How to make a Roasted Turkey Cake

Thanksgiving is not complete without a Turkey.  I mean a Roasted Turkey Cake.  Yes… A cake shaped like a roasted Turkey that looks like it has been roasted to perfection.

Turkey and I have sort of a love-hate relationship.  You know the usual, trying to get a moist, delicious bird or every once in a while, a jerked flavor turkey, but not exactly achieving it.  I am more of a baker than a chef, but that’s for another day.  However, I wanted to try making a cake that looks like a roasted Turkey.  I had a few 8-inch and 6-inch rounds that were frozen and couldn’t wait to make this cake.

When I told a few people, I made a Turkey cake they were expecting the bird to be standing with the feathers frilled.  Sorry, to disappoint.  I wanted to make this turkey cake using only items on hand.  Making this roasted Turkey cake was surprisingly easy.

Items needed:

  • Four 8-inch cake
  • One 6-inch cake
  • 1 batch of buttercream
  • 2 lbs white fondant
  • Yellow gel food coloring
  • Copper gel food coloring
  • Expresso powder
  • Lemon extract or clear vodka
  • Paintbrush
  • 9×13 cake board (gets shaped later on)
  • Vegetables on hand to decorate the board
  • Platter for cake

Making the Roasted Turkey Cake

  1. Place two 8-inch rounds together and trim about ¾ of the way.
  2. Place the other two 8-inch rounds and measure against the other 8-inch rounds and cut a little longer.
  3. Fill the rounds with buttercream placing the two longest 8-inch rounds in the middle and let the icing set. If the cake was frozen this can happen very quickly. turkey cake four 8 inch cakes
  4. Once the filling is set, place some buttercream on the cake board, then place the cake cut side down.
  5. Begin by carving from the center out, from right to left, rounding the edges
  6. Then carve a “U” at the front of the turkey.
  7. Carve until you are happy with the shape. At this point, it does not look like much, but it will come together.  It should look like a turkey breast.
  8. Take one of the cake quarters and add to the back of the cake using buttercream.

    turkey cake add cake to back
    Looks rough now but it will come together
  9. Slightly carve a section on the back to place the leg. Be careful not to carve too much.turkey cake carved
  10. Crumb coat and chill the cake.turkey cake crumb coat

Making the Turkey Cake wings and legs

  1. Make turkey legs either using cake scraps and buttercream or fondant. I used fondant because it was much easier for me.
  2. Measure legs together and shape to the same height.
  3. Add to the sides of the cake and let the legs rest on the cake on the back. Sorry I do not have a photo of this.
  4. For the wings, cut the 6-inch round in half and round it to look like the wings. Measure to make sure the wings are the same shape and length.
  5. I wanted the wings to look like they are tucked under, so I placed on the cake about an inch off the board and glued with buttercream. I also used buttercream to fill in any gaps.
  6. Add a second coat of frosting. Using a flexible scraper, scrape off the excess buttercream and smooth out the frosting, then place the cake in the refrigerator.

Covering the Turkey Cake

  1. Roll out the fondant about 1/8 inches thick.
  2. Cover the cake paying special attention to the section of the wing and the leg. Use your sugar shapers if you have any to tuck the fondants into the corners.turkey cake covered with fondant
  3. Use fondant smoother to smooth the fondant.
  4. Trim off the excess fondant then using a paper towel or a sugar shaper add some texture to the fondant. I rolled the sugar shapers over the fondant a few time.turkey cake covered with fondant excess
  5. Take two small pieces of fondant and roll them into a ball to make the tip of the drumstick. Use sugar shapers of fingers to blend in with the fondant.
  6. Place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to firm up.

Place the turkey cake on the final board.  I placed the cake on a Thanksgiving platter that I found at the dollar tree, but you can dress it up on any platter.

Painting the Cake

At first, I use cocoa butter and brown petal dust (a new technique I wanted to practice), then realized it was way too dark.  It was time for a do over.  On my second I used copper and gel color to get a golden finish.turkey cake cocoa painting

  1. Mix the copper gel color with a little yellow gel color and some vodka or lemon extract. Test on a small piece of fondant first to see if it is the right shade.
  2. Then using a paint brush paint the fondant with the gel color mixture. Always paint in the same direction.turkey cake painted
  3. Use a few drops of warm brown, then paint the top of the breast and areas of the legs and wings that would normally have shadows.
  4. Paint the tip of the drumstick with some warm brown to make it a little darker. This sections usually bakes darker.
  5. Using some espresso powder (you can use crushed Oreos or whatever is on hand) sprinkle on the breast of the cake, the leg and the wing. Do not go overboard but have some fun.turkey cake expresso powder
  6. Let the paint dry.

Dressing up the cake board

  1. Place the vegetables around the corners of the cake. I added some spinach, carrots for color and sliced some oranges and arranged them all around. turkey cake darker version
  2. Tie the legs with some bakers string or make a string out of fondant and shaping them to look like a rope.
  3. Then cut up some cake that still had crust from baking into smaller pieces to look like stuffing.
  4. Add the stuffing to the section where the leg and bottom meet and place some on the board as well.how to make roasted turkey cake

That’s it your roasted Turkey Cake is done.  If you like this tutorial pin it for later and share with friends.   Enjoy happy caking.

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