Prep Time
40 Mins
Cook Time
32 Mins
Other Time
1 Hour 10 Mins
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.



How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 2 (8-inch) round cake pans, and dust with cocoa. Set aside.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 6

Chef'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.


Adapted 4/24/17

Ratings & Reviews

taoism's Review

April 13, 2012

GReynolds's Review

December 22, 2009
This is exceptional! The caramel frosting between the layers taste like it took hours to prepare, yet so easy. The cake is very moist and the top layer cracked as I was icing it but the chocolate icing covered it up. It was also alittle difficult to cut with the turtle candies between layers but did not change the flavor of the cake. I only used one pack of Turtle candies and it was plenty (although I did not put any on top as a garnish). Doubled the caramel frosting, only to use the whole can of Nestle dulce de leche. This made the cake extra rich. I normally don't use store bought icing but this cake was excellent and hard to believe it wasn't totally from scratch!

Peniel's Review

August 10, 2010
LOVED THIS RECIPE! I would never have thought to use cream cheese in the filling, but it came out perfect. I took it to a dinner party and it was literally inhaled. I used Wilton's Chocolate frosting recipe for, just to make it easier for decorating, but it probably would have tasted better had I used this one.

laceyhawkins's Review

December 21, 2010
I wanted to make this recipe in hopes it would be similiar to my husband's turtle groom's cake at our wedding. The cake was wonderful! Very rich! My only mishap was when the 12oz of ice cream topping overflowed to my cake carrier and my (garnish) turtles were sliding off! I am making this cake for Christmas as well-i will only use 1/2 of the topping!! Overall 5 stars!!

2hoops's Review

August 17, 2012
Iam going to make this cake this week and I was wondering if you really need the chocolate extract. With all the other ingredients in it would that be missed? I just hate to buy a bottle if I don't have to. TIA

CookieWoman2559's Review

July 17, 2014
I know i am going to make it like maybe next weekend on Sunday for a church Meal I Love It When We Have Church Lunch It's Always Good Because We Have So Many Good Cooks But One Lady Made a Buttermilk Pie and I Had Never Heard Of It So I have been searching every since and I Can't find it anywhere !! It was Smooth and it had pecans in it kinda like a pecan pie but the texture was very different.. I don't like buttermilk myself as for drinking it but you know there are several kinds of recipes that have it in them So if it's good enough for other kinds of recipes then it would be good enough for a pie !!! It was delicious no kidding!!

scush21428's Review

November 27, 2011
I made this cake for a gathering for two brithday' was met with ooohs and aaaahs... there was another store bought cake...and I believe it was two to one servings...hands down the better cake!.....It is great!..even tho' it was a bit of a pain to make and put together...well worth the praise!

ak47gramma's Review

April 19, 2010
We love this cake, only thing I changed, I added peanutbutter morsels and made my own frosting, when I do use store bought frosting, I change it to. Wonderfully A-- spreading !!

cmadden3's Review

November 21, 2011
What a great cake! Delicious and moist. Looked just like the picture. This cake has a rich chocolate flavor and a different texture with each bite due to the chocolate chips and pecans in the batter and the candies between the layers. When I read the recipe, I thought that it would have too many flavors going on but not at all. I wouldn't change a thing.

lovetherun's Review

February 15, 2013
This was amazing. One of my guests said it was the best cake she ever had. I did have to make a few changes though. On accident I bought 15.25 oz cake mix, so I added 3 oz more of instant pudding. My batter was verry thick, so I put in a tiny bit more milk and oil. I also didn't have chocolate extract, but it tasted fine without it. Overall, you won't be sorry you made this cake!