Just 2 weeks ago I made an Ombre Frills Cake using a technique I learned on Craftsy.com and I loved the technique so much that when trying to figure out what to do for Thanksgiving, I had this idea to make turkey toppers with frilly feathers. They turned out so gobblie-cute! Below are photos and instructions on how to make them.
If you want to learn more about the entire frilling technique (and more), I recommend that you watch Maggie Austin’s Fondant Frills Craftsy video – Here is a link to get 25% off a class of your choice courtesy of Craftsy.
To start making these little guys I started with creating a fall/autumn themed ombre (color gradation) with 3 colors using Americolor Gel Colors: Egg Yellow, Electric Orange, and Super Red.
With the 3 colors made, I wanted to create a gradient from red to orange and orange to yellow. Hopefully the pictures explain it well: I took 1/3 of the yellow and added it to about 1/4 of the orange. I then took 1/3 of the red and added it to another 1/4 piece of the orange to get a total of 5 colors.
Once I had made the gradient, I decided not to use all 5 colors and removed the middle, orange one to have a total of 4 colors – personal decision but you can use 5 or more.
I then used my Kitchen Aid Pasta Roller to roll out all the fondant really thinly (you can see how Maggie Austin does this in more detail on her video – the fondant is super thin – a #6 on the pasta roller). I found that using Satin Ice fondant works best for making these frills with. I rolled each color and placed them layer by layer over a cookie sheet between plastic wrap to keep them moist and not dry out.
I then took the first color (the back most color on the turkey), egg yellow, and cut it into strips that were about 1-inch wide by 2-3 inches long.
I cut out a piece of fondant with my 2 1/2 inch round, biscuit cutter and placed it over my scraper since it was the only thing I had right next to me that could hold the disk up at a slight angle (it’s easier to lay the frills on if the item is propped up rather than flat down).
Using a cell pad and a ball tool, I frilled the top half of each fondant strip and ruffled it along the cupcake topper using a tiny bit of water to attach each piece together. I made a total of 6 layers of frills and had variations on the color gradation – some had 2 layers of yellow, others had 1, some had 2 layers of red and others had 3 – play around with it and give it some variety (no two turkeys are alike anyways).
Once you have the frills all attached to the cupcake topper, add the turkey head using sugar glue or water to attach it on. Below are the instructions on how to make a turkey head.
How to make a gumpaste turkey head (step by step):
Step #1 – The Head
Take a 3/4 inch round ball of brown fondant and roll the bottom half of the ball into a slight log (leaving the top half of it round). Slightly pinch the top of the ball into a rounded triangle. Using a ball tool, indent the sides of the triangle for the eye sockets and the front for the beak.
Step #2 – The Beak
With a yellow ball of fondant that is about 1/3 inches round, shape it into a thick triangle. Use a knife to slit the triangle in half to form the mouth. Attach it to the front of the head using either water, piping gel, or sugar glue (tylose & water).
Step #3 – The Eyes
Roll a piece of white fondant into a 1/8 inch ball. Cut the ball in half and roll each half into another ball. Add a tiny tab of water into the eye sockets and smooth these balls into place. Dip the tip of a toothpick into with black or brown gel colors (I used chocolate-brown) and draw in the pupils on the eyes.
Step #4 – The Caruncle (the long flap that hangs down the turkey’s throat)
Roll out a red ball of fondant into a 1/3 inch ball then shape it into a long tear drop. Brush a tiny bit of water along the side of the beak and down the turkey’s throat. Smooth the Caruncle into place.
Step #5 – The Snood (small flap that hangs over the turkeys beak)
Roll out another piece of red fondant about 1/16 inch ball and shape it into a tear drop. Brush a tiny bit of water along the top of the beak and attach the snood into place.
This photo shows you the angled/side view of the turkey’s head.
Assemble everything, let it dry overnight, then top them over your favorite fall-flavored cupcakes.
Gobble, gobble….enjoy your Thanksgiving!
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