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Cute Turkey Cupcakes – Thanksgiving Dessert Idea

These adorable turkey cupcakes will make be the star of your Thanksgiving dessert table. They are colorful and bright and will be gobbled up in a flash!

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. This means lots of turkey with gravy and stuffing and lots of fun turkey inspired desserts.

But don’t let the turkeys stop there. This adorable Thanksgiving dessert idea is so much fun to make and the kids will love to help out (as well as to eat the turkeys when you are done!)

These dessert are particularly appropriate for Thanksgiving, because turkeys are actually one of the six main symbols of Thanksgiving.

Cupcake with frosted turkey on top.

For other fun Thanksgiving dessert ideas, check out my Rice Krispie turkey pops and these candy corn turkey cupcakes. Both are a delight and fun to make.

DIY Thanksgiving project: turkey cupcakes

These decorations on these turkeys are made completely with colored frosting and special icing tips. Cake decorating is so much fun if you have the right tools, and you end up with a realistic looking dessert.

Did you know that there is actually a National Cake Decorating Day? It’s just one of many national days of the year.

To make these cute turkey cupcakes, you will start by making up a batch of normal chocolate cupcakes. This will give you the base of the turkey body and a firm surface to pipe the colors on to.Cooked cupcakes

Don’t fill the cupcakes too full. You want just a slight domed top. Once the cupcakes have cooled, you will mix  your frosting colors.

Place some of the vanilla frosting into three separate bowls. Add red food coloring to one, yellow to a second bowl, and red and yellow to make orange to the third. 

Add couplers to the end of your icing bags. This will hold the cake decorating tips in place.coupler

Combine until you get the three colors you like for your turkey. Add the three colors of icing into icing bags.

You will need three cake decorating tips – a single pointed end, large single end (like #3 and #12) and a flat leaf opening tip such as a #103.

Now comes the fun part. Use the three colors of icing to make the feathers of the turkey by making a row of red leaf shapes on the outside and alternating with orange and yellow frosting until you have three rows.

Then switch to the large opening tip and the chocolate frosting to pipe the turkey head. Vanilla and chocolate frosting make the eyes, yellow makes the nose and red pipes the turkey crop. 

Pin this recipe for cute turkey cupcakes

Would you like a reminder of this post for these thanksgiving turkey cupcakes? Just pin this image to one of your Thanksgiving boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.

Colorful Thanksgiving cupcake with words Cute turkey cupcake.

Yield: 12

Cute Turkey Cupcakes

Cupcake with frosted turkey on top.

Use colorful frosting and special icing tips to make these adorable turkey cupcakes for Thanksgiving.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Active Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Difficulty Moderate
Estimated Cost $5


  • Duncan Hines Chocolate Cake mix - made into 12 cupcakes
  • Tub of Chocolate Frosting
  • Tub of Vanilla Frosting
  • Red and Yellow gel food coloring.
  • 2 edible eyeballs


  • Cake decorating tips.  (single pointed end, large single end and a flat leaf opening tip such as a #3, #12,and #103)


  1. Make the cake mix as directed on the box and make cupcakes instead of a whole cake. 
  2. Allow them to cool.
  3. Place some vanilla frosting into three bowls.
  4. Add red food coloring to one, yellow to a second bowl, and red and yellow to make orange to the third. 
  5. Combine until you get the three colors you like.
  6. Using the #103 leaf tip and the red food coloring in a pastry bag, make a row of red leaves along the outside of the cupcake in a circular shape. 
  7. Switch to the orange frosting and add a second row inside the red row.
  8. Finish with a row of yellow "feathers" inside the orange ones.
  9. Switch to the chocolate frosting and the larger opening tip and pipe the turkey head in the center of the cupcake. 
  10. Decorate with red yellow and orange frosting as shown above to decorate the turkey face.
  11. Add two edible eyeballs.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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