Chocolate Turtle Cake

Chocolate Turtle Cake
Decadent chocolate cake with caramel frosting, caramel drizzle, toasted pecans, and turtle candies, this recipe from The Southern Cake Book by Southern Living is sure to be a crowd pleaser!
(makes 16 servings)


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


Ingredients:

Shortening
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 (available at Marie's by request)
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 degrees. 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 degrees 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.