45 Elegant Graduation Cake Ideas Perfect For A Crowd

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If you’re looking for elegant and unique graduation cake ideas to celebrate your graduation in style, you’re in the right place! Even though we are living through a pandemic at the moment, graduation is something that only happens once or twice in your lifetime and should be celebrated accordingly.

Even if you can only invite a handful of people to celebrate, it’s worth getting some party decorations and a customized cake to get in the mood! Below, we’ve featured some of the best graduation cake ideas that you can use for inspiration, or contact the baker directly for a quote. We’ve also included some of our favorite affordable cake toppers, which will turn any cake (however bland looking) into a celebratory piece!

There are cakes for general graduates, lawyers, geographers, chemists, high school grads and more – I hope you find the perfect cake for you!

The Best Elegant Graduation Cake Ideas

1. Caramel Drip

Custom graduation cake toppers

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This yummy cake is perfect for graduates who don’t like lots of icing or overly sweet desserts – after all, it should be a day of their favorite things.

2. Pretty In Pink

Elegant pink graduation cake

Image via @_Thecakelab_

Calling all pink-lovers, this one is for you. Generally, graduation cakes are made in tones of black and gold to match the occasion, but this one proves any color fits the bill.

3. Real or Cake?

Nursing graduation cake

Image via @CakeNTake

This is one of those “is it real, or is it cake” moments. Luckily, this book is a delicious cake, and makes a perfect one for all the bookworm graduates.

4. Time To Bloom

Elegant graduation cake with roses and dripping gold

Image via @CakesByLalae

This simplistic cake is the perfect blank canvas to show off beautiful blooms like these vibrant red florals. The richness is exaggerated with the glossy gold drip, because why not?

5. Money Maker

Unique graduation cake with cash money

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For all the graduates with prosperous careers ahead of them, this cake is a reminder of what’s to come, and makes a fun gift for family members who are going on a graduate trip and need an extra few bucks to spend.

6. Globe Trotter

Blue graduation cake with world map for geography grads

Image via @Raya_Cakes

Similarly, for any graduates who are due to go on a post-graduation trip, this is a great pre-trip sweet treat to celebrate not only their accomplishments but also the good times ahead.

7. By The Book

Psychology grad cake

Image via @DorsaCakeStudio

For all the bookworms, the end of their educational career might mean no more books, so why not commemorate with a book made from cake?

8. A Bear-y big deal

Cute graduation cake with cat

Image via @Rabbit.Bakery

Graduations are a big deal. They represent rigour and dedication, no matter the subject of study. A statement cake like this is the perfect one to bring out for such a momentous occasion.

9. pearl of the oceon

Elegant purple graduation cake

Image via @Maha.Sweetland

This is another great example of a grad cake not needing to be black and gold as trends and Pinterest boards might suggest. This lilac and pearl cake is perfect for all the glam graduates.

10. Graduating class

Simple grad cake

Image via @CakesByKatta

This cake is to the point and elegant, just like the graduate! To make it a little more personal, you could replace the ribbon with the university or college colors.

11. Gold Drip

Elegant grad cake with blue and white

Image via @LeCupcakePeru

Graduations will have you shining bright like a diamond, or this glossy gold drip. This fun cake is the best opportunity to load the top with the graduate’s favourite candies and cookies.

12. Full Floral

Elegant white graduation cake with flowers

Image via @CakesByMafer

A graduation cake doesn’t need to be basic, nor does it have to have the typical scroll decor. This floral cake is perfect for all the coquette girlies with a love for delicate design.

13. Bookworm

Graduation cake for lawyers

Image via @MonSukre

Another one for the graduates who always had their head stuck in a book, this might be the last [and only] time they can get their teeth stuck into one instead!

14. The Roaring 20s

Eleant black and white cake

Image via @MamaBakesPoshLookingCakes

This cake is reminiscent of the 20s, a time when partying and enjoyment were generally all people thought about and is exactly what the graduate should be doing too.

15. Smell the roses

Elegant pink and gold grad cake

Image via @Pastelerina

Graduation is usually one of the first times the graduates get to “stop and smell the flowers” after a hectic few years of studying and exams. We can’t think of a better way to commemorate than this cake.

16. Artists Stroke

Elegant white, blue and gold grad cake

Image via @Whipped.om

Artistic cakes like this are super popular, as they are rustic whilst still being minimal. This would also be super easy to DIY if you have any expert bakers in the family.

17. The Minimalist

Elegant white graduation cake ideas with roses

Image via @Cookieland_Bucaramanga

Another one for the minimal graduates. This almost monochrome cake is a perfect example of staying true to the graduate’s aesthetic whilst still keeping an element of the classic graduation cakes.

18. Scales of Justice

Black and gold graduation cake for law

Image via @Pastelerina

Graduation cakes are wonderful when themed after the graduate’s degree. This cake is for a law graduate and depicts the scales of justice. 

19. Everything, Everywhere

Unique grad cakes with caps

Image via @Cake.Studio.Ec

Another great example of a cake-themed after a degree is this physics-themed cake for a pair of graduates. 

20. It’s Chemistry

Unique chemistry graduation cake

Image via @SydneyDessertCo

Some degrees just lend themselves to a cool cake design. This chemistry graduate got an awesome cake with a colourful explosion. In fact, we kind of wish we studied chemistry now…

21. Spread your wings

Gold graduation cake with butterflies

Image via @ChicLittleCakes.Co

A college or university graduate can mark the end of the graduate’s full-time education for good and will be the first time they truly get to spread their wings, just like a butterfly hatching from a cocoon.

