Graduations mark an important milestone in a person’s life.
They are a time to sit back, relax, and reflect on one’s achievements.
After a long period of intensive hard work, graduates have earned the right to let their hair down and have a good time.
If you are throwing a party to celebrate a friend, family member, or partner’s graduation, you can’t forget the cake.
Graduation cakes are a classic American tradition.
Your party might be a formal occasion that involves grandparents, in-laws, and important classmates.
If it is, it calls for a more conservative cake.
Or, it might be a small gathering of close friends, in which case you can choose to cover your cake with a funny message.
Whatever the mood of the graduation party you’re hosting, you’re guaranteed to find a fitting message to write on your cake in this article.
Our extensive list of options ranges from ceremonial to silly!
42 awesome messages to write on a graduation cake
- Congratulations, Graduate! University of Michigan, Class of 2023
- Congratulations on your graduation, Jessica!
- Well done, Annie! You have a bright future ahead of you. Love, Mom and Dad
- Congratulations, Class of 2024.
- You did it, Johnny! We’re so proud. Madison High School, Class of 2021
- Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life!
- On to the next chapter…
- Congrats! May your next adventure be filled with joy and excitement!
- This Diploma is awarded to Dean Thomas on his Graduation from Greyson High School in 2023.
- Next stop, success!
- Congrats, you’re officially a doctor!
- If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough
- So proud of you! I can’t wait to see what you do next!
- This cake is to certify that CONGRATULATIONS are in order.
- Hope the tassel was worth the hassle!
- You’ve done well so far. Don’t mess it up.
- YOU DIDN’T DROP OUT!!!!
- 🎉 🎉 🎉
- School’s out…forever!
- “Welcome to the real world,” they said. “It’ll be fun,” they said.
- Just did it ✔️
- Finally 😅
- “What, like, it’s hard?” – Elle Woods
- I hope the debt is worth it!
- Who knew you were this smart!?
- College? Completed it, mate.
- Anybody here hiring?
- You’ve always been a BA…but now you have a degree to prove it.
- Keep calm and stay out of debtors’ prison.
- My bestie graduated from college and all I got was this lousy piece of cake.
- I went to college and all I got was a lousy piece of paper.
- Amanda went to college and got more knowledge!
- She turned her can’t into cans…of beer 😉
- “What we learn with pleasure we never forget.” – Alfred Mercier
- “Follow your passion. It will lead you to your purpose.” – Oprah
- “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius
- “Don’t allow people to dim your shine because they are blinded. Tell them to put on sunglasses.” – Lady Gaga
- “Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.” – Minor Myers, Jr.
- “Don’t underestimate the power of your dreams.” – Corrina Kong
- “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Traditional graduation cake messages
If you’re a traditional person who likes to see things done right, you’ll want to have an elegant graduation cake at the party you’re throwing for your friend or loved one.
Are you excited to post pictures of their graduation cake on social media?
Knowing that all your followers are going to see the cake you’re creating will inspire you to make sure it is beautifully made and inscribed with an appropriate message.
If a message has been used so often that it has become traditional, there’s a good reason why.
It’s because that choice of words fits the situation in question perfectly.
The following examples of customary messages to write on graduation cakes are all excellent ways to acknowledge the effort that goes into earning an academic diploma.
1. Congratulations, Graduate! University of Michigan, Class of 2023
The three main components of a traditional graduation cake message are congratulations, the name of the school, and the year of graduation.
Whether your cake is a classic, white-frosted number or looks like a graduation cap, make sure you use a classy calligraphy-style font to write on it.
The best colors for a cake with this message would be gold, silver, white and black.
2. Congratulations on your graduation, Jessica!
This is a customary cake-top message for a friend or family member who has finished their time at school or college.
It is a traditional message that would look good on a homemade American angel food cake.
To add a personal touch, make the cake in the graduate’s school colors.
If you’re making a cake for a high school graduation party and the student you’re celebrating was an athlete, you can decorate the cake with their jersey number for added flair!
3. Well done, Annie! You have a bright future ahead of you. Love, Mom and Dad
If you are making or ordering a graduation cake for your child, decorate it by telling them they have a bright future.
This will make them feel happy and appreciated.
If a graduation cake has a meaningful note on it, it is nice to sign it with your name.
This is especially true if the graduate is your son or daughter and you’re using the cake to tell them you’re proud of them.
4. Congratulations, Class of 2024.
Are you throwing a high school graduation party for your son or daughter?
If you know that most of the attendees will be their classmates, you can inscribe the cake with a message addressed to all the graduates.
If you want to, you can include the name of the High School too.
