the mighty turkey ice cream cake

how to diy the ultimate thanksgiving dessert.

by blair waters

I'm a bad cook. It's hereditary--most of my mom's recipes ended in the word 'surprise,' and a lot of our Christmas ornaments are sad, little burned cookies covered in shellac and a little paint from the '90s (that's a holiday DIY for another day).

A girl can't live on Domino's alone, so a few years ago I took up Experimental Cooking. I recommend this to both the broke and the recipe-challenged, because absolutely no one cares what something tastes like if it looks really cool.

Out of all my creations, my turkey ice cream cake has been the biggest hit. It helps that it tastes like your classic ice cream sundae (and who doesn't love that?!) and is a real hit with the Instagram crowd--you know who you are. It's a DIY take on the Baskin-Robbins version, but who cares? Go on, my little Pocahontas, and behold the mighty Turkey Cake. Click through the gallery for my very professional recipe.

Things you'll need: 

- Vanilla ice cream (harder, more expensive stuff works best but I'm poor so just pick up some from Uncle Edy)

- Toothpicks 

- Smucker's Magic Shell (this is key--I prefer the confetti Magic Shell as it creates a more realistic turkey skin texture)

-Reese's Peanut Butter syrup

- A shallow pan for sculpting

- A plate to transfer

- A nice silver turkey pan 

- Ice cream cones (you can use plain sugar cones, but I like Drumsticks because it's like sugar)  

- Gloves 

- Icing (White) 

- 10 Sour Apple Airheads or five packs of Sour Apple Straws, depending on whether you want an arugula or iceberg 'lettuce' bed

- Optional: Caramel Syrup for 'gravy' (if you use this, put it in a little glass dish)

Get all your ingredients before you start "cooking!"

Put on the gloves. It looks gross but remember, you are not a cook; you are an artist.

Put the ice cream in your shallow dish. Use the dish to get a realistic turkey body. Pile that Ice cream in. If it looks melt-y, stop and freeze it for a few minutes. Continue until you've used 75-percent of the gallon. Return turkey creation and unused ice cream to the freezer.

Transfer the body to a plate. Add the rest of the ice cream. Act fast, dear pilgrims--this is your last chance to get the shape right. Think about what a turkey looks like.

Put back in refrigerator, and get to work on the drumsticks and lettuce bed.

Make your lettuce bed. Cut those Airheads in half and arrange on the platter, around where you'd like your turkey to go.

Cut diagonally down the drumstick, leaving a nice groove to stick a toothpick in. You'll probably mess up--it's OK! More food for the chef!

Remove the turkey and the drumsticks from the fridge. Working quickly, attach the wings. If you're using drumsticks, the ice cream will attach to the ice cream with a little prodding--but be safe and put some toothpicks under and around the wings, just in case.

Doesn't that look yummy? You're almost there, but baby birdie needs some time to cook. Return to fridge and hang out for about a half hour. This is a great time to get caught up on some reading.

Cover the turkey in magic shell. Use about 75-percent of the bottle. If you're not super-careful, it will get all over your lettuce; that's fine--remove the lettuce and place in refrigerator, and return the turkey to the fridge.

Go on, return it to the fridge.

Time to make the turkey color--mix 1/4 of the Magic Shell with the Reese's syrup. Remove turkey from the fridge and pour over it. Isn't that a beautiful shade? I'm so proud of you!

Make sure you get all up in there and cover the whole thing, and then return to fridge.

Once the shell is hardened, remove it once more and add those little icing drumsticks.

Not ready to eat it yet? Pop it in the freezer. Don't want your creation melting before you get to show it off to everyone.

Add back in that "lettuce" if you haven't already. Presentation is key, people.

You did such a good job!

Eat up!