Looking for a decadent dessert, but short on time? This Shortcut Turtle Cake will do the trick. It begins with a cake mix to save time, but your thankful guests will never believe you didn’t start from scratch. The trick is in enriching with an extra egg and doctoring it up further with even more dark cocoa. (You can never have too much chocolate, right?) Fill with a layer of caramel, chocolate chips, and pecans, and you have a decadent turtle cake fit for royalty with little fuss.
This is a sheet cake, so you can cut slices into any size you wish. Since it is so luscious and rich, I recomment cutting it into smaller pieces than a normal cake. Go over the top by adding a scoop of real vanilla ice cream to make your guests truly swoon.
Shortcut Turtle Cake Recipe
1 devil’s food cake mix (See Notes)
1/4 cup powdered unsweetened dark cocoa (Ghiradelli® recommended)
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 (14-ounce) bag caramels, wrappers removed
3 Tablespoons evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed) or heavy cream
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (may substitute dark or bittersweet chocolate chips for more intense flavor), divided use
1-1/4 cup chopped pecans, divided use
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick foil.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, cocoa, water, vegetable oil, and eggs. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Pour half of the mixture into the prepared baking pan and bake for 15 minutes. Reserve the remaining cake batter.
Meanwhile, place caramels and evaporated milk in a heavy saucepan. Heat, while stirring, until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
Pour the warm caramel mixture evenly over the baked cake layer. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the chocolate chips and 1 cup of the chopped pecans. Top with remaining half of cake batter. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup chocolate chips and 1/4 cup chopped pecans.
Return the turtle cake to the oven and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate before lifting out of the pan to cut and serve.
Yield: 24 to 36 servings, depending on cut size
• You may use any variety of standard chocolate cake mix. I’m a chocolate fiend, so I use the richest chocolate cake mix I can find.
Shortcut Turtle Cake Recipe Photo ©2018 Peggy Filippone