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Chocolate Turtle Cake

Photo: Oxmoor House
Prep time 40 mins
Cook time 32 mins
Other time 1 hr, 10 mins
Yield Makes 12 servings
Chocolate, caramel, and pecans are made to be together, and their flavors harmonize perfectly in this stunning chocolate layer cake. Devil's food cake mix with pudding plus chocolate morsels result in brownie-like layers filled and frosted with a jazzed up ready-to-spread fudge frosting. The finishing touches are turtle candies and a drizzling of dulce de leche ice cream topping. 

Ingredients

  • Unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 (18.25-oz.) package devil's food cake mix
  • 1 (3.9-oz.) package chocolate instant pudding mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon chocolate extract
  • 1 teaspoon 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 (16-oz.) can ready-to-spread chocolate fudge frosting
  • 1 (12-oz.) jar dulce de leche ice cream topping
  • 1/4 cup pecan halves, toasted

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans, and dust with cocoa. Set aside.

  2. Beat cake mix and next 7 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer 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. Wrap and chill cake layers at least 1 hour.

  4. Whisk together cream cheese frosting and canned dulce de leche in a small bowl until well blended. Set aside. Cut 6 turtle candies in half, and set aside for garnish. Dice remaining turtle candies.

  5. Using a serrated knife, slice cake layers in half horizontally to make 4 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on cake plate. Spread with 1/2 cup cream cheese frosting mixture; sprinkle with one-third diced turtle candies. Repeat procedure twice. Place final cake layer on top of cake, cut side down. Spread chocolate fudge frosting on top and sides of cake. Cover and chill in refrigerator until ready to serve. Just before serving, drizzle dulce de leche ice cream topping over top of cake. Garnish with remaining halved turtle candies and pecan halves. Store in refrigerator.

  6.  

Cook's Notes

We tested with 2 dulce de leche products: canned and jarred. The canned product is by Nestlé and available in a 14-oz. can. It's quite thick, and when blended with ready-to-spread cream cheese frosting, makes a rich, caramel-flavored filling. Find it in the supermarket with the Mexican ingredients. The jarred dulce de leche ice cream topping is perfect to drizzle over the finished cake. Find it in the supermarket with other ice cream toppings.