Turtle Chocolate Poke Cake

Chocolate Turtle Cake — This decadent poke cake is topped with whipped topping, salted caramel sauce, mini chocolate chips, and chopped pecans. It’s so easy to make, and a huge hit at parties!

Chocolate Turtle Cake slice on white plate

Easy Poke Cake Recipe

I love turtle anything. Gooey caramel contrasted with crunchy pecans and decadent chocolate is a combination I can’t resist. Put that in poke cake form and you’ve got yourself a mega hit. This is one of the best cakes I’ve ever made and we absolutely loved it.

Poke cakes get their name because after baking you poke holes in the cake and drizzle in a sweetly satisfying mixture usually consisting of sweetened condensed milk and caramel sauce, but it can vary. The sauce seeps into the holes, which renders poke cakes incredibly soft and moist and this turtle cake is no exception. When you put a slice of the cake on a plate, you can literally see the caramel mixture oozing out of the bottom of the cake.

I topped this chocolate turtle cake with whipped topping (you can use whipped cream, but whipped topping holds up better at room or warmer temps and doesn’t deflate like whipped cream), salted caramel sauce (which is a great salty-sweet contrast to the sweet elements in the cake), chocolate chips, and Chopped Fisher Pecans. So many textures and flavors in every bite!

I love the sensation of taking a bite of chilled cake on warm days. It just hits the spot.

This turtle cake will be a guaranteed party favorite and I highly recommend putting it on your summer party menu — or any party menu, for that matter.

slice of chocolate turtle poke cake on white plate

Chocolate Turtle Cake Ingredients 

This turtle cake recipe couldn’t be simpler to make! You’ll need just seven ingredients to make this cake, most of which are pantry staples. To make this cake, you’ll require: 

  • Devil’s Food chocolate cake mix
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Caramel sundae topping
  • Whipped topping
  • Chopped Fisher pecans
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Salted caramel sauce

So easy, right? If desired, you can swap out the store-bought ingredients I’ve listed for homemade versions. I have a great chocolate cake recipe on my blog that can be used instead of boxed cake mix, and you can also make my salted caramel sauce to go on top. 

Just do whatever is easiest for you! This turtle chocolate poke cake will turn out perfectly no matter which route you go. 

Which Boxed Cake Mix Should I Use? 

I used this Classic Devil’s Food Cake Mix from Duncan Hines, but any box mix should work! However, I find that with most box cakes I have to take my cake out of the oven a good 5 minutes before instructed, otherwise my cake turns out too dry. So keep an eye on your cake the last few minutes it’s in the oven! 

Chocolate Turtle Cake slice with bite missing

How to Make a Poke Cake

To make this chocolate turtle cake, you’ll first need to make the boxed cake according to package instructions (note that you’ll likely need a combination of oil, water, and eggs to do so). Once the cake is out of the oven, poke it all over with the end of a wooden spoon, then pour over the sweetened condensed milk and caramel topping. 

Spread the whipped topping over the cake, then sprinkle with chocolate chips and chopped pecans. Cover it with foil and let it rest in the fridge for at least two hours to give the flavors time to come together. I prefer to let me cake chill overnight, but two hours should do the trick if you’re in a rush! 

When you’re ready to eat the cake, drizzle the salted caramel sauce over top and slice. You’ll definitely want a second slice of this cake! 

bag of Fisher Nuts on counter

Tips for the Best Turtle Cake

I highly recommend placing aluminum foil on the bottom of your baking pan before pouring in the cake batter. This makes cleanup so much easier, and will ensure that the poke cake doesn’t stick to the pan at all. 

When poking holes into the cake, make sure you go to the edges of the cake. You don’t want a single bite of poke cake to be missing that delicious gooey filling! 

Also, before spreading the whipped topping over the cake, I recommend chilling it in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes. If the cake is too warm when you spread the topping on, it may slide around and melt. 

And lastly, you’ll want to store this cake in the fridge after you’ve served it. It’ll last up to five days in the fridge, and I personally think it gets better with age. The caramel-condensed milk filling may settle into the bottom of the cake, but that’s normal! 

Chocolate Turtle Cake - The flavor of the famous candy in a decadent chocolate cake with tons of CARAMEL and pecans!! Easy, super soft and moist, and a crowd FAVORITE! One of the BEST CAKES ever!!

More Poke Cake Recipes: 

  • Better-Than-Anything Chocolate Cake – Worthy of its name and one of the BEST cakes you will ever eat! Doesn’t get any better than chocolate, caramel, whipped topping, and candy in an easy, no-mixer cake!
  • Better-Than-Anything Peanut Butter Cake – A peanut butter lovers dream: PB, PB chips, and PB cups! An easy, no-mixer poke cake that’s drenched with caramel to keep it super moist! Lives up to it’s name and tastes amazing!
  • Strawberries and Cream Poke Cake — This Strawberry Poke Cake uses just four ingredients and is a hit at parties and potlucks! It’s a moist, refreshing dessert you’ll definitely want seconds of! 
  • Caramel Poke Cake — Poke cakes are always supremely moist and this one reminds me of a cheater’s version of Tres Leches Cake because it’s sweet and creamy.
  • Coconut Caramel Poke Cake — An incredibly EASY super moist cake thanks to a creamy caramel mixture that’s poked into the cake. Topped with crispy toasted coconut, this cake is a DELISH winner!
Chocolate Turtle Cake

Chocolate Turtle Cake

This decadent poke cake is topped with whipped topping, salted caramel sauce, mini chocolate chips, and chopped pecans. It's so easy to make, and a huge hit at parties!

