55 Congratulatory Graduation Cake Ideas That Look Impressive

Spring means the school term is coming to an end, and graduation season is almost on us!

Finishing school (of any type or level) is no easy feat, and the fact that these graduates are putting in effort and determination to complete that stage of education is an act that totally deserves more than a pat on the back.

If you have someone in your life who is graduating soon, this is a great time to start preparing to celebrate.

Of course, no celebration is complete without graduation cakes! Someone wise once said that "a gathering without cake is just a meeting" so let's take a hint from them and bake some cake.

Related: 30 Naked Cakes You'll Fall in Love with For Celebratory Occasions

What Kind of Cake To Serve at a Graduation Party

While you can definitely do "graduation-themed" cakes—such as tassel cakes, graduation hat cakes, diploma cakes or even money cakes, you don't have to feel confined to those.

Maybe the graduate has a favorite cake flavor he/she would love to have on his/her special day. Cupcakes are also a great idea for a grad party because they are self-serve and perfect for mingling.

Or perhaps the guest of honor has another favorite dessert they would love to see transformed into a cake? Check out the S'mores Cake, Oatmeal Cream Pie Cake and Snickerdoodle Cake for tasty examples of this extra personal touch.

Why stop at just one cake? You can also offer a few different varieties for a fun cake buffet.

Related: 25 Best Graduation Party Food Ideas

The Best Graduation Cake Ideas

In fact, if you're up to it, feel free to prepare an elaborate and gloriously decadent layer cake, such as a chocolate peanut butter layer cake, a tiramisu layer cake or a 3-layer s'mores cake.

For something less fussy, you can also opt for a simple, but elegant, champagne bundt cake or a sheet pan cookie cake.

Here are 55 of the best graduation cake ideas to celebrate all the new grads! Browse through them, make sure to pin your favorites and let's get baking.

Graduation Cake Recipes



Decorated with little mini tassels and a gum paste graduation cap, this two-layer cake is great for parties and post-commencement get-togethers.

<p>Hungry Happenings</p>

Hungry Happenings

These decadently creamy flourless chocolate cake graduation caps will not disappoint! Each mini chocolate cake topped with a square of chocolate is decorated with white modeling chocolate to look like a mortarboard.

<p>Theresa Greco</p>

Theresa Greco

Any graduate who loves coconut will love this cake.

<p>Martha Stewart</p>

Martha Stewart

Moist chocolate layers are brushed with a cherry brandy known as kirsch, then filled with pastry cream and cherries. Divine, glossy chocolate ganache is poured over the top.

<p>Ali Allen</p>

Ali Allen

Vibrant strawberries, rose water, and a scattering of fragrant, fresh rose petals elevate the pavlova to a confection worthy of a memorable celebration feast.

<p>My Recipes</p>

My Recipes

This easy graduation cake is adaptable to the decorations you have on hand!

<p>Ali Allen</p>

Ali Allen

In this naturally sweetened cake, cream berries and nuts are incorporated into one delicious cake.

<p>Theresa Greco</p>

Theresa Greco

If you are looking for something new and unique for a graduation party, this buttermilk chocolate chip passion fruit naked layer cake will not disappoint!

<p>Taste of Home</p>

Taste of Home

Graduation guests are bound to enjoy this sweet "certificate"...to a high degree! The yummy cake features a layer of creamy filling and fresh strawberries.

<p>At Sloane's Table</p>

At Sloane's Table

This small vanilla cake recipe bakes up incredibly soft, stays moist for days, and is perfect for any celebratory occasion!

<p>Carlsbad Cravings</p>

Carlsbad Cravings

This white chocolate raspberry cake is made of layers of soft, airy, buttery vanilla cake, luscious raspberry filling and white chocolate cream cheese frosting!

<p>Cake Whiz</p>

Cake Whiz

Use this step-by-step tutorial to learn how to make a graduation hat cake. It’s easier than you think and it’s great for graduation parties.

<p>The View from Great Island</p>

The View from Great Island

This celebratory almond layer cake with blackberry buttercream is an elegant combination of the perfect yellow cake with an unusual tangy berry frosting.

<p>Eat the Love</p>

Eat the Love

This gorgeous celebratory cake is made with sparkling wine and gin in the buttercream frosting, making it perfect for a graduation party.

