Taking the Cake: Thanksgiving Cupcake Decorating Ideas

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If you’d rather have cake than pie any day, how about cupcakes — with a special Thanksgiving touch? A tray full of cupcakes frosted red, yellow, and orange can make a plate full of “turkey feathers,” with a body made from chocolate-frosted cupcakes trimmed with “eyes” and “beak” — and voila, you’ve got a Thanksgiving “turkey cake” made of cupcakes. Stack one “mini” cupcake on top of a bigger one, frost with caramel frosting, and trim with candy corn and eyes made of candy, for individual turkey cakes. Trim the cakes with white frosting sprinkled with toasted coconut, add a decorated cookie “tail”; candy turkey “bodies” trimmed with everything from paper feathers to marzipan give you a wide variety of “gobblers.”

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For a general autumn décor theme, make marzipan autumn leaves and acorns and attach to an ordinary chocolate frosted cupcake. And there are always pumpkin cupcakes — orange frosting with orange sugar sprinkles, and green licorice-type candy ropes for “stems” and “vines.” If you’d rather decorate with non-autumn colors, of course, you can make frosting “flowers” for the tops of cupcakes in any color (blue and white are particularly striking). Go red, white, and blue; put a flag motif on your cake, or hearts and flowers. But for Thanksgiving tables, the basics are just fine: an autumn leaf base holding a yellow cupcake frosted with orange-tinted icing and trimmed with candy accents of acorns and leaves. These can be the ideal treat for those who believe anytime — even Thanksgiving — is a good time for cake!

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).

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