4 Graduation Party Desserts To Celebrate Your Grad!

Graduation Desserts
Graduation Desserts

During the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s been bittersweet celebrating my daughter’s graduation from high school, but we’ve done our best to celebrate in many ways, including making as many sweet treats as possible!

We love dessert in our family and, yes, we understand the need to balance healthy food with yummy treats. But, what I”m sharing today is purely sugar based! The best part about making these celebratory desserts was searching for some of the ideas, choosing a theme (pink and blue), and decorating the house.

We received a lawn banner from the school and bought and received balloons as gifts. We decorated inside with balloons, garland, and streamers on archways in the house. And, one night I spent quite a bit of time going through old photos of the first day of school, group school photos, and other fun school and family moments. I put these on poster boards in the hallway and put up a long ‘congratulations’ banner underneath the boards. She absolutely loved this idea and the photos and boards are still up!

Celebrating 2020 Graduates
Celebrating 2020 Graduates

We were still in the ‘shelter at home’ phase when my daughter had her virtual graduation, so it was a nuclear family celebration. My daughter helped me make and decorate these dessert menu items, and we had a lot of fun decorating and catching up together.

Here are the Graduation Desserts we made:

  • Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting And A ‘2020’ Cake Topper
  • Sugar Cookies In Graduation-Themed Shapes
  • Graduation Cap Cupcakes
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

The details:

Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese - Graduation Cake With Topper
Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese – Graduation Cake With Topper

Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting And A ‘2020’ Cake Topper

Follow this link for the recipe for this carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. It’s my go-to cake and I have made it hundreds of times. To make it special, I used pink chocolate melts and cream to make the drip for the cake, and I made a topper with the numbers ‘2020’. This topper made the cake!

To make this topper, I melted the pink chocolate melts in a double boiler and placed the melted chocolate in an icing tube. I traced the numbers on a piece of parchment paper and piped the outline and inside of the numbers with the melted chocolate. Cover with sprinkles and place in the fridge for ten minutes. Flip the hardened number over, add a baking stick, and ‘glue’ on with more icing. Very easy. I got the idea from Sugar & Sparrow and you can watch this quick video on how to do this by clicking here.

Graduation Cookies
Graduation Cookies

Sugar Cookies In Graduation-Themed Shapes

To make these graduation-themed sugar cookies, I followed this recipe that I’ve shared in the past. The recipe makes about 70 cookies, so make half if you want less. I went to the bulk food store to find cookie cutters shaped like a graduation cap, plaques, and the numbers ‘2’ and ‘0’.

Graduation Cookies
Graduation Cookies

We also made some heart-shaped cookies as well as spring daisy flowers. We iced them with the icing the recipe calls for and accented them with store-bought icing and sprinkles.

Graduation Cap Cupcakes
Graduation Cap Cupcakes

Graduation Cap Cupcakes

I cannot take credit for the idea for these cute graduation cap cupcakes! All you have to do is look on Instagram or Pinterest for inspiration. These are cupcakes made from a box and iced with store-bought icing that I colored blue to match our pink and blue theme.

To make the graduation ‘caps’, I used icing to glue a flat piece of chocolate on top of a Reese’s peanut butter cup. For the tassel, I used icing to ‘glue’ on a colored mini M&M to the top of the hat and to glue on cut pieces of Sour Straps candy. You could also use thin licorice pieces.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

This chocolate chip cookie cake is really delicious and a serious show-stopper when it comes to gifting. It’s the easiest of the desserts here, other than the cookies, to gift in a box and be an ‘easy-to-carry’ dessert. This cake is exactly like the Mrs Fields Cookie Cake. Follow this link for the recipe, which is from Garnish & Glaze. I followed the recipe, but baked it in a 9 inch springform pan.

For the icing, I also followed the recipe from Garnish & Glaze. I used sprinkles from Sweetapolita that you can order on amazon.com.

Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese - Graduation Cake With Topper
Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese – Graduation Cake With Topper

And, there you have it. Four easy graduation desserts to celebrate your grad! There is so much room for creativity here, and for time spent in the kitchen with your kids and family. I hope you are inspired to try these desserts for your next celebration!

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7 Of My Favorite Christmas Cookies – With Links To Recipes!

Christmas Cookies
Christmas Cookies

I love to bake for Christmas! It’s that time of year when I spend a few days in a row baking my holiday goodies. There are some recipes that are always on the list, but each year I add a couple of new ones. With Christmas one week away, I thought I’d share the cookies I made this year, with tips and links to the recipes. Recipes are listed, clockwise, starting with the gingerbread men. Continue reading

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The Best Holiday Shortbread Sugar Cookies, Ever

Shortbread Sugar Cookies; Holiday Cookies
Shortbread Sugar Cookies; Holiday Cookies

I don’t know about you, but nothing reminds me of my childhood more than iced sugar cookies! One day I came home after school from 3rd Grade and my mom had made heart-shaped sugar cookies with pink icing. I must’ve devoured half the cookies on the spot, and my sweet tooth was very satisfied. I was happy and my mom was happy, because she loves when we ask her for food. It’s a mom thing, wanting your kids to have healthy (and sometimes not-so-healthy) appetites.

The sugar cookies my mom made were from a Betty Crocker cookbook that our American neighbor had gifted her, after I kept asking my mom for all desserts American. Growing up in an American compound in Saudi Arabia means that my love for the sweetest of American sweets is well-developed. I’m talking about sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, fudge, toffee, caramel anything, pralines, pecan pie with ice cream, etc.

Shortbread Sugar Cookies With Icing
Shortbread Sugar Cookies With Icing

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Here’s Why I’m Okay With Valentine’s Day!

IMG_3682It’s Valentine’s Day this weekend!  Lots of people have lots of different views about Valentine’s Day.  Some people think it’s a huge commercial grab and don’t want to get caught up in it. Others don’t like that they’re told to show their love on a specific date.  Still, others don’t like the pressure that comes with this day like the expectation of chocolates, flowers, dinners, etc. And then there are those who love everything about the holiday and how ‘sweet’ it is.

Just so you know where I stand, let me tell you that I don’t expect a lot for Valentine’s Day in terms of gifts or dinner or anything like that.  In that sense, I’m pretty easy to be around on Valentine’s Day, and we celebrate in a rather low-key way.

Maybe that’s why I can come up with three reasons why I’m okay with Valentine’s Day:

FullSizeRender-10Reason Number 1:
The reminder of love!
It’s okay for us to have a special day in the year to tell our loved ones that we care.  It’s that simple.  If we celebrate our birthdays, anniversaries, mother’s day and father’s day once a year, then what’s wrong with having one day where we mindfully tell one another that we care about each other?  You don’t have to succumb to all of the commercial pressures of flowers, perfume, and dinners.  Buy or make a card,  spend an hour having coffee with your partner, or play a game with your child.  That’s it.  This is not a public holiday.  Think of Valentine’s Day as a love ‘reminder’ day. Continue reading

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