Turkey Cupcakes

by elyn_ryn

Everyone will gobble up these fun cupcakes! They are easy to make and you don’t have to have any special cake decorating skills to make them.

I used melted chocolate chips to make the turkey head and tail feathers. Using a spoon, I drizzled the chocolate onto a baking sheet covered with a piece of parchment paper. I quickly make several hook shapes and let them dry. For white turkeys use white chocolate chips and for brown ones use semi-sweet chocolate chips.

To make tail feathers, place a dot of chocolate about 1/2 inch (approximately 13 mm) in diameter onto the parchment paper.

Using a food-grade paintbrush or the back of a spoon, pull backward on it to make a streak of chocolate.

Make the streak about 3 inches (76 mm) long. Practice a few tail feathers and then place the baking sheet into the refrigerator for a few minutes to harden the chocolate. When hardened, they should be thick enough so they don’t break when picked up.

I placed five tail feathers onto each turkey.


To make the turkey body, I used a large star tip and frosting. Starting at the outside edge of a cupcake, pipe frosting in a circular motion, making a smaller circle each revolution until the frosting is piled high in the middle of the cupcake. This will make a tall ruffled dome of frosting.

Then stick the turkey head in the frosting where you want the front of the turkey to be and stick five tail feathers in the frosting in the back of the turkey. Spread out the tailfeathers as shown above.

White chocolate tail feathers are easiest to work with because they will appear opaque and hide defects, while dark chocolate feathers are translucent in places where the chocolate is thinner. But honestly, I don’t think anyone will notice any imperfections because these cupcakes are fun and eye-catching. I served them last Thanksgiving and they brought a smile to everyone! And best of all, they are really delicious!

Print Recipe
Turkey Cupcakes
Chocolate and vanilla cupcakes decorated with chocolate to make turkey cupcakes
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Rate this recipe!
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
Buttercream Frosting (Vanilla & Chocolate) Ingredients
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
Buttercream Frosting (Vanilla & Chocolate) Ingredients
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Instructions for Chocolate Tail Feathers and Turkey Head
  1. Place a sheet of parchment or wax paper on a baking sheet. Make all the chocolate tail feathers first.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, start with 1/2 cup of the semi-sweet chocolate and melt it in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval. This will take about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.
  3. When the chocolate is melted and stirred to a smooth consistency, drop a 1/2-inch chocolate dot onto the parchment paper. Using a food-safe paintbrush (or the back of a spoon), place the brush in the chocolate dot and pull it toward you to make a 3-inch straight line. Continue making tail feathers until you have 50 dark chocolate tail feathers.
  4. Once the tail feathers are made, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator to harden the chocolate while you make the turkey heads. Heat the rest of the semi-sweet chocolate wafers in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval. Stir until smooth.
  5. Make 10 turkey heads by using a spoon to drizzle chocolate onto parchment paper in the shape of a small candy cane. Repeat until you have enough heads for half of the cupcakes. Place the heads in the refrigerator to chill for approximately 10 minutes or until hardened.
  6. Make the white chocolate turkey tail feathers and turkey heads by using a clean microwave-safe bowl to melt the white chocolate in 30-second intervals. Repeat the process you used above with the dark chocolate and make 50 white chocolate tail feathers and 10 turkey heads. Chill the white tail feathers and heads in the refrigerator until they are hardened.
Instructions for the Vanilla Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sour cream, buttermilk, vanilla, eggs, and vegetable oil until smooth. Then sift in the cake mix and stir until smooth but not overmixed. Do not skip sifting the cake mix or the batter will be lumpy.
  3. Using a cookie scoop, place the cake batter in 10 brown cupcake liners and 10 white cupcake liners. If you have any leftover batter, fill a few extra cupcake liners.
  4. Bake for 23 minutes or until cupcakes are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean or with crumbs. Do not overbake. After 5 minutes, move the cupcakes to a cooling rack.
Instructions for Chocolate and Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
  1. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, vanilla, and salt until creamy. Add the cream and stir. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time and beat between each addition. If the frosting is too stiff, add more cream. If too soft, add more sugar.
  2. Divide the frosting in half and place 1/2 in a separate bowl and leave 1/2 in the mixing bowl. Use the frosting in the separate bowl for the vanilla frosting. Using a piping bag and large star tip, pipe vanilla frosting on all the cupcakes with white liners. Make a circle of frosting around the outside of the cupcake top and continue circling moving in closer to the middle with each circle. This will make the frosting taller in the middle of the cupcake. Repeat until all 10 cupcakes with a white liner are frosted. Take off the star tip and wash it.
  3. Add 1/4 cup of cocoa powder to the frosting that was left in the mixer bowl. Stir the cocoa powder until mixed enough so that the mixer will not throw out the powder. Then beat with the mixer until well mixed. Add a splash of cream if the frosting is too stiff.
  4. Add the chocolate frosting to a clean piping bag and use the star tip to pipe the chocolate frosting onto the remaining 10 cupcakes that have a brown liner. Use the same technique of circling around the cupcake from outside to inside to make a tall dome.
  5. Stick 5 white chocolate tail feathers into "the back" of each vanilla-frosted cupcake. Add a white chocolate turkey head to each of these cupcakes. Then add the dark chocolate tail feathers and turkey heads to the chocolate frosted cupcakes.
Recipe Notes

For this recipe to take the least amount of time, always make the turkey heads and tail feathers first.  You can even make them a day ahead of time.

The frosting can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator; however, you will need to beat the frosting again before using it.

Variations:  You can make all vanilla cupcakes by omitting the cocoa powder in half the frosting.  If you want all chocolate frosted cupcakes, add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder and 1 extra tablespoon of heavy cream to the frosting.  To make colored tail feathers, divide the white chocolate into different small containers.  Heat the chocolate in one container and stir until smooth.  Add a few drops of food coloring until the desired color is reached.  Painted the colored tail feathers onto parchment paper.  Then go to the next container and add a different color.  Paint and repeat until you make all the colors you want to use.

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