Graduation Cake


Photo: Jessica Colyer, Styling, Jessica Colyer, Katie Hanley

Made with a simple buttercream frosting and topped with festive decorations, this cake is a perfect and simple way to celebrate the graduate in your life. 

Makes one 4-layer cake


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2 boxes cake mix (flavor of your choice, enough to make 4 full cake layers)
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
3 cups unsalted butter (6 sticks)
6 cups powdered sugar
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons vanilla
1 package gold sprinkles (for garnish)


1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and thoroughly grease four 8-inch round cake pans. Prepare your cake mix as directed, or add mix, four eggs, 1 cup vegetable oil, and 1 cup of milk and combine until blended. Pour the batter into pans evenly.  

2. Bake cake layers for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 30 minutes and then remove from the pans. If your cakes are particularly domed on top, use a serated knife to shave down the dome to create even layers. 

3. In a seperate bowl or stand mixer, beat room-temperature butter for 4 minutes until white and frothy. 

4. On low, slowly add in powdered sugar, cup by cup until blended. Add in milk and vanilla and mix until blended. Beat the entire mixture on high for 8-10 minutes. The result should appear like thick whipped cream that holds its form. 

5. Place a dollop of icing on your cake board or cake stand, then place the first layer. Generously frost the top of each layer and repeat until the layers are complete. Coat the sides and top of the cake with a thin layer of frosting, using a knife or off-set spatula to get a clean and even coating. 

6. Place the cake either in the refridgerator for 30 minutes, or the freezer for 10 minutes, until the frosting layer is hardened. This seals in a layer of frosting, so that the decorative layer can go on top with zero crumbs. 

7. Coat the cake with the remainder of the frosting and use a spatula to create swoops, swirls, or any other patterns to your liking. 

8. Coat the sides of the cake with gold sprinkles and top with a festive cake topper. 

Created date

May 2016