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Foodie Friday: Chocolate Turtle Layer Cake

chocolate turtle layer cake

I love making desserts using boxed cake mixes that you can add to and make a treat that everyone will think you created from scratch! (I know – CHEAT!). This is one of my all-time favorites that I originally found in a Betty Crocker® pamphlet and over time I have changed things around just a bit. It is one of my family’s favorites!

  • PREP TIME 40 Minutes – TOTAL TIME About 4 Hours
  • SERVES 14


  • Unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 box Betty Crocker (or any other brand) devil’s food cake mix (SEE NOTE 1)
  • 1 box (4 serving size) chocolate instant pudding
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 container Betty Crocker (or any other brand) Cream Cheese frosting (SEE NOTE 1)
  • 1 cup canned dulce de leche (caramelized sweetened condensed milk)
  • 1 box turtle candies (SEE NOTE 2)
  • 1 jar caramel topping
  • 1/4 cup  pecan halves

NOTE 1: Since you add lots of ingredients to this cake mix, I always use store brand cake mix and canned frosting.

NOTE 2: I have also used Rolo, Snickers or Milky Way


  • Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with shortening or cooking spray; sprinkle with cocoa.
  • In large bowl, beat cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, milk, oil, vanilla and coffee granules with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Fold in chocolate chips and chopped pecans. Pour batter into pans.
  • Bake 30 to 32 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans to cooling racks; cool completely. Wrap cake layers; refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  • In medium bowl, stir frosting and dulce de leche with whisk until well blended; set aside. Cut 6 of the turtle candies in half; set aside. Chop remaining candies.
  • Place 1 cake layer, top side up, on serving plate. Spread with half of the frosting mixture; sprinkle with chopped candies. I also add a little caramel sauce in here too. Not too much or it will make the cake soggy.
  • 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. Garnish with pecan halves and reserved turtle candies.
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