Whether it’s a son graduating from college or a daughter finishing high-school or even a friend completing a graduate program, a cake makes a sweet way to offer your congratulations. Decorate your cake with a graduation theme to make it specific to the recipient. Pipe a detailed message to let the graduated student know how proud you are of them.

Graduation Cap Cake

Turn a simple sheet cake into a congratulatory appreciation for the graduate’s hard work by making a cap out of fondant. In a large ball of fondant, poke a hole and place several drops of black food coloring in the whole. Thoroughly knead this on a work surface dusted with powdered sugar. Roll the fondant out to a 1/8-inch thickness. Next, cut a square shape and a long rectangle shape. Form a circle from the rectangle by gently pressing the two shorter ends of the rectangle together. You need to allow both the square and circle shape to dry. A small amount of frosting is then dabbed on the top part of the circle. Secure the dried square on top. To finish the cake, place the cap on it, and pipe a knob and tassel on the square.

Diploma Cake

Use modeling chocolate and two jelly roll cakes to make a scroll-like diploma for the recipient. Both jelly cakes can be wrapped in a thin sheet of white modeling chocolate. The cakes are placed seam side down on a large, flat serving platter about 12 inches away from each other. A rectangle of white modeling chocolate is placed in the center, draping it over the top jelly roll cake to mimic a scroll. Fill a pastry bag with black buttercream icing and write out a personal message, including the date of graduation and the name of the recipient.

Photograph Cake

If you have a class picture of the graduating class, use it to embellish a cake. Many cake shops can print a photo using edible paper from rice paper and edible ink made from powdered food coloring. Once you have your edible photo, peel off the backing and place it on a frosted cake. Pipe a decorative black or brown border around the cake to represent a picture frame with buttercream icing. The cake needs to be chilled before serving.

Textbook Cake

Two layers of sheet cake can be arranged to look like stacked books. Frost each of them in dark colors, such as a maroon red and hunter green. White frosting can be used to create binding and details of the cover of a book on the top layer of the cake. Write the name of the subject or concentration studied across the surface of the cake. Yellow icing can be piped in horizontal lines across the sides of the cake to create the illusion of pages.