<p>Tutti Dolci</p>

Tutti Dolci

This light and lovely citrus champagne bundt cake is perfumed with winter citrus and is the perfect celebratory bundt cake!

<p>Broma Bakery</p>

Broma Bakery

A soft vanilla cake layered with raspberry jam and champagne frosting. Let’s get this party started.

<p>Domestic Gothess</p>

Domestic Gothess

Vegan chocolate raspberry mousse cake—layers of dark chocolate mousse and vegan white chocolate raspberry mousse sit on top of a layer of rich, moist chocolate cake.

<p>I Scream for Ice Cream</p>

I Scream for Ice Cream

An easy, rich chocolate cake your family will ask for again and again.

<p>Life Love and Sugar</p>

Life Love and Sugar

Layers of moist chocolate cake, peanut butter frosting and chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups! It’s rich, delicious and so fun!

<p>Grandbaby Cakes</p>

Grandbaby Cakes

This perfectly moist, tender and soft lemon layer cake is iced in a wonderful lemon cream cheese frosting and bursting with irresistibly zingy and tangy lemon flavor!

<p>Life Love and Sugar</p>

Life Love and Sugar

This lemon mascarpone layer cake is made with a moist lemon cake, lemon curd and a smooth and creamy whipped mascarpone frosting! It’s light, yet sweet and tart and so darn good!

<p>Liv for Cake</p>

Liv for Cake

This white chocolate mocha cake pairs tender white chocolate espresso cake layers with a whipped white chocolate ganache and silky espresso buttercream.



This berry mascarpone cake has three layers of rich white cake topped with mascarpone cream and fresh fruit. It’s light, fruity and perfect for spring!

<p>Teak and Thyme</p>

Teak and Thyme

This tiramisu layer cake has soft genoise sponge cake layers soaked in espresso with a creamy mascarpone frosting.

<p>Love and Confections</p>

Love and Confections

Your favorite childhood lunchbox treat is transformed into a delicious oatmeal cream pie cake. Oatmeal brown sugar cake, marshmallow filling, and vanilla bean frosting are the perfect back-to-school indulgence.

<p>Life Love and Sugar</p>

Life Love and Sugar

This Kahlua coffee chocolate cake is made with a moist chocolate Kahlua cake covered in Kahlua coffee frosting!

<p>In Bloom Bakery</p>

In Bloom Bakery

Sweet and tender maple pecan layer cake full of chopped pecans, frosted and filled with decadent brown butter buttercream.

<p>Baking a Moment</p>

Baking a Moment

This perfect vanilla cake bakes up soft, buttery, and moist, with a fine, delicate crumb. So easy it’s practically foolproof, and it all comes together in just one bowl.



This white chocolate raspberry cake recipe is made with fluffy white cake layers and its white chocolate frosting is perfectly balanced with a tart raspberry filling!

<p>Sprinkle Bakes</p>

Sprinkle Bakes

This wild strawberry and lemon verbena layer cake starts with a box of white cake mix but is improved upon with additions of sugar, flour, sour cream and delicious flavorings.

<p>Liv for Cake</p>

Liv for Cake

This almond amaretto cake is a must for any almond lover! Almond cake layers infused with Amaretto liqueur paired with classic vanilla buttercream.

<p>Sugar Geek Show</p>

Sugar Geek Show

The best Oreo cake recipe! Three layers of moist vanilla cake filled with chopped Oreos and then thick and creamy vanilla frosting that tastes just like the filling from actual Oreos. Topped with more Oreo frosting and Oreo cookies!

<p>The View from Great Island</p>

The View from Great Island

This orange creamsicle cake is an easy orange layer cake made from scratch for birthdays, family meals and summer potlucks. It’s the perfect orange dessert!

<p>Vintage Kitchen Notes</p>

Vintage Kitchen Notes

Smooth and delicious, this bundt cake recipe will make you a fan of white chocolate and berries! The flavors are subtle and deep at the same time, the crumb is dense and tender and the cake lasts for several days.

<p>Beyond the Butter</p>

Beyond the Butter

This chocolate chip cake is two layers of moist and delicious cake with mini semi-sweet chocolate chips baked right in, and a sweet vanilla chocolate chip buttercream frosting to boot!

