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38 Best Graduation Cake Ideas

Regardless of whether your young adult just earned a high school diploma or a college degree, graduations are big occasions and should be celebrated.

Although there are many things to consider for your graduation party, the graduation cake adds that extra special sweetness to your celebration.

No matter what kind of graduation cake you need for a celebration, whether you’re planning a simple sheet cake for a crowd or an impressive layer cake, I’ve got the recipe for you.

I’ve gathered this collection of fantastic graduation cake ideas so you can choose your favorite for your graduation party.

Make sure to pick the perfect cake to impress graduates and guests and make it the most memorable celebration!

Graduation Themed Cakes

GRAD Marquee Cake


You won’t find anything more eye-catching and dramatic than a GRAD Marquee Sheet Cake!

Its bold marquee letters add a touch of 3D to this cake, making it a stylish way of feeding hungry graduates!

Wilton Decorator Preferred White Fondant
Wilton Tips Star 2110

Elegant Letter Graduation Cake


The Elegant Letter Graduation Cake is the perfect way to personalize the cake using the graduate’s initials.

You can customize this cake to any letter you desire using a pan for DIY numbers and letters.

Make your cake look unique and fun by decorating it with a variety of piping techniques, and top your cake with a fondant cap.

This cake uses white icing, but you might also want to decorate it with school colors or colors that are relevant to your event.

Wilton Creamy White Decorator Icing
Wilton Tips Star 32

White & Blue Themed Graduation Cake

Honey Bee Cakes

Copy this neat and straightforward graduation cake by using white and blue fondant colors to decorate it.

Create an embossed design using your cake decorating tools, roll a white sheet of fondant and tie a ribbon to it to make it look like a diploma.

Top it off with your DIY fondant graduation cap, and you have an impressive cake.

Satin Ice White Buttercream Fondant
NAVY BLUE .75 Ounce Soft Gel Paste Food Color
Smooth Grad Hat Layon Cake Topper
Wilton 4.4 oz Decorator Preferred Fondant Pack

Graduation Tassel Cake


Let the tassels fall, but be the one to throw the party with this Graduation Tassel Cake.

This two-layer cake is decorated with mini ribbon tassels and a gum paste graduation cap, making it excellent for graduation after parties.

You can incorporate a congratulatory message on the cake or write out the graduate’s name or class year with the Alphabet and Numbers Cutout Set.

A classy cake with white, black, and gold colors that highlight its elegance.

Wilton Letter and Number Fondant Cutters Set
Wilton Fondant 9 Inch Rolling Pin
Grand Baker Cake Stand 10 inch
Wilton Fondant Tool Set for Beginners, 10-Piece

‘Today Is Your Day’ Graduation Cake

The Cake Blog

This cake is designed to wow using modern black and white color schemes, bold stripes, sprinkles, and a cheer for the graduate. The cake speaks for itself!

Suppose you have trouble writing on a cake Paper2Eat Frosting Sheets can be used easily to design a cake with a message.

This super-fast and easy method will create your perfect lettering in a trendy font that is entirely edible!

Cuisinart 9-Inch Chef’s Classic Nonstick Bakeware Round Cake Pan
Godinger Dublin Cake Plate 12-Inch Cake Stand
Wilton Rainbow Jimmies Sprinkles Dessert Decorating Set
Satin Ice Buttercream Icing Mix

Sparkling Graduation Cake


There is nothing like a cake to mark your graduate’s achievement. You can show your graduate how happy you are to see them shine by giving them this Sparkling Graduation Cake.

Featuring an edible cake topper made with various gold sprinkles. Consider mixing sprinkles with colors from the graduates’ schools to make the cake even more personalized.

Make your graduate shine and sparkle through this creative and equally attractive cake.

Wilton – 710-041 Wilton Gold Pearlized Sugar Sprinkles
Wilton Sugar Gold Pearls
Wilton Durable Heavy-Duty AluminumRound Cake Pan
Wilton White 6-Inch Lollipop Sticks

Graduation Cakes For Girls

Many graduation cake ideas are available; however, just as every girl is different, so must be her graduation cake.

