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Turtle Chocolate Layer Cake


This Turtle Chocolate Layer Cake starts with rich, decadent and moist chocolate cake layers that are filled with a caramel pecan sauce and covered in a smooth caramel frosting, then finished off with a caramel and ganache drip and chopped pecans!

INGREDIENTS
CARAMEL PECAN FILLING:
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup salted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 Tbsp salted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
CHOCOLATE CAKE LAYERS:
  • 2 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 and 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 and 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 and 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 Tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 2 and 1/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature
SALTED CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM:
  • 3 cups Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature
  • 12 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 cup Salted Caramel Sauce, cooled completely(recipe above)
  • 3-6 Tbsp heavy cream or milk, as needed
GANACHE DRIP:
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
ADDITIONAL GARNISH:
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • Whole pecans
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