DIY Graduation Cake

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Learn how to make your own graduation cake in 4 easy steps!

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There is something about things that are homemade that you just can’t beat. Homemade cards, homemade gifts, and yes, homemade cake. Well…. kind of homemade.

Kevin (my super attractive and hard-working husband) finally graduated from college. This is such an important milestone that we just had to celebrate! Oh, and did I mention that he got accepted into the Masters program for Athletic Training? Proud wife moment.

Before we actually get to the cake, if you haven’t already, take a peek at the graduation invitations that I made using my lovely Cricut!

Now that you’re caught up… let’s get started!

To make this graduation cake a little bit easier to make, I’ll divide it into four easy peasy steps:

1. Baking the cake

2. Icing and stacking the Cake

3. Fondant

4. Cake Toppers and Decorations


Cake

The first part is baking the actual cake! I’m not even going to lie to you, but I have made absolutely ZERO cakes from scratch. Don’t judge me, it is totally on my to-do list.

What I did do was use a box-cake, and then I just spiced it up a little bit. It tasted absolutely delicious and people thought I was all fancy shmancy. So trust me, you have GOT to try it.

Ingredients:

  1. Box Cake (I used 2 boxes of funfetti to make a four layer cake)
  2. Butter
  3. Eggs
  4. Milk
  5. Two 8 inch round pans

Directions:

  1. Make box cake as directed but using the following substitutions:
    1. Use milk instead of water
    2. Use butter instead of oil (and double it)
    3. Use two extra eggs (you can use more to make the cake more dense, but I have found that two extra eggs works best for me)
  2. Mix it all up
  3. Divide the cake batter evenly into the two 8 inch round pans
  4. Put the cake to bake
  5. When the cake is finished baking, let the cake cool completely
  6. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least two hours (I left mine in there over night – this makes it easier to cut and frost)
  7. When the cake is chilled, take it out of the fridge and use a serrated knife to cut top of your cake off to make it flat (this way, you can stack it)Learn how to make your own graduation cake in 4 easy steps!

Icing 

Now you have to make the icing, try to not to eat it all before you use it!

Ingredients:

  1. 4 cups of powdered sugar
  2. 1 Cup (2 sticks) of softened butter (don’t melt it)
  3. 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  4. 2 tablespoons of milk

Directions:

  1. Add powdered sugar to mixing bowl (use your stand mixer to mix for two minutes to get rid of any clumps)
  2. Add softened sticks of butter
  3. Add vanilla
  4. Add milk
  5. Beat on low until powdered sugar is incorporated, and then you’ll have to scrape the edges of the bowl and continue to mix on medium/high for a while to make sure all the yumminess is put together.
  6. If the icing looks dry, add more milk, if it looks too wet, add more powdered sugar. You might also like to add more vanilla but that is entirely up to you!

Stacking the Cake

This part is pretty simple actually! I was freaking out my first time stacking a cake, but let me tell ya, it isn’t that bad. You can totally do it.

Learn how to make your own graduation cake in 4 easy steps!

What you’ll want to do is ice the top of a cake layer, and then stack. And then ice, and stack. Voila. Easy.

Once you are done stacking the cake, put a generous coat of icing all around the cake and place it in the fridge. This is going to help the fondant to stick, and it will also keep your cake nice and moist!


Fondant

This fondant will literally take you less than 10 minutes to make. Before I give you the recipe, here are a few suggestions:

  1. Use a stand mixer if you have one – it will save you a heck of a lot of mess
  2. Let your fondant sit covered overnight
  3. Place a nice amount of Crisco on everything the Marshmallow will touch: spatula, mixer bowl, dough hook, the bowl you will be melting it in, everything!
  4. Don’t use all four cups of powdered sugar at the same time, pour a little bit at a time, mix, and see if you need any more.
  5. If you are using a stand mixer you’ll need a dough hook

Ingredients:

  1. 16oz bag of mini Marshmallows
  2. Crisco Shortening
  3. Powdered Sugar

Directions:

  1. Coat microwaveable dish with Crisco
  2. Place 1 cup of powdered sugar in the stand mixer bowl
  3. Place Marshmallows in a bowl and melt in the microwave at 15 second intervals stopping to stir (if you want to add food coloring, do it now!)
  4. Transfer melted Marshmallows into stand mixer and mix on low, adding powdered sugar as needed
  5. Once fondant is no longer sticky, uses your hands to knead it into a ball
  6. Cover in plastic wrap and place in airtight container

Learn how to make your own graduation cake in 4 easy steps!

Once fondant is ready to be placed on the cake, gently fold it over your rolling pin and transfer it to your cake.

Smooth out the top of the cake first and then work around the cake by gently tugging away from the cake, and then down.

Once you have made it all around the cake, trim away all the excess, and you’re all done!


Cake Toppers

This is the fun part! I used my Cricut to make a special cake topper for my hubby, but you can use practically anything! Get creative!

Learn how to make your own graduation cake in 4 easy steps!


Happy Baking!

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5 Comments

  1. I’m not a huge fan of fondant, but maybe because I’ve only ever had the store bought stuff. Your recipe sounds great and I’m definitely saving in case I have a need in the future.

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