Thanksgiving meal cupcakes

Nov 23, 2011 at 12:41 p.m. ET

My family is a desserts first kind of group. Whether we were sneaking a piece of Mom's amazing pecan pie while she basted the turkey or filling up on Grandma's stash of Christmas candy, my brothers and I were always indulging well before dinner started.

Thanksgiving meal cucpakes

If you are like my family and eat desserts first, try these meal cupcakes. They look exactly like what you are eating for dinner so sneaking dessert first was never so easy!

This year, get your scolding mother off your back by assuring her that you are just "taste testing" a portion of her delicious mashed potatoes. But don't worry, these aren't like the meat cupcakes you've seen trending. These bite size cupcakes are made entirely of sweet ingredients, like frosting, candy and caramel sauce!

Recipe by Paula Deen.

Thanksgiving meal cupcakes

Yields 18 cupcakes. For a delicious vanilla cupcake base, try this recipe!



  • Bone template
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate melting wafers
  • 2 cups vanilla frosting
  • 6 plain doughnut holes
  • 1 cup crushed Kellogg's Corn Flakes

Mashed potatoes:

  • 3 yellow Laffy Taffy candies
  • 1/2 cup vanilla frosting
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce

Peas and carrots:

  • 9 orange Starburst candies
  • 6 tablespoons vanilla frosting
  • Green food coloring
  • 2 tablespoons hard green Runts candies


  1. Make the cupcakes as recipe indicates. Let cool completely before you begin assembling.
  2. To make the drumsticks: Put a bone template on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. When melted, pour the chocolate into a resealable bag. Press out the excess air and seal the bag. Snip a 1/8-inch corner from the bag and, following the bone template, pipe an outline onto the waxed paper. Fill in the bone with chocolate. Tap the cookie sheet lightly to smooth the top of the chocolate. Repeat with the remaining chocolate to make six bones.
  3. Refrigerate until firm, about five to 10 minutes. Spread the vanilla frosting on top of six cupcakes, mounding it slightly. Using a sharp knife, make a small slit in the top of each doughnut hole. Carefully peel one chocolate bone from the waxed paper and insert the pointed end into the slit. Repeat with the remaining bones and doughnut holes. Place one doughnut hole on top of each cupcake. Put in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  4. Spread the frosting over the doughnut hole until it is smooth and covered. Add the Corn Flake crumbs to a medium bowl and gently press the frosted cupcakes into the crumbs to cover completely. Transfer the cupcakes to the aluminum tray.
  5. To make the mashed potatoes: Cut the yellow fruit chews into 1-inch squares. Spread the vanilla frosting on one cupcake, mounding it slightly. Use a small spoon to create a well in the center of the frosting. Put the cupcake in the baking tray and arrange the fruit chew in the well at an angle. Heat the caramel sauce for two to four seconds in the microwave and drizzle it on top of the cupcake so that it fills the well and spills over like gravy. Repeat with remaining five cupcakes.
  6. To make the peas and carrots: Cut the fruit chews into 1/4-inch cubes. Add the vanilla frosting to a small bowl and add enough green food coloring until it becomes bright green color. Spread on top of the cupcakes. Arrange the green candies and orange chews on top, pressing them into the frosting. Transfer the cupcakes to the aluminum tray.

Eating dessert first was never so fun!

More Thanksgiving dessert recipes

Pecan pie recipe
Classic pumpkin pie with maple whipped cream
Healthy Thanksgiving dessert recipes

Photo credit: Sonnett via Flickr