Graduation Cake and Cookie Ideas



It’s almost graduation season, so start planning those parties!  I really can’t believe how huge graduation parties are here in Ohio…much bigger than celebrations where I grew up.

These are some examples of half-sheet cakes that are a good party-size and can serve a bunch when made with 2 layers.

These 2 graduation cakes I did for a Poland Seminary High School graduate last year who was going to Ohio State in the fall.

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This Cardinal Mooney cake I did a few years ago (before I discovered how cutting letters out of fondant is much cleaner … and straighter :)).  The graduate was going to the University of Dayton…




These are full sheet cakes, which I don’t make often as they are difficult to manage in my regular-sized fridge.  I love this black and yellow theme with swirls and stars.  It really says “Let’s CELEBRATE…you’ve done it!!”



For this one I made a 3-d mortar board and decorated it with stars, sprinkles and fondant twists. Here’s the post that describes it in more detail.



This cake is for a smaller celebration…followed by a group of specialty cakes.





And you always need cookies, right?



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Spring Cupcake Bouquets


I am just crazy about these cupcake bouquets!  I made them last year for Mother’s day…Such a nice thing to give your mom to show her how much you care.


They’re so bright and cheery and are sure to brighten anyone’s day–maybe even MORE than real flowers.  Why?  ‘Cause you can EAT ’em!

The best part is they can be customized to your cupcake flavor preference, color combination, even flower type…what’s not to love about that?


The hydrangeas were piped with a Wilton 1M tip and the roses with a 2D tip.  I variegated the colors by layering them with white in my piping bag…they look much more realistic that way.

So fun, so sweet, so colorful….perfect for every season!

Spring Flowers 2-Tiered Birthday Cake


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Here is another of my favorite birthday cakes…mainly because I love yellow….makes me feel so happy and “spring-y,” if that’s a word.

yellow_2-tier_1Cheryl’s daughters were planning a surprise party for their mother and asked if I could do a yellow “rustic iced” cake, 2-tier, with tulips and the custom topper they ordered.

I love how the colors of the flowers pop against the pale yellow icing…

The cake is a 7″ and 10″ tier white chocolate cake with raspberry filling and white chocolate buttercream.  The personalized glittery topper is perfect to add some height.

Hope you had a great surprise birthday party, Cheryl!  I really enjoyed making your cake!


Retro Fleetwood Mac and NKOTB Cakes


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Fleetwood Mac is BACK!!  And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, it proves I’m just way too old.

My dear friend Missy asked me to make a cake for her friend’s 40th birthday.

She wanted a replica of the birthday girl’s favorite album cover, this artistic rendition of the iconic 1977 Fleetwood Mac “Rumors” album.


It took some time and a few sharp exacto blades to cut the image out, but I think I got it pretty close.  Luckily, it was a fairly simple design.

I really love this fondant image-layering technique. It’s kind of like putting a puzzle together from the front to back to get the 2-dimenional image to look kind of 3-D.  The hardest part is visualizing the layers as separate pieces



The cake is a 10″ square key lime cake filled with lime curd and iced with cream cheese buttercream.





Another blast to the past was for Missy’s 40th birthday.  Her brother wanted the theme to be her favorite late-1980s group, New Kids On the Block.


For this one, I used an icing image and added fondant details.  Much easier than cutting each piece out separately!


Happy belated 40th birthdays, Ladies!!

I had fun making these unique and different cakes for you!  :0)

My Favorite Birthday Cakes….


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I’ve made quite a few non-character, non-themed birthday cakes over the past few weeks.  Just simple, happy, feel good celebrations cakes.

These cakes aren’t fancy or flashy or dripping with a theme. They’re just classy, understated, and say to the recipient “you’re special, so we got you a special cake.”

They are decadent, delicious, and not ones you’d typically make for yourself…or get at a bakery or grocery store. They’re one-of-a-kind unique and made just for that special birthday person.

I love doing these cakes, because it kind of lets me create what I’d like brought to the table on my own birthday.


Here are a couple of my favorites…


This one is a version of the raspberry almond cake I posted a few weeks ago, only I added colored sequins on top for some color.  It’s an 8″ sour cream almond cake with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream.


I made the plaques and stars from homemade marshmallow fondant; the plaques are painted gold with edible paint.  I added the chocolate hearts kind of as an afterthought as I was making them for this drip cake I was doing at the same time…




I love the look of these drip cakes, especially black on white.  So dramatic.  The cake was a 10″, 2-layer (one chocolate and one sour cream vanilla).  There was a raspberry mousse filling between the layers, so I used raspberries on top.  I used chocolate ganache for the drip and melted chocolate for the hearts.  This one was for a father and daughter who celebrated their birthdays together ;0)


For this one, the birthday girl wanted rustic icing and fall-colored buttercream flowers.

I used a special petal tip and variegated icing to pipe the mums on pieces of parchment paper, then popped them into the freezer to firm up before adding them to the cake.   Then I filled in with a star tip for the yellow flowers and leaves.


And then there is the humble-but-oh-so-yummy chocolate cake with whipped ganache icing and multi-colored sequins…mmmmmm.choc_ganache_cake_2