How To Make Chocolate Turtle Poke Cake – Easy Recipe

by Alli

Easy and decadent Chocolate Turtle Poke Cake is semi-homemade and features layers of dark chocolate cake, gooey caramel, crunchy pecans, and luscious whipped topping.

Chocolate lovers rejoice! This poke cake is perfect for satisfying your sweet cravings with minimal effort. This dessert is sure to become a favorite for any occasion.

Chocolate Turtle Poke Cake Recipe Ingredients 

  • Dark chocolate cake mix: I use the Duncan Hines brand for this recipe. Feel free to use your favorite chocolate cake mix. 
  • Eggs
  • Heavy cream: Milk or half and half can also be used for the cake with little difference. For the caramel, if you use milk or half and half, your caramel will be runnier and not as creamy. You can reduce the liquid by up to half for the caramel to get a thicker result if not using cream.
  • Vegetable oil: Any neutral flavored oil will work well in this recipe such as canola or avocado oil.
  • Mini chocolate chips: Mini chocolate chips are used in the batter. Regular chocolate chips or chopped chocolate can be used on top of the cake.
  • Chopped pecans: For me, pecans are essential for a “turtle” type of dessert. However, you can also use walnuts or almonds for a similar result. The nuts can also be omitted.
  • Caramel bits
  • Salt
  • Whipped topping: I used a tub of store-bought whipped topping. You can also make your own with heavy cream and powdered sugar.

You will need the following supplies: 

  • 9×13 inch baking pan
  • Baking spray
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Measuring tools
  • Stand Or Hand Mixer
  • Microwave safe bowl
  • Wooden spoon

How To Store Chocolate Turtle Poke Cake

Chocolate Turtle Cake should be well-covered or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last for 3-4 days.

I prefer the cake to be warmed to room temperature before enjoying it. However, it can be enjoyed straight from the refrigerator as well.

While the cake can be frozen, it isn’t recommended since the whipped topping and caramel may change consistency when frozen and thawed. 

Step-By-Step Directions & Photos (Full Detailed Printable Recipe Card Down Below!)

In a large bowl, mix the cake mix, eggs, heavy cream, and vegetable oil until smooth.

cake mix and other ingredients in a large mixing bowl

Fold in one cup of mini chocolate chips and ½ cup of chopped pecans.

chocolate chips and pecans added to chocolate cake batter in mixing bowl

Spread the cake batter into a baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 32-36 minutes. 

chocolate cake mix spread into 13x9 cake pan

Mix the caramel bits, ½ cup of heavy cream, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds and then stir well. Continue heating in 30-second increments and stirring well each time, until you have a smooth, runny caramel.

Remove ¼ cup of the caramel set to the side to drizzle over the top of the cake before serving.

Slowly drizzle the remaining ½ cup of heavy cream into the remaining caramel, whisking continuously until fully incorporated.

caramel sauce and heavy whipping cream in a bowl

Set the caramel sauce to the side and stir frequently as it cools. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.

Poke holes all over the cake with the handle of a wooden spoon, to about ⅔ of the way down the cake. Don’t go all the way to the bottom of the cake. 

Poke holes in the chocolate cake

While the cake is still warm, pour the prepared caramel sauce evenly over the top, filling each hole as much as possible. Spread any extra evenly over the top of the cake.

caramel sauce poured over holes poked into a chocolate cake

Allow the cake to cool to room temperature and then spread the whipped topping evenly over the top.

whipped topping spread over chocolate turtle poke cake

Drizzle the reserved ¼ cup of thick caramel and evenly sprinkle the ½ cup of mini chocolate chips and ½ cup of chopped pecans. 

Cut into squares to serve this delicious cake. 

13x9 Chocolate Turtle Poke Cake ready to serve

Tips and Tricks 

This is a delicious way to use a cake mix and is easy enough that anyone can make it. The following tips and tricks will help make it even easier.

