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Chocolate Turtles

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close up overhead shot of a bunch of Chocolate Turtles on a plate
Combine chewy buttery caramel, rich creamy chocolate, and nuts together to make these chocolate turtles — a homemade treat that’s every bit as yummy as the original!
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Table of Contents
  1. CHOCOLATE TURTLES INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS CHOCOLATE TURTLES RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

These soft and chewy homemade chocolate turtles are the perfect dessert to whip up for a party. They have delicious clusters of homemade caramel filling, rich chocolatey goodness and are packed with rich baked pecans.

For another delicious, rich chocolate and caramel dessert, try our Crockpot Chocolate Caramel Cake. Our Caramel Apple Dip is another creamy treat to make for a party or night in with the family!

close up shot of a bunch of Chocolate Turtles

CHOCOLATE TURTLES INGREDIENTS

Chocolate Turtles raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 3 cups whole pecan halves
  • 11-ounce bag (38) individually wrapped caramels
  • 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
  • 12-ounce bag of milk chocolate chips 
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of sea salt

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

HEAVY CREAM: You can use milk and butter as an easy substitute for heavy cream. Use ¼ cup of melted butter with ¾ cup of milk to make 1 cup of heavy cream.

PECANS: Walnuts are a great alternative for pecans as they are similar in texture, size, and taste. Use a 1:1 ratio for this. 

DARK CHOCOLATE CHIPS: You can use dark chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate if that is more to your taste. You can use a 1:1 ratio.

TOPPINGS: Use sprinkles or another kind of candy to top your turtle candy.

HOW TO MAKE THIS CHOCOLATE TURTLES RECIPE

STEP ONE: Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

STEP TWO: Evenly spread the pecan halves over the parchment paper and bake them for 5 minutes. Allow the pecans to completely cool after taking them out of the oven.

STEP THREE: Line 2 to 3 baking sheets with a lightly sprayed layer of parchment paper.

PRO TIP:

You can use wax paper or silicone liner as well on your baking sheet.

STEP FOUR: Arrange the pecans in groups of 3 to 4. Make sure to space the pecan clusters at least 1 to 1½ inches apart. 

Chocolate Turtles process shot of the pecans added into clusters on a baking sheet

STEP FIVE: Remove the plastic wrap from the individual caramels and place them in a microwave-safe medium-size bowl.

STEP SIX: Add 2 tablespoons of heavy cream to the caramels. Heat the caramels and cream in 45-second intervals. Stir your mixture well after each interval, until the mixture is smooth. 

STEP SEVEN: Once the caramel is smooth, immediately spoon 1 to 1½ teaspoons of the hot caramel over the center of the pecan clusters.

Chocolate Turtles process shot of caramel spooned onto the cluster