Prepping the Thanksgiving Turkey (Cake)

True confession: the only whole turkey I have ever actually cooked myself has been in cake form. So technically, I’ve only ever baked a turkey. 

I look forward to holiday cake season all year. Of course because I have an Olympic-level love for the holidays, but also because clients usually come up with some very unique cake requests for me. Take this turkey cake for example—the request went something like this: “I want to bring a showstopper cake to our Friendsgiving this year. I was thinking a full size 3D turkey cake, and could you also make it look like the one on the cover of Charleston Magazine?” See my reference photo below:

Lookalike cake challenges are such a joy for me, primarily because I get to focus on small details that make a big impact, like texture and shading. The pears and little grape tomatoes were sculpted from modeling chocolate, then I painted them each various shades of avocado green, golden yellow and bright red to make them the most realistic. And the leaves were all created with gum paste, then I dusted each with different green hues to give them a varying effect. As for the main event—the turkey himself was carved out of five layers of delicious golden vanilla cake, topped with vanilla bean buttercream and modeling chocolate. 

But enough turkey cake talk from me. I hope you have the most wonderful Thanksgiving week filled with friends, family, wonderful food, and of course, plenty of dessert.