Graduation Cupcakes Recipe

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Jed Modified: November 12, 2021
Graduation Cupcakes Recipe


How To Make Graduation Cupcakes

Make graduation day extra special with these cake mix graduation cupcakes. They're decorated with graham caps and buttercream frosting.

Prep: 1 hr
Refrigerate: 30 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 1 hr 50 mins


  • 1⅖ oz white cake mix, (1 package)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 eggs
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 12 graham crackers
  • 16 oz white buttercream frosting, (1 container)
  • 1 drop food coloring, in school colors, or as desired
  • 6 chewy lemon candy squares, or as needed, such as Starburst®
  • 24 milk chocolate pieces, candy-coated, such as M&M's®, in school colors


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Line 24 muffin cups with paper cupcake liners in school colors.
  3. Place white cake mix into a large mixing bowl and beat in water, eggs, and vegetable oil with an electric mixer on low speed just until moistened. Turn mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes.
  4. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups, filling them about ⅔ full.

  5. Bake the cupcakes in the preheated oven for 18 to 22 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

  6. Cool cupcakes thoroughly. Place cupcakes on a platter with the bottom sides facing up.
  7. To decorate the cupcakes, break graham crackers in ½ to make 24 2½-inch squares. Place a dab of frosting centered on bottom of each cupcake and stick a square to the frosting to form mortarboard part of a graduation cap.

  8. Place the opened container of frosting into a microwave oven and heat for about 10 seconds until the frosting is warmed, soft, and workable. Frosting should be smooth but not runny. Color the frosting to desired shade with food coloring.

  9. Frost the top and sides of the graham cracker squares.
  10. Unwrap lemon candies and place 2 candies onto a piece of waxed paper. Microwave the candies for 5 seconds or as needed until warm and soft.

  11. Roll out the candies on waxed paper to make thin squares of candy. Using a sharp knife or small scissors, cut small tassel shapes from each square. When the tassels are made, set them aside and microwave 2 more candies; repeat steps until there are 24 small candy tassels.

  12. Place a tassel in the center of each graham cracker square. The tassel should hang slightly over the edge of the square.
  13. Dip marked side of a candy-coated chocolate piece into frosting and place the piece onto the center of the graham cracker square, frosted side up, to cover the end of the candy tassel string.
  14. Refrigerate decorated cupcakes to set the frosting. Serve and enjoy.


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