Cupcake Toppers Two Ways: Balloons & Cookies

Our family is traveling to France after school is out – Gav’s response? “Thanks for the awesome 5th grade graduation gift!” Come again? Buddy, we love ya but this trip isn’t just for you! The trip is for all of us! Alas, Gav still deserves a solid present after tackling Elementary school, before he enters…dun dun dun..Middle School! Congratulations, Gav! We’re SO proud of you! To celebrate, I made cupcake toppers two ways: one with a balloon topper and the other with sugar YAY! cookies. I also included a pop of graduation decorations to display proudly for our graduate.

Cupcake Toppers Two Ways - Party!

Our Gav. 

Sugar YAY! Cookie topper


For the cupcakes themselves, you can purchase the cupcakes or make ’em using my recipe below. Vanilla-frosted cupcakes are the easiest to decorate, and an easy enough request at your local market. I baked the sugar cookies from scratch, cut out the YAY! letters, and then iced and flooded each letter with royal icing.

Now for the fun part: the decoration. I found these sugar sheets in a festive mix of colors that were easy to cut into confetti-like squares. I used clear piping gel and a paint brush to adhere the sugar squares on top. These sugar YAY! cookies are one option for cupcakes (4 cupcakes, including one for the exclamation point).

Balloon topper with alphabet letters


Oh Happy Day! gave me the inspiration for this fun balloon topper. I found 1″ alphabet stickers at Michaels and applied the words “GAV! YOU DID IT!” I used Zots adhesives to both stick the balloons together, and adhere the balloons to the skewers. (You can tie any extra balloon to the skewers).

Complete the table with pinwheels and tissue balls, or Cheers and Party straws; this is where the creativity comes into play. Congrats to the graduate in your life! I know mine worked hard to get to the finish line. I’m sure yours did, too!

You did it! Cupcake Toppers Two Ways


Cupcake Toppers Two Ways

Photos by: Maria Hedrick Photography

Graduation Cupcakes

By TheSweetNerd

June 6, 2018


Sugar Cookies

3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla

Royal Icing

2 pounds confectioners sugar

5 Tablespoons meringue powder

2-3 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 to 3/4 cups warm water


Wilton sugar sheets

Store bought cupcakes of choice

Clear piping gel



Sugar Cookies

1Dries: Whisk flour and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

2Base: In a mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Next, add eggs, and vanilla.

3Gradually, add dries to base just until incorporated. Chill in refrigerator up to one hour. Roll on lightly floured surface. Cut shapes.

4Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.

5Note: When you cut into a shape, chill in freezer to set. Then, transfer directly to hot oven.

Royal Icing

1Add vanilla flavoring into 1/2 cup water and set aside until step 3.

2In the mixer (paddle attachment), gently mix confectioners sugar and meringue powder on low.

3Add 1/2 cup flavored water and mix on low until it is thick and lumpy.

4Now drizzle the remaining water as needed until it becomes a thick like honey consistency.

5At this point, turn mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes or so until icing is thick and fluffy. Stop when it forms a soft peak.


1Bake cookies as directed. Once cooled, flood with royal icing. Using clear piping gel and a paint brush, adhere cut up sugar sheets.

2Place either topper into cupcakes.



  • Kendall
    6 years ago

    This is suuuch a cute idea. I love that you did two types of toppers and that it all coordinates so great. Congrats Gavin!!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      6 years ago

      Thanks! I’ll let him know Kendall. 🙂

  • Tessa
    6 years ago

    I love the sugar sheets – I didn’t even know those existed. Great idea to cut them up into confetti. Fun stuff!

  • These toppers are so cute! Congrats to Gavin as well. Ps. I want a cupcake now!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      6 years ago

      Thanks Debi! He’s a happy guy.

  • Love those ideas and the cookies just look too yummy!

  • I love the cute ideas of cupcake & ballon toppers of Yay!! Looks just wonderful together.

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      6 years ago

      Thanks – I think they work well together too. Ok separate or as a pair!

  • 6 years ago

    Omg – those cookies and balloon topers are just the cutest. Definitely gonna try for my next party!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      6 years ago

      You should! They’ll work for any kind of party really.

  • 6 years ago

    You are so creative and talented! OMG, I would never think about creating toppers like this. They are so fun and gorgeous!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      6 years ago

      Awww thanks Sarah! I borrowed and embellished. 🙂

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