  • Room temperature ingredients: This cake works best when everything except the whipped topping is brought to room temperature. This is especially helpful when making the caramel sauce since cold cream can cause it to seize up and get lumpy. I recommend setting everything out for 30 minutes to an hour before beginning the recipe.
  • Use a digital thermometer for the cake: It can be difficult to know exactly when the cake has finished baking because the chocolate chips tend to stick to the toothpick and may make the cake look wet, even if it has been fully baked. When a digital thermometer reads 210 degrees Fahrenheit internally, the cake is done. 
  • Be patient with the caramel: While it is tempting to heat the caramel for 3 minutes all at once, doing so can lead to scalding the cream, making it taste bitter and burnt, or overheating areas of the caramel, leading to lumps. For a smooth, rich, creamy caramel, keep the heating for 30 seconds at a time. Be sure to stir well before continuing to heat.
  • Don’t skimp on the toppings! This cake is more delicious because of the pecans, chocolate, and caramel. If you’d like, you can add extra chocolate chips and pecans on top or drizzle on extra caramel.

More Delicious Recipes!

Yield: 20 servings

Chocolate Turtle Poke Cake

a square serving of chocolate turtle poke cake on a white dessert plate

Chocolate Turtle Poke Cake is a decadent dessert that combines the richness of chocolate with the sweetness of caramel and the satisfying crunch of pecans.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 32 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 57 minutes

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 (15.25 ounce) box dark chocolate cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (chop then measure)

Topping:

  • 1 (11 ounce) bag caramel bits
  • 1 cup heavy cream, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (16 ounce) tub whipped topping
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking pan. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cake mix, eggs, heavy cream, and vegetable oil until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. The batter will be thick but still pourable. 
  3. Fold in the 1 cup of mini chocolate chips and ½ cup of chopped pecans. 
  4. Spread the cake batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth out as evenly as possible. 
  5. Bake for 32-36 minutes or until the top bounces back when tapped and a toothpick comes out clean. 
  6. While the cake is baking, mix the caramel bits, ½ cup of heavy cream, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds and then stir well. 
  7. Continue heating in 30-second increments, stirring well each time, until you have a smooth, runny caramel. This can take up to 3 minutes. Once the caramel is mostly melted I recommend using a whisk for best results.
  8. Remove ¼ cup of the caramel set to the side to drizzle over the top of the cake before serving. 
  9. To the remaining caramel, slowly drizzle in the remaining ½ cup of heavy cream, whisking continuously until fully incorporated. This should make a slightly lighter, thinner caramel sauce.
  10. Set the caramel sauce to the side and stir frequently as it cools. 
  11. Once the cake has finished baking, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. 
  12. Poke holes all over the cake with the back of a wooden spoon, to about ⅔ of the way down the cake. 
  13. While the cake is still warm, pour the prepared caramel sauce evenly over the top of the cake, focusing on filling each hole as much as possible. Spread any extra evenly over the top of the cake. 
  14. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature and then spread the whipped topping evenly over the top. 
  15. Drizzle on the reserved ¼ cup of thick caramel and then evenly sprinkle the ½ cup of mini chocolate chips and ½ cup of chopped pecans over the top. 
  16. Slice into squares and serve.

Notes

  • Room temperature ingredients: This cake works best when everything except the whipped topping is brought to room temperature. This is especially helpful when making the caramel sauce since cold cream can cause it to seize up and get lumpy. I recommend setting everything out for 30 minutes to an hour before beginning the recipe.
  • Use a digital thermometer for the cake: It can be difficult to know exactly when the cake has finished baking because the chocolate chips tend to stick to the toothpick and may make the cake look wet, even if it has been fully baked. If a digital thermometer reads 210 degrees Fahrenheit internally, then the cake is baked through and can be removed.
  • Be patient with the caramel: While it is tempting to heat the caramel for 3 minutes all at once, doing so can lead to scalding the cream, making it taste bitter and burnt, or overheating areas of the caramel, leading to lumps. For a smooth, rich, creamy caramel, keep the heating for 30 seconds at a time. Be sure to stir well before continuing to heat.
  • Don’t skimp on the toppings! This cake is more delicious because of the pecans, chocolate, and caramel. If you’d like, you can add extra chocolate chips and pecans on top or drizzle on extra caramel






Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

      1.  

 

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe