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Chocolate Turtle Cake

 Chocolate Turtle Cake
We created this decadent chocolate cake showcasing a creamy caramel layer and rich ganache. A small slice goes a long way to satisfy a sweet tooth.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
16 ServingsPrep: 3 hours Bake: 20 min. + cooling

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dark baking cocoa
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2-1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • CARAMEL LAYER:
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • GANACHE LAYER:
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

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Chocolate Turtle Cake (continued)

Ingredients (continued)

  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • FROSTING:
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon dark baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • GARNISHES:
  • Chocolate curls or other decorations

Directions

  • Dissolve cocoa in boiling water; cool. In a large bowl, cream butter
  • and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating
  • well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking
  • soda, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately
  • with buttermilk and cocoa mixture, beating well after each addition.
  • Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at
  • 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the
  • center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from
  • pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For caramel layer: Line a 9-in. round pan with foil and grease the
  • foil with butter. Sprinkle with pecans; set aside.
  • In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, brown sugar, 1/2 cup
  • cream, corn syrup and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook
  • and stir until smooth and blended, about 5 minutes. Gradually stir
  • in remaining cream. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring
  • constantly. Cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 238°
  • (soft-ball stage), about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat. Quickly pour into prepared pan (do not scrape
  • saucepan). Cool.
  • For ganache layer: Line a 9-in. round pan with foil and grease the
  • foil with 1 teaspoon butter. Sprinkle with pecans; set aside. Place
  • chocolate chips in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream
  • just to a boil. Pour over chocolate; whisk until smooth. Pour over
  • pecans. Cool to room temperature; chill until set.
  • For frosting: In a microwave, melt unsweetened chocolate and
  • chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. In a large bowl,
  • beat the confectioners' sugar, butter, milk, cocoa and vanilla until
  • smooth; beat in melted chocolate.
  • To assemble cake: Place one cake layer on a serving plate; remove

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Chocolate Turtle Cake (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • foil from caramel and place on top. Top with another cake layer;
  • remove foil from ganache and place on top. Top with remaining cake
  • layer. Frost top and sides of cake. Garnish as desired. Yield: 16
  • servings.
Nutritional Facts: 1 slice (calculated without garnishes) equals 968 calories, 55 g fat (28 g saturated fat), 153 mg cholesterol, 483 mg sodium, 118 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 10 g protein.