Gobble Gobble! These adorable turkey cake pops will steal the show at your Thanksgiving dinner! If you want to make a dessert everyone will get excited about, this is it! Plus, it’s not even that hard. My recipe for cake pops makes really moist and flavorful cake pops, and you don’t need a cake pop maker or any special tools.
What are turkey cake pops?
Turkey cake pops are a Thanksgiving-inspired version of the classic cake pops made famous at bakeries all over the country. The recipe is made with chocolate cake and a creamy frosting to make the cake balls. Then they’re dipped in chocolate. Finally, they’re decorated to look like pilgrim turkeys using candy corn, candy eyes, and sprinkles.
Like my Pumpkin Gummy Candy, these treats are super festive and help make your holiday dessert table even more spectacular. Pumpkin pie is delicious, but you can always get creative with recipes like Thanksgiving cake pops, pumpkin spice chocolate cups, or these apple-shaped pumpkin croquettes.
Need more fun inspiration the kids will love? You can never go wrong with:
Why You’ll Love This Turkey Cake Pop Recipe
- The kids will freak out! Turkey cake pops are just so fun! When the kids see them, they’ll squeal with excitement!
- Tastes great: Unlike some recipes for cake pops that come out a bit dry and flavorless, my version is moist and delicious. I use a from-scratch recipe and a homemade frosting to make the most yummy version ever.
- Easy and super cute: You don’t have to worry about a food-fail with this recipe. Turkey cake pops are really simple to make and decorate. Trust me, you can do this!
Turkey Cake Pops Ingredient List
What Do You Need to Make Cake Pops?
- Baked chocolate cake – I used my Ultimate Chocolate Cake Recipe because it’s super moist and chocolatey, but you can use any box or recipe you like.
- Cream cheese – You’ll need this softened, so leave it out for 30 minutes before you start baking.
- Unsalted butter – room temperature1 tsp vanilla extract1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- Chocolate candy melts or pure milk chocolate
- Candy corn
- Candy eyes
- Mini yellow and red sprinkles
Helpful Tools to Make Cake Pops
To make cake pops, you’ll need:
- 2 Mixing bowls
- Small bowl
- Lollipop sticks
- Electric mixer
- Baking sheet
- Styrofoam or cake pop tray
How to Make Turkey Cake Pops
Step 1: Make the cake pop balls.
Place the cream cheese and softened butter in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined. Then, slowly add the powdered sugar to the mix, about ½ cup at a time. Beat in between each addition, then beat for about 2 minutes until smooth and creamy.
Crumble the chocolate cake into a large bowl. Add the cream cheese frosting to the bowl then mix with an electric mixer until well combined. You can use a spoon here, but the electric mixer will help break apart any larger pieces and create a smooth, cohesive dough.
Use your hands to roll the mixture into cake balls, about 1.5 tablespoon balls. You can use a 1 tbsp measure and a ½ tbsp measure and level out the dough. Combine both portions together and roll into a tight ball.
Place the rolled balls on a baking sheet lines with parchment paper.
Step 2: Attach the sticks.
Melt your chocolate and dip the end of the lollipop sticks into it. Stick them securely into each cake pop. Place the entire tray in the fridge for about 10 minutes, just to let the sticks solidify in the cake balls.
Don’t leave them in the fridge longer than 10 minutes! If the cake balls get too hard, it’s difficult to attach the candy.
Step 3: Attach the turkey decorations.
When you begin, keep in mind it’s best to make one cake pop at a time. Otherwise, the chocolate will harden and you won’t be able to attach your candy.
Begin by dunking one cake pop into the melted chocolate. Make sure it’s well coated, then tap the stick on the edge of the bowl a few times to get rid of the excess. Stick 3 pieces of candy corn into the back of the cake pop to create the tail. Stick on the candy eyes, a yellow nose, and a red wattle to make the face.
Stick the cake pop stick into a block of styrofoam and let the cake pop set and harden. Repeat with the remaining cake pops. If needed, set the block of styrofoam in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
Cake Mix – You can pick up a pre-baked cake from a bakery, make one from scratch or use a box mix.