<p>Milandra's Kitchen</p>

Milandra's Kitchen

The beautiful layers, the simple flavors of perfect whipped cream, raspberries, blueberries, a hint of jam and tender yellow cake make something magic.

<p>Life Love and Sugar</p>

Life Love and Sugar

This lemon raspberry layer cake has moist, light layers of lemon cake, lemon curd filling and a raspberry frosting. It’s decorated with buttercream, lemon slices and a few blossom flowers for a cake that’s perfect for summer!

<p>Butternut Bakery</p>

Butternut Bakery

The ultimate cake for any chocolate lover-with layers of fudgy brownie cake, chocolate frosting, chocolate ganache and a pile of brownies on top.

<p>Tatyana's Everyday Food</p>

Tatyana's Everyday Food

The best summer fruit cake-sangria cake with fluffy sponge cake, whipped cream and fruit!

<p>Shani's Sweet Art</p>

Shani's Sweet Art

This is a deeply spiced and flavorful but light and fluffy sponge cake recipe.

<p>Love and Olive Oil</p>

Love and Olive Oil

The summer fun has just begun! This colorful strawberry funfetti ice cream cake will have you smiling from ear to ear!

<p>Life Made Simple Bakes</p>

Life Made Simple Bakes

A summer favorite turned into a drool-worthy dessert fit for a party, no campfire required! This s’mores layer cake has a graham base, fudge frosting and a homemade marshmallow meringue frosting.

<p>Mama Gourmand</p>

Mama Gourmand

Bite into a dream come true with an ultra-moist gluten-free red velvet cake recipe that is also ridiculously easy to throw together!

<p>Tastes Better from Scratch</p>

Tastes Better from Scratch

This easy homemade chocolate bundt cake recipe is heavenly, topped with chocolate ganache and mini chocolate chips.

<p>Sally's Baking Addiction</p>

Sally's Baking Addiction

Sunshine-sweet lemon blueberry layer cake dotted with juicy berries and topped with lush cream cheese frosting. One of the most popular cake recipes on this website!

<p>Peas and Crayons</p>

Peas and Crayons

Sheet pan cookie cake: This classic chocolate chip cookie cake is the ultimate birthday cake!

<p>Butternut Bakery</p>

Butternut Bakery

This is truly the best-ever carrot cake recipe. It's incredibly moist, perfectly spiced, and smothered in cream cheese frosting. It's the only carrot cake recipe you'll ever need!

<p>Sally's Baking Addiction</p>

Sally's Baking Addiction

Create an absolutely mouthwatering snickerdoodle cake filled with buttery cinnamon swirls and topped with creamy brown sugar cinnamon buttercream frosting.

<p>Sugar and Soul</p>

Sugar and Soul

Yellow cake is an old-fashioned cake made with a rich blend of butter, eggs and buttermilk for a tender butter cake that’s perfect for birthdays and everyday celebrations!

<p>Queenslee Appetit</p>

Queenslee Appetit

This turtle chocolate layer cake starts with rich, decadent and moist chocolate cake layers that are filled with a caramel pecan sauce and covered in a smooth caramel frosting, then finished off with a caramel and ganache drip and chopped pecans!

<p>House of Nash Eats</p>

House of Nash Eats

This S'mores cake is an over-the-top decadent dessert with layers of moist chocolate cake, graham cracker crust, chocolate ganache and homemade marshmallow filling, all surrounded by a luscious buttercream frosting. It's a scrumptious, irresistible twist on one of summer's most iconic desserts!

<p>Baran Bakery</p>

Baran Bakery

This mocha cake is made up of eight luscious chocolate cake layers frosted with coffee-flavored Swiss meringue buttercream and topped with toasted hazelnuts.

<p>The Little Epicurean</p>

The Little Epicurean

This chai layer cake features three layers of chai-infused cake frosted with vanilla bean Swiss buttercream.

<p>Broma Bakery</p>

Broma Bakery

This decadent caramel cake is moist, buttery and full of caramel flavor! Made with homemade caramel, the best vanilla cake ever and a fluffy vanilla buttercream swirled with caramel sauce, you’ll love this caramel layer cake!

<p>Completely Delicious</p>

Completely Delicious

This brown sugar cinnamon layer cake is full of autumn flavor and spice, with moist cake layers, candied pecans, and the fluffiest buttercream frosting.

<p>Felicia Lim</p>

Felicia Lim

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