PHOTO: JOEL GOLDBERG; FOOD STYLING: ERIKA JOYCE
It doesn’t matter if you’re celebrating a high school, college, or technical school graduation, all that hard work was a big deal and should be commemorated. What better way than to throw a graduation party?! Whether you’re having a picnic, barbecuing or just having some friends in your living room, we think you can’t really show your pride without a festive cake. Of course you can order one from a local bakery, but nothing more impressive than homemade. We’ve got everything from super simple icebox cakes to more involved layer cakes, with cheesecakes, poke cakes and more in between. There’s something for everyone (even if you’re a novice baker, we promise). Check out our list of 30 graduation cake recipes for ideas – them power just be better than that feeling of graduation cap.
Do you believe us that you need a cake, but are you afraid that your baking skills are not sufficient? Did you put off party planning until the last minute? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there – we’ve got you. For the easiest cakes with the highest rewards, go to the fridge. Really all you need are some biscuits, some whipped cream and a few hours in the freezer and you have a cake that will make everyone swoon. Try our peanut butter Oreo icebox cake or our milk n’ cookies icebox cake to see what we mean. Inverted pies are also a good way to go because once you’ve cut the fruit and made the cake batter, you’re almost there. They pretty much decorate themselves. Check out the way we’ve placed the fruit in our raspberry peach upside-down cake or our pineapple upside-down cheesecake for inspiration, but feel free to do whatever you like. Speaking of cheesecakes, they get a bad rap for being picky, and admittedly, it’s hard to keep their tops from bursting. Our solution? Top the top with something tasty, like in our strawberry cheesecake (topped with jammy fruit) or our Bailey’s cheesecake (topped with a rich chocolate ganache), and no one will notice the cracks.
Do you have extra time and a little more baking skills, and want to really impress your grad? Layered cakes continue to amaze a crowd, and we’ve got all the classics, like Funfetti, yellow cake with chocolate icing, German chocolate and more. Love cake, but want to try something extra special? Try a new cake decorating or mounting technique. Cut a sheet cake in the shape of graduation year numbers and decorate with your grad’s favorite cookies and candies, or bake two cakes and put them in a wild checkerboard cake. Once you try these methods, you may never go back to simple stacking and icing. Is your grad more of an ice cream fan than a cake fan? Don’t let that stop you from making a great pie. Check out our Spumoni Ice Cream Cake or our Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Cake to see how we turned ice cream into beautiful cakes worthy of your graduation party.
For more sweet summer party ideas, check out our favorite summer dessert recipes, no-bake desserts, and easy fruit desserts.