Thanksgiving Theme Cake Ideas

A Thanksgiving cake offers an alternative to the traditional pumpkin pie for the holiday meal. Thanksgiving comes with several distinct symbols that work well on cakes. Turkeys are a big part of Thanksgiving. There are several different ways to execute a turkey cake depending on personal preference and decorating abilities. Other Thanksgiving options are also possible for dessert.

3D Pumpkin

Pumpkins offer a general fall feeling that works well for Thanksgiving. Use a bundt cake pan to create the 3D pumpkin shape without any carving. Bake two of the bundt cakes allowing them to cool fully. Trim the curved top edge of one of the cakes to make it flat. This will be the bottom cake. Place the cut side down on a cake board. Spread a layer of icing on top of it and place the other bundt cake on top. Ice the cake with orange frosting. Add some artificial fall leaves and flowers around the base of the pumpkin for more of a fall feeling. You can also make these items out of fondant which is an edible material similar to clay.

Round Cake Turkey

A round cake makes a simple base for a turkey cake. Any size of round cake works depending on how large you want the turkey and how many guests you have. Cover the entire cake with a base coat of brown frosting. The rounded edge of the cake creates the tail feathers of the turkey. Use different colors of icing to make feathers all around the cake. Use brown frosting to add the turkey's neck and head in the middle of the cake. Add the beak, wattle and other turkey features with frosting.

Cooked Turkey

A cake resembling a cooked turkey offers a creative twist on the Thanksgiving cake. This 3D cake is made with very little cutting. The main part of the cooked turkey is made from two cakes baked in bowls. Use an 8 inch oven-safe Pyrex bowl to bake the cakes. You can use a large bowl if you want a large turkey. Bake another cake in a loaf pan. When the loaf pan cake is cool, cut it into two turkey drumstick shapes. For the body, connect the two bowl cakes flat sides together with a layer of frosting. The cakes will stand on their side with the connection running vertically down the middle of the cake. Trim one edge where the cake will rest so it doesn't roll around. Cover the body of the turkey with brown frosting. Use a skewer to hold the drumsticks onto either side of the turkey body. Coat the drumsticks with frosting. Cut up chunks of cake without frosting to create stuffing for the turkey. Tuck in pieces of lettuce or other garnishes around the base of the cake to make it look more like a real turkey.

Pilgrim Hat

A Pilgrim hat is another easy 3D cake to make for Thanksgiving. You'll need three or four round cakes depending on how high you want the hat cake. You'll also need black fondant for the brim and band of the hat. Fondant is available at craft stores in the cake decorating section. Look for pre-colored black fondant. You can tint fondant with food coloring, but a true black is difficult to achieve. Roll out the fondant into a large sheet. Cut out a circle larger than the cakes as the brim. Place the brim on the cake board. Stack the cakes on the fondant brim with a layer of frosting between each cake to hold them together. Cover the cakes with black frosting. You can also use the black fondant to cover the cakes for a smooth finish. Cut out a band from the remaining black fondant. Place it around the base of the round cakes right near the brim. Cut out a square buckle from a small amount of yellow fondant. Place it in the middle of the band.

Keywords: turkey cakes, Thanksgiving cakes, Thanksgiving desserts

About this Author

Shelley Frost has been a freelance writer since 2007, specializing in parenting and education. Her work can be found on websites such as and Frost holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a minor in reading from the University of Northern Iowa.

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