Cakes & Puddings Sweet

White Chocolate Turtle Cake

Basic ingredients transform into a decadent, layered dessert.

A chocolate turtle: that delightful, chocolate covered caramel-pecan concoction found in many a box of assorted chocolates. A turtle cake is the same concept – caramel and pecans embraced by heaps of chocolate – but in cake form.

Both the traditional chocolate and white chocolate versions of this recipe are birthday favorites in my husband’s family. It is surprisingly easy to make, as it utilizes the simplicity of a boxed cake mix and store bought caramels to create a dessert that is far superior to many.

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There are two different types of caramels you can use for this recipe. For years we purchased the individually wrapped caramels; they melt well, and while the unwrapping process is tedious, it’s not terrible. However, a few years ago, we discovered that Kraft now makes caramel bits. We no longer have to unwrap them! This was a wonderful discovery, and would be especially nice for people with arthritis or other mobility-limiting disabilities.

A bag of Kraft wrapped caramels (top) is sitting beside a bag of Kraft caramel bits (bottom), both on a wooden surface.

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F and preparing your cake as the instructions on the box indicate. Combine the cake mix, egg whites, oil, and water in a mixing bowl and stir until the batter is smooth. (You are welcome to skip a step and include the egg yolks, but you will end up with a yellow cake, not a white one. The withholding of yolks is purely aesthetic in this recipe.)

Pour 2/3 of the cake batter into a greased 9″ by 13″ pan and bake for 20 minutes.

While the cake is baking, melt caramels with butter and evaporated milk over medium heat.

As soon as you remove the cake from the oven, cover it with the melted caramel.

Sprinkle the top of the caramel with pecans and chocolate chips. Cover the pecans and chocolate chips with the remaining cake batter and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

While the cake is baking, prepare your icing. Combine butter, sugar, and milk in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring to a rolling boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in white chocolate chips.

Pour icing over warm cake. Allow cake to cool completely before serving.

A cake covered in a pool of icing sits in a 9" by 13" pan on a wooden surface.

This cake is tooth-achingly sweet and one of the most requested desserts in our household. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!

A slice of white chocolate turtle cake, with white chocolate icing and caramel center visible. It is sitting on a white plate with a blue background.

White Chocolate Turtle Cake

A boxed cake mix and store-bought caramels combine to make a layered, decadent dessert.
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 20 slices

Equipment

  • 9 by 13 pan

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 egg whites beaten
  • cup oil I use avocado oil; vegetable oil or butter would also work well
  • 1 bag caramels 11-14 ounces
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

Icing

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • cup milk
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9” by 13” pan and set aside.
  • Combine cake mix, water, egg whites, and oil, mixing until smooth. Pour ⅔ of batter into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  • While the cake is baking, melt caramels with butter and evaporated milk over medium heat.
  • As soon as you remove the cake from the oven, cover it with the melted caramel. Sprinkle the top of the caramel with pecans and chocolate chips.
  • Cover the pecans and chocolate chips with the remaining cake batter and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
  • While the cake is baking, prepare your icing. Combine butter, sugar, and milk in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring to a rolling boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips.
  • Pour icing over warm cake. Allow cake to cool completely before serving.
Keyword cake, chocolate, white chocolate

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