Home Desserts 25 Best Graduation Cake Ideas for Your Grad

25 Best Graduation Cake Ideas for Your Grad

From kindergarten and high school to college, these graduation cake ideas will help you and your family celebrate in style.

So grab your cap, gown, and cake knife, and let’s bake!

Slice of Sweet German Chocolate Cake
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Sure, you could easily buy a cake and save some time. But homemade cakes are way more meaningful – not to mention cheaper.

And these graduation cake ideas are sure to make your graduate feel all the love.

From rustic and fruity to fancy and chocolatey, these easy cake recipes for graduation are sure to impress.

Let the celebrations commence!

20+ Easy Cakes for Graduation

1. Key Lime Bundt Cake

This bundt cake is moist with a tender crumb and a refreshing key lime flavor

It’s not iced with heavy frostings like most layer cakes. Instead, it’s finished with a simple dusting of powdered sugar to balance the tartness of the lime.

Plus, that rustic ring shape makes the cake pretty without any decorations. Just what you need on a busy graduation day.

2. Hershey’s Chocolate Cake

For the picky graduate, you can’t go wrong with chocolate! I mean, who doesn’t love chocolate cake?

This baby is undeniably moist, fudgy, and decadent, though it’s not overly rich.

Better yet, it’s lovely with or without frosting. So serve it with a drizzle of ganache and fresh fruit, or just a dollop of whipped cream.

Nice and easy, but oh-so-dreamy.

3. Rainbow Cake with Jelly Beans

This cake is for the fun-loving fresh grad who prefers something a little more vibrant.

This rainbow cake has six different-colored layers and a rainbow-colored frosting to match.

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Oh, and it’s also finished with jelly beans, for good measure.

To say it’s colorful is an understatement.

4. Raspberry Chocolate Chip Layer Cake

This layer cake is studded with stunning fresh raspberries and yummy chocolate chips.

And it’s filled and frosted with a luscious chocolate buttercream you’ll want to lick from the bowl.

It’s well-balanced, light, and definitely the kind of sweet raspberry cake you can’t just have one slice of.

5. Piña Colada Cake

Layers of sponge cake infused with crushed pineapple and coconut flakes is about as tropical as it gets.

There’s also a deliciously tangy cream cheese and coconut buttercream that makes this beyond indulgent.

With all the flavors you love in a piña colada (minus the alcohol), this cake is an absolute party in your mouth.

6. Banana Cake

You’ll go bananas over this banana cake!

It’s insanely moist and tender, with a slightly crispy crust at the bottom. And as expected, the banana flavor is very much on point.

If unconventional cake recipes intrigue you, then this one’s a must-try. 

Here you’ll try unusual methods like baking at a very low temperature and freezing the cake straight from the oven. 

Feel free to throw in some mini chocolate chips. And I like this with lots of caramel drizzled over the top.

7. Blue Velvet Cake

If your graduate’s favorite color is blue, then there’s no better choice than this wild blue velvet cake.

Made with layers of vanilla-chocolate cake and cream cheese frosting in between, it’s basically a red velvet cake, but blue.

The only thing you’ll do differently is to use blue food gel instead of red to color the cake. How easy is that?

(And yes, you can make this pretty much any color you want! Just be sure to use gel coloring as it’s more potent.)

8. Strawberry Limeade Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

I was hooked at ‘strawberry-limeade!’ But that strawberry cream cheese frosting is a thing of beauty!

This dessert has three fluffy cake layers filled with heavenly buttercream.

It’s bright, light, colorful, zesty, and decadent. It’s a must-make for any occasion.

9. Vanilla Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

If you’re looking for an easy recipe that won’t disappoint, you just found it.

This recipe makes a vanilla-flavored cake frosted with a decadent cream cheese buttercream.

It’s simple, but it hits all the right notes.

Plus, sheet cakes are ridiculously easy to make, which is why this is one of my go-to’s when I need a quick dessert that can feed a crowd.

10. Paula Deen Strawberry Cake

This strawberry cake is soft, bouncy, and jam-packed with strawberry flavor.

Also, it’s drop-dead gorgeous! 

It’s so pretty you might find it intimidating, but wait until you see the recipe.

Believe it or not, this stunning cake is made from a doctored boxed cake mix! Thanks, Paula!

11. Fluffy & Moist Coconut Cake

Here’s another tropical treat for your coconut-loving grad.

The cake features coconut milk, coconut extract, and sweetened coconut. Needless to say, the coconut flavor is strong in this one.

But that’s not all.

You’ll also make a quick coconut and cream cheese frosting and cover the whole thing with even more sweetened shredded coconut.

I think the pure coconut flavor is out-of-this-world amazing. But if you want a little kick, try adding a layer of fruit curd.

