Graduation Cookies {How To}

My baby sister (she’ll kill me for writing that…hehehe) is graduating high school next week. Here’s the thing: her graduation is in Denver, and I am in New York. I figured if I can’t attend in person, I would celebrate with her in the way I know best. Yeah, that’s right. Cookies.

Decorated cookies, to be precise.

These were super fun to make, and a lot less stressful than the last time I made royal icing cookies. That may or may not have to do with the fact that I made 15 cookies, instead of 120. Hmm. Here’s what I did. Inspired by these cookies.

Let’s start with the diploma.

You’ll need:

Baked sugar cookies, cut out with a diploma shaped cookie cutter (available from Wilton)

Royal icing

3 icing bags

3 couplers

Wilton #2 piping tip

Wilton #1 piping tip

plastic squeeze bottle

yellow food coloring

black food coloring

white food coloring (optional)



Fill a piping bag fitted with a #2 tip with white royal icing. (You can tint it with white food coloring, but I didn’t have any, so I left it plain. I think it looked fine. Pipe the outline of the diploma:

Next, thin the icing with a bit of water to reach spreadable consistency. Place the thinned icing in the squeeze bottle and flood the cookie with white icing. Use a toothpick to reach the corners and pop air bubbles.

Leave to harden for at least 12 hours, I leave them overnight. (Nothing is more devastating than leaked colors ruining your cookies. Don’t skimp on drying time!)

Next, tint some icing with yellow food coloring (you can use another color, but you’ll need yellow for the graduation caps, so you might as well use it for the diploma too!). Fit a piping bag with a #1 piping tip and pipe a line down the middle of the cookie, from one end of the white to the other. Next, pipe a bow, with the edges flowing down into the un-iced part of the cookie.

Tint some icing black, and put in a piping bag with a #1 tip. Pipe a swirl at each edge, like a swirl, then pipe lines along the edge of the white.

Leave the cookie to dry for a couple of hours before packaging.

Next, let’s talk about:

Graduation Cap Cookies:

Here’s what you need:

Sugar cookies cut out with graduation cap cookie cutters (available from Wilton)

Royal icing

2 piping bags

2 couplers

Wilton #2 tip

Wilton #1 tip

plastic squeeze bottle


black food coloring

yellow food coloring

yellow M&M’s


1/2 teaspoon meringue powder mixed with 1/2 teaspoon water

black sanding sugar

food paintbrush


Tint royal icing with black food coloring. Load it into a piping bag fitted with a #2 wilton tip. Pip the outline of the top of the cap, then the hat part of it.

Next, thin some of the black icing with water to reach flooding consistency. Load the icing into a squeeze bottle and flood the cookies. (Save some icing that hasn’t been thinned, you will need it for the decorations in the next step.)

Leave the cookie to dry for a minimum of 12 hours before continuing.

Next, tint some icing with yellow food coloring. Place it in a piping bag fitted with a #1 piping tip. Pipe lines starting at the bottom of the non-iced portion of the cookie, straight up to the edge of the black, then tilt toward the center of the black. Pipe parallel lines to resemble a tassel. In the center of the black, where the lines meet, place a yellow M&M. (Do this immediately while the icing is still wet.)

Place the (non-thinned) black icing in a piping bag fitted with a #1 tip (or just change the tip from the bag you used to outline the cookie). Pipe around the top  portion of the hat to highlight the shape and make it appear 3D.

Optional sanding sugar decoration:

method from here

Dip a food paintbrush in a mixture of meringue powder and water. Paint a thin line along the already outline hat top. Pour black sanding sugar over it, then shake off the excess.


Congrats to all the grads, especially my baby sister Devorah!!

Thanks for stopping by! Hope your week is going great! Due to popular demand, I may find myself posting some real food recipes…so stay tuned! -Miriam



  1. Aimee@clevermuffin says

    That’s brilliant!! Awesome tutorial. I’ve always wondered how to do that sort of icing, good tip on not skimping on the icing time :)

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