Yield: one 9x13-inch cake
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • one 15.25-ounce box devil’s food chocolate cake mix*
  • one 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • one 12-ounce jar caramel sundae topping
  • one 8-ounce container whipped topping, thawed (I used fat-free)
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Fisher Pecans
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (full-size okay)
  • 1/3 cup salted caramel sauce, or as desired (homemade or store-bought, or regular caramel sauce okay)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×13-inch pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Make cake according to package directions (likely adding 3 eggs, water, and oil) and bake as directed (I find my cakes are done about 3 to 5 minutes faster than the box directions and if baked as long as indicated, I find the cake is too dry but bake as necessary).
  3. While the cake bakes add the sweetened condensed milk and caramel topping to a medium bowl and stir to combine; set aside.
  4. Remove cake from the oven when it’s done and using the blunt end of a wooden spoon, poke holes over the surface of the cake. I didn’t count but I estimate I poked about 60 holes, evenly spaced over the surface.
  5. Slowly pour the sweetened condensed milk and caramel mixture over the holes, taking your time to evenly distribute it so that all the holes receive some. Place cake in the fridge for about 10 minutes to cool slightly before adding the whipped topping so it doesn’t melt.
  6. Remove cake from the fridge, evenly spread the whipped topping over the surface, evenly sprinkle the pecans and chocolate chips, cover cake, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (overnight is best).
  7. Evenly drizzle the salted caramel sauce before slicing and serving. Cake will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes

*If you'd like to make your Devil's Food cake from scratch, I suggest following this recipe (make only the cake itself, not the frosting).

Recipe adapted from my Better-Than-Anything Chocolate Cake.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 261 Total Fat: 12g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 15mg Sodium: 104mg Carbohydrates: 36g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 28g Protein: 4g

Even More Turtle Dessert Recipes

The Best Turtle Brownies — Super fudgy and loaded with chocolate, pecans and caramel! So.crazy.good!

The Best Turtle Brownies - Super fudgy and loaded with chocolate, pecans and caramel! So.crazy.good!!!

Homemade Turtles — Fast, easy, no-bake and just 4 ingredients! Chewy, gooey, salty-and-sweet! Homemade always tastes better!

Homemade Turtles - Fast, easy, no-bake and just 4 ingredients! Chewy, gooey, salty-and-sweet! Homemade always tastes better! Yum!!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Turtle Cookies — Biting down through the chocolate-peanut butter cookie dough, and getting a taste of the Turtles with the crunchy pecans and gooey caramel, combined with the salted caramel drizzle is magical.

Turtles Candies Chocolate Chip Cookies — These cookies are big, bakery-style cookies. They’re soft, chewy, and loaded with flavor and texture from the chocolate chips and crunchy yet chewy TURTLES® Minis.

This post is brought to you by Fisher Nuts. The recipe, images, text, and opinions expressed are my own. #fisherunshelled

83 comments on “Turtle Chocolate Poke Cake”

  1. My favorite summertime recipe is strawberry jello pretzel salad. I use pretzels with crushed nuts for the base, whipped cream and cream cheese filling with fresh strawberries and jello topping.

  2. Fresh strawberry pie

  3. I’m so with you regarding turtle anything so thank you for this amazing recipe! Hope you had a great summer xoxo

  4. Chocolate Zucchini Brownies is one of my favorite summer recipes.

  5. Oh, definitely anything to do with peaches, but especially peach pie!

  6. Recipes with fresh peaches is my favorite. Even plain peaches works for me.
    My husband would sure love this cake though.

    Thanks for the chance to win. Nice giveaway!

  7. My favorite is a summer pasta salad with fresh heirloom tomatoes and basil vinaigrette, so good!

  8. I love making pineapple tart in the summer. My family loves it!

  9. Ooh, I LOVE lemon bars for summertime desserts!! The creamy lemon filling, crisp shortbread crust, powdered sugar. And you’re SO right, a bite of chilled cake (or LEMON BARS!) On a warm day is perfection!!!

  10. My all-time favorite is key lime pie! The tarter the better! :)

  11. My favorite summer treat is brownies with Fisher walnuts. They are simple and delicious!

  12. Our favorite summer recipe is a watermelon, tomato and feta salad, with fresh mint.

  13. Homemade ice cream is my favorite summer treat to make!

  14. With all the summer fruits available, Fruit Pizza does it for me.

  15. My favorite is peach cobbler .

  16. I love to bake but in the summer it is all about fresh fruit watermelon, cantelope, blueberries, strawberries, peaches….. Anything fresh

  17. I love guacamole in the summer.  Avocados, red onion, tomato, and lemon juice.  Simple and fresh!

  18. My favorite summertime recipe is a summer pasta salad.  It has cold cooked pasta, fresh mozzerella, fresh basil, yellow or orange bell pepper, fresh chopped tomato, small cubed salami, dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, with salt and pepper to taste.  It is really addicting, especially if you love fresh veggies and good vinegar.

  19. my fav summer recipe is either homemade ice cream or fresh fruit salad!

  20. My favorite recipe is grilling marinated veggies from our garden and chicken.

  21. I can’t wait to make this for my mom’s bday! My favorite thing to make in the summer is grilled corn on the cob. I usually use it to make a corn black bean salsa, which can be added to brown rice, greens, or just eaten with chips. Yum!

  22. Hey girl this looks amazing! Yummy!

  23. My favorite summer recipe is anything that involves local sweet corn which is absolutely delicious this time of year!

  24. My favorite summer recipe would be grilled chicken, fresh corn on the cob & a juicy sliced tomato.

  25. My favorite summer recipe is grilled salmon. This poke cake would be a fabulous dessert. 

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