CakeWhiz

Turkey Cake {Thanksgiving Cake}

Learn how to make a homemade turkey cake with simple ingredients and tools. This showstopper Thanksgiving cake is pumpkin flavored and decorated with fondant and icing.

Even though Thanksgiving is not a part of my culture, I find the whole idea behind this wonderful day to be very sweet. Getting together as a family and giving thanks for all your blessings is just beautiful. Life gets so busy that we start to take all our blessings for granted but I truly think it’s important to reflect on all that God has bestowed upon us and be thankful. What better way to celebrate all that than with a whimsical and joyous cake! To take that turkey theme one step further, make sure to check out my tutorial on How To Make Turkey Topper and these Easy Oreo Turkey Cookies that are simple enough to make with kids.

Easy Homemade Turkey Cake on Green Buttercream Grass

How To Make Turkey Cake Recipe From Scratch?

  1. Bake cakes- Allow them to cool completely.
  2. Assemble cake– Level, fill, ice and stack.
  3. Cover in brown fondant– And trim excess around the base.
  4. Add feather indentations– Using a grass decorating tip.
  5. Make turkey torso and face- With rice krispie treats and fondant.
  6. Attach to the front of cake– Do this very gently.
  7. Make wings– Using a leaf cutter and yellow, red, brown fondant.
  8. Stick them on top of cake- With corn syrup.
  9. Pipe green grass– Around base of the cake.
  10. Steam cake- So that everything sticks into place.

Variations for Fall Cake

Try different cake flavors- Such a Moist Carrot Cake, Apple Pie Cake, Easy Spice Cake {Chai Tea Cake}, or this Old Fashioned Applesauce Cake.

Pair with another filling– Such as Homemade Apple Pie Filling, Crockpot Apple Butter, or Homemade Caramel Sauce.

Try another frosting flavor– Such as Caramel Frosting {3 Ingredients}, Easy Maple Frosting {4 Ingredients}, or Marshmallow Frosting Recipe.

Add Fall themed candles– Such as red, orange, or yellow candles for a Fall turkey birthday cake.

Add chocolate trees– Around the base of the cake. You can use this Fall Tree Cake as a guide.

Closeup Shot of Fondant Feathers on Top of Cake

Tips And Techniques For Thanksgiving Cake

You can buy store bought fondant flowers– This will save you time. You can also try my Homemade Royal Icing Flowers, Easy Fondant Daisies, Easy Ribbon Roses, Easy Wafer Paper Flowers, or these Fondant Flowers

Use store bought fondant– If you are short on time.

Where to buy Wilton decorating tips? You can buy them online at Wilton’s site, Party City, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Wal Mart.

Cool cakes completely before icing– Otherwise the icing will melt and slip right off the cake.

Level cakes– Cut off the dome of the cakes to make them as even and flat as possible. This makes decorating the cake much easier and keeps it stable.

How to save time? You can make the hat and feet beforehand. I made them a week ago and they were waiting to be used when I started putting this cake together. Make the leaves beforehand. I made them while watching T.V last week. Also, making these feathers beforehand hardens them a little and they they hold their shape better when you stick them on top of the cake.

How to attach fondant pieces? You can stick these pieces on by brushing very little water or corn syrup onto the piece or the place you are attaching them. A little amount of water goes a long way.

How to trim excess fondant? Cut off the excess from the base with a pizza cutter or very sharp knife.

Closeup Shot of Fondant Turkey Wings

Storage of Decorated Turkey Birthday Cake

Refrigerate– In a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Fondant decor will become a little sticky.

Freeze– This is not recommended because when the cake thaws, condensation beads will make the fondant decorations sticky.

Overhead Shot of Decorated Thanksgiving Cake

More Thanksgiving Desserts

Collage Image With Step by Step Pictures on How to Make Thanksgiving Turkey Cake
Easy Turkey Cake on Buttercream Grass
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Turkey Cake (Thanksgiving Cake)

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Decorating time: 40 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Learn how to make a homemade turkey cake with simple ingredients and tools. This showstopper Thanksgiving cake is pumpkin flavored and decorated with fondant and icing.
Yield: 9 Slices

Ingredients

Instructions 

  • Bake cakes and allow them to cool completely.
  • While cakes are baking and cooling, prepare the frosting.
  • Slice off the domes of the cakes, if there are any, so they are levelled and straight.
  • Place one cake on a round serving dish.
  • Spread pumpkin butter on top.
  • Place the other cake on top.
  • Ice the entire cake in frosting smoothly.
  • Roll out brown fondant and spread it over the iced cake.
  • Smooth it out and cut off excess from the base with a pizza cutter.
  • Press the grass tip (Wilton tip # 233) randomly onto the side of your fondant covered cake. This will make tiny indentations all over the the body.
  • Use your hands to shape some rice krispie treats into a pear shape. Cover it in brown fondant. This will be the torso of the turkey.
  • Stick a toothpick on top of the torso.
  • Also make a rice krispie ball and cover it in brown fondant. This will be the face/head of the turkey.
  • Push the rice krispie ball on top of the toothpick. You can use some water or corn syrup to hold it securely.
  • Start adding other features like a hat made from black fondant, a yellow beak, yellow collar, and yellow feet (made with a star shaped cutter). You can stick these pieces by brushing very little water or corn syrup.
  • Tip:To save time, you can make the hat and feet beforehand. I made them a week ago and they were waiting to be used when I started putting this cake together.
  • Next, the cake needs to be attached to the rice krispie torso. To do that, scoop out about 1 inch of cake from the side and push your rice krispie body into this opening. Use some icing to stick the 2 pieces together. Don’t worry if the fondant on your cake starts to get messed up while you are trying to push these two pieces together. It will all get covered in feathers.
  • Use Wilton tip # 233 again to make indentations on the rice krispie torso.
  • To make wings, use a medium sized leaf cutter to cut out 2 leaves. Cover them in indentations with Wilton tip # 233.
  • Brush some water behind those leaves and stick them onto the side of the rice krispie torso. Your turkey now has wings!
  • Make facial features: To make eyes, make small balls of yellow fondant. Flatten them with your finger and make black pupils with edible marker. Stick these eyes onto the face of the turkey. Now, roll out some red fondant into a sausage shape and push it onto the side of the beak using a toothpick.
  • Roll out red, yellow and brown fondant. Use a small leaf cutter to make many small leaves in these colors. Let them dry up a little. These will be the feathers of your turkey.
  • Tip: To save some time, make a bunch of these leaves beforehand. I made them while watching T.V last week. Also, making these feathers beforehand hardens them a little and they they hold their shape better when I stick them on top of the cake.
  • Brush some water or corn syrup around the outer edges of the cake and start sticking these feathers.
  • When the outer edge is covered in feathers, brush some water or corn syrup on the inside and stick more feathers. Keep doing this until the top is fully covered in feathers.
  • Fill a piping bag with green icing and attach the grass tip (Wilton Tip # 233). Cover the entire base around the cake with green grass.
  • Place a few fondant flowers randomly all over the grass.
  • Finally, steam your cake so that everything on the turkey sticks into place. Steam also makes your cake shiny and neat. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Read all my tips above.
  • Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Abeer Rizvi

37 comments on “Turkey Cake {Thanksgiving Cake}”

  1. Implementation of imagination & hard work with amazing result. Perfect gift for thanksgiving day !!

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