Turn the perfect batch of dark chocolate devil’s food cupcakes into a fun treat! Transform these delicious cupcakes into Graduation Cap Cupcakes.

Homemade Devils Food Cake recipe to make these adorable Graduation Cap Cupcakes


It’s graduation season! Wouldn’t these Graduation cap Cupcakes make the perfect little homemade gift for the graduate? Turn this unfrosted cupcake upside down and plop a frosted graham cracker on top and you only need a few pieces of candy to finish it off!

Homemade Devils Food Cake recipe made into Graduation Cap Cupcakes

Want to know my favorite part about these cupcakes?

You can make them from scratch with the recipe I’m sharing today or you can use your favorite devils food cake boxed mix. Want to know what’s even better? You can whip up a whole batch of cupcakes for a graduation party OR you can choose to transform a a few for that special graduate! Box them up in a cute bakery box or tin for a thoughtful gift.

Graduation Cap Cupcakes Recipe

Helpful Tips for Decorating

A drop of black food coloring really helps to darken both the cupcakes and the chocolate but is not necessary.

Use Jr. Mints or dark brown M&Ms for the button. If you can’t find those you could swap them out for a chocolate chip or mini peanut butter cup.

Twizzlers makes a rainbow rope style of twisted licorice. Another choice would be a strip of fruit leather such as Fruit by the Foot.

If you can’t find licorice for a tassel you could pipe out melted chocolate of your color choice onto a piece of wax paper or parchment paper. Let cool completely and then place on top of your cupcake.

Homemade Devils Food Cake recipe to make these adorable Graduation Cap Cupcakes

Graduation Cap Cupcakes

Turn the perfect batch of dark chocolate devil's food cupcakes into a fun treat! Transform these delicious cupcakes into Graduation Cap Cupcakes.

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  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tablespoon McCormick® Black Food Color


  • 16 oz dark chocolate frosting
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons McCormick® Black Food Color
  • 12 graham cracker sheets, halved (24 squares)
  • 24 pieces string licorice, 2-inch lengths
  • 24 round chocolate candies, such as Junior Mints or dark brown M&Ms



  • PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with 24 paper liners or coat generously with no stick spray. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • CREAM the butter and sugar until fluffy and lighter in color in the bowl of your mixer. Slowly add buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in your mixer bowl until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add up to 1 tablespoon black food color. Spoon batter into prepared tin, filling 3/4 full.
  • BAKE for 15 to18 minutes until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Cool cupcakes on a wire rack.


  • PLACE frosting in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on HIGH for 1 minute until melted. Stir in 1 to 2 teaspoons black food color until desired color is reached. Using a fork, dip graham cracker squares into the frosting. Let excess frosting drip off. Place on parchment paper to cool and harden (at least 30 minutes).
  • MEANWHILE use sharp scissors to cut licorice strips into tassels. Unwrap cupcakes (if you used paper liners), trim tops to level if necessary, and turn cupcakes upside down. Use a drop of frosting to secure graham cracker squares onto tops of cupcakes. Place a licorice strip and a chocolate candy on top of each, securing with a drop of frosting.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @katrinaskitchen on Instagram with the hashtag #katrinaskitchenrecipes

These lollipop cupcakes look like balloons and would be a great addition to a graduation party dessert table.

Also try this 5 Minute Fancy Frosting trick and use school colors to swirl up a batch of  cupcakes.

I’m honored to have these Graduation Cap Cupcakes hosted on the McCormick website.