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Wednesday
Nov182009

Gobble Gobble: A Turkey Cupcake Tutorial From Meringue Bake Shop

Turkey Cupcake Tutorial c/o Meringue Bake Shop
Thanksgiving. The holiday of food, er giving thanks for life’s bounty. A few days to indulge in excess of food, family, travel and shopping--that is to say, a great holiday. No worrying about giving and getting presents: just a day to enjoy stuffing ourselves, making more room and saying thanks for that delicious turkey.
Back when I first started exploring baking creatively, I came across this idea for making Thanksgiving turkey cupcakes. At first I was a little skeptical because it looked like a lot of work and up to the point my decorating skills consisted of a butter knife and a slab of frosting from a can. But I couldn’t resist, and I found that these were really easy to make and so irresistibly cute. This is also a great thing to give kids something to do later in the day. They can assemble their turkeys and throw a turkey parade to rejoice for those birds that survived another year. Or the kids can make them ahead of time and you can use them as your table centerpiece. Just arrange on a platter and stick some flowers in between the cupcakes.

Turkey Cupcakes
-makes 24 -

Note: For these cupcakes, the base and frosting can be pretty much whatever you want. I used a yellow cake recipe and tinted it with some orange food coloring. And I used a chocolate buttercream because, it’s brown like turkeys, and I really like yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Peanut butter frosting would be good too. Yum!

Ingredients

  • 1 package of Nutter Butters
  • 1 package of fruit roll ups, fruit leather or airheads. (starburst could even work here but would require more effort)
  • Jumbo heart sprinkles (can be found at your local craft store or online)
  • Bag of mini chocolate chips or mini M&Ms (you could use leftover Halloween candy, but who are we kidding? There is no such thing by now, right? Especially if you made this pie)
  • Maple leaf cookie cutter (I used this set)
  • Candy corn
  • Cornstarch (for dusting)
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cocoa
  • Meringue Powder
  • 24 cupcakes, baked but unfrosted
  • Frosting (homemade or from a can – if you use a can, buy two)
  • Piping bag or gallon plastic zipper bag
  • Tip (I used a 1G Wilton tip) 
Guest blog post from Meringue Bake Shop
  • Optional: 100 Calorie packs (you may be wondering what the 100 calorie packs are for, you’ll see later on in the post!) 

Got your ingredients? Good. Let's get started:

Guest blog post from Meringue Bake Shop
1. Make the feathers. Grab a cutting board and lightly dust with cornstarch. Unroll the fruit roll ups, separate the colors and lay them on the board. Dust a little more cornstarch on top. I also dust some on a concentrated area that I can use to dip in my cookie cutter. Note: I tried Fruit by the Foot and only realized after I’d opened it that they print images on the fruit strips so I couldn’t use that. Also if you are going to use Airheads or starbursts, you might need to microwave them, out of their packages, for a couple seconds to get them more pliable. Then you’ll need a rolling pin or glass with some cornstarch on it to thin them out. Your hands can work too.
2. Next, make some royal icing. I halve this recipe but I add a little bit more water, like an extra teaspoon.
3. Put the icing in a piping bag or zipper bag and cut a tiny bit off the tip so you have about a 1/8 of an inch size hole. I also slightly snip the seams on my pastry bags so that I get a circle when I squeeze instead of a line.

Guest Post from Meringue Bake Shop

4. Grab a nutter butter. Pipe on two dots for the eyes and a dot with the line heading down the length of the cookie.
Guest post from Meringue Bake ShopGuest post from Meringue Bake Shop
5. Stick the jumbo red heart with the pointy part up on the line of royal icing. Then place one mini chocolate chip on each dot you placed for the eyes.

6. Snap off the end of a piece of candy corn, leaving the white tip and little bit of the orange. Eat the remaining piece. (Shhh, I won’t tell). You might need to add some royal icing to the candy corn piece and then glue the bits together...but now you're finished!
Guest post from Meringue Bake Shop
7. Now make 23 more. (Patiently waiting)

Guest post from Meringue Bake Shop
8. Ok! On to frosting. Fit a piping bag or zipper bag with a tip. Or you can cut the tip of the bag in a + shape to get a similar shape in your frosting. Fill bag with frosting of your choice.
Swirl on the icing and then add a little edge of frosting. This is where the feathers will rest.

