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Chocolate Turtle Cake

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I absolutely live for chocolate and creating luscious, over-the-top desserts. When a deep yearning for chocolate strikes, I indulge in my ultimate weakness – a triple layer chocolate turtle cake bursting with sweet caramel, crunchy pecans, and rich chocolate ganache. This cake is essentially a giant, sliceable chocolate turtle candy bar.

With my easy to follow recipe, you’ll be able to create this sensational showstopper cake right in your own kitchen. I’ll provide tips and tricks for perfecting each component – the scrumptious chocolate cake layers, the heavenly homemade caramel sauce, the toasted pecan filling, and the silky smooth chocolate ganache frosting.

You’re probably wondering…how can I get that striking contrast of flavors and textures? What makes the caramel sauce so creamy and decadent? Why toast the pecans? Can I customize the chocolate or nuts? How do I create gorgeous, drippy ganache that looks professionally done?

I’m about to answer all those questions and more so you can master this drool-worthy chocolate turtle cake. From luscious cake baking tips to ooey-gooey caramel perfection, you’ll gain the skills to treat yourself to this sensational cake anytime. Get ready to wow your guests and become the ultimate hostess with the mostest gorgeous dessert that everyone will rave about. So let’s dive in – it’s time for a chocolate extravaganza!

Is chocolate turtle cake hard to make?

Not at all! This cake takes a bit of time with the multiple layers, but it’s easy to put together. The ingredients are basic – cake mix, chocolate, caramel, pecans. You’ll feel like a pro assembling this restaurant-worthy cake in your own kitchen.

What is the best cake mix to use?

I prefer using a dark or milk chocolate cake mix rather than plain vanilla. It gives you that intense chocolate base that perfectly complements the gooey caramel and crunchy pecans.

Should I use boxed or homemade caramel?

You can’t beat homemade caramel made with just a few ingredients. It comes together quickly on the stovetop and far surpasses any store-bought version.

What makes this better than a basic chocolate cake?

It’s all about the layers of textures and flavors – moist chocolate cake, smooth and thick caramel, chopped crunchy pecans, velvety chocolate ganache. Each bite is chocolate bliss!

Why should I make this chocolate pecan dessert?

Because you deserve a decadent cake that will wow your family and friends! It’s perfect for birthdays, holidays, or anytime you need some chocolate therapy. Once they take a bite, this will become everyone’s favorite go-to chocolate cake recipe.

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 35 Minutes
Total Time: 2 Hours 5 Minutes (includes cooling)



  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups (350g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (90g) cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups (400ml) milk
  • 1 cup (240ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Caramel Pecan Filling:

  • 3/4 cup (170g) butter
  • 3/4 cup packed (170g) brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup (170ml) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 12 oz (340g) chopped pecans

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 12 oz (340g) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup (170ml) heavy cream


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease three 8-inch cake pans.
  • Make the chocolate cake batter by mixing together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, eggs, milk, oil, vanilla and leavening agents in a large bowl.
  • Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow cakes to cool completely in the pans, then remove.
  • Make the caramel pecan filling by melting the butter and brown sugar together in a saucepan. Stir in the cream and vanilla. Add the pecans.
  • Assemble the cake by placing one layer on a cake stand or plate, topping with half the caramel pecan filling, then repeating with second and third layers.
  • For the ganache, heat the cream just until simmering then pour over the chocolate chips in a bowl. Let sit 1 minute then whisk smooth and glossy.
  • Pour the ganache over the entire cake, letting it drizzle down the sides. Smooth evenly across the top and sides with an offset spatula.
  • Chill the cake for at least 1 hour before slicing to allow ganache to set.


  • Toast the pecans before adding to the filling for deeper flavor
  • Substitute milk or dark chocolate chips for the semisweet
  • Garnish with extra pecans, chocolate shavings or drizzled caramel

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