In addition, it shouldn’t just taste good but also be visually appealing. If that’s what you’re looking for then these beautiful graduation cakes for girls may help you find the best idea for your precious graduate.

Heart-Shaped Cake

Eating Well

A heart-shaped cake with a light sweetness is a fun and festive way to celebrate a teenage girl’s graduation. This surprisingly simple cake makes a cheerful outline of raspberries, but it will work with any fruit or berry.

Make their hearts flutter with this cake that will surely make them feel loved on their special day.

Wilton Heart-Shaped Cake Pan
Heart Shaped Cake Stand
Gold Cake Stand for Birthday Wedding, 13" Heart Shaped Cake Stand for Baby Showers Anniversary Celebration Parties
Graduation Cake Topper
Girls 2021 Graduation Cake Topper Decorations, Gold Glitter She Believed She Could So She Did Cake Topper for Girls Graduation Decorations 2021,Congrats Grad Party Decor

Lemon Layer Cake with Meringue Buttercream

Sweet & Savory By Shinee

Stunningly light and airy, this lemon layer cake oozes zesty lemon flavor and is irresistibly sweet!

Layers of soft sponge cake infused with lemon syrup, filled with homemade lemon curd, and frosted with buttercream frosting made from Swiss meringue.

Let this bright yellow cake represent the bright future that awaits your teen girl as she takes on a new adventure after her graduation.

Reynolds Kitchens Parchment Paper Roll
Hiware 9 Inch Non-stick Springform Pan
MarxHousehold Adjustable 9″ to 12″ Stainless Steel Layer Cake Slicer
Wilton Angled Cake Spatula

Rosette Graduation Cake

Honey Bee Cakes

This white, orange, and blue combination is so beautiful when added to a rosette cake design.

Get this look by making a two-tier cake covered with white fondant over the top and the second layer decorated using a piping tip to make beautiful flower-like swirls.

Finish it off with a diploma and graduation cap design as a cake topper.

Accents of orange and blue pearls with a ribbon that sits in the middle will surely make it a dainty surprise for your teenage girl on her graduation day.

The cake can be further customized according to the graduate’s school color.

Satin Ice Orange Fondant
Piping Bag and Tips Cake Decorating Supplies Kit
Graduation Cake Decorating Set
You Did It! Graduation Cake Decorating Set - 22280

Vanilla Sponge Cake with Strawberry-Meringue Buttercream

Martha Stewart

Pink is a color a girl will never outgrow, even in their cake preference.

Why not give her a visually appealing cake and a sure crowd-pleaser. After all, they’ve accomplished their goal: they graduated! Here’s your opportunity to celebrate with this cake as tall as your teen girl’s achievements.

Fresh strawberries are sliced between each layer and topped with a delicious strawberry meringue buttercream.

It’s a new and sweet way to celebrate brighter days ahead!

Wilton Nonstick Cooling Rack Grid
Multifunctional – 7 Pack Icing Spatula
8 Inch Non-stick Springform Pan with Removable Bottom

Cloud Cake

Martha Stewart

Deliciously light and satisfying, this cake will surely impress.

It will be an emotional moment when the graduating teen girl throws her cap in the air. This cloud-like cake with creamy caramel meringue will make that moment last a bit longer.

Wilton Aluminum Round Set Cake Pan
Dark & Light Corn Syrup 16 oz
Reddi Whip Original Whipped Topping
Extra Coarse Sea Salt

Graduation Cakes For Boys

Boys typically have more reserved graduation cakes, and the blue-colored cakes are a perfect example of that.

Though it is a little more reserved, it does not make it any less appealing. The combination of classic designs with neutral colors and a graduation cap is an ideal match.

A written congratulation on the cake is also an excellent and inexpensive way to personalize one.

To make it easier for you – we’ve compiled some of the best fitting graduation cakes for boys.

Honey Bee Cakes

A two-tier cake with a fondant graduation cap as a topper. With gold luster and pearls as an added accent and texture. This combination of navy blue, white and gold is a classic design for boys.

Get this look by making a cake recipe of your choice and execute the plan with the help of ready-made ingredients and cake decorating tools.

