.

  3. You are so darn amazing! You did an awesome job!!! And yes, you should brag!!!

  4. The cakes are awesome and came out perfect!

  5. Hi I am stopping by your blog from the Adorned From Above Wednesday Blog Hop. I would very much love it if you would stop by ours as well. We also have a great giveaway running with a winner to be announced in 8 days. Come on by and join up. We will also have a blog hop Friday.


    Thanks so much!

  6. Thanks for linking up at Party In Polka Dots! Yay!



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