How to Make Fun Turkey Cupcakes Your Kids Will Gobble Up

How to Make Fun Turkey Cupcakes Your Kids Will Gobble Up

This post is sponsored by Hiland Dairy but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. For more on our use of sponsored posts and our privacy policy please visit our disclaimer page

Those of you who have been around for a while know that I am a mom who cannot pass up a fun DIY project. I love putting my creativity to work to come up with fun new decorations, styles, and yummy treats.

Sometimes though, life has other plans and DIYing has to take a back seat to more important matters. I still like to keep things fun for my family even if I am short on time. Those are the days I get a little help in the form of a DIFM (do it for me). After all, we could all use a hand here and there sometimes. 

Don’t know if you’re a DIYer or a DIFMer when it comes to the holidays? Take this fun quiz from Hiland Dairy to find out your personal holiday style! ( Be sure to post your results in the comments! I love to see what everyone is up to once HallowThanksMas season comes around! Yup, you bet I just made that word up. I think it fits the whole season of holidays in the fall well though!) 

Related: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting 

turkey cupcake recipe

Fun Thanksgiving Turkey Cupcakes

It’s no secret that I love making cupcakes. Sometimes though I just don’t have the time or energy to make them from scratch ( especially in colder weather when my fibromyalgia decides to act up more.) On those days I take a little help by using a boxed cake mix. There are so many tried and true options out there. You can even find mixes that fit just about any dietary restrictions such as gluten-free or vegan these days. 

Although making homemade buttercream couldn’t be easier I decided to get a little DIFM help by purchasing a premade icing for these easy Thanksgiving turkey cupcakes as well. There were so many colors needed for these turkey cupcakes that it was easier and more cost effective to buy pre-colored. Of course, if you are in a mood to DIY you can always make smaller batches and control the hues to make them match your own personal holiday style! Heck, you could even turn these turkey cupcake toppers into some pretty cute peacocks if you wanted! Hmm, that’s actually a good idea…

The turkey cupcake decorations are a DIY idea that I came up with using thin-style sandwich cookies, a little icing, and candy corn. I used another DIFM by buying premade candy eyes for my turkeys but you can always DIY them with a little white and black icing if you prefer. 

Related: How to Make Creepy Zombie Cupcakes for Halloween 

Turkey Cupcake Recipe

Fun Thanksgiving Turkey Cupcakes

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Yield: 18 cupcakes

1 cupcake

Fun Thanksgiving Turkey Cupcakes

These simple chocolate cupcakes add a cute turkey topper made of a golden thin-style sandwich cookie and icing.


  • 1 pkg boxed cake mix
  • 1 1/4 C milk
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • orange icing
  • yellow icing
  • green icing
  • black icing
  • candy eyeballs (or black and white icing)
  • candy corn
  • thin-style golden sandwich cookies


  1. Pour cake mix into bowl of stand mixer. Add milk, oil, and eggs one at a time. Blend on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  2. Fill cupcake holders with 3 tbsp per cup of batter. Be sure to measure here to ensure your cupcakes come out even.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 16-18 minutes. You can insert a toothpick into the center of one or two of the cupcakes to determine if they are done. Be sure to keep an eye on them as oven times vary.
  4. Let cupcakes cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove to baking rack and cool another 10 minutes. Be sure cupcakes are completely cooled before icing.
  5. While your cupcakes are cooling you can begin with the toppers. Cut the bottom edge off of each of your sandwich cookies so that it looks kind of like a rainbow.
  6. Pipe an orange teardrop shape on each of the outer sides and a large one in the center of the cookie. Let set about 5 minutes.
  7. Using your yellow icing make a teardrop shape between the orange ones on either side. Let set about 5 minutes.
  8. Using your black icing make a small circle near the bottom of your rainbow shape. This will be the turkey's head. You can judge the size you prefer your turkey's head to be, but it should take up about 1/3 of the cookie.
  9. Let set about 5 minutes and press two eyeballs into the top of each black circe. Cut each piece of candy corn down to size ( just down into the second color of each candy corn) and place on black icing circle as the beak.
  10. Now that your cupcakes have cooled you can pipe your icing onto the top of the cupcake. I went with a green to make the appearance of grass but you can use whatever color you prefer. I went with a larger tip for a thick spiral but you do you boo.
  11. Top each cupcake with a turkey by pressing the bottom of the rainbow shape ( the bottom of your turkey) down into the icing of each cupcake. The cookie is small enough that they stand up quite well without any help.

Making a DIFM Your Own Creation

Although the cupcake recipe on the premade cake box calls for 1 1/4 C of water I chose to use Hiland Dairy brand milk to help make the turkey cupcakes a little more like homemade. It adds a richness to the batter and has the added bonus of protein.

Although there is a wide variety of milk brands available here in Arkansas I always choose Hiland Dairy not only for guaranteed quality but also to support a farmer-owned company that has been a trusted name in the American Heartland since the 1930’s.

As with any of my other recipes, I encourage experimentation with the turkey cupcake toppers too! You could use chocolate sandwich cookies, flat cookies, or something completely different for your turkey base. These toppers are really the star of the show for these turkey cupcakes so be sure that they reflect your own holiday style

Related: Holiday Mint Chocolate Cupcakes and a Fun DIY 

turkey cupcake recipe tray

 DIY Turkey Cupcake Tray

Did you know that you don’t need to toss those Hiland Dairy milk containers when you are done with them? I found a great way to repurpose them into upcycled crafting materials!

In order to serve our holiday turkey cupcakes, my daughter and I decided we wanted to make a customized tray to hold them. We started with a plain white serving tray and added our own decorations with paint. 

To make our leaves we use a leaf-shaped hole punch to create a stencil out of squares we cut from our Hiland Dairy milk containers. We then used our stencils and a small brush to paint our leaves in alternating colors around the rim of the platter. To finish it up we colored each of the dots on the outside of the tray in alternating yellow and orange. We added a clear food-safe glaze to seal the paint in. (Although I would recommend hand washing if you make your own just to be safe!) 

Related: How to Make DIY Dinosaur Succulent Planters 

turkey cupcake plate

Share Your Holiday Style

Did you take the quiz from Hiland Dairy to determine whether you are more of a DIYer or DIFMer? Don’t forget to share your results and let us know your favorite ways to make the holidays special and show your personal holiday style through your decorations, treats, or even the way you celebrate! 

Do you have a signature dish that comes out for Thanksgiving or special Thanksgiving cupcakes that you make every year? We would love to hear how you celebrate the season! 

Related: How to Make Gooey S’mores Cookies 

turkey cupcake recipe pictures

Enjoy your holiday season! 

Do you want to be the first to know when we have new holiday recipes available? Join our mailing list today to get all of our latest parenting tips, homeschool printables, and yummy recipes! 

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Check out my Fun DIY Thanksgiving Turkey Cupcakes! Also take this quiz to figure out if you’re DIY or DIFM and enter to win a $300 gift card! #HilandHolidayStyle #ad #thanksgivingcupcakes #fallcupcakes #turkeycupcakes

Check out my Fun DIY Thanksgiving Turkey Cupcakes! Also take this quiz to figure out if you’re DIY or DIFM and enter to win a $300 gift card! #HilandHolidayStyle #ad #thanksgivingcupcakes #fallcupcakes #turkeycupcakes

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