The celebratory vibe of this cake will set them to the adventure that awaits your teen boy.

Black Glitter Adventure Awaits 2021 Graduation Cake Topper
NAVY BLUE .75 Ounce Soft Gel Paste Food Color
Super Gold Luster Dust
Satin Ice White Fondant

Marvelous Cannoli Cake

Taste Of Home

It starts as a simple package mix to make this layer cake, topped with a creamy, chocolate-studded cannoli filling.

This simple yet tasty cake will make the graduation celebration even more special.

Organic Vanilla Cake Mix
Semi Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips
9-Inch Chef’s Classic Nonstick Round Cake Pan
Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls (Set of 6)

Black Forest Cake Recipe

Natasha’s Kitchen

Although this cake looks impressive, it’s not difficult to make with just 11 ingredients (which is not bad for a cake!)

This cake allows us with cake styling shortcomings to easily decorate it, thanks to the chocolate shavings.

This graduation cake idea for boys will not require perfection when it comes to design but definitely want a mouthwatering cake to celebrate their achievements.

Organic White Flour – Unbleached
HERSHEY’S Naturally Unsweetened Cocoa
Pure Vanilla Extract
9-Inch Non-Stick Round Cake Pan (2-Pack)

Buttercream Graduation Cake

My Recipes

This cake features a simple buttercream frosting topped with dazzling decorations, making it an appropriate way to honor the graduates.

It’s simple, and it doesn’t require an expert level of baking skill. To make it look more fabulous, choose the best graduation topper that will highlight the good cheer for your teen boy!

Super Moist White Cake Mix
Home Style Frosting Mix – Fluffy White
Stainless Steel Round Cake Stand

Cinnamon Roll Layer Cake

Cookies & Cups

Cinnamon buttercream frosting on top of three layers of buttery cinnamon cake! There is nothing better than a buttery cinnamon cake recipe, especially one that is cinnamon roll-inspired.

Another cake with a simple design that is big on taste and satisfaction guaranteed. An ideal graduation cake for boys who are not into fancy-looking cakes but will surely enjoy a classic treat.

Ground Ceylon Cinnamon
Wilton 12-Inch Flexible and Microwave-Safe Piping Bags
12 inch Wooden Cake Stand with 2 Icing Spatulas
Wilton Open Star Piping Tip 1M

Semi-naked Graduation Cakes

Semi-naked cakes are the modern take on the usually overly decorated cakes. These cakes have a minimalist design, but they are equally attractive.

The frosting usually looks undone. But it gives the cake the classic rustic look that is appealing to modern cake lovers these days, and that must be known to the graduates of this generation as well.

I’ve picked the most classy and elegant semi-naked cakes that would fit any special occasion, including your graduate’s very special day.

Champagne Graduation Cake

Broma Bakery

Celebrations call for a bottle of champagne, so why not incorporate a bit of this celebratory drink into the graduation cake!

Stunning vanilla cake laced with raspberry jam and champagne frosting.

This elegant and tasty treat will surely sure make an impressive centerpiece in your graduation feast.

Rodelle Gourmet Pure Vanilla Extract
Set of 27 Edible Flowers & Butterflies Cupcake Toppers
Rodelle Baking Cocoa
Tiptree Sweet Tip Raspberry Preserve

Blackberry Lavender Naked Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream

Half Baked Harvest

The cake is made of four layers of white cake layered with homemade jam and white chocolate buttercream.

Your graduate will not be disappointed with this cake. The flavors of fresh berries, hints of lavender, and sweet vanilla cake create the perfect bite.

It’s an ideal cake to serve on special occasions like graduation!

Mercer Culinary Millennia Bread Knife
Acrylic Cake Stand with Dome Cover
Ghirardelli Classic White Chocolate Premium Baking Chips
Happy Belly Canola Oil

Semi-Naked Graduation Cake

Honey Bee Cakes

Three layers of a semi-naked cake with buttercream frosting. With just the right amount of cream, it gives a silhouette of the perfectly layered cake.

Get this look by adding a dried Gypsophilia mini bouquet and edible sugar flowers of your choice.

