Turkey cupcakes recipe

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Turkey cupcakes
Preparation Time1 hours 15 mins
Cooking Time25 mins
Total Time1 hours 40 mins
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories643 Kcal32%
Sugar89.3 g99%
Fat25.3 g36%
Saturated Fat11.8 g59%
Protein3.6 g7%
Carbohydrates100.8 g39%

Take your cake decorating skills to the next level for Thanksgiving with these eye-catching turkey cupcakes.

These turkey cupcakes are one of our favourite Thanksgiving recipes. Each cupcake is topped with an impressive ‘cartoon’ turkey made from fondant. These toppers can be made in advance too saving you time on the day. This cupcake recipe makes 12.


For the cakes:

  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 150g butter, room temperature
  • 3 medium eggs, room temperature
  • 150g sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 30ml milk, room temperature

For the buttercream:

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 140g icing sugar
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 90g chocolat, melted

For the toppers:

  • 120g white ready to roll fondant
  • 160g yellow fondant
  • 160g red fondant
  • 20g black fondant
  • 400g chocolate fondant (or you can colour white fondant brown)
  • White sprinkles for the eyes

You will also need:

  • Circle cookie cutters: 68mm, 58mm, 48mm, 2cm and 1cm
  • Palette knife
  • Water bush for sticking
  • Toothpick




  1. For the cakes: Preheat your oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Line the baking tray with 12 cupcake cases. Beat the sugar and butter with the vanilla essence until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg, 1 third of the flour and a splash of milk and beat until just combined and repeat until all the ingredients are combined.
  2. Divide the batter between the 12 cases and bake for 20-25 mins. Remove and cool in the tins for 10 mins before moving to a wire cooling rack.
  3. For the buttercream: Add all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and beat until combined. When the cakes are cool spread the buttercream onto the tops, making sure you don’t ice up to the papers or the icing will squish out the sides of the fondant.
  4. For the toppers: To make the head: knead and roll 200g of the chocolate fondant to 1/8 thick and cut 12x head by cutting around a teaspoon and then smooth the edges with your fingers. Lay on greaseproof paper to dry.
  5. To make the eyes: Roll 20g of white fondant and cut 24x 2cm circles and stick them to the head with a brush of water. Then roll 20g of black fondant and cut 24x 1cm circles and stick to the centre of the whites. Then push a white sprinkle in for the reflection.
  6. For the beak: Take 20g of yellow fondant and cut 12 triangles out and stick on with a brush of water, using the toothpick to add 2 breathing holes at the top of the beak.
  7. Using 20g of red fondant cut 12x hearts and stick onto the bottom of the heads with a brush of water. Then using the remainder of the 20g of red fondant roll this sausage shapes cut to size and stick over the top of the beak.
  8. To make the feathers: Add 100g of white fondant to the left over 200g of chocolate fondant to make a light shade and cut 12x 68mm circles. To make the feather effect, mark the centre of the circle and draw lines out to the edges with the tooth pick. Repeat with the red fondant using the 58mm cutter and then the yellow using the 48mm cutter, stick one on top of the other as you go.
  9. For the legs: Roll the remainder of the red fondant to thin sausage shapes and with a sharp knife cut 2 strips for the feet. Stick onto the yellow circle with a brush of water sticking the head over the top of the tops of the legs.

Top tips for making turkey cupcakes

You don't have to go out of your way to buy cookie cutters, you could use household items like the end of a glass, or a sharp knife and a steady hand.

You might also like…

Chocolate cupcake recipe

Vanilla cupcakes recipe

Red velvet cupcakes

Victoria Threader
Recipes Writer

Victoria Threader is 'the queen of cupcakes' and a contributing Recipe Writer at GoodTo. Not only can she bake delicious cupcakes, she can decorate them too - with each of Victoria’s cupcakes topped with handmade edible toppers. Some of her most popular cupcakes include: rainbow cupcakes, hidden shape cupcakes and even giant cupcakes.