How to make The Raw Turkey Cake 12

Raw Turkey CakeServe raw turkey this Thanksgiving

This was originally created for Christmas after I had made one too many beautiful wedding cakes and needed a change. He has international fans now… he even has a name but I’ve been told that’s creepy so lets just call it the raw turkey cake.


  • This tutorial is for those with some previous experience of baking and covering cakes but if you’re a beginner with a give-it-a-go attitude you should have some fun too.
  • These quantities make a cake roughly 32cm (13”) long by 22cm (9”) wide and 22cms (9”) high which fits the average disposable turkey roasting tray.
  • Scale the template up or down to your needs and alter the quantities to suit.
  • When making a carved cake always use a sponge with decently strong, even texture – (not carrot cake for example, as it won’t carve smoothly)
  • A large roasting tin makes a good pan for baking your sheet cakes in.
  • Print out a really good quality photograph of a raw turkey taken from the side and another one taken from the front and back if you want to do a really good job – you can keep using these references alongside my pictures and instructions



  • Cake board or work board for building your cake on – at least as big as size of your final cake
  • Roasting tin or disposable foil turkey tray – remember this is ‘raw’ so it wouldn’t be seen on a fancy serving plate
  • Rolling pin
  • Sharp paring knife
  • Serrated bread knife for carving
  • Palette knife for applying buttercream/frosting
  • Dresden tool or blunt knife for tooling details
  • Little piece of baker’s string for tying legs together



Materials required Quantities
Buttercream / Frosting 2 kg / 4.5lb (1 butter: 2 icing sugar/powdered sugar)

Dye it red using paste colours (Optional: take a small quantity of the red, add blue dye to give purple for added yuk factor later)

Sponge cake 3 x sheets of cake each 3cm deep and 25.5cm x 37cm (roughly translates to 1.25″ deep by 10” x 14.5”). A large roasting pan works well for baking sheet cake and I have a recipe suggestion here

Brush the cooled sheet cakes with syrup before starting to stack them

Syrup 140g/5oz sugar dissolved in 225ml/1 cup water or flavoured to suit your cake
Marzipan 1.5kg/3.3lb (use white and not golden marzipan)
Rice Krispies treats 60g/2oz

12 thoughts on “How to make The Raw Turkey Cake

  • Dorothy McPherson

    The second template picture can’t be printed. The picture that I get is the same as the first template. The third and fourth ones are fine.

    • Sarah Hardy Makes Post author

      Hi Dorothy – Sorry, teething troubles. All sorted now, have another try!

  • tonya

    Hey, love this tutorial, I just have one question, on page five of the tutorial the three pictures in the first step four the color looks different than the final picture in the second number four, is it the syrup that gives it the pink raw turkey look, or am I missing something?
    Thanks in advance

    • Sarah Hardy

      Hi there Pattyiheartcake, The difference in the photos is just the lighting. I had very different lighting conditions while making the cake than I did when I did the final shoot- sorry! Also the pink sort of bleeds through to become more visible after a day so it does ‘mature’ a bit.
      The syrup could be coloured pink if you want to emphasise it but that isn’t the case in my example cake.
      You could do a test with a tiny peice of marzipan laid over a smear of your buttercream before you start – if the red doesn’t show through enough then add more colour.
      Hope that helps!

  • tonya

    I forgot to ask do you think I can get the same affect using fondant instead of Marzipan?

    • Sarah Hardy

      The unique look of this bird really does come from the semi transparent nature of marzipan I think – no reason that the carving etc shouldn’t stay the same and use fondant but you won’t get that depth of colour and slimey feel in the same way.

  • chaya

    not as successful as yours but i’ve never tried anything like this before so I”m happy with the result. got great reactions too.
    Raw Turkey Cake

    • Sarah Hardy

      Oh Chaya, I didn’t see the post here, must have been a glitch in the matrix – so sorry for not replying. I remember your picture though so I know it looked great. What are you going to do this Thanksgiving!? Any requests let me know. x

  • melanie

    hi Sarah
    love your cake what size pans did you use i was thinking about using round cake pans 2 9 -1 10-1 6

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