Turtle Cupcake1WMy “TURTLES Cake” is one of my most popular.  It is one of the first recipes I created when I set out to start a business and wanted to have some “specialty” flavors.  The flavor combination (caramel, pecans and chocolate- for those who haven’t heard of it) is one of my favorite.  It has been since I was a kid and my parents sent me some TURTLES candies when they were on a vacation in Hawaii.

*Don’t be scared if you’re not a scratch baker, this recipe is adapted from a boxed mix so everyone can try!  If you are a scratch baker, feel free to use your favorite dark chocolate cake recipe and skip to step 6!

Yields approximately 2 dozen cupcakes


  • 1 Box Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
  • 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 TBSP Instant Coffee
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 2/3 Cup Water
  • 8 oz Sour Cream
  • 2 TBSP Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 2 TBSP Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Dozen TURTLES Candies (DeMet’s)


  • Chocolate Buttercream (for frosting- recommended Swiss Meringue with Bittersweet Chocolate)
  • Dulce de Leche (or caramel sauce)
  • Chocolate dipped toasted pecans for garnish

Turtle Cupcake3W Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Add instant coffee to water to dissolve
  3. In a mixing bowl sift together remaining dry ingredients mix on low for 1-2 minutes to mix the dry ingredients
  4. In a separate bowl (or big measuring cup), combine the wet ingredients (water/coffee, sour cream, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla), give the mixture a whisk to combine (you’ll probably still see some bits of sour cream, but that is OK, you want to mostly combine the ingredients and break up the eggs).
  5. With your mixer running on medium, add the wet ingredients to the dry.  Beat on medium for 1-2 minutes until the mixture is combined and will lighten slightly in color. (batter will be on the thick side)
  6. Fill your muffin tins/liners approximately 1/3 full with batter.  Put a DeMet’s TURTLES candy in each cupcake liner and fill with more batter on top to about 3/4 full.
  7. Bake approximately 16-18 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean when tested (it’s OK for some gooey caramel to be on the toothpick, but should not have any raw batter)
  8. Allow cupcakes to cool completely

 Cupcake Assembly

Swirl with your favorite Chocolate Buttercream, drizzle with dulce de leche and top with a chocolate dipped toasted pecan!

Turtle Cupcake4W
Turtle Cupcake2W


  • This is a VERY sweet cupcakes, I recommend Swiss Meringue Buttercream because it has a lightly sweet flavor compared to American Buttercream, but by all means use your favorite recipe, however I would use Bittersweet chocolate to cut the sweetness some.
  • You can usually find cans of Dulce De Leche in the international foods aisle of your grocery store (I believe Nestle makes some), but it is really easy to make your own or you can just use caramel sundae topping.

Thanks for stopping by!


*I originally posted this recipe on my previous blog “Happy Cakes Bakes”, for re-branding purposes that blog will be taken down soon, but I wanted this popular recipe to remain available 🙂