Chocolate Turtle Cake

Chocolate Turtle Cake Recipe | from The Southern Cake Book by Southern Living on

Today’s recipe is a tad outrageous, in the oh-my-goodness that looks divine, kind of way.  It’s a chocolate lovers fantasy with layers of chocolate cake studded with chocolate chips and pecans, stacked with swirls of dulce de leche infused frosting and topped with caramel drizzles.  It’s finished off with chopped turtle candies and toasted pecans.  If you’re not drooling by now, just wait until you see it!  You’ll instantly add this recipe to your must-bake, and must-devour, list!

It comes to us from the new book, The Southern Cake Book, by Southern Living.  This yummy collection includes 150 recipes for every type of cake from tall layer cakes to classic sheet cakes, inventive cupcakes, mini cakes and decadent cheesecakes.  Each page is more beautiful than the next and before you know it, you’ll be in the kitchen whipping up one of these tempting cakes.  Whether it’s Southern Living’s most-requested recipe of all time, the quintessential Hummingbird Cake, or something fabulous like their Ambrosia Cake with toasted coconut shavings (check out the image below -wow!) or a traditional birthday cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles.  You’ll find everyday cakes, party cakes, from-scratch cakes, short-cut cakes and everything in between.  Each recipe is paired with a gorgeous image to guide and inspire you to cake greatness.  And today’s recipe is just one of many calling our name!  Pour yourself a glass of milk, because we’re diving in…

Enjoy this Chocolate Turtle Cake!

Chocolate Turtle Cake Recipe | from The Southern Cake Book by Southern Living on

Chocolate Turtle Cake
a recipe from The Southern Cake Book by Southern Living
(makes 16 servings)

Hands-on Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours, 25 minutes


Unsweetened cocoa
1 (18.25-oz.) package devil’s food cake mix
1 (3.9-oz.) package chocolate instant pudding mix
3 large eggs
11/4 cups milk
1 cup canola oil
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. instant coffee granules
1 (6-oz.) package semisweet chocolate morsels
1 cup chopped pecans
1 (16-oz.) container ready-to-spread cream cheese frosting
1/2 cup canned dulce de leche
2 (7-oz.) packages turtle candies
1 (12-oz.) jar caramel ice-cream topping
1/4 cup pecan halves, toasted

1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with shortening; sprinkle with cocoa.

2. Beat cake mix and next 6 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer for 1 minute.  Beat at medium speed 2 minutes.  Fold in chocolate morsels and chopped pecans.  Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake at 350° for 30 to 32 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes.  Remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour).  Wrap cake layers in plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour.

4. Stir frosting and dulce de leche in a medium bowl with a whisk until well blended; set aside.  Cut 6 turtle candies in half; set aside for garnish.  Chop remaining candies.

5. Place 1 cake layer, top side up, on serving plate.  Spread with half of frosting mixture; sprinkle with chopped candies.  Place second cake layer, top side up, on candies.  Spread remaining frosting mixture on top of cake.  Cover; refrigerate until serving time.  Drizzle caramel topping over top of cake, allowing some to drip down side.  Top cake with pecan halves and reserved turtle candies.

Chocolate Turtle Cake Recipe | from The Southern Cake Book by Southern Living on

Serving Secret: With exposed chocolate layers, piles of frosting, and pieces of turtle candies and pecans to adorn the top, this cake is a showstopper.   Hold back on the caramel drizzle for the prettiest look, and serve extra on the side.

The Southern Cake Book by Southern Living | on

Excerpted from The Southern Cake Book by Southern Living.  © 2014 Oxmoor House – an imprint of Time Home Entertainment IncUsed by permission of the publisher.  All rights reserved.

Carrie Sellman , Founder & Editor

Carrie Sellman is the Founder & Editor of The Cake Blog. Her work has been published in BRIDES Magazine, Country Living Magazine and featured online at People, Today, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Redbook, Real Simple, TLC, The Cooking Channel and more.


  1. 1


    I just came across your blog and saw this de-licious-looking cake, and I just couldn’t stop browsing your blog. I’m already a huge fan of yours and I’ll propably try all of your cakes as soon as possible. Thank you so much for these AMAZING recipes, I really adore you..!

  2. 2

    Candy Hopkins says

    I’d love to make this, but me don’t have box mixes in Germany. Can you suggest a scratch cake please?

  3. 3

    Hillary says

    I made this yesterday for my Grammy’s birthday. It was soo good. I used salted caramel topping to accent the sweetness. Everyone loved it, even the ones who don’t eat much sweets. The only downside was having to buy two boxes of cake mix because the biggest Walmart carried is 16.5oz.

  4. 4

    Melanie says

    I just made this cake for my husband’s birthday and WOW! This was amazing! I have never been very successful with cakes as ~fancy~ as this one, but I can’t believe how easy this was! What a presence this cake has. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. This may be my go-to cake for parties now!

    • 6

      Jaeli says

      In the baking isle of the supermarket it is usually near the condensed milk or if they have a Spanish foods section it may also be there.

    • 7

      Angelina says

      I always buy it at Walmart in the Hispanic section but if you can’t find it, buy regular sweetened condensed milk, put it in a pan, cover with water and boil slightly for three hours:) that’s how my family made it for years:)

  5. 8

    Nathalie says

    Made this delicious cake for my husband’s birthday. Everyone loved it. One thing I do have to say, the baking time was now long enough. I had to add an extra 15 minutes.

  6. 9

    Pauline says

    I hope I didn’t just over look it, but where does the unsweetened cocoa come into play? It’s the second item on the ingredients list, but I didn’t see where it should go in the recipe.

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