Keep in mind that the younger and more rambunctious the crowd at the graduation party is the less attention they’ll pay to the message on top of the cake.
Once it’s been cut into and the pieces have been passed around on the traditional paper plates, it’ll be all about the taste.
5. You did it, Johnny! We’re so proud. Madison High School, Class of 2021
If your child is graduating from high school, a party cake that says you’re proud of them makes a lovely centerpiece for a buffet table.
The cake will live on in pictures of the event and in the memory of your newly minted graduate.
The son or daughter whose achievement you’re celebrating will appreciate the thought that went into your edible message.
6. Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life!
This optimistic message for a graduation cake would look lovely amid a sea of sugary stars.
If you’re throwing a party for your friend’s graduation, this message will reaffirm to them what an important milestone they have hit.
Maybe the graduate you are celebrating has a job lined up, or maybe they are getting ready to start their master’s program.
Even if they’re still weighing up their options for what to do next, they’re probably feeling excited about the changes they’re about to go through.
Reminding them of the good things coming their way will inject an extra bit of pizzaz to their graduation party.
7. On to the next chapter…
This message would look great on a cake that has been crafted to look like an open book!
Referring to the different phases of life as the chapters of a book gives milestones like graduations real meaning.
Remind the graduate in your life that this is the end of an era and that they are turning an important page.
They’ll reflect on the hard work they’ve put in to get to where they are and be glad to have someone like you by their side.
8. Congrats! May your next adventure be filled with joy and excitement!
This would make a great message for a graduation cake for the fantasy enthusiast in your life.
You could even put this text on a Game-of-Thrones- or a Lord-of-the-Rings-themed cake.
Seeing our lives as a series of adventures can make it feel like every new opportunity is a door that might lead to something magical.
It’s true that being awarded a diploma for the hours you’ve spent pouring over heavy volumes in the library isn’t quite the same as killing a dragon.
But let’s be honest, which one of us wouldn’t have chosen a dragon over a math final at some point or other.
9. This Diploma is awarded to Dean Thomas on his Graduation from Greyson High School in 2023.
Are you making a cake that looks like the diploma your favorite graduate just got awarded?
Then inscribe it with this message.
Your creative cake will be sure to get a big reaction from everyone attending your party.
Inspiring graduation cake messages
Do you want to motivate the graduate in your life and inspire them to feel excited about the future?
Maybe you’ve noticed that they feel a little apprehensive about what’s coming next and have been trying to get them to cheer up over text recently.
While traditional graduation cake messages tend to be warm, emotional, and congratulatory, they don’t always trigger enthusiasm about the future.
Sure, celebrating a graduation is a time to look back on the past and reflect on what has been achieved.
But a graduation is also a time to look forward and begin to mentally prepare for all the new opportunities coming our way.
If you want to light a fire under the graduate whose success you’re celebrating, select one of these galvanizing cake-top texts.
Hopefully, seeing an optimistic and forward-looking message on their cake will help them to see the future in a positive light.
10. Next stop, success!
Wouldn’t this message look cute beside a little marzipan train running along chocolate tracks?
Do you know someone who has completed a degree in engineering, or is interested in pursuing a career in any transport-related industry?
If so, this would make the perfect graduation cake message for them.
But even if the graduate in your life is in a completely different field, this text would still work well on a cake.
11. Congrats, you’re officially a doctor!
If you are celebrating someone who has just finished their PhD, you can use their cake to congratulate them on their new title.
12. If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.
Do you like using words to express yourself? If you have been trying to come up with things to write about when you’re bored, you could compose a motivating letter to give your friend or loved one.
Put it in a card and present it to them with a special graduation cake, made just for them.
Use your letter to tell them that they have a bright future and that it is normal to be intimidated by the unknown.
Reassure them that there are so many wonderful and unexpected things coming their way.
They’ll love how much thought and care you’ve put into making them feel better.
13. So proud of you! I can’t wait to see what you do next!
When a person needs inspiration, being told that someone else is looking forward to seeing what they do next can do the trick.
After all, if you have faith in them, they should have faith in themselves.
Writing this (literally) sweet message on a graduation cake in a glittering icing pen would make even the most pessimistic person’s day.
14. This cake is to certify that CONGRATULATIONS are in order.
Write this text out on a graduation cake that has been made to look like a diploma.
The more official looking, the better.
You could even put the logo or insignia of the school your friend or loved on is graduating from at the top of the “page.”
The best funny graduation cake messages
Ultimately, milestones like graduations offer us moments to pause our hectic lives.
We can sit back, relax, and celebrate.
And what’s the good of anything if we can’t take a minute to laugh every so often?
