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Mortarboard Cupcakes

 Mortarboard Cupcakes
I made these cute cupcakes when my children graduated from high school. They are so easy and can be made with your school colors.—Margaret Hooper, Winchester, New Hampshire
18 ServingsPrep: 20 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • FROSTING:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • Food coloring
  • 9 whole graham crackers, halved
  • 18 milk chocolate M&M's
  • Black shoestring licorice, cut into 36 pieces (3 inches each)

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In another bowl,
  • combine the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla; stir into dry
  • ingredients just until combined.
  • Fill greased muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 20-25

2 of 2

Mortarboard Cupcakes (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out
  • clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks.
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening and vanilla until light
  • and fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar alternately with milk, beating
  • well after each addition. Add food coloring if desired.
  • Level off the top of cupcakes; frost sides and bottom. Place upside
  • down on a serving platter or covered board. Frost graham crackers;
  • place one on each cupcake. Place an M&M's candy in the center of
  • each cracker with two licorice pieces for a tassel. Yield: 1-1/2
  • dozen.