Indulge in Decadence with this Chocolate Turtle Cake Recipe

Indulge in your chocolate cravings with a classic dessert that never goes out of style – the Chocolate Turtle Cake. This heavenly dessert consists of triple layers of rich chocolate cake, pecans, and caramel filling that will leave you wanting more. The creamy combination of the chocolate, pecans, and caramel sauce makes each bite a delightful experience that is perfect for any occasion.

Whether you’re celebrating a birthday or just want to treat yourself to something extra special, this easy homemade Chocolate Turtle Cake recipe will surely impress your guests. Plus, the steps are simple enough for even novice bakers to follow along. All you need is a little patience, some simple ingredients from your pantry, and a sweet tooth.

So, what are you waiting for? Gather your ingredients and let’s get baking! With this recipe in your arsenal, you can satisfy any sweet tooth.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Chocolate Turtle Cake
Chocolate Turtle Cake

There is nothing quite like a chocolate cake, especially when it’s made with the added richness of pecans and caramel. But let’s take it one step further: what if we created a cake that combined these ingredients to create a decadent, show-stopping dessert? The result would be none other than the Chocolate Turtle Cake.

This cake will make your taste buds sing with joy from the very first bite. Imagine taking a fork and cutting into layers of moist, chocolate cake with melted chocolate chips dancing throughout. If that isn’t enough already, picture an abundance of crunchy pecans and gooey caramel bursting with every mouthful.

But what sets this recipe apart from others? Its versatility! Whether for an intimate gathering or large family reunion, this turtle cake is perfect for all occasions. Planning a children’s birthday celebration? Top the cake with candy turtles to meet them in their sweet tooth adventure. Or you can add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for those who need a bit more indulgence!

Not only is this recipe an absolute treat, but its preparation is also easy and straightforward, with easily accessible ingredients. So whether you are an experienced baker or beginner just dipping their toes into the world of baking, you’ll love making and eating this turtle cake.

So go ahead and give this recipe a try – I guarantee you won’t regret it. Once you taste the delightful combination of flavors that make up this turtle cake, you’ll be hooked for life!

Ingredient List

“Indulge in the ultimate chocolate goodness with our Chocolate Turtle Cake!”

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious Chocolate Turtle Cake:

  • Cake mix: You will start with a chocolate cake mix as the base for this recipe. We recommend using a Devil’s Food cake mix, but any chocolate cake mix should work.
  • Eggs: You will need 3 large eggs to add to your cake batter.
  • Vegetable oil: You will need 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in order to get that super moist texture.
  • Evaporated milk: To give moisture and richness to the recipe, you will need 1 cup of evaporated milk.
  • Water You will need 3 cups of water to create your caramel sauce mixture.
  • Caramels and Chocolate chips: You will need a bag of caramels (preferably DeMet Candy Company called “turtles”) and 2 cups of chocolate chips to make your turtle chocolate layer topping.
  • Butter: Make sure you have 1/2 cup of melted butter for the recipe (divided into quarters).
  • Pecans: Chopped pecans will be used in both the cake batter and the turtle layer: \3 cups for the topping and 3/4 cup for the cake batter itself.

The Recipe How-To

“A heavenly combination of chocolate, caramel, and pecans in one delicious cake”

Before we dive into the recipe directions, let me tell you a little secret: making a chocolate turtle cake is easier than you think. This recipe starts with a boxed chocolate cake mix to make things simple but ends up being anything but basic. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Preheat the Oven and Prep Your Pan

Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour a 9×13 inch baking dish.

Tip: I find that using a non-stick cooking spray with flour in it works wonders and saves time. Make sure to coat the pan evenly, so the cake doesn’t stick to it.

Step 2: Prepare the Cake Batter

In a mixing bowl, combine the chocolate cake mix, chocolate chips, three eggs, and 1 1/4 cups of water. Mix until smooth.

Next, add in 1/2 cup of vegetable oil and 3/4 cup of evaporated milk. Mix until all ingredients are well combined.

Finally, fold in 1 cup of chopped pecans.

Tip: Toasting the pecans before adding them to the batter enhances their flavor and crunchiness. To toast pecans, bake them at 350°F (180°C) for around 8-10 minutes or heat them in a skillet over medium heat for around 6-8 minutes.

Step 3: Bake the Cake

Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.

Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Tip: Do not overbake as this can dry out the cake. If your cake seems to be browning too quickly, cover it with aluminum foil and continue baking.

Step 4: Add Caramel Sauce Topping

After removing the cake from the oven, use a fork to poke holes evenly throughout its surface while still warm.

Meanwhile, melt one bag of caramels (14 ounces) with 1/4 cup of butter in a saucepan over low heat. Once melted, slowly stir in 3/4 cup of evaporated milk.

Tip: You could use store-bought caramel sauce instead Make sure you microwave it for around 20 seconds so it’s thinner and easier to pour over your cake.

