Australia has holidays for horse races, a sporting match, and even the Queen of England’s birthday; but one holiday we don’t have is for Thanksgiving.
For those that don’t celebrate it, Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated in Canada, the United States, some of the Caribbean islands, and Liberia. It began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.
Thankfully, I have American friends who can invite me to such events and – after three years of having to say no due to travel – I finally made it to Valissa’s yearly festivities; my first proper Thanksgiving feast!
The expert Thanksgiving planner, Valissa had a set list of what she needed from us: side dishes, sweets, drinks, and miscellaneous items we might need (an extra pair of tongs will never go astray!). I put my hand up to make a dessert.
While I’m not a regular baker, I do have a habit of once a year I go all out and make crazy cupcakes. In 2015 it was airplane-themed cupcakes, 2016 was the year of fondant egg and chick cupcakes, and 2017 was my most ambitious project of all: Thanksgiving Turkey Cupcakes.
After settling on the perfect Thanksgiving turkey cupcake recipe, and with no sous chef in sight and 30 of these little guys to create, I had a big challenge in front of me.
I couldn’t be more chuffed with how they came out.
While they aren’t the easiest cupcakes to make (if you want easy, check out this recipe or this recipe), they were certainly made a statement and were a whole lot of fun to make, albeit a little fiddly.
There were a few changes I made to the recipes I found online. While the original recipe called for a milk chocolate cupcake, I chose to go with a denser white chocolate mud cake, which was a nice contrast to the otherwise chocolate heavy toppings.
I chose to use a little of the chocolate fondant as well as a dab of baking glue for strength on the turkey tales after my initial tests found that the heavy candy corn had to be placed in just the right position for it to stay in place. Also, make sure when you stick the Oreo bases together that you rest them against a wall at 90 degrees. I didn’t and some of my ‘spare’ turkeys looked like tiny Leaning Towers of Turkey once put atop a cupcake!
One thing I was not able to procure was round brown or black chocolate sprinkles so my turkeys were given oblong chocolate sprinkle eyes instead which made them look a little scary! While I did cut some of them down, it was quite a time-consuming process and I only did so for about half.
Overall, my epic Thanksgiving baking project took the best part of two days, and I couldn’t be happier with them.
A note for Aussies: swap the Whoppers for Malteasers. Also, you can find Miniature Reese’s Peanut Buttercups and Candy Corn at Sugar Station (I went to the one in Southern Cross Station) and many American food stores. You can buy love heart sprinkles from Coles.
Much turkey was eaten (such a tasty meat! I’m surprised it’s not more common in Australia.), Turkey ‘hands’ (and a Taco Cat and Pusheen or two) were made listing five things we were thankful for were made, and new friends were met. Best of all, my little turkeys got the stamp of approval from everyone who tried them! Now what to bake for 2018…