9. Pick up a turkey and stick him towards the front of the cupcake, into the cupcake. You can press a little hard here. Make sure he is in the cupcake and not just in the frosting.
Guest Post from Meringue Bake Shop
10. Then start placing your feathers--I did 3 but you can do more if you like. Overlapping would look cool.

Guest Post from Meringue Bake Shop
And a turkey is born! Isn’t he cute! You almost don’t wanna eat him… almost.

Extra Credit: So you may still be wondering about those 100 calorie snack bags in my early photo. I made baby turkeys! This is a great option if you want to utilize mini cupcakes as well.
Guest Post from Meringue Bake ShopGuest Post from Meringue Bake Shop
1. Using the same method for the large nutterbutters, place two dots of royal icing on the cookie and add mini chocolate chips. Add another dot and either add another jumbo heart or for this one I used some leftover heart-shaped cinnamon red hots also purchased at my local craft store.
Guest Post from Meringue Bake Shop
2. Frost a swirl of buttercream on top of the mini cupcake. Insert one of the baby turkeys, then add your feathers. I used a tear drop cutter for the baby turkey feathers. So cute!!
Now, your turkeys are ready to party!
Come back!

...wait, come back, Turkey!

About the Cake Gumshoe: Kristin Ausk owns Meringue Bake Shop, a custom cupcakery located in Orange County, California. She uses high quality ingredients, pop culture, and nostalgia to come up with unique and flavorful cupcakes. All of her cupcakes are made-to-order, so every cupcake you order was made just for you. Kristin’s love of baking began when she was 7 yrs old and entered a baking contest held by her local paper and won! (an honorable mention). But that only encouraged her more. And two years ago, at the request of her coworkers, friends, and family, she decided to turn her love into a side business. You’ll find her trying out new recipes in her kitchen with her husband, Lyle, and her two dogs, Klondike & Miles. Keep updated daily with her Twitter updates!

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Reader Comments (21)

Those look MUCH better than another turkey cupcake I was thinking about making. Thanks for the yummy post.

These are adorable! I love the nutter butters....yum!

November 18 | Unregistered CommenterNutmeg Nanny

Holiday cupcake crafts! Ingenious!

So cute! Great idea.

My b-day falls on Thanksgiving this year and these will be perfect!

November 18 | Unregistered CommenterRae

Awesome! We don't 'do' Thanksgiving here in Australia but I might have to start the tradition in my house just for an excuse to make turkey themed baked goods!! Thanks for the inspiration!

November 18 | Unregistered CommenterWhat deliciousness!

These are ridiculously cute!

November 18 | Unregistered CommenterWandering Coyote

Kristin is so amazingly creative and having eaten her custom cupcakes I have to say she was meant to do this not as a "side" business but as her life's purpose! Yum!

November 19 | Unregistered CommenterShari

Wow!! These are adorable! I'm heading out to the grocery store today and I'll be picking up supplies for these sweet turkeys too!!
Thanks for the tip!!

November 19 | Unregistered CommenterEli's Lids

I love these turkey cupcakes! I love being able to decorate cupcakes for the holidays. My family will love these

November 19 | Unregistered CommenterCupcake Activist

Anything with nutter butters are a ok with me!

November 19 | Unregistered CommenterTender Branson

Those cupcakes are nuts!
I love them!!

November 20 | Unregistered Commenterabby jenkins

Very cute. My kids would love these.

I made your Cranberry Bliss Bars. I loved them.

November 20 | Unregistered CommenterLori

Love these. What a sweet blog you have.

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October 13 | Unregistered Commenterlinux
Super creative idea. God bless you for sharing this, as I'm sure this will brighten many a Thanksgiving meal.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Jay and Margie
November 23 | Unregistered CommenterJay Miller
I just made these to take to the homeless shelter for Thanksgiving.I had a blast making them.I'm sure they will love them,thanks for the great idea.I made chocolate cupcakes,filled them with a peanut butter filling with chocolate cream cheese frosting
November 22 | Unregistered CommenterMari

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