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Easy Turkey Cupcakes With Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

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These Turkey Cupcakes make a fun treat for the Thanksgiving dessert table.

They are easy to make with either a box cake mix or your favorite chocolate cupcake recipe, then decorate with a delicious chocolate buttercream frosting and candy corn.

Need more Thanksgiving cupcake ideas? Try this Pecan Pie Cupcake recipe. If you are looking for other ways to use up leftover candy corn, check out our Fall Puppy Chow recipe.

Cupcakes decorated like turkeys on white counter and red plaid cloth.

Turkey Cupcakes Recipe

Aren’t these turkey cupcakes adorable? I think they are so cute and fun – you know the kids will love them!

They are the perfect treat to go along with fun themed turkey activities like making these coffee filter turkeys for Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving.

They’d delight kids at a classroom friendship feast too!

I love that they are easy to decorate so you can use any cupcake recipe you want.

Several turkey cupcakes on red plaid cloth and white counter.

Ingredients for Turkey Cupcakes:

The ingredients and amounts listed below are for decorating 12 cupcakes. If you are using a chocolate cake mix, that will usually make 24 cupcakes.

So, you can either plan to bake only 12 cupcakes OR make more buttercream frosting and have enough supplies to decorate 24 of them.

Helpful Baking Tools:

How To Make Turkey Cupcakes

First, either prepare cupcakes according to boxed cake mix directions or your favorite homemade cupcake recipe. Allow for them to cool before decorating. You will need one dozen cupcakes to decorate.

Roll out chocolate fondant with a rolling pin until it’s about ¼ of an inch thick.

Use a 2.5 inch circular cookie cutter to cut out 12 fondant circles. Set aside.

Round cookie cutter cutting rolled out chocolate fondant.

How to Make Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together softened butter, sugar, cocoa and milk. Start on a low speed and gradually increase to high. 

The buttercream is complete once all ingredients are well combined, smooth and form semi-stiff peaks.

Use an offset spatula to frost a thin layer of chocolate buttercream on each cupcake.

Scoop the rest of the buttercream into a piping bag with a Wilton #12 decorating tip attached. 

Chocolate buttercream in bowl with offset spatula. One cupcake frosted and two unfrosted cupcakes on wire rack.

Tips for Making Buttercream Frosting 

  • I find setting the butter out on the counter to soften prior to baking helps. You don’t want the butter too melted, which can happen if you use the microwave. 
  • You may also want to wait to add a little milk at a time after creaming the rest of the ingredients together. Too much liquid can make the buttercream runny.
  • If it’s runny after mixing, let it chill in the refrigerator before frosting the cupcakes.

How to Decorate Turkey Cupcakes

Press one fondant circle on top of each thinly frosted cupcake.

To assemble one turkey cupcake, one at a time, pipe out a dot of chocolate buttercream on the back of each candy corn.

Assemble two rows of candy corn arches at the top of the cupcake for the turkey’s feathers. Place about 4-5 candy corn for the top arch and 3 for the bottom.

Cupcake being decorated with fondant, candy corn, buttercream, and a candy eye.

Pipe out a dollop of chocolate buttercream frosting just underneath the candy corn rows.

Add two eyes on the buttercream dollop, followed by the “beak” (one orange candy).

Using Wilton piping tip #5, pipe a little strip of red decorating frosting right next to the orange beak.

Close up of decorated turkey cupcakes.

Serve and enjoy!

More Thanksgiving Recipes:

Close up of decorated turkey cupcakes.

Cute and Easy Turkey Cupcakes

Yield: 12
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Make these easy Turkey Cupcakes for Thanksgiving dessert. You can use a box cake mix or homemade cupcakes from scratch then decorate them with a delicious chocolate buttercream frosting and candy corn.

Ingredients

  • 12 chocolate cupcakes
  • 5-6 oz. chocolate rolling fondant (or you can use white fondant and mix it with brown gel food coloring)
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2-3 Tablespoon milk
  • 24 candy eyes
  • 90+ pieces of candy corn
  • 12 orange candy-covered chocolates
  • Red decorating frosting
  • 2.5 inch circle cookie cutter
  • Wilton #12 round decorating tip

Instructions

The ingredients and amounts listed are for decorating 12 cupcakes. If you are using a chocolate cake mix, that will usually make 24 cupcakes. So, you can either plan to bake only 12 cupcakes OR make more buttercream frosting and have enough supplies to decorate 24 of them.

  1. First, either prepare cupcakes according to boxed cake mix directions or your favorite homemade cupcake recipe. Allow for them to cool before decorating. You will need one dozen cupcakes to decorate.
  2. Roll out chocolate fondant with a rolling pin until it’s about ¼ of an inch thick.
  3. Use a 2.5 inch circular cookie cutter to cut out 12 fondant circles. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together softened butter, sugar, cocoa and milk. Start on a low speed and gradually increase to high. 
  5. The buttercream is complete once all ingredients are well combined, smooth and form semi-stiff peaks.
  6. Use an offset spatula to frost a thin layer of chocolate buttercream on each cupcake.
  7. Scoop the rest of the buttercream into a piping bag with a Wilton #12 decorating tip attached.
  8. Press one fondant circle on top of each thinly frosted cupcake.
  9. To assemble one turkey cupcake, one at a time, pipe out a dot of chocolate buttercream on the back of each candy corn.
  10. Assemble two rows of candy corn arches at the top of the cupcake for the turkey’s feathers. Place about 4-5 candy corn for the top arch and 3 for the bottom.
  11. Pipe out a dollop of chocolate buttercream frosting just underneath the candy corn rows.
  12. Add two eyes on the buttercream dollop, followed by the “beak” (one orange candy).
  13. Using Wilton piping tip #5, pipe a little strip of red decorating frosting right next to the orange beak.

Notes

Time provided is only an estimate and will vary.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Several completed turkey cupcakes on white table with plaid kitchen towel and text overlay.
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