Inject a bit of humor into the formal traditions that accompany a graduation by creating a laugh-out-loud-worthy cake.
Here is a compilation of some funny messages to write on top of a sugary confection in honor of a friend or family member’s graduation.
15. Hope the tassel was worth the hassle!
The tassels on top of graduation caps are an iconic part of the whole pomp and circumstance of getting a diploma.
If you’re making a cake to celebrate a graduation, why not shape it like a mortarboard, craft a marzipan tassel to hang off its side, and write this message on its surface.
16. You’ve done well so far. Don’t mess it up.
This is a great cake to give a sibling to celebrate their graduation.
Siblings notoriously have competitive relationships, which is where the term “sibling rivalry” comes from.
And the great thing about having a sister or brother is that you can give them a hard time, but at the end of the day, they know you love them.
This funny text for a cake will surely make them laugh. But be careful, they’ll probably repay you in kind when it’s your turn to walk across the stage!
17. YOU DIDN’T DROP OUT!!!!
This would make a great cake-top message under two circumstances.
The first is, again, if the person graduating is a blood relation and you want to poke fun at them.
The second is if a friend of yours has struggled to stay in school, but ultimately managed to pass all their classes and get their diploma.
If you’re close enough to make this joke, they’ll enjoy the fact that their hard time has become funny because they achieved what they once thought they couldn’t.
Need you say more?
The brighter the icing this message is written in, the better.
This makes a great text for a homemade cake because, even if have seriously bad handwriting, you can only mess it up so much.
19. 🎉 🎉 🎉
Sometimes a picture (or, in this case, three emojis) is worth a thousand words.
Everyone knows that the party popper emoji symbolizes celebration, and if you can get the detail right, you’ll be sure to get positive reviews on this original cake-top “text.”
20. School’s out…forever!
If your graduating friend is a bit of a rock’n’roller, you can reference their love of the steel guitar by covering their cake with this legendary message.
21. “Welcome to the real world,” they said. “It’ll be fun,” they said.
This is a play on the classic meme that involves encouraging someone to do something that turns out to be a bad idea.
If you know, you know.
If the person whose graduation you are celebrating is a little bit wary of what the post-college world looks like, this is a good way to make light of their fears.
Do you have an embarrassing photo of them doing something that is *clearly* not adulting-worthy?
If so, order a party cake with that photo on it, and then have this text inscribed across the bottom of the photo like a caption on a polaroid picture.
If they have a good sense of humor, they’ll appreciate the ribbing.
22. Just did it ✔️
This makes the perfect funny cake-topper for the athlete in your life’s graduation party.
Make your cake look resemble the Nike “Just do it” logo and slogan, and round the décor off with a marzipan sports ball of your choice.
Again, this funny message for a graduation cake is self-explanatory. Was your friend not a huge fan of the college or high school you both attended?
Then this cake is ideal.
24. Finally 😅
Emojis have become part and parcel of how we communicate with each other on a day-to-day basis.
I mean, think about how you would respond to “What’s good?” over text?
You would surely include an emoji to help illustrate your feelings.
And they’ve now creeped onto our sweets too!
So if the funny message you want to send your friend about your graduation is, “Finally 😅,” you can now do it via celebratory cake.
Emojis are the new décor trend, so you’re not alone in wanting to introduce them to your cake-making station.
25. “What, like, it’s hard?” – Elle Woods
Anyone up on their early 2000s pop culture knows what this quote refers to.
It’s Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde!
When she says this, she’s standing in the hallway of Harvard pretending she doesn’t know it’s a hard university to get into so she can impress her ex.
If you want to channel this same energy about your friend’s graduation, order a pink y2k-worthy cake and write this text across it.
By the way, this cake had better be glittery!
26. I hope the debt is worth it!
If your friends frequently joke about the debt you are getting yourselves into by going to college, reference your loans on a graduation cake.
Is a friend graduating the year before you and you’re making them a cake?
This text will surely make them laugh.
27. Who knew you were this smart!?
Again, this is definitely sibling-to-sibling gift material. Do you have a younger brother graduating college magna cum laude?
This is the message to get put on his cake.
It’s also a great cake-top text if you’re a guy who wants to get a cake for a bro of yours.
If you want to make a nice gesture but don’t want to come across too cheesy, get him a cake that ribs him a little.
28. College? Completed it, mate.
If the British person in your life is graduating, this funny text should definitely go on their celebratory cake.
It’s a reference to the TV show The Inbetweeners.
Don’t ask why, but anyone with a British passport seems to know the whole screenplay off by heart.
