How to Make a Turkey Cake

3-D Turkey Cake

Learning how to make a turkey cake is a fun way to prepare for Thanksgiving and the fall harvest season. The many variations on turkey cakes allow bakers and decorators a chance to get creative and try new things in the kitchen.

Turkey Cake Design Ideas

There are many different turkey cake designs, but the basics of each one are easy to learn.

Simple Turkey Cake

The easiest turkey cake design can be piped on or applied to a standard round cake or sheet cake. After frosting the cake with a smooth, uniform layer of white buttercream or a draping of rolled fondant, create a turkey design.

Thanksgiving 2-D turkey cake
2-D Turkey Cake Design
  1. If using fondant, roll out a thin sheet of brown frosting and use a cookie cutter or sharp knife dipped in confectioners' sugar to make the turkey outline. Use brown frosting, a pastry bag, and a thin round decorating tip to pipe on an outline.
  2. Fill in a buttercream turkey with more brown frosting, and pipe other colors and features on top with the thin round tip. With a fondant turkey, use alternating colors to apply texture, feathers, and more visual details.
  3. Finish a fondant turkey by transferring it onto the cake with a flat spatula and pressing it into place.

Turkey-Shaped Cake

A turkey shaped cake makes a wonderful presentation at a party or holiday feast.

  1. Bake a standard rectangular sheet cake, and let it cool. Freeze it briefly until it firms.
  2. Use edible paint to apply a turkey-shaped outline to the cake, or sketch an outline on a separate piece of paper.
  3. With a serrated knife, cut away parts of the cake to form the turkey shape. Reserve leftover cake pieces to eat plain or use for another dessert.
  4. Brush the cake free of crumbs with a pastry brush, and frost and decorate it normally.

Stand-Up Turkey Cake

Learning how to make a turkey cake in a stand-up model is tough, but it can be a fun challenge.

  1. Bake a cake in a 3D pan, either in a turkey shape or in a sphere shape. If you use a sphere shape, bake an additional round or sheet cake for additional bird features.
  2. "Paste" the halves of the baked and cooled cake together with a generous amount of buttercream. A dowel support system may also be necessary if the cake is heavy. Freeze the cake briefly.
  3. If using a sphere cake, carve pieces out of your additional cake to serve as the turkey's neck, head, wings, and base. Apply each piece with a dab of buttercream "glue." Don't worry if the cake looks messy.
  4. Brush the cake free of crumbs, and frost it with a thick layer of buttercream. Use additional frosting to add final details.

Gobble It Up

A turkey cake can provide a delicious finish to your Thanksgiving dinner. Choose the design that suits your decorating skills the best, and make a fun cake your family and friends will enjoy.

How to Make a Turkey Cake