If you’re feeling extra, add a DIY graduation cap along with a store-bought cake topper with a short and sweet message to the graduate.

10pcs Artificial Gypsophila Babies Breath Flowers
Gumpaste Sugar Flowers
Congrats Grad Cake Topper
Black Glittered Congrats Grad Cake Topper

Graduation Sheet Cakes

A Study in Success Cake


Congratulate them on their graduation with this book-shaped cake!

A personalized graduation cake is a great way to thank your graduating student for all the reading they have done over the past four years.

Maximize the space on both pages of the cake by adding a personalized message to your graduate for the job well done!

3D Cake Baking Mold Book Shaped Cake Pan
Wilton Measuring Mat

Graduation Sheet Cake

Southern Living

It is possible to find perfectly acceptable grocery store cakes for a casual graduation party, but a homemade confection will surely top things off.

After the baking and cooling process is completed, you can customize the creation. Your graduation cake corners can be decorated with rolled cookies as edible diplomas with food coloring to bring out the graduate’s school colors—all the flavors of buttercream, sheet cake, and school spirit all in one dessert.

Pepperidge Farm Chocolate Hazelnut Pirouettes
Wilton Cake Board 10X14 6Ct

Comic Book Graduation Cake

Honey Bee Cakes

Bake a sheet cake flavor of your choice with your desired frosting. Search for the graduate’s favorite comic book strip. Have them printed as an edible cake design and place them on top of your sheet cake.

Add a graduation cap cake topper as well to highlight the occasion. It’s a fun way to personalize a cake for a graduating comic book fan.

Wilton Large Aluminum 3D Book Cake Pan

Cakes With Fruit Fillings/Toppings

Got a fruit lover? It’s easy to incorporate fruits into luscious cakes to make them light and fresh.

Fruits don’t only add beauty to the cake but also adds nutritional value to the usual heavy dessert.

Here are some ideal graduation cake recipes with fruit as one of the main ingredients.

Chocolate-Strawberry Celebration Cake

Taste Of Home

The appealing visual and refreshing flavor of strawberries enhances the overall aesthetics and flavor of this cake.

Despite its simplicity, the cake had a decadent, rich taste.

A beautiful, impressive, tasty cake that is easier than it might seem.

An ideal centerpiece and a crowd-pleaser.

Clear Cake Plate with Dome
Smucker’s Seedless Strawberry Jam
Checkered Chef Cooling Rack – Set of 2
Jell-O Chocolate Instant Pudding & Pie Filling Mix

Lemon Mousse Cake

Martha Stewart

The cake is layered with a rich, lemony mousse and topped off with toasted marshmallow-like meringue for a genuinely magnificent dessert.

The raspberries on top add a beautiful contrast to the white bottom and the torched layer of the meringue.

It is refreshing to the eye and the palate.

Sondiko Refillable Butane Torch Lighter
High Heat Silicone Spatula
Libbey Selene Glass Cake Stand with Dome
Glad Press’n Seal Plastic Food Wrap

Charlotte Cake

Natasha’s Kitchen

You are going to love this beautiful and delicious raspberry Charlotte Cake.

This cake is inspired by the classic French Charlotte Russe recipe. It pairs exceptionally well with the sweet and tart raspberry preserves and ladyfingers.

The typical European cake isn’t overly sweet but relatively light and tasty.

The overall appearance and taste of this cake will surely entice your graduating teen!

Knox Original Unflavored Gelatin
Piping Bag and Tips Reusable Set
Non-stick Springform Pan with Removable Bottom
Schar Ladyfingers – Naturally Gluten Free and Wheat Free

Berry Chantilly Cake

Eating Well

Chantilly cake is a beautiful, simple dessert that layers fresh berries with whipped cream and delicate cake for a special treat that works well for graduations or any other special occasion.

Fresh berries may be added to the filling and topping—an ideal cake to celebrate a milestone in your teenager’s life.

