Cinnamon Roll Turkeys

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Turkey is tradition for Thanksgiving Dinner, but have you ever considered having it for breakfast? These Cinnamon Roll Turkeys will wow your kids!

assembled cinnamon roll turkey on a baking sheet

Many moons ago, I was a postpartum mess at Thanksgiving. My father-in-law, bless his heart, brought home packages of cinnamon rolls for me to bake for breakfast. He meant well.

But, with a 10-day old newborn to nurse and a turkey dinner to prep, I…

well, I had a good cry.

And when I was done, the Good Lord redeemed those blessed cans of cinnamon rolls.

It must have been divine inspiration; I can’t think of what else it could have been!

I smacked that can of refrigerated sweet rolls against the counter (hard, I imagine) and decided to make Cinnamon Roll Turkeys.

It was 2006. My babes were 9, 6, 4, 2, and newborn. I was into cutting food into cool shapes and coating it with sprinkles. As one does.

I busted out a can of refrigerator biscuits (smacked those hard on the counter, too) and a few jars of sparkly sugar.

And the rest, as they say is history. As evidenced here:

boy holiding plate with cinnamon roll turkey

FishBoy16, then FishBoy4 in 2006.

Please note: it’s not recommended that you use red hots for turkey eyes. They cry when baked, somewhat apropos to a turkey getting cooked, but also a little creepy.

So, in 2006 Cinnamon Roll Turkeys became a FishFam tradition. It really wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without them. Even the big boys/college men are fond of the tradition.

There are two versions of Cinnamon Roll Turkeys that I recommend. There’s a fully from scratch version here: (Healthier) Turkey Treats for Breakfast, and there is this original recipe:

baked cinnamon roll turkey on plate

This version is so quick and simple, you can even make them when you’re ten days postpartum. πŸ˜‰

How to make Cinnamon Roll Turkeys good and cheap:

To make this recipe more economical:

  • Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. Commercial refrigerator biscuits are not cheap. However, they do go on sale occasionally, and coupons are often available. Combine a sale with a coupon to get a great deal.
  • Buy post-holiday clearance items. Every holiday, it seems, warrants its own specialized baking ingredients: New Year’s, Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s, Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, and Christmas. That means that in the days after these holidays, you can find baking items, like sparkling sugar and candy sprinkles at a deep discount. Valentine’s Red, St Patrick’s green and Halloween’s orange all work for Thanksgiving turkeys!
  • Shop at the lowest price store. I’m currently using a price book to track prices and that’s saving me money. In lieu of a sale, I know what store typically has the best price on refrigerator biscuits. In this case, that would be ALDI.

How to make this recipe easily:

Having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs. Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:

Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:

  • large cutting board – I use this super size cutting board for a work surface for all my doughs. I can easily clean and sanitize it and move it around the kitchen.
  • sharp knife or bench knife β€“ For easily cutting dough into pieces.
  • parchment paper – I hate washing pans. Parchment paper makes clean up a breeze.
  • sheet pans – I LOVE my set of steel sheet pans. They make such a difference in baking.

ingredients for cinnamon roll turkeys

How to Make Cinnamon Roll Turkeys

Since the turkeys need to spread out, you’ll need several baking sheets, especially if you’re making many Cinnamon Roll Turkeys. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper so you don’t have to wash the pans.

Using parchment paper to assemble your turkeys will also make it easier to transfer them on and off the pan, especially if you’re reusing the pan.

You’ll need 1 unbaked cinnamon roll and 1 1/2 large unbaked refrigerated biscuits for each Cinnamon Roll Turkey, as well as colored sprinkles and edible eyes.

Using chocolate chips, nuts, or candy-coated chocolates for the eyes is best. (Red hots bleed and raisins and dried cranberries get too hard.)

Again, you can use refrigerator rolls or make your own dough.

The cinnamon roll will serve as the turkey’s body. Place this on the prepared pan. You will likely be able to fit two to four turkeys on each baking sheet.

cinnamon rolls and biscuits cut before assembly

Cut the 1/2 biscuit in half again. 1/4 is for the turkey’s face. Place this in the middle of the cinnamon roll with the point pointing down. Poke two eyes into the turkey’s face.

Cut the other 1/4 biscuit into two halves; these will be the legs. Cut two slits partially through each 1/8 triangle shape so the claws spread out. Tuck the legs under the bottom of the cinnamon roll. You want them to touch so that they stick together when baking.

cinnamon rolls with sugared turkey feathers

(The remaining 1/2 biscuit will not be used. Bake it for a snack or get creative.)

Cut the full biscuit into five feathers and dip the feathers into colored sugar or sprinkles. Tuck these under the top of the cinnamon roll.

