How to Make Pilgrim Cupcakes for Thanksgiving

by Tonya Staab
Published: Updated:

Are you looking for Thanksgiving cupcakes ideas? Make these pilgrim cupcakes for kids while they learn about the history of Thanksgiving.

The kids have been learning about the Pilgrims at school and the history of Thanksgiving at school.

I made these pilgrim cupcakes and the kids at school made paper bag costumes to wear for this unit.

pilgrim cupcakes
Pilgrim cupcakes made for a unit study at school.

Pilgrim cupcakes


  • Plain vanilla cupcakes in brown cupcake liners
  • White icing
  • Cocoa powder
  • Chocolate for melting (perfect excuse to use up some of that Halloween candy)
  • Large marshmallows
  • Chocolate coated cookies
  • Wilton Sparkle Gel – white, yellow, and black
  • Large round Wilton tip with a piping bag and tape.
  • Toothpicks (or any other kind of pick or narrow skewer)


Begin by making the Pilgrim hat.  Melt the chocolate in the microwave and using a pick coat each marshmallow in melted chocolate.  Place it carefully on top of the cookie and pop it in the refrigerator until set.  Once set gently remove the pick. Using the sparkle gel add on a white band and yellow buckle, then set aside.

A collage of photos to show how to make pilgrim cupcakes.
Step-by-step instructions to make Pilgrim cupcakes.

Mix a small amount of cocoa at a time with plain white icing until you get a color you are happy with.   Place the tip inside the bag (cut off the end of the bag) and tape the bag onto the tip.  Fill the bag with icing and holding your hand very steady and keeping the tip just above the top of the cupcake pipe a face onto each cupcake.  If you push down just a little while piping you will see that the icing fills out so it covers more of the top of the cupcake.

Place the hat on top of the icing and using the black sparkle gel add facial features.

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Tonya Staab November 9, 2011 - 5:57 pm

Thank you Cat 🙂

Cat Davis - Food Family Finds November 9, 2011 - 5:40 pm

Those are just too cute for words.

Ile November 9, 2011 - 10:50 pm


marla November 10, 2011 - 4:54 am

Soooo adorable! Gonna pin & Facebook now 🙂

Gena Morris November 10, 2011 - 5:14 am

Those are too stinking cute!

Emily November 10, 2011 - 5:25 am

These are adorable! Well done!

Lara DiPaola November 10, 2011 - 10:51 am

Yeah FINALLY a cute and tasty replacement for the tons of turkey “stuff” on the table. The kids will LOVE doing this! and eating em too, natch.

Quyen - Kitchen Runway November 10, 2011 - 8:09 am

So cute and creative!! Love it!!

Christin November 10, 2011 - 8:16 am

I think this is the cutest Thanksgiving treat I’ve seen!

Picaboo November 10, 2011 - 11:17 am

These are adorable. Love! Love! Love!

Dee M. November 10, 2011 - 5:50 pm

This is such a cute idea and perfect for the upcoming holiday. I HAVE to make these. Thanks for sharing!

culinaryneophyte November 12, 2011 - 8:43 pm


Katherine marie November 15, 2011 - 9:07 am

Your creativity is never-ending!!!! I love em! Possibly too cute to eat!

Tonya Staab November 16, 2011 - 9:36 am

Thank you so much 🙂  Have a wonderful day.

Lindsey November 16, 2011 - 8:35 pm

I love these!!! I saw them linked to from somewhere else and I had to come over and see them again. My kids would go nuts over these!

I’d really love you to submit this the Make and Takes spotlight page (

Tonya Staab November 19, 2011 - 12:41 pm

Thank you so much Lindsey, I've just submitted them 🙂

nicole November 22, 2011 - 5:27 pm

i love them i got all the stuff…inspired

Dawn @ Kitchen Lore November 24, 2011 - 2:18 am

These are incredible! Super cute. I included them in a Thanksgiving cute food round-up with a link back here. Hope you don’t mind.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tonya Staab November 24, 2011 - 9:04 am

Thank you so much Dawn, Happy Thanksgiving.

lyndsay November 24, 2011 - 9:32 am

this is just the cutest… i had to share it on my facebook page! also, happy thanksgiving! ^__^

Tonya Staab November 4, 2012 - 9:09 pm

Hi, I used the Wilton white icing and mixed in just a little cocoa powder.  Hope that helps.

disneylover November 4, 2012 - 8:58 pm

I just saw this today & these are the best Thanksgiving cupcakes ever! What kind of vanilla frosting did you use? It doesn’t look completely white..

disneylover November 8, 2012 - 1:18 am

Thank you so much! I will definitely give these a try this year!

Heather - Chickabug November 15, 2012 - 4:18 pm

These are absolutely precious! That face – irresistible! : )

Tonya Staab November 16, 2012 - 8:32 am

Thank you Heather, he's almost too cute to eat … almost

Tonya Staab November 20, 2012 - 6:02 pm

Hi Maggie,

They are the Keebler Fudge Stripes.

Maggie November 20, 2012 - 5:34 pm

This is adorable! What kind of cookies did you use?

Tonya Staab November 21, 2014 - 8:13 am

Hi Hannah, I used the Fudge Striped Keebler cookies.

hannah November 21, 2014 - 6:28 am

What cookie did you use for the hat?

sarah January 4, 2015 - 11:06 am

Thank you for the comment. I loved you cupcakes too.

sarah January 4, 2015 - 11:07 am

Your so welcome.

Allison October 3, 2016 - 6:04 am

These are adorable! Almost too cute to eat, almost 🙂


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