12. Salted Caramel Toffee Crunch Cake

First of all, how fabulous does this salted caramel cake look? I made it for a birthday recently, and it was gone in the blink of an eye!

I used pre-made macarons (because I was in a rush) and also scattered over some chopped peanut butter cups for a kick of nutty goodness.

No matter how you decorate this cake, the caramel is dreamy, sweet, and to die for.

13. Homemade German Chocolate Cake

German chocolate cake has layers of rich sponge filled and covered with coconut and pecan frosting.

That filling is sweet, buttery, and wonderfully textural. It plays so well against the indulgent chocolate and makes the whole thing more complex.

Fun fact: contrary to popular belief, German cake isn’t German. Instead, it gets its name from its creator, Samuel German – an American. 

14. Orange Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

As much as I love zesty lemon, I think the milder citrus flavor of orange is so much more pleasant.

And that pastel orange hue is just too pretty to eat – well, almost.

This cake is unique, summery, and a show-stopper with those orange slices on top.

15. Paula Deen Carrot Cake

Here’s another classic dessert that won’t let you down!

Filled with shredded carrots, this cake is outrageously tender and moist.

And no, it doesn’t taste like carrots at all. Instead, the veg just makes it insanely moist.

In fact, this carrot cake is so tender, it doesn’t need any frosting.

But if you want to make it over the top, the cream cheese and pecan buttercream is perfect for the job.

16. Hummingbird Cake

This cake combines the goodness of bananas, pineapple, coconut, caramel, cream cheese, and pecans all in one.

Talk about over the top!

It’s all the tropical flavors you can think of in one heavenly bite.

The cake is so extremely moist, it almost falls apart.

It’s also very light, so it goes wonderfully well with the heavy caramel cream cheese frosting and pecan topping.

17. Strawberry Crunch Cake

Strawberry cake with vanilla buttercream and strawberry crunch coating equals strawberry paradise.

It’s crunchy on the outside and insanely tender, moist, and creamy on the inside. 

The combo of strawberries and vanilla buttercream gives the cake just the right amount of sweetness and tartness.

You’ll fall for this fast, and I know it’ll be your new go-to cake recipe for any and all occasions.

18. Light Lemon Angel Food Cake

This angel food cake is so ridiculously light and airy, it’s as if it came straight out of heaven.

You’ll use egg whites for the batter to ensure the sponge is as light as a feather.

Infused with lemon, its flavor profile is bright, zesty, and mouthwatering.

19. Cream Puff Cake

If your graduate is into unique desserts, this cream puff cake is just what you need.

Making cream puffs (choux pastry) might sound intimidating, but I promise it’s nothing you can’t handle.

And since this is a layer cake, you don’t even need to worry about the puffs rising.

Instead, it’s sheets of pastry filled with a mixture of cream cheese and pudding, with plenty of whipped cream and chocolate syrup on top. Yum!

20. Too Much Chocolate Cake

If you need a cake for a chocoholic, I can’t think of a more fitting one than this.

This bundt cake is made from devil’s food cake mix moistened with chocolate pudding and made extra decadent with chocolate chips.

Is there really such a thing as too much chocolate? Definitely not in my book! 

21. Butterfinger Cake

Peanut butter lovers, this one’s for you.

It’s a moist and fudgy chocolate cake topped with creamy peanut butter frosting and crushed Butterfinger candies.

It might seem like it requires some baking expertise, but nope, it couldn’t be easier to make. In fact, five pantry ingredients are all it takes.

22. Starbucks Coffee Cake

This cake is for graduates who like to start their day with something sweet.

Because there’s no reason to wait until the end of the day to celebrate!

A copycat of the beloved Starbucks recipe, this cake has layers of moist buttermilk cake and cinnamon streusel.

23. Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake

Between the three layers of decadent chocolate cake, you’ll find a thick mound of peanut butter frosting.

But that’s not all.

This cake is also drizzled with a silky chocolate ganache and garnished with chopped peanut butter cups. 

That’s the ultimate indulgence right there.

24. Tres Leches Cake with Cake Mix

When I say this cake is moist, I mean completely and undeniably moist!

Tres leches cake is a poke cake drizzled with three kinds of milk – evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. 

That’s how it gets its iconic milky flavor and ridiculously moist texture.

25. Banana Split Cake

Turn the classic ice cream into a cake! That way, you won’t have to worry about it melting.

This cake has three layers: a Graham Cracker crust, a pineapple-banana cream cheese filling, and a whipped cream topping.

It’s also garnished with cherries and chopped nuts, to boot. It’s the banana split of cakes, and it’s beyond amazing.

25 Best Graduation Cakes for Your Grad

From kindergarten to college, these graduation cake ideas will help you celebrate in style. So grab your cap, gown, and cake knife, and let’s bake!


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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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