Turkey Cake Pops

I know it’s after Thanksgiving, but I thought I’d share these anyway!  Better late than never, right?

I decided to make something cute for Thanksgiving this year and after seeing Bakerella’s adorable turkey cake pops, I had to look no further!  I also made these cloverleaf rolls to take along for dinner.  Not gonna lie, I definitely cut into the cake before it had even cooled to give it a taste; this cake is amazing!  It was light and fluffy, but still moist, and had just the right amount of spice and pumpkin flavor.  I liked the flavor better than the pumpkin cake I made from scratch for the cupcakes I made a few weeks ago.  I will definitely be making this again just as a cake.  Well, my cake pops didn’t turn out as cute as Bakerella’s, but I expected that.  They did, however, taste delicious!  I love how moist and rich cake pops are!

Pumpkin Spice Cake:

  • 1 box Duncan Hines Classic White Cake Mix
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • pinch of ginger
  1. Grease a 9×13 baking pan, you can just use cooking spray as you will just be crumbling it up and don’t need to remove it like you would for a layer cake.
  2. Combine cake mix with baking soda and spices in a medium bowl with a whisk.
  3. In a separate larger bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin puree and water with an electric mixer.
  4. Add the dry ingredients slowly, while mixing.
  5. Pour into a 9×18 baking dish.
  6. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  7. Let cool completely.  You can freeze the cake if you will be making the cake pops at a much later time.

Cream Cheese Frosting: (this will make an appropriate amount of frosting to mix with one 13×9 cake from a boxed mix; the cake I made was pretty moist, so I ended up not needing all of the frosting)

  • 6 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 6 Tbsp cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  1. Cream butter and cream cheese until combined.
  2. Add vanilla and mix.
  3. Add powdered sugar, slowly, mixing between additions.
  4. Beat until combined and fluffy.

Pumpkin Spice Cake Pops:

  • 1 13×9 pumpkin spice cake
  • cream cheese frosting from above (or 3/4 can of store bought)
  • 1 package Wilton Candy Melts (I actually used about 3/4 of a package of white candy melts and 1/2 cup of chocolate chips because I didn’t have chocolate candy melts on hand and I wanted them brown for obvious reasons)
  • Candy Corn for feathers
  • Mini Chocolate Chips for eyes
  • Pretzel sticks or chocolate covered pretzels for feet
  • Pecan for head

OR

  • Caramel candy for head
  • Orange slices for beaks, cut into small triangles
  • Tube of red decorator’s frosting
  1. Crumble cake in a large bowl until no large pieces remain.
  2. Add half of the frosting and mix with your hands until combined throughout, add more as needed to reach the right consistency.  You should be able to form balls that hold their shape without cracking or crumbling.  I ended up using about 3/4 of the frosting.
  3. Form balls with your hands from the mixture, or use cake pop molds.  Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes or so to let it harden and firm up.  If you don’t want to use a stick, just throw the cake balls in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  4. Melt candy melts (or candy melts + chocolate chips together) in the microwave according to the package directions.
  5. If using cake pop sticks, dip a stick into the candy melt and insert into cake pop.
  6. Let that harden for a minute, and then dip the pop into the melted chocolate to cover it entirely.  You can do legs a couple different ways, depending on how you want your turkey to look.  Either break a pretzel stick in half and insert into the covered cake pop before the coating hardens and your cake pop will stand upright OR you can invert the cake pop and set it on a chocolate covered pretzel to act as feet OR you can just set the cake ball (without a stick) on a chocolate covered pretzel.
  7. Once the candy coating is almost hardened, you can add the candy corn tail feathers.  I had trouble getting mine to stay, so I actually cooled them in the fridge for a few minutes, then dipped the candy corn in the candy coating and used that to attach it – it helps if the coating is already starting to thicken up, so it doesn’t slide right off.
  8. Finally, attach your heads (instructions on head assembly below).

For the Heads:

  1. Melt just a couple white candy melts (or vanilla chips) in the microwave to use for attaching eyes to the head.
  2.  For caramel heads, roll half of a caramel candy in your hands to make it round.  Dip a mini chocolate chip into the white candy melts and stick to the caramel circle or pecan.  Dip the orange triangle in the melted candy and attach to the head as well.  I did a couple using a pecan as a beak, but I didn’t like the way it looked.  Let it sit for a minute, then use the tube of red decorator’s frosting to make the wattle.
  3. For pecan heads, all you have to do is dip the mini chocolate chips into the candy melt and attach the eyes.

Thanksgiving Cloverleaf Rolls

I was assigned rolls to bring for Thanksgiving this year.  This is actually the first year that I will be bringing anything, now that I have graduated college, am married, and am almost settled into adulthood – very exciting!  My husband asked why I didn’t just buy frozen rolls and cook them – HAH!  He ought to know me better than that; I think he just didn’t want me to make a mess.  I spent some time looking around for a recipe that I thought I could handle (especially since I don’t have a stand mixer), and found one that would even let me use my bread maker to make the dough!  Perfection.  They were larger than I had anticipated, and if when I make them again, I will make 18 medium sized rolls.

Thanksgiving Rolls (makes 12, from Tammys Recipes)

  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp (1 pkg.) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
  • 1 cup warm milk (110-115 degrees F)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose or bread flour
  1. Put 1 tsp sugar, the yeast, and the warm water into the bread machine and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the warm milk, melted butter, sugar, and egg to the bread pan. Then, add 3 1/2 cups of the flour and salt on top of the flour.
  3. Start the DOUGH cycle. Check the dough after 10 minutes and add more flour if needed (I added 1/2 cup for a total of 4 cups used).
  4. Allow DOUGH cycle to finish, this took 1 1/2 hour with my bread maker.
  5. Generously butter a muffin pan – also butter the top, you can see in the picture that they were very large, and mine stuck to the top of the pan a little bit.
  6. Wash, dry, and butter your hands.  With your hands, deflate the dough and divide into 36 pieces on a lightly floured workspace (kitchen counter works great, or wax paper). Roll each piece into a ball shape. Place three balls in each muffin cup.
  7. Gently grease the tops and cover with a clean towel.  I did this by rubbing butter on my hands and gently wiping the tops of the rolls.
  8. Let rolls rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size, about 40 minutes.  I preheated the oven to 300, then turned it off and left it open for a few minutes, placed the covered muffin tin inside and left the oven cracked while rising.
  9. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, until tops are browned and rolls are done. Check for color after 15 minutes of baking, and cover loosely with foil to prevent excess browning, if needed.  Leave in pan to cool for several minutes before removing.