Monday, May 27, 2013

Graduation Cupcakes

I feel like I birthed 144 babies.  I completed all 144 cupcakes for our friends' graduation party, and they were safely delivered and eventually devoured by party guests.  It's weird to look around my kitchen and see blank counters after a week of trays of fondant shapes taking up every square inch.  Good weird.

Overall, I'm pleased with the end results.  Let's be honest:  I spotted several imperfections.  But I forgot about those when one of the two graduates walked into my kitchen and gasped and smiled when she saw all the cupcakes.  It brings me great joy to help her and her twin brother celebrate this great accomplishment. 

The twins' mom is our Children's Director at church, and I have worked closely with her over the years on various projects, committees, and boards.  This weekend she got the rare opportunity to just be "Mom" rather than director, teacher, leader, etc.  I can only imagine how hard it would be as a mom to have both of your kids graduating and going off to college at once.  But this is also a really exciting time for their family, and we look forward to seeing what God has in store for them next.

Cheryl, the graduates' mom, told me the cake flavors and frosting flavors that they wanted.  She also asked me to make toppers shaped like diplomas, graduation caps, and discs with the kids' initials.

She asked me to make a "flavor key" that showed the flavor combinations for each cupcake.  I used my Silhouette software to create the key.  Then I took a screen shot on my computer, cropped it in Paint (to cut off the extra screen stuff), and then imported it into PhotoShop to crop it to 4x6.  Whew!  Then I printed it on 4x6 photo paper, and Cheryl put it in a picture frame on their food table.

I made the pictures accurate with liner colors, frosting colors, and toppers. 

I made 48 red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, 24 yellow cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, 48 chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting, and 24 yellow cupcakes with vanilla frosting (according to the family's requests).

Wanna see the cupcakes?  I thought so.

The "T" for Tyler toppers:

They're made out of gray marshmallow fondant circles and letters piped with homemade royal icing.  I don't have a very steady hand, and it's most evident in the "T" toppers.  Therefore, these were  my least favorite decorations.

The "B" for Brittany toppers:

They're made of red marshmallow fondant discs (cut with a scalloped circle cookie cutter) and letters piped in royal icing.

The diplomas:

I cut rectangles of white marshmallow fondant and rolled them up.  Then I rolled thin ropes of red fondant and shaped them into bows (very time consuming!).  Then I rolled more thin red ropes and wrapped them around the diplomas and secured with a tiny bit of water.  I used a tiny bit of water to "glue" the bows on top of the red "ribbons."

The graduation caps:

I started with strips of red marshmallow fondant, and I overlapped the ends to make rings.  I also rolled out some red fondant and cut it into squares.  Once those were dry, I used powdered sugar mixed with water to "glue" the rings and squares together.  Then I rolled white fondant into little ropes, cut them to the right length, flattened one end, and made little marks in the flattened portion to look like strands of the tassels.  I followed the fantastic tutorial on Glorious Treats.

More cupcake shots:

I asked Jared to take some pictures of all 4 types of cupcakes while I finished up the last few.  I thought he'd line them up and make sure the letters were facing the right way.  This is what I got. :)

We went to the actual graduation party, and I snapped a few quick pictures of the food table with my phone.  They refilled the cupcake stands right after I took the pictures, but you can at least see what they looked like at the actual event.

Happy Graduation Brittany & Tyler!



  1. I chose a graduation cap cupcake and it was so yummy! I'm pretty sure that I stood talking to several ladies as I picked my fingers clean! They looked amazing and everyone was raving about the cupcakes when I got to the party, and they all kept saying, "did you know Jessica made these?" Way to go! Now you can officially switch to vacation-mode.

  2. Great job! They look super cute and yummy!!!

  3. Beautiful job honey! My favorites are the caps and the scrolls. I think you did quite well on piping the B and the T on the cupcakes. You are very talented! :-)
    Love, Mom