Anyway, the “Completed it, mate” meme really took off, and putting this on a cake is bound to get you a chuckle from the English guy or gal you’re celebrating.
29. Anybody here hiring?
If you and your friends are proud graduates with what feels like few job prospects, this is a funny way to reference your conundrum.
Write this message in all caps and place in front and center on the table at your graduation party.
You won’t be alone in feeling like the hiring market is a bit of a cesspool, so you’re sure to get a slew of appreciative comments about the cake.
In addition to lightening the mood, having a funny cake at a party gives your guests something to get talking about when someone says, “Hi” to a stranger.
30. You’ve always been a BA…but now you have a degree to prove it.
BA in this case means B**a**. And of course, Bachelor of Arts.
This is a funny text for a cake you’re serving at a college graduation party.
31. Keep calm and stay out of debtors’ prison.
Write this on a cake in the classic “Keep Calm and Carry On” font, and then cover the whole cake with black lines that make it look like it’s in jail.
Student debt is a major problem and referring to it on a cake served to a party of people facing years of paying back loans will make people laugh.
32. My bestie graduated college and all I got was this lousy piece of cake.
Let’s say you’re planning to throw your best friend a graduation party.
And look, while you’re happy for them, you kind of prefer to be the center of attention at parties.
This message for a cake is a great way to jokingly make your friend’s success about you.
Make sure you make up for your sugary dig with a nice gesture, such as making a scrap book for your best friend documenting her time in college.
33. I went to college and all I got was a lousy piece of paper.
Want to make the same joke but not have it revolve around you? Then this is a good alternative.
Craft a cake that looks like a diploma and inscribe this across it in formal lettering.
34. Amanda went to college and got more knowledge!
Literally every child who is taught in the American education system will know the children’s taunt, “…girls go to Jupiter to get more stupider, boys go to college to get more knowledge.”
If you are celebrating a woman’s graduation from college and want to give your cake a feminist flavor, you can write this message on it.
If you want to drive your point home even more, you can put this text on a party cake on top of a photo of Rosie the Riveter.
35. She turned her can’ts into cans…of beer 😉
Celebrating the graduation of a classmate who spent more time in the bar than the library?
This funny play on the saying “She turned her can’ts into cans and her dreams into plans,” makes a great cake-top text for the party girl in your life.
Best graduation cake quotes
If none of the personalized cake messages you’ve seen so far hit quite the right note, you might consider putting a quote on a graduation cake.
Whether you choose words from classic literature or opt for the musings of a modern pop star, you’ll know when you’ve found the right quote for the graduate in your life.
Try to find one that focuses on future successes or past accomplishments.
Here is a selection of sayings that would make good cake-top messages.
Select one for your own cake or let them inspire you to go find one that is perfectly suited to your needs.
You can of course combine a quote with a traditional graduation cake message, such as “Congratulations, Adam. Class of 2021.” Following up your congratulations with a quote about learning is a nice idea.
36. “What we learn with pleasure we never forget.” – Alfred Mercier
A quote about the value of learning reminds the graduate in your life of all the knowledge they have absorbed over the past four years.
37. “Follow your passion. It will lead you to your purpose.” – Oprah
Want to inspire the person you’re celebrating to get in touch with their passion? This quote from the wonderful Oprah Winfrey will do just that.
38. “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius
This ancient wisdom about living with passion makes the perfect message for the graduation cake of someone who is motivated by a sense of justice.
Is your loved one graduating law school with the intention of becoming a public defender?
Or are they planning to go to med school so they can help people?
Whatever the graduate in your life is passionate about, putting this quote on their cake will show them their care and dedication to their field is appreciated.
39. “Don’t allow people to dim your shine because they are blinded. Tell them to put on sunglasses.” – Lady Gaga
This would pair excellently with a marzipan or jelly sunglasses emoji. It would make a great message for a graduation cake for the glitzy highflyer in your life.
40. “Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.” – Minor Myers, Jr.
Are you the kind of person who believes that, at the end of the day, the point of having a good education is to be able to give back to society?
If so, this is a beautiful sentiment to put on a graduation cake. It helps ground your loved one’s achievement in the duty to contribute to their community.
41. “Don’t underestimate the power of your dreams.” – Corrina Kong
What we believe, we achieve, right?
If you are throwing a graduation party for someone you wish would be more self-confident, write this quote on their cake to show them you believe in them.
42. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
If you’re celebrating the graduation of an ambitious friend or family member, gas them up with this timeless quote about self-belief.
If the person you’re making a cake for is a bit of a visionary, these wonderful words will inspire them to dream bigger and to trust their convictions.