Pour or drizzle your warm caramel topping evenly over your cake while it is still hot out of the oven.

Let cool completely before adding any additional toppings.

You did it! That’s all that there is to making an easy homemade decadent chocolate turtle cake. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream on top and enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

“This cake is sure to impress your friends and family at any special occasion”

The Chocolate Turtle Cake recipe is already a crowd-pleaser, but there are always room for tweaks and variations to make it even more delightful. Here are some ideas to switch things up in the kitchen.

If you want a more intense chocolate flavor, you can swap the German chocolate cake mix for devil’s food cake mix. This will give it a richer, more indulgent taste that is perfect for true chocolate lovers.

For those who love nuts, you can use different types of nuts instead of pecans. Walnuts or almonds can easily replace pecans if that’s what you prefer.

You can also add some salted caramel drizzle on top of the cake or in between the layers for extra sweetness and depth of flavor. This variation will add a delightful saltiness to the sweet chocolate and caramel flavors.

Another way to enjoy turtle cake is by turning it into a poke cake— simply poke holes into the baked cake to create pockets where your favorite filling can be added. In this case, you can add extra caramel or melted chocolate chips into the holes before icing.

Not a fan of layer cakes? No worries! This recipe is versatile enough that it can be turned into a bundt cake as well. The turtle bundt cake is just as delicious as its layered counterpart and makes for an elegant dessert suitable for any occasion.

Finally, if you’re feeling adventurous or looking for a birthday cake idea, consider adding chopped DeMet Candy Company’s Turtles on top of your turtle cake. These candies are made with clusters of silky smooth caramel and perfectly roasted pecans covered with rich milk chocolate, providing a crave-worthy topping to every slice.

With these substitutions and variations, you can always keep things interesting in your kitchen while maintaining the core flavor profile that makes this easy homemade Chocolate Turtle Cake recipe so irresistible.

Serving and Pairing

“A slice of this cake will make you feel like you’re in chocolate heaven”

Now that your delicious homemade Chocolate Turtle Cake is finished, it’s time to think about the best way to serve and pair it. This cake is perfect for sharing with family and friends, so don’t be afraid to cut generous slices.

One serving suggestion for this sensational cake is to pair it with a warm cup of café latte or espresso. The rich, creamy chocolate flavor combined with the bitterness of the coffee creates a perfect balance that your taste buds will love.

If you’re looking for something a little more indulgent, consider topping your slice with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. The cold and sweet creaminess perfectly contrasts the warm and fudgy cake.

For an extra layer of flavor, add a drizzle of salted caramel sauce on top. The sweet yet salty sauce pairs remarkably well with Chocolate Turtle Cake. It adds an extra dose of richness to every bite.

This cake is also perfect for special occasions such as birthdays, graduations, weddings or holidays. You could also serve this as a tasty dessert following any meal like dinner parties or potluck gatherings.

We highly recommend trying this cake paired with a glass of cold milk! The creamy milk provides refreshment from the rich flavors of the turtle cake.

In summary, there are many ways to enjoy this mouthwatering Chocolate Turtle Cake. Whatever you choose, make sure you savor every bite!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“The perfect choice for chocoholics who also happen to love caramel and pecans”

When you’re planning to serve the chocolate turtle cake at a later time, you may be wondering how to make-ahead, store and reheat the dessert. Fortunately, this cake is very forgiving and can be prepared in advance without turning stale or dry.

To make ahead of time, simply bake and frost the cake as stated in the recipe instructions. Once it’s completely cooled, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it. This can be done up to 2-3 days ahead of time.

To reheat the cake, preheat your oven to 350°F. Unwrap the plastic wrap from the cake and cover it loosely with aluminum foil. Place it on a baking sheet and warm it in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until it’s heated through. You can get that perfect freshly baked taste by reheating just before serving.

If you have leftovers, store them properly for the best results. Cut slices of leftover cake should be wrapped individually in plastic wrap or stored inside an airtight container before being refrigerated for up to four days – yet leftover chocolate turtle cake rarely lasts that long!

Additionally, you may freeze the entire cake, whole or cut into pieces, for up to 3 months. Wrap each slice or piece tightly with plastic wrap and then add another layer with foil. Label the wrapped cake with its name and date so you’ll remember what’s inside; this makes it easy to find later on when you crave a slice. However, please remember that sweets like easy homemade chocolate turtle cakes should be consumed responsibly; thus sharing them with friends will often come handy 😉

Keeping these storing tips in mind would allow you to enjoy this chocolate turtle cake recipe anytime without losing its flavor or quality!

Tips for Perfect Results

“Our recipe will guide you through the process of making your own chocolate turtle cake from scratch”

Baking a cake can be a daunting task, but with a few key tips, making this chocolate turtle cake recipe will be a breeze. Here are my recommendations for ensuring perfect results every time.

