Ooey-Gooey Caramel Turtle Cake

  • Yield: 12 servings

"My husband is a sucker for anything gooey and delicious. The year our son was born, he was only a few weeks old on Valentine's Day. We decided to stay home and celebrate that year. We had a great evening enjoying our new son, our friends, and our cake."


3/4cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2cups granulated sugar
6tablespoons butter, softened
1teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 2/3cups all-purpose flour
1teaspoon baking soda
3/4teaspoon baking powder
1/4teaspoon salt
2tablespoons butter, softened
1/4cup packed dark brown sugar
3tablespoons milk
2teaspoons vanilla extract
2cups confectioners' sugar
1cup caramel apple dip
1/4cup finely chopped pecans, toasted


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat the bottoms of two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and line with wax paper. Coat the wax paper with nonstick cooking spray and dust with 1 tablespoon flour.
  2. To prepare the cake, combine 1 1/2 cups boiling water and the cocoa in a small bowl; whisk until well blended. Set aside to cool completely.
  3. Combine the sugar, butter, and the vanilla in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer a medium speed until well blended. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl; mix well. Add the flour mixture and cocoa mixture alternately to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pans, sharply tap the pans once on the counter to remove any air bubbles. Bake 25 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool completely on wire racks.
  5. To prepare the frosting, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, add the brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of the milk. Cook 1 minute, until the sugar melts. Remove from the heat; cool slightly.
  6. Combine the butter mixture and vanilla in a large bowl. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add remaining milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, beating until frosting is spreading consistency. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate, spread the top with half of the frosting.
  7. To prepare the topping, spoon the caramel dip into a small baggie. Snip a small piece off one corner, drizzle half of the caramel dip over the frosting. Top with the second cake layer, spread the remaining frosting over the top of the cake, and drizzle with the remaining caramel dip. Sprinkle with the pecans.

Recipe by Laura Frerich, Napoleon, Ohio