Give our Cake Pop-ess, Susie, a warm Gobble Gobble. Her second cake pop tutorial is proving that turkeys can be, almost, too cute to eat.Mmmm, Thanksgiving. Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries, pumpkin pie, and…cake pops? Sure, why not?! Cake pops – especially turkey cake pops – can be a welcome addition to any Thanksgiving family feast. While there are several steps involved in creating this gaggle of gobblers, the process is not difficult. To keep from feeling too plucked for time, however, consider making just a handful of these turkeys along with a more simplified autumn themed cake pop (like the one included in this tutorial) as a “supplement.” With two kinds of cake pops to choose from, your guests will have even more to be thankful for this year!
Thanksgiving Cake Pop Tutorial
- Boxed cake mix and ingredients (or prepare your own cake recipe)
- 2/3 cup vanilla frosting
- Cocoa (or brown) Candy Melts
- Vegetable oil (or paramount crystals)
- Pretzel sticks, break tips off
- Candy Corn
- Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds Pieces (any shade of brown will do)
- Red heart decors
- Mini chocolate chips
- Autumn themed decors
- Lollipop sticks
- Small glass measuring cup
- Edible pens
- 9”x13” baking pan
- Cookie sheet
- Mini ice cream scoop
- Wax paper
- Styrofoam block
These ingredients can be found at your local craft and grocery stores.
1) Bake the cake in a 9”x13” pan according to the box directions. In keeping with the traditional flavors of the Thanksgiving season, I decided to bake a spice cake, but feel free to use any cake flavor you like. After the cake is baked, allow it to cool completely.
2) Divide the cake according to the amount of cake pops you want to make. An entire cake makes approximately 40-48 cake pops. I thought this was a little much even for the ten bottomless pits – ahem, I mean family members – attending my Thanksgiving feast, so I divided the cake in half, reserving one half for immediate use. I wrapped the other half in plastic wrap and stuck it in the freezer for later use.
4) After crumbling the cake, mix in about 2/3 cup frosting (for half a cake) and mush together, adding more if needed to form a dough that can be easily rolled into a ball. The consistency is important. Too much frosting will result in wet cake pops that fall off the stick. If this occurs, quickly pop the “mistake” into your mouth before anyone notices.
5) Time to get messy! Using a mini ice cream scoop, uniformly measure out the dough, rolling each scoop between your hands to form small balls about golf ball sized. Place the balls on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
6) Place the candy coating in a microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave in 30 seconds increments, stirring in between. I like to use small glass measuring cups because they are narrow and deep enough to completely dip a cake pop. Be careful when removing from the microwave because the glass can get very hot. Add a bit of vegetable oil or paramount crystals to thin the coating until it is the consistency of honey.7) Dip the end of each lollipop stick into the melted coating and insert about halfway into each cake ball. This technique is very helpful in preventing the ball from falling off the stick during the coating process.
8) Once you have lollipop sticks poking out of each ball, place the cookie sheet in the freezer for about 15 minutes. It is vital that you do not allow the balls to freeze! Firm, yes. Frozen, no. The cake will expand as it defrosts and once it comes into contact with hot melted candy coating, will result in cracked cake pops. To put it mildly, cracking is the bane of cake pop making and is the primary reason many people stomp out of the kitchen in frustration vowing never to experiment with cake pops again. Yes, I speak from personal experience. However, careful attention at this juncture will steer you clear of this annoying problem (as well as the humiliating temper tantrums that can accompany it).
9) Relocate your cookie sheet from the freezer to the refrigerator, reserving a few cake pops on the kitchen countertop to warm up just a bit. You may need to reheat your candy coating if it is hardening, but then allow it to cool for a few minutes. Holding the lollipop stick firmly, dip the cake pop into the candy coating until it is completely submerged, and remove it in one fluid motion. Allow the excess coating to drip off, tapping gently on the side of the cup and rotating the pop so the coating does not build up on one side. Swipe your finger along the base of the stick to rid it of excess coating. Prop cake pops into a styrofoam block to dry.
11) Dip the pretzel stick ends into leftover melted candy coating and attach to the bottom of the cake pop, straddling the lollipop stick. Hold in place until the coating sets like glue. These are your turkey’s legs. Prop your freshly dipped, turkey legged cake pops into a styrofoam block to dry.
12) Now it’s time to feather your turkey. Dip the tips of five pieces of candy corn into leftover melted coating and gently press them against the back of the cake pop. Hold them in place until the coating sets. Let dry completely.
13) Next, let’s give those turkeys a cute – albeit small-brained – head. Use a toothpick to apply a tiny amount of coating to the back of a Hershey’s Almond Piece (Peanut M&Ms will also work), and gently attach it to the front of the cake pop. Hold in place until it sets. The turkey’s face requires three steps. First, apply a small amount of coating on a red heart sprinkle, and gently press it upside down on the front of the turkey’s head to form the wattle. Second, using the same technique, attach a mini chocolate chip as a beak just above the wattle. Last, draw eyes above the beak using an edible pen.
14) Whew! Give yourself a huge pat on the back for successfully creating a flock of turkeys! Compared to what you just did, the “supplement” cake pops will be a cinch. You can get as creative as you want with these. I simply put the remainder of my melted candy coating in a plastic squirt bottle, made a swirly design on my cake pops, and gently pressed fall leaf decors on the wet coating.
Your family and friends are sure to gobble gobble these up!
Like what you see? Show her some sugar…