Turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes with gravy and peas… doesn’t sound much like dessert, does it? But it is! This adorable cake looks just like a roast turkey, and it comes complete with cupcake side dishes. It’s just the thing to lighten the mood around the holiday table, and it would make the funniest birthday cake for those celebrating in November. Here’s how to make it!
To get started, you’ll need a 2-quart stainless steel bowl in which to bake the cake. It needs to be greased and floured well to prevent sticking. (I suggest using a flour-based cooking spray, if you have it.)
For the batter, place the cake mix and 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon in a large bowl.
Whisk together until the cinnamon is evenly dispersed.
Add eggs, oil and water as directed on the cake mix box and mix with a hand mixer on low speed. Pour batter into the prepared bowl.
Bake cake for about 55 minutes and then turn out onto a serving plate. Refrigerate for about two hours.
While you wait for the cake to chill, prepare the cupcakes. Line two cupcake tins with papers.
Prepare batter as before with the bowl cake using the remaining box of cake mix and ground cinnamon. Fill cupcake papers ¾-full.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cakes spring back. Let cool completely.
When the round cake is thoroughly chilled, carve away two thick rounded edges leaving a turkey breast-shaped center. Reserve the two side pieces for later use.
Cut an inward notch away from one tapered end, creating the neck area.
Cut another notch slightly larger inward notch at the opposite end. Refrigerate while you carve the drumsticks.
Use the reserved cake pieces to carve two drumsticks.
This doesn’t have to be perfect, just do the best you can! (The rest will be perfected with frosting!)
To make the frosting, add cocoa powder a little at a time until a light brown color is achieved.
Frost the cake and drumstick pieces with a thin coat of icing and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Lay drumstick pieces on either side of the cake and cover with a final coat of frosting.
Turkey frills (the drumstick decorations) can be made from a piece of plain copy paper. Cut an 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of white paper in half and then fold each of those pieces in half.
Hold both pieces of folded paper together and cut equally spaced fringe at the folded edge with scissors. Leave about 1/2-inch of uncut space at the top edge. Open each fringed paper and fold the opposite direction.
Wrap paper around two fingers and fasten with a piece of cellophane tape. Place a frill on the end of each drumstick just before serving.
Cut 3 or 4 cupcakes into cubes to make the turkey “stuffing.”
Place the cake cubes around the bottom of the cake between the turkey drumsticks. You may also use these pieces to slightly prop ends of the turkey legs upward.
To make the “peas” cupcakes, cover 10 cupcakes in 1-2 tablespoons of frosting.
Dip the frosted cupcake tops in the green candies.
For the “mashed potatoes” cupcakes, use a thick covering of frosting and use a spoon to create a divot in the top. Pour maple syrup into the divot.
Add a yellow fruit chew “butter pat” in the center of the divot.
Serve cupcakes alongside the roast turkey cake.