Carrying on Family Tradition - Thanksgiving Mini Candy 'Dinner' Cupcakes






Soooo many years ago (18 I think?) I started to make Thanksgiving cupcakes that looked like tiny Thanksgiving dinners.  I've posted about them here on An American Housewife many times over the years but they are a tradition in our family.

The cupcakes are decorated with a cookie that doubles as a 'plate' and bits of frosting, sprinkles, jimmies and candy are used to make a complete 'meal' of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries and either green beans or peas (depending on what candies you choose that year).

I'm thrilled to see that as my kids are growing up and leaving the nest, they are continuing our family traditions.  My oldest daughter sent me these pictures yesterday of the mini Thanksgiving Cupcakes she made to hand out to her little boys preschool class and for daycare and teachers.

When you are a young Mom and you start to do a few little 'traditions' for your own family, you just never know how important they become to your kids.  I'm seeing this first hand with SO MANY of our traditions.  It's heart warming.

My second oldest child, my son, lives about 1000 miles away.  He texted yesterday to say he was cooking a full Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow in his apartment!  And... starting out with another tradition of OUR family; watching a Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving dvd while they eat a 'Charlie Brown Thanksgiving' lunch - if you've seen the classic cartoon then you know it's the meal they have at the end; popcorn, pretzels, toast, jelly beans and sundaes!  Ha ha.

All these goofy traditions I started for fun... and they became so important to my kids over the years that they are starting to recreate them on their own.  


My daughter's version - as a Thankful For You gift for preschool teachers and daycare providers....





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I've posted this 'recipe' for years - here is a copy of one of the posts from my archives






  • Brach's Maple Nut Candies
  • White frosting
  • Yellow gel food color (in a little tube)
  • non-perils - red or green (for tiny red cranberries and green peas)
  • I bought the long shapes and called them 'green beans'
  • caramels, melted or chocolate chips or butterscotch chips for 'gravy'
  • a package of cookies with an 'edge' - I choose the ones with the 'pretty edge' to look like a plate
  • yellow frosting or other for the 'plate'

Bake and cool your favorite cupcake recipe. Place frosting on the cupcake and top each with a cookie while the frosting is soft to 'adhere' the cookie-plate to the cupcake.

Slice the maple nut candies thin and layer them as 'turkey'.
Dab some white frosting next to it for 'mashed potatoes' followed with a little dab of yellow gel food color as 'butter'.
Melt your caramels, butterscotch or chocolate chips and thin with a little vegetable oil. Drizzle over the 'turkey' as gravy.
Finish it off with the 'cranberries' (red colored sugar or non-perils) and little green 'peas' or 'beans'.



You can slice the top off the cupcakes
if you filled them 3/4 full and they have
a little peak. This will let the 'plate'
evenly on the top of it.

I have made these too many times to count - as they are a tradition in our home *most* Thanksgivings.
I've used all different sorts of cookies as the plate as you can see from yet another photo of the many versions
I've made over the past almost 25 years.







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50 x Plastic Single Individual Cupcake Muffin Dome Holders



Brach's Maple Nut Goodies Roasted Peanuts in Crunchy Toffee with Real Maple Coating, 7.5 Oz



CK Products 3.2 Ounce Jimmies/Sprinkles Bottle, Green





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