First and foremost, it’s essential to follow the recipe exactly as written. Baking is a precise science, and even small changes to the ingredients or measurements can drastically alter the final product. Double-check that you have all the necessary ingredients and that you are adding them in the correct order.

When it comes to mixing the batter, avoid overmixing. Stir the ingredients until they are just combined. Overmixing can result in a tough, dense cake.

To ensure that your cake bakes evenly, make sure your oven is preheated to the correct temperature. Use an oven thermometer to ensure that it’s accurate.

Another trick for ensuring even baking is to rotate the cake halfway through baking. This is especially important if you’re using a convection oven, which circulates air and can cause uneven baking.

Once your cake has finished baking and has cooled slightly, you may want to trim off any uneven edges or domed tops to create a flat surface for frosting. Use a serrated knife or special cake leveler for this task.

Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative with your frosting and decorations! Try drizzling caramel sauce over the top of your frosted cake or sprinkling additional chopped pecans over the edges for added texture and flavor.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a delicious and visually appealing chocolate turtle cake every time. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you!


As you prepare to make this decadent chocolate turtle cake, you may have questions about the recipe. Perhaps you want to know more about ingredient substitution options, or how to store the cake properly. You’re in luck! We’ve compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and answers to help guide you through the baking process. Read on to learn more.

What is turtle cake made of?

Indulge in the lusciousness of the Turtle Chocolate Cake, a heavenly dessert that combines moist chocolate cake, rich caramel sauce, chopped pecans, and caramel buttercream. This cake is a perfect rendition of the classic turtle candies but in solid cake form. Oct 20, 2020

Why is turtle cake called turtle cake?

These mouth-watering treats were first created in 1918 by DeMet’s Candy Company. They consist of pieces of pecan that are coated in caramel and then covered in delectable gourmet chocolate, resulting in a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The candies are named “turtles” because of their resemblance to the shelled reptiles, with a chocolate-covered shell that surrounds the nutty, caramel filling within.

What is in chocolate turtles?

A sweet treat that’s popularly known for its turtle-like shape is made with a blend of pecans, caramel, and chocolate. The candy is even trademarked by DeMet’s Candy Company.

How do you make Ina Garten’s favorite chocolate cake?

For this delightful recipe, you will need the following ingredients: all-purpose flour, sugar, freshly brewed hot coffee, shaken buttermilk, cocoa powder, vegetable oil, extra-large eggs at room temperature, and baking soda. Make sure to have 1 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour on hand, as well as 2 cups of sugar, as these are the base of the cake. Additionally, prepare a cup of hot coffee to mix in with the other ingredients to bring out the rich chocolate flavor. Don’t forget to have the buttermilk, cocoa powder, vegetable oil, eggs, and baking soda ready to go as well.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, making a Chocolate Turtle Cake is a delicious and easy way to impress your guests or indulge yourself in something decadent. With the right ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, you can easily bake this cake in a matter of hours and have everyone raving about it. The combination of chocolate cake, gooey caramel, crunchy pecans, and chocolate chips is truly irresistible.

Moreover, this recipe allows for various substitutions and variations based on your preferences or dietary restrictions. You can also pair it with coffee, ice cream or whipped cream to enhance the flavors even more.

Lastly, make sure to follow the tips for perfect results such as measuring ingredients accurately, using high-quality chocolate chips, and refrigerating the cake before serving. These small details can make a big difference in the texture and taste of your cake.

In short, whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just satisfying your sweet tooth cravings, a Chocolate Turtle Cake is the perfect solution. With this recipe on hand, you can become the go-to baker among your friends and family. So why not give it a try? The result will be worth every bite!

Chocolate Turtle Cake

Chocolate Turtle Cake Recipe

This is a very rich and sinful desert that is quick and easy to make. A recipe passed on to me by my mother.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: < 60 Mins, Dessert, Oven
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Calories: 677.1kcal


  • 1 (18 ounce) box German chocolate cake mix
  • 3 eggs (or as called for by your cake mix)
  • 1/3 cup oil (or as called for by your cake mix)
  • 1 1/3 cups water (or as called for by your cake mix)
  • 1 (14 ounce) bag caramels
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups pecans
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


  • Prepare cake mix as directed.
  • Pour 1/2 of the batter in a 13x9 inch pan.
  • Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
  • Remove and let cool.
  • In a double boiler, add caramels, milk and butter and stir constantly till melted.
  • Pour melted caramel over cooling cake.
  • Sprinkle on top 1 cup of pecans& chocolate chips.
  • Pour remaining batter on top and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
  • Enjoy.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 177g | Calories: 677.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 72.2g | Protein: 7.9g | Fat: 43.5g | Saturated Fat: 14.7g | Cholesterol: 82.4mg | Sodium: 559.9mg | Fiber: 4.1g | Sugar: 51.2g

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