Bake the Cinnamon Roll Turkeys according to the cinnamon roll directions.

0 from 0 votes
Cinnamon Roll Turkeys
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins

Turkey is tradition for Thanksgiving Dinner, but have you ever considered having it for breakfast? These Cinnamon Roll Turkeys will wow your kids!

Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: breakfast, breakfast rolls, cinnamon roll turkeys, cinnamon rolls, sweet rolls
Servings: 5
Calories: 603 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  • 1 package large refrigerator cinnamon rolls, contains 5
  • 1 package large refrigerator biscuits, contains 8
  • 10 chocolate chips, nuts, or candy coated chocolates
  • colored sprinkles and candy sprinkles
  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. The cinnamon rolls will serve as the turkeys' bodies. Place these on the prepared baking sheets. The finished turkey cinnamon rolls will be quite large. You will likely only be able to fit two to three turkeys on each baking sheet.

  3. Cut each of five biscuits into five slices or "feathers" and dip the feathers into colored sugar or sprinkles. Tuck these under the top of the cinnamon roll.

  4. Cut three of the biscuits into quarters. Place one quarter in the middle of each cinnamon roll with the point pointing down. These are the turkey "faces". Poke two chocolate chips, nuts, or candies into the turkey's face for eyes.

  5. Cut five of the quarters in half again; these will be the legs. Cut two slits partially through each 1/8 triangle shape so the claws spread out. Tuck the legs under the bottom of the cinnamon roll. You want them to touch so that they stick together when baking. (The remaining two quarters will not be used.)

  6. Bake the Cinnamon Roll Turkeys 20 to 25 minutes. 

Recipe Notes

You can also make your own cinnamon roll dough

Nutrition Facts
Cinnamon Roll Turkeys
Amount Per Serving
Calories 603 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 27g42%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 1400mg61%
Potassium 207mg6%
Carbohydrates 83g28%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 20g22%
Protein 9g18%
Calcium 48mg5%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cinnamon Roll Turkeys | Life as Mom

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Hoosier Homemade says

    That Turkey is so cute! I wish my boys were younger, I may just have to make it anyway, for me πŸ™‚
    Thanks for hosting!

  2. Hannah says

    Oh that turkey turned out so cute! What a fun idea!

  3. Sherry says

    That is adorable! I'll have to try that one. πŸ˜€

  4. Kelly says

    Love the Turkey….Looks cute and tasty! Plus, looks like the kids could easily help make it.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Family Balance Sheet says

    I posted a breakfast muffin recipe on mr.linkey, but this recipe is for a side dish. It would be a good side if you aren't cooking for too many people.

    Cranberry Walnut Acorn Squash Bowls

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Lucky says

    Love your idea for a holiday crisis post! I'll be sure to check back because I'm sure something will go wrong!

  7. Janel says

    Dear Sister, please leave at the CRACK OF DAWN on Wednesday and CHECK THE CAR FLUIDS before you go. You do NOT want to reenact my 11-hour drive from last year. The traffic will be horrendous! I do not want that for you. πŸ™‚

  8. shopannies says

    love the super cute idea of the turkey and you are probably right about next week

  9. HeatherC says

    I love this idea! Sunday we are having Thanksgiving round 1 at my parents house and I think I'm going to do this little project with the kiddos. What a fun thing to do!

  10. Mama Bird says

    LOVE the Turkey!! Can't wait to try this with my little man!!

  11. Bethany says

    Oh my goodness that is cute.

  12. Jenna says

    i miss playing URS! just stopping in to say hi, and happy holidays! no turkey day recipes to share. i too get this holiday off. my MIL cooks most everything. i bring pies. home made of course. don't have any pie recipes posted, but i'm tempted to venture out and make a regular pecan and a chocolate pecan pie this year, in addition to cherry, peach and pumpkin. i thing our head count is nearing 20….

  13. Anne says

    I love the turkey idea – so cute! I'm eating out this Thanksgiving – it's a first! I'll miss the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving cooking and prep, though.

  14. Delicious Meal&Recipe says

    very cool & delicious dish, thank you very much for sharing.

    Can I share this recipe on my recipe library?

    Awaiting your response. Thank

  15. nicole says

    I added my recipe for Cinderella's Pumpkin Rice Pudding!

  16. Jessika says

    Made these this morning-adorable and delicious!

  17. Loving your blog. Thanks for this recipe swap – it’s so much fun checking out new blogs and bloggers.

  18. Maureen says

    5 stars
    This has become a tradition in our family as well

  19. Christine Albert says

    5 stars
    Love this tradition we learned from Life As Mom years ago! A big hit in our family!!!

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