Cuisinart 9-Inch Chef’s Classic Nonstick Bakeware Round Cake Pan
Round Cake Stand White
Flower Cake Toppers
314 Pieces Flowers Cupcake Toppers Wedding Cake Wafer Flowers Cupcake Toppers Birthday Party Food Decoration Mixed Size and Colors

Non-traditional Cakes

Graduation celebrations are increasingly featuring non-traditional desserts, and graduation cakes are taking on alternative forms, as evidenced by the recent rise in popularity.

A wide variety of non-traditional options is available to everyone. By offering alternative options in your party menu, you give your guests and family members the option of selecting something that will stand out among their expected food choices.

For ideas on creating the best graduation cake for your teen, here are some cake innovations to give you some inspiration.

Fresh Watermelon Layer Cake

Wife Mama Foodie

A delicious dessert made with fresh watermelon layers. You can customize the recipe by using any fruit you like.

This cake would make a lovely presentation and would be a perfect addition to any occasion or get-together.

Try different shapes of cutters to make it prettier. This unconventional graduation cake alternative is sure to be a hit.

Sweese 10-Inch Porcelain Cake Stand
Natural Bamboo Skewers
Oneleaf Stainless Steel Cutter Shapes Set

Doughnut Cake With Mocha Whipped Cream

Sugar Hero

Stacks of homemade sour cream doughnuts topped with fluffy mocha whipped cream.

Although store-bought minis will suffice, if you have the time, making the cake yourself will save you money and ensure you have plenty of the right-sized minis.

An elegant chocolate glaze with a hint of coffee flavor completes the cake. As if to mimic a chocolate-glazed doughnut, a little bit of glaze drips down the sides of the cake.

You get a gorgeously unique layer cake that would make a doughnut lover’s dream come true if you add a shiny chocolate-coffee ganache on top, as well as more doughnuts!

King Arthur Espresso Powder
SCHARFFEN BERGER Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder
Deep Fry Thermometer Stainless Steel with Pot Clip
Transparent Acetate Sheets for Chocolate Mousse Baking

Coffee Macaron Cake

Pies & Tacos

Our minds automatically wander to sipping tea from a delicate teacup on a chilly afternoon whenever we think of macarons. Who would have thought this could be made into a cake?

As it is, macarons are incredible decorations for cakes, but why not make a cake that is made of a huge macaron with decadent frosting on each layer.

This cake is truly a fun and creative alternative to traditional cakes. Not to mention its super pretty visuals. This cake alternative is worth a try.

Judee’s Dried Egg White Protein Powder
Kayaso 9 Piece Round Piping Tip Set
Blue Diamond Almond Flour
Amazon Basics Non-Stick Food Safe Baking Silicone Mat

Raspberry Jello Cake

Enticing Desserts

Having a lighter dessert at the end of a party feast can be a great way to finish the meal.

If you are looking for a delicious dessert, consider raspberry jello cake.

There’s no need to stress over making this cake since it’s easy to prepare. The Raspberry Jello Cake has a soft texture that makes it a delightful dessert. The flavor is not overpowering, so it goes well with any meal.

This cake alternative is both delectable and immensely refreshing.

Organic Vanilla Cake Mix
JELL-O Jello Gelatin (Raspberry)

Healthy Cake Alternatives

Parties are all about the feast, and most of the food we serve may be unhealthy. Though parties give us a cheat day on our strict diet, we can continue a balanced menu by adding a healthier version of our party staple.

We’ve listed the healthy cake options you can make if you’re looking for something to balance your graduation feast menu.

Easy & Healthy Apple Cake

The Clever Meal

Fresh apples and yogurt combine to create a moist, delicious apple cake.

This dessert can be called a real cake; it’s hearty, fruity, not overly sweet, and not made with refined ingredients.

Bob’s Red Mill Unbleached White All-Purpose Baking Flour
Hiware 2-Pack Stainless Steel Cooling Racks
Cuisinart 9-Inch Chef’s Classic Nonstick Bakeware Round Cake Pan
Reynolds Kitchens Unbleached Parchment Paper Roll

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

The Bojon Gourmet

A blend of whole-grain flour provides a tender, springy crumb to this gluten-free, dairy-free carrot cake.

The earthy oat flour in this cake, brightly spiced with cinnamon and ginger, along with the cream cheese frosting, gives it a healthy, whole-wheat appeal.