22. Splash of gold

Elegant pink graduation drip cake

Image via @ACakeBoutiqueLima

This gold drip is perfect for topping off a special occasion cake, like for a beaming graduate on their bid day! The pink base could be switched out for any color, according to the graduate’s choice of course.

23. The Big Day

Elegant white and gold graduation cake

Image via @NaimeCake

Why not celebrate this momentous day with something that could be a wedding cake? After all, why should that be the only “big day” in someone’s life?

24. Move The Tassel

Colorful grad cake

Image via @Halasweetsmn for @Stepho_Stendorf

The moving of the tassel is a classic part of some graduation ceremonies. Moving it from right to left symbolises the graduate’s new status as an alumnus!

25. The Biggest Fan

Elegant pink graduation cake

Image via @Amanies_Cake

This fan-shaped cake is more appropriate for a graduation party than an at-home gathering – but who are we to tell you what to do!

26. Gradu-ate The Cake

Elegant graduation drip cake with roses

Image via @ClassaCakes

In many cultures it’s important to have something sweet to mark a good occasion, and what better way than this stunning cake embellished with flowers and a gold drip?

27. Degree Of Success

Elegant black and gold graduation cake

Image via @Cake_Oeuvre

This cake is a classic graduation combination of black and gold and it is no surprise why. It creates a wonderfully rich look, and the perfect treat before you dance the night away.

28. Diamond in The Rough

Blue grad cake with cap

Image via @Ohsugar.cc

This gemstone-themed cake is surprisingly representative of the graduate. They said a diamond can only be formed under intense pressure, much like the rigour a graduate must demonstrate to get through their degree.

29. The World Is Your Oyster

Pink unique grad cake

Image via @MadeForDesserts

This girly pink and pearl cake is perfect for the cottage-core girlies who like everything dainty and fine. The addition of the pink tassel ties it together perfectly.

Elegant pink graduation cake

Image via @CakeSistersPace

This cake is a beautiful addition to a dessert table if you’re having a graduation party for the alumnus. The tones can also be adjusted according to a theme or the graduate’s favorite color.

31. How The Tassels Have Turned

Simple grad cake

Image via @SweetsBySuzie

The turning of the tassel is a big part of some graduation ceremonies, but even if you don’t get to do it on your own, you can always do it on this cake instead!

32. That’s a Wrap

Unique graduation cake ideas

Image via @CakeSistersPace

This unique detailed cake is stunning and perfect for any graduates who are all about the aesthetics of their celebrations, or just like to brand everything with their own image!

33. Sunrise & Sunset

Elegant pink graduation cake ideas

Image via @LinasBakes

This beautiful cake is a wonderful way to celebrate a graduate in a way that feels authentic to them and their style. The floral topper is a popular way to amp up a basic cake, and can be done easy at home too!

34. Vintage Florals

Elegant graduation cake ideas

Image via @RedRoseCakes

Dried florals like these are popular in floral arrangements and cakes as they create a dramatic look at a low cost. The textures amp up the look, and make it perfect for a party!

35. Copy & Paste

Luxury black and white cake

Image via @AlisCakeHouse

The background texture on this cake is like a real-life copy-paste job. It amps up a basic cake and doesn’t take a lot of time as it is done using a tool rather than by hand, though it may be tricky for first-timers.

36. Like a Flower Blooms

Pink graduation cake

Image via @LaLavandePeru

The orchid flowers are wonderful for decorating cakes as they require little effort or experience to look beautiful. If you are thinking of adding flowers to a cake yourself, make sure you watch a tutorial on how to make them food safe.

37. Cake & Balloons

Custom graduation cake toppers

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Nothing says special occasion like a cake and balloons, and why not put them together to create the ultimate gift for the graduate.

38. Reach For The Stars

Custom grad cake with white, black and red stars

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Reach for the stars, and you might just become one. This cake is perfect for a graduation party or get-together as it is festive, but still on-brand for the occasion.

39. Cap & Gown

Custom graduation cake topper

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Even if florals are your usual aesthetic, you won’t get the opportunity back to put a graduation cap and scroll on your cake again – so there truly is no time like the present.

40. On Top Of The World

2023 graduation cake topper

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Cake toppers like this one are perfect for personalising a store-bought cake, or cakes from specialist bakers who make yummy cakes but aren’t up-to-date with design trends.

41. So Happy, I Could Burst

Custom graduation cake toppers

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Miniature balloon cake toppers are a popular cake trend these days, and the addition of childhood pictures on this one is giving us all the feels!

42. Over & Out

Graduation hat cake topper

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This cake topper is another great on-theme graduation decor for any basic cake. You can also travel with this if you’re going across the country, or water, to the graduation celebration.

43. Officially Alumni

Custom graduation cake toppers

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This fun cake topper expresses the excitement (and relief) of graduate when it’s all finally over. Again you can travel with this and buy a fresh cake on the day of!

44. Just The Beginning

Class of 2023 graduation cake topper

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This elegant cake is the perfect way to start a graduate’s post-education life on the right foot. The double tier means ample cake to share with family and friends who want in on the special moment.

45. Time Flies

Custom graduation cake toppers

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This personalised cake topper can be kept and framed as a memento of the big day, because when the cake looks this good, it won’t last that long.

Which of these elegant graduation cakes are you going to emulate at your party? The easiest option to transform any cake into a graduation cake is to get a graduation cake topper, but if you are willing to splurge a little extra, why not go for a customized cake?

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The best elegant graduation cake ideas

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