I made these Thanksgiving turkey cupckes last year, for my son Matthew's class Thanksgiving party. They were very rushed and last minute, but the idea was to pipe frosting in a design to look like the turkey's tail feathers. And I piped the face this time, instead of using an M&M like I did with the Thanksgiving turkey cupcakes I made a few years ago. (Those also used candy corn for the turkey tail feathers and turned out way cuter than these did, in my opinion.) Also I wanted something semi-healthy for the classroom of kids, so I made fresh apple cupcakes (recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!).
For the frosting, I used my favorite cream cheese frosting recipe (recipe also in my book!). I divided and tinted the frosting red, orange, yellow, and brown, and then used a pastry bag fitted with a leaf tip to pipe the feathers, starting with the red, then orange, and then yellow. (To see more of this method, check out my Christmas wreath cookies and Christmas wreath cupcakes - I use the same piping technique for the leaves!)
Then for the turkey's face, I piped a little blob of brown frosting in the center of the last row of feathers (you can use a large round tip or even just a coupler for this).
Then for the details on the face, I piped little black eyes, used an orange rainbow chip for the beak, and an upside-down heart sprinkle for the wattle.
If you make these, be sure your frosting is cold when you pipe the tail feathers. Don't be lazy like me and pipe with warm frosting, because then your piped tail feathers will look all sloppy and messy like mine! Whoops!