Monday, August 30, 2010

Graduation Cap Cake

I made this cake for a surprise party for a friend. She had just finished her master's degree. I'll talk about the cake building and decorating in this entry. For the recipe for the strawberry mousse filling inside this cake, click here.

Graduation Cap Cake

I started by baking two oval pans of chocolate cake. While those were cooling, I worked on the mortar board. For this I cut a cardboard cake board into a square (about 9 inches by 9 inches). I also used the point of a pair of scissors to cut a hole in the center of the board. This hole became important later.

Then I cut two pieces of rolled white fondant: one the exact size of the board and another slightly larger. The larger one was put below the board, so that when I flipped it over later the seams would be on the bottom. Using buttercream icing, I "glued" the fondant pieces to the board. Then I used a lollypop stick to poke a hole through the fondant where I had already cut a hole through the board.

I sealed up the edges by adding a bit more icing on to the edges of the larger piece of fondant and then folding the edge over the side.

While the fondant dried, I cut each cake into two layers and then filled and stacked the four layers. I pushed two lollypop sticks (cut to the same height as the cake) into the cake to stabilize it. Then I frosted the edges with enough white icing to cover the chocolate cake. I only put a light layer of icing on the top since it would be covered by the mortar board.

I piped small dots of icing along the border (I used tip #3 for those of you who are cake decorators). Then I added some pink roses and leaves that I had made out of buttercream icing.

When the fondant mortar board had dried, I put it on top of the cake and shoved one last lollypop stick through the center. I left this lollypop stick longer so that I'd have something to tie the tassel to. I made the tassel myself with some string and a bit of ribbon.

After tying the tassel to the center stick, I rolled another small piece of fondant into a ball and dropped it over the stick so that it was covered completely.

And that was it!


  1. The cake was very yummy. Beats the local bakery any day!


  2. That cake sounds so yummy...and it looks gorgeous, too!

  3. Wow - wonder if maybe I should consider pursuing a master's degree...