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Upside-Down Turtle Muffins

These gems feature an ooey-gooey caramel center and a glossy chocolate glaze topped with sweet pecans. They're perfect when you want something sweet. —Patrice Bruwer-Miller, Wyoming, Michigan
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 15 min.
  • Makes
    8 muffins


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 16 Riesen's chewy chocolate-covered caramels, divided
  • 24 pecan halves


  • In a small bowl, combine the flour, chopped pecans, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and butter; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Stir in the brown sugar, buttermilk, egg and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  • Fill greased muffin cups three-fourths full. Press one caramel into the center of each muffin cup. Bake at 400° for 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the edge comes out clean.
  • Cool for 1 minute; invert onto a baking sheet. Top muffins with remaining caramels; return to the oven for 1-2 minutes or until caramel is softened. Place three pecan halves on each muffin. Serve warm.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 334 calories, 17g fat (7g saturated fat), 38mg cholesterol, 367mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate (23g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein.
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  • khegeman
    Sep 5, 2017

    We really liked the chocolate part of the muffin, but did not care for the caramel candies. They were very chewy inside the muffin. You would be eating at light cake muffin and all of a sudden hit a hard chewy candy in the center. We would make them again for the muffin part, but replace the caramel candy, with another softer candy or cream filling inside.

  • delowenstein
    Feb 19, 2014

    I prepared these muffins for the first time. I did adjust the recipe by using 1/4 cup butter instead of 3 Tbsp. butter. I also just used regular caramels to top these muffins & I didn't use pecan halves. I did place the inverted muffins back in oven to soften, then I spread the softened caramels over the top of the muffins like a glaze! I sifted the flour, baking soda and salt-I kept those ingredients the same! I soured 1/3 cup milk with 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar & used the 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips,1/3 cup packed brown sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla extract & the 1 slightly beaten egg. I also used Rolo candies for the muffin filling, since I didn't have the Riesen's caramels available! I also supplemented with miniature Snicker candy bars! I admit I'd sampled 3 of these muffins and they're more like upside-down cupcakes! They were good! I will prepare these again, but I just might keep the muffins upright and use cupcake liners for the muffin pans, rather than grease the pans! I admit that I feel greasing muffin pans takes a knack in preparing the pans and I had greased and floured these foil-type muffin pans! I filled the pans LESS than 3/4 full and got 10 muffins! Two of the muffins broke which I inverted them-the others stayed intact.This was a very clever idea, though, to think up this recipe! It's also possible that I might JUSTexperiment with a 375o F. oven! It is true that a 400o F. oven did bake the muffins in order to melt the candy and I used a 10 minute baking time, rather than 12 to 14 minutes so that they wouldn't overbake! For me, the 10 minute baking time WAS a help! delowenstein