Frosting – A can of frosting will also work well for this recipe if you need to save some time.
- You can use any kind of cake you want, but chocolate is my favorite. If you use a lighter color cake mix, make sure you coat the balls very well in the chocolate so they look like brown turkeys
- There are lots of cake flavors you can use: For Thanksgiving, pumpkin spice or butter cake are delicious options. Gluten-free cake will also work just fine for this recipe.
- Red velvet cake pops are always a favorite if you want something a bit more unique.
- Add a splash of Kahlua or Amaretto to the frosting for a grown-up taste. Just remember to keep them away from the kiddos!
- Melt the chocolate or candy melts in a small bowl in the microwave. Microwave in 20 second bursts, stirring well between each. When there are only a few small pieces left to melt, just stir a few extra seconds, and they should melt into the rest of the mixture.
- You can use a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop to make portioning easier.
- If you realize you don’t have any styrofoam, grab some glasses or a deep dish and fill it with rice. You should be able to stand your cake pops up in the rice.
Of course, these work beautifully on your Thanksgiving dessert table. You can also wrap them individually for a class party or hand them out to your friends and family for Halloween treats.
At room temperature – If you’re serving within a day or two, you can store them at room temperature. Place the cake pops in an airtight container or a covered cake pop stand. Keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat.
In the refrigerator – If your cake pops need to last more than 2 days, it’s best to store them in the fridge. Place them in an airtight container with a layer of parchment between them to help protect your decorations. Keep them in the fridge for up to 5 days.
In the freezer – I recommend making these fresh for when you want to serve them because the candy doesn’t freeze well, and the cake pop decorations might fall apart under the cold temperature of the freezer. If you must freeze them, wrap them gently with plastic wrap. Wrapping them individually may help preserve them. Place them in an airtight container and freeze them for up to 2 months.
To make dipping your cake pops easier, make sure your sticks are solidified in your cake pops. If they’re loose, the cake balls could fall off in the melted chocolate. It’s also important that the melted chocolate is fairly fluid and not too thick. If it starts to thicken as you’re working, place it back in the microwave for about 5 seconds and give it a good stir.
Yes, you can. If you use a cake pop maker, you won’t need the frosting. I think that the cake mixed with the frosting tastes better than just the cake baked in balls, but if this is a convenient option for you, go for it!
Other Fun Thanksgiving Food Recipes You’ll Love
Turkey Cake Pops
- 650 g chocolate cake I used my Ultimate Chocolate Cake recipe here!
- 125 g cream cheese room temperature
- ¾ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 cups chocolate candy melts or pure milk chocolate melted
- 84 pieces candy corn
- 56 candy eyes
- 28 mini yellow sprinkles
- 28 red sprinkles
Make the frosting:
- Place the cream cheese and butter in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- Add the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time, then beat for 2-3 minutes, until smooth.
- Crumble the chocolate cake into a large bowl.
- Add the frosting to the bowl then mix with an electric mixer until well combined. You can use a spoon here, but the electric mixer will help break apart any larger pieces and create a smooth, cohesive dough.
- Roll the dough into balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Dip the cake pop sticks into the melted candy melts or milk chocolate and stick them into the balls. Place the baking sheet in the fridge for the chocolate to harden, about 10 minutes. You don’t want the cake pops to get too cold because it will make it difficult to attach the candy corn “tail”.
Make the turkeys:
- Working with one cake pop at a time, dunk the cake pops into the melted chocolate and tap the stick on the edge of the bowl a couple times to allow any excess to drip off.
- While the chocolate is still wet, stick 3 pieces of candy corn into the back of the cake pop to create the tail. Stick the candy eyes, yellow nose and red wattle onto the face.
- Stick the brownie pops into a block of stryofoam or a cake pop holder. A deep glass filled with rice also works!
- Repeat with the remaining cake pops.
- If the chocolate is still wet, place them in the fridge to harden, about 30 minutes. Then serve and enjoy!