Planning the perfect graduation cake

Graduation commencement can be the highlight of any student and their parents. No matter if you’re celebrating a high school or college graduation, the achievement is an occasion worth acknowledging in a big way. And no celebration is complete without a fun and festive graduation cake.

But planning a graduation cake can be confusing and even stressful if you’re unsure what you want. The bevy of photos on the internet can be helpful in designing, however, there are so many other elements that go into planning your perfect graduation cake.


A great place to start when planning the perfect graduation cake is to determine how many guests you wish to serve. Our round cakes can serve as few as 6 or as many as 65. Tiered cakes can serve as few as 20 or as many as 600. Sheet cakes will serve between 25 and 100 guests while sculpted cakes may serve 15 to 30.

If you’re unsure how many guests to expect, a good rule of thumb is to plan on serving 80% of invited guests. You can use our cake serving guide to help you determine what size cake is best for you. Before you make your final decision on what type of cake to begin with, there are a few serving considerations to keep in mind.

Tiered and sculpted cakes can be tricky to serve if you’ve never done it before and can require a skilled server to ensure maximum servings are met. These delicate cakes require a large flat surface, a steady hand, and careful driving when transporting from place to place. Depending on your flavor, design, and outdoor temperatures, some cakes may need to be kept refrigerated.

If you’re looking for easy serving for a laid back party, a single tiered round cake or a sheet cake may best suit your needs. While these cakes must be transported with the same care and attention as tiered and sculpted cakes, round and sheet cakes are much easier to serve. Sheet cakes are also great for celebrating multiple graduates or different school colors.

Flavors and Fillings

The flavor options for your graduation cake greatly depends on the type and size of cake you opt for. Round cakes and sheet cakes are available in most cake flavors, fillings, and icings. Tiered cakes can have one flavor and filling on the top tier with a completely different flavor and filling on the bottom tier. Sculpted cakes are mostly available in vanilla cake, however in some cases and designs, other cake flavors may be available. Fillings are not available inside sculpted cakes, however, we are happy to provide a side of your favorite filling if you would like the added flavor.

Cake flavors

The most popular flavors include our homemade vanilla or chocolate. Many graduates prefer to include both flavors and opt for a layer of each flavor. You can also choose from our specialty cake flavors including carrot, red velvet, strawberry, almond, and more.


Our standard icing is our famed buttercream icing. We use this as filling and icing in almost all our cakes. While buttercream is the most common icing, we do offer a variety of other flavors. Chocolate buttercream, strawberry buttercream, and almond buttercream are among some of the flavors we can whip up. Depending on your cake size and design options we can also use whipped cream or cream cheese icing.


Some cakes allow for a filling between the layers. Round, tiered, and sheet cakes can have one filling with buttercream icing. Popular filling options include strawberry, strawberry cheese, raspberry, chocolate, and lemon.


Designing your graduation cake is the most important process in the cake planning process. You may want your cake to make a statement while incorporating all the elements that reflect who you are on your special day. Perhaps you want an elegant design for an intimate dinner party. Or you may want to create a fun party-like cake that celebrates all your hard work.

If you’re choosing a round or sheet cake you may want festive balloons or pretty flowers that match your school colors. If you’re planning a family gathering, you can bring in a photo that we can reproduce on a sheet of fondant that can cover most of your cake. Some graduation cakes have a laid back beach theme that includes waves, edible sand, and palm trees. In all of these designs, we can add a keepsake graduation cap and diploma.

Tiered cake designs can vary greatly. Some graduation cakes incorporate every element of a graduates schooling such as nursing, aviation, or teaching. Other cakes may include a host of small, icing framed, photos of the graduate’s school activities as well as life interests such as events, school clubs, social engagements, and family times. We’ve created tiered graduation cakes that have nothing to do with school at all. Some graduates want a fun cake with elaborate designs such as a Parisian or Disney theme.

Sculpted graduation cakes are also available in a variety of themes. How does a cake in the shape like an over sized graduation cap sound? Or perhaps you’d like a stack of books topped with a fondant graduation cap and diploma? Our sculpted cakes are created by hand in a myriad of designs that can cap off your graduation celebration.

We strongly urge you to have an idea of your cake design before starting the order process. The internet is full of amazing photos that can help you decide what cake is best for you. While we will never claim to be able to reproduce a cake made by another designer, we can use it as inspiration to create your one-of-a-kind graduation cake.


Your budget is the most important, yet least discussed element of your graduation cake planning. Finding a three-tiered cake on Pinterest that is covered in fondant and designed with custom fondant pieces is certainly something we can create. However, tiered cakes, fondant, and custom pieces require more time, training, and resources than a cake with fewer design elements. This will have a major effect on availability and final cost.

It’s important to have a practical idea of the amount of money you want to spend on your graduation cake before hitting the designing stage. Some cakes and designs can be created with our buttercream icing. Our skilled decorators have mastered the art of buttercream detailing which allows us to offer more designs at a fraction of the fondant costs. If you have a cake budget that will not accommodate the highly detailed fondant work, we are happy to help come up with a design plan that may fit your needs without stretching your wallet.

Transferring and storage

Cakes are delicate works of art and need to be transported and stored properly. No matter the size, flavor, or design of your graduation cake, it should always sit on a flat surface of your vehicle while you travel. This can be the floorboard, trunk, or back cargo area. Holding a cake in your lap or simply putting it on the seat of your car is not recommended. In fact, that is the biggest reason many cakes slide or fall.

Once you arrive at your home or celebration venue, bring the cake to a cool area (preferably indoors) and leave it on a flat surface. Be sure to keep animals, children, and hungry guests away from the cake until you’re ready to serve.

Let us help plan your graduation cake

If you are ready to plan your graduation cake with your favorite hometown bakery, we are here and ready to make your day special. We have provided graduation cakes for families in the Jacksonville area for more than 50 years.

It is our honor and privilege to be a part of your family’s celebration.

Congratulations Class of 2019

Psalm 34:8 …taste and see that the Lord is good…

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Cinotti’s Bakery & Sandwich Shop

1523 Penman Road

Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250