Of all the festive treats you can make for Thanksgiving, these turkey cupcakes might be the cutest. But they're not just fun to look at, they're a delight to eat because perched on top of a yummy cupcake is a turkey assembled with assorted candies and Oreo cookies. So yes, you can say this turkey is definitely stuffed. And it's one your guests will want to gobble up.
DIY Thanksgiving Turkey Cupcakes
Things You'll Need
Orange icing dye
Chocolate candy melts
Pull 'n' Peel Twizzlers
Prepare Cupcakes and Frosting
Step 1: Bake Cupcakes
Using your own recipe or a box mix, bake cupcakes in any flavor you desire. Fill the cupcake liners only about two-thirds full of batter, as we want cupcakes that rise just to the rim of the liners. If the cupcakes are too high and rounded, go ahead and cut off the tops with a knife so they are flat.
Step 2: Dye the Icing
Make your own buttercream frosting from scratch or use a pre-packaged tub from the supermarket. You can leave the frosting as is, but I like to give it some orange color so it pops against the Oreo cookies that will sit on top of the cupcake. To color white frosting orange, add a few drops of orange icing dye and stir well. Keep adding dye until the frosting is a bright orange.
Step 3: Frost the Cupcakes
Using a spatula, apply a flat layer of frosting to cover the cupcakes.
Step 4: Add Sprinkles
Add some chocolate sprinkles on top of the frosting, especially around the perimeter.
Assemble the Tail Feathers and Body
Step 1: Heat the Chocolate Candy Melts
The "glue" that will be holding all the elements together is chocolate candy melts. Place some candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat in the microwave for 30-minute intervals, stirring until smooth.
The candy melts work best as a "glue" when they have cooled down. Fresh out of the microwave, they will be too warm and liquid to provide much hold. As the chocolate candy melts cool and harden slightly, they will hold elements together better. Look for the consistency of thick frosting.
Step 2: Apply Melted Chocolate to Candy Corn
With a skewer or a treat stick, apply a dab of melted chocolate on the pointy end of one side of the candy corn.
Step 3: Attach Candy Corn to Oreo
Place seven pieces of candy corn chocolate side down onto an Oreo cookie so they are fanned out like a turkey's tail feathers. Leave them undisturbed so the chocolate candy melts set and hold the candy corn in place.
Step 4: Attach Chocolate Truffle to Oreo
The body of the turkey will be a chocolate truffle like the Lindor truffles used in this example. We're placing it on an Oreo cookie, as the Oreo helps stabilize the turkey and keeps it from sinking into the frosting or falling off of it. Dip the truffles in some of the candy melts, and place them on one edge of the Oreo cookies. Allow the chocolate candy melts to set so the truffles stay in place.
Step 5: Attach the Body to the Feathers
Apply some of the melted chocolate to the bottom of the Oreo holding the feathers. Use a skewer, treat stick, or just dip the cookie in the melted chocolate.
Then apply some melted chocolate to the back of the truffle, i.e., the side closest to the center of the cookie.
Place the Oreo with the tail feathers perpendicular on the Oreo holding the body. The chocolate on the bottom of the upright Oreo will adhere to the Oreo that's sitting flat. Likewise, the melted chocolate on the back of the truffle will hold the body to the upright Oreo. Allow the melted chocolate to set. If you wish, place these in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling of the chocolate.
Create the Turkey Head
Step 1: Make the Beaks
Cut the pointy tips off some candy corn so there is some the orange part remaining with all of the white. What a perfect beak!
Step 2: Attach Beaks to Heads
For the head, we're using Whoppers. Put a dab of melted chocolate on the wide end of the beak, and place it in the center of the Whopper. Remember, the melted chocolate works best as a glue when it is cool and thickened. It will bond the beak to the head almost instantly.
Step 3: Attach Eyes
Apply a dab of melted chocolate to candy eyeballs, and place one on either side of the beak. You can find candy eyeballs in the cake decorating aisle of the supermarket or crafts store.
Step 4: Attach the Snood
The snood, which is the red protrusion that hangs on the turkey's head, is optional for these turkey cupcakes, as we're not aiming for anatomical accuracy. However, it is a fun element to add if you wish. Plus, it means more candy. To make the snood, pull a thin strand from a Pull 'n' Peel Twizzler. Then tear off a half-inch piece of the strand.
Attach the snood to one side of the beak with some melted chocolate. Again, the chocolate needs to be cool and thick for it to bond the separate pieces.
Step 5: Attach the Heads to the Bodies
Apply some melted chocolate to the back and bottom of the head, and place it on top of the body.
Finish with the Feet
Step 1: Cut the Feet
Cut the yellow part off of some candy corn. They make very cute duck feet.
Step 2: Attach the Feet
Apply a dab of melted chocolate to the bottoms of the feet, and position them on either side of the body on top of the Oreo cookie.
Step 3: Place the Turkey on the Cupcake
Now that the turkey is complete, place it on top of the frosted cupcake. Happy Thanksgiving!