Is there a "best" way? I will be making one as a topper on the tiered cake for our high school's graduation party.
Do I just shape gumpaste over something round to get the bottom of the cap?
The mortar board looks pretty straightforward, as does the tassle.
Some have used a half of a styoform ball - cover it with scran wrap. Then roll out your gumpaste cover and trim. Once dry you and the top of the hat. Which should be all ready dry = attached with chocolate, royal icing or water down gumpaste to make glue. Remove from styoform and your set. You should make two just in case.
I made one of these as the topper of a grad cake and I used fondant with a little gumtex powdered mixed in, and shaped the round part over the 1/2 mini ball pan from wilton. Dust the pan really well with cornstarch and let it dry over night. You may prefer covering the ball with saran wrap to keep it from sticking. I made the mortar board flat and just let it dry. don't forget the little nobby on top of the mortar board. It finishes off those little details
When i need to make a small grad cap, i use a standard cup cake pan and one cavity with chocolate (in the appropriate color) and i use a square cookie cutter to mold the mortarboard then just glue with chocolate after its set.
peg818, That's a great idea...I'll be doing that next time!
Thank you very much for the great suggestions! it is very helpful to me.
this is a silly question but what is a mortar board?
Depending on the size cap I want, I either bake a standard size cupcake or the larger muffin size. I slice off the top of the cupcake to make it flat. I then turn the cupcake upside down, give it a thin covering of buttercream and then cover it with fondant. For the mortar board, I either roll out a piece of fondant with tylose added or gumpaste and cut a square whatever size is needed. If I don't have time to let the square dry so that it won't droop, I cut a thin piece of cardboard (similar to the cardboard that comes is a new folded shirt), and cover both sides of that with a piece of fondant/gumpaste. I then use a small piece of fondant rope from my sugargun to finish off the edge of the motar board. That is then attached to the "top" of the cap. I make a little button and attach to the center of the motar board. Then using my sugargun with the disk with lots of holes, I make the tassle and attach that going around the button. HTH
ETA - Sweettooth88, the mortar board is the flat piece on top of the cap.