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For this tutorial, I decided to do something a little different. I know you all remember making turkeys in kindergarten or 1st grade using your hand. You would either trace the shape of your hand onto a piece of construction paper or paint the back of your hand and press it on to a piece of construction paper.
After achieving the shape of the turkey with your hand, you would then move on to decorating your turkey with all types of decorations such as glitter, feather, sequins, buttons, and more!
So for this tutorial, I decided to use the same concept but with a new twist. You will be using your hand to trace and cut out the shape of the turkey, then decorating it with fondant and more! This is a cool cake to make with your kids including adults. It’s super easy and fun to make.
So let’s get started with out Turkey Hand Cake.
- Cake layers (as many needed per person)
- Cake spatula
- Rolling pin
- Xacto knife
- Cake board
- Turn table
Step 1: Carving the Shape of your Hand
Usually, it’s best to level a cake layer before filling it with frosting. But in this case, it’s actually good for the cake to have a domed shape on the top. It will make the turkey look more round instead of flat. To carve the shape of the turkey, place your hand on top of the cake layer and begin tracing around your hand with a butter knife. A butter is best to use first, because you’d definitely want to avoid getting cut with a sharper knife.
Try not to carve too deep into the cake as you’re tracing the shape of your hand. Now that you have the shape of your hand, use a sharper knife to carve into the cake. Remember to gradually carve around the cake to prevent the cake from breaking.
After carving out the shape of your hand, now you will begin to fill the cake with icing.
For these cakes, I decided to cut them in half just because the cake layer was pretty thick.
This is optional so if you want to just put icing on the outside of the cake, you can do that as well.
Step 2: Covering the Cake in Fondant
During this step my daughter and nephew were really impatient and were wondering when they would be able to start decorating their cake. So to make this whole process easier and not so messy.
I covered each cake in fondant so that they could decorate their own individual cake. This process basically consisted of rolling out the fondant to 1/8 of an inch and then placing it onto the cake. It was pretty difficult to cover the cake in between each finger so to make this process easier, I pushed the fondant in between each crack before trimming off the excess fondant.
After trimming off the excess fondant, I used a thin paint brush to push the fondant all the way into the crack of each finger. This technique actually came to mind as I was going along and it help out tremendously.
You definitely want to make sure to get each finger covered fully so that you can see the actual shape of the hand. After making sure each finger was fully covered in between each crack, I smoothed out the top surface with my cake smoother. At this point you are now ready to move on to creating your decorations for the surface of the cake.
Step 3: Making the Decorations for the Turkey
To make the feathers of the turkey, I decided to use leaf fondant plungers to cut out the leaves. I separated two balls of fondant into four balls to make the colors red, yellow, orange, and green.
It took a while to color each piece of fondant so I highly recommend either pre-coloring the fondant 1 day in advance or coloring the fondant as your making it. My daughter and nephew were really impatient at this point so I tried my best to hurry.
You do not have to cut out too many leaves, I recommend cutting 15 of each color, that way you will have more than enough to go around. After cutting out each color I placed them into three separate pans but you can definitely use bowls if you’d like.
It’s best to lightly dust the bowl or pan with powdered sugar to prevent the leaves from sticking to the pan. I absolutely hate when fondant sticks to anything after it’s been cut because it’s very difficult to pull up from any surface and is hard to use.
Let get to decorating those Turkeys!!
To decorate our turkeys, we decided to use sprinkles, edible markers, and candy eyes for the turkeys eyes. For the legs of the turkey, I just rolled out thin pieces of fondant and cut them about 1 inch long. I made tiny cuts onto the bottom of the cake or Turkey and pressed the 1 inch pieces of fondant on to the cake.
After attaching the legs to the cake, I made two tiny cuts on the bottom end of each leg to make the feet of the turkey. There you have it, a Turkey Hand Cake! Out of this whole process, I truly have to say that decorating these turkey hand cakes with my daughter and nephew was the best. We had so much fun and it turned out to be a simple and easy craft to share with them.
Yes, I will admit that sprinkles did get everywhere but, we truly had a great time. This craft also brought back so many memories from my childhood.
It’s such a fun project to do with your family and the prep time only took a couple of hours. So I highly recommend you all trying this craft with your family. I’m sure they will look forward to this for thanksgiving every year.