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+ servings

Graduation Cap Cupcakes

Turn the perfect batch of dark chocolate devil's food cupcakes into a fun treat! Use black food coloring to transform these delicious cupcakes into Graduation Cap Cupcakes.
Prep Time 1 hour
Servings 24 cupcakes


  • For the Cupcakes:
  • 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 unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tablespoon McCormick® Black Food Color
  • For the Decorations:
  • 1 can 16 ounces 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.