This healthy carrot cake recipe is easy to prepare at home but elegant enough to serve at a party.

OXO Good Grips Swivel Peeler
Bob’s Red Mill Sweet White Rice Flour
Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oat Flour
Bob’s Red Mill Millet Flour
Bob’s Red Mill Finely Ground Tapioca Flour

Garden Zucchini Cake

The Healthy Chef

This cake is not overly sweet and goes well with walnuts rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

It is even more delicious with the yogurt frosting. This delightful, fiber-rich zucchini cake is perfect for the entire family to enjoy.

Butternut Mountain Farm Pure Vermont Maple Syrup
Pompeian Smooth Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Organic Spelt Flour
Grain Brain Organic White Spelt Flour

Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

Taste Of Home

A dazzling cake full of fat-free plain yogurt and fresh fruit is the perfect alternative to traditional baked goods.

Under 200 calories per slice, this piece of heaven is good enough for breakfast.

Enjoy an easy, delicious, and unique sweet-tart cake!

Organic Agave In The Raw Sweetener
Happy Belly Canola Oil
Watkins All Natural Original Gourmet Baking Vanilla
Domino Powdered Sugar

Matcha Key Lime Pie

The Healthy Chef

This dessert recipe bursts with natural goodness. You’ll find it has a lot of antioxidants and protein. It’s gluten-free and dairy-free.

It’s not overly sweet. You will never be able to resist this insanely creamy and addictive pie: another light and refreshing alternative to traditional cakes.

Matcha Love Japanese Culinary Matcha
Vital Proteins Marine Collagen
Desiccated Coconut
Parker’s Real Maple Syrup

Savory Cakes

A cake and a meal in itself? How is that possible?

The answer is savory cakes. Let’s say the graduate is not a fan of sweets? We can make an alternative that is relatively new and interesting.

After all, nobody said we can’t create something savory in the form of a cake.

I’ve picked a few easy and delightful tasty cake recipes to satisfy your hungry graduate.

Cheese & Bacon Breakfast Strata Cake

Recipe Tin Eats

You can say it’s a savory version of bread and butter pudding, made with bread soaked in milk and eggs, smothered with bacon and cheese, then baked until golden on the outside and custardy on the inside.

And yes, it can be a cake for those who are not into sweets. A cake topper can be used to add a celebratory vibe to the final look.

Cuisinart Springform Cake Pan
Solimo Aluminum Foil

Spinach & Ham Savory Crepe Cake

Cooks With Cocktails

A savory gluten-free crepe cake made with chewy gluten-free crepes layered with lots of spinach, sweet caramelized onions, and salty ham.

Baked until golden and bubbling, the cake is a delicious savory treat. A graduation cake and a meal in itself!

Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 10-Inch Crepe Pan
Terrasoul Superfoods Himalayan Pink Salt
Cave Aged Gruyere

Savory Bundt Pan Stuffing

4 Sons R Us

Don’t settle for the boxed stuff – make a quick and simple version from scratch.

Rather than just stuffing a bundt pan with classic ingredients, this savory bundt pan stuffing balances them out with a bit of bacon.

Served golden brown, with more bacon on top, it is suited to everyone’s expectation and delight as a savory cake for the hungry graduate!

Nordic Ware ProForm Bundt
Acacia Tree Bark Footed Server

How Do You Decorate Graduation Cakes?

Your graduation cake can include a short and sweet message.

It could be something like “Congratulations!” “You did it” 

Another consideration would be an inspirational quote or something like “Follow your heart”, or “‘Adventure Awaits” is another excellent option.

Don’t forget your cake toppers to really get the graduation message across.

5 Designs – 10pcs Graduation Cake Toppers
Educated AF Cake Topper
Congrats Grad Cake Topper

A graduation cake’s uniqueness lies in how you customize it according to the tastes of the graduate.

The cake can be one layer, as a sheet, or even two tiers with more options for flavor and decorations.

It doesn’t matter what kind of cake you choose, as long as it conveys the message and good cheer to celebrate the graduates’ achievement, and brings joy to their celebration.