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Cake Pop Turkey Cookies

Guests will gobble up these cute cranberry cake ball and cookie creations that can double as place cards, too.

Serving Size:


Active Time:

1 hr., 30 min.

Total Time:

2 hrs., 30 min. + freezing/cooling time


Cake Balls:

  • 1 pkg. (16.5 oz.) yellow cake mix
  • Water, eggs and oil
  • ½ cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
  • ½ cup canned vanilla frosting

Cookie Tails:

  • 2 pkgs. (16.5 oz. each) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • Orange, no-taste red and lemon yellow concentrated food colorings
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 3 Tbs. each yellow, red and orange nonpareils sprinkles, combined


  • 4½ cups dark cocoa candy melts from 2 (14 oz.) pkgs., melted
  • 2 jars (3.25 oz. each) orange decorating sugar
  • 8 orange gumdrops
  • 48 small white pearls candy
  • 1 tube (4.25 oz.) black decorating icing
  • 24 jumbo hearts sprinkles


  1. For cake balls: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 13″x9″ baking pan with cooking spray. Make cake mix with water, eggs and oil according to package. Stir in cranberries; spread in pan. Bake 20-23 minutes or until pick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan. Crumble cake into bowl. Add frosting; on low speed, beat until moist. Divide into 24 portions; shape into 2”-long pear shapes. If making ahead, freeze in freezer containers.
  2. For cookie tails: In bowl on low speed, beat together cookie dough, flour and zest until blended. Divide mixture into 3 equal portions. Stir ¼ tsp. orange coloring into one portion, ¼ tsp. red coloring into another and ⅛ tsp. yellow coloring into remaining portion. Wrap dough not in use.
  3. Cut 13″ square of wax paper. On lightly floured surface, roll out orange dough into 11″x10″ rectangle. Gently transfer to wax paper. Roll out yellow dough. Lightly brush orange dough with some egg white; top with yellow dough. Roll out red dough. Brush yellow dough with egg white; top with red dough. Roll dough stack into 12″x11″ rectangle. Starting with short side, roll up jellyroll-style into log. Freeze 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut dough into 24 (3/8″ wide) slices; place 2″ apart on sheets. Brush edges with egg white; coat with nonpareils. Bake 11-13 minutes or baked through. Cool.
  5. To assemble: Line baking sheets with wax paper. Transfer ½ cup melted candy melts to plastic sandwich bag; reserve. Transfer remaining candy melts to tall bowl. For turkey bodies, using fork, dip cake balls, one at a time, into candy to coat completely, letting excess drip off. Transfer to baking sheets; let set. Re-melt candy in microwave as necessary.
  6. Trim ¼” straight piece off an edge of each cookie so assembled turkeys can stand up. Re-melt reserved candy in bag; snip tiny hole in one corner. Using candy, attach 1 body near flat side of 1 cookie; let set. On surface, sprinkled with orange sugar, roll out gumdrops to ⅛” thickness. Cut out 48 (¾”x½”) half ovals for wings, 48 (½”) triangles with slits for feet and 24 (¼”) cones for noses, re-rolling scraps as necessary. Attach with piped candy. For eyes, attach pearls; for pupils, pipe on black icing. For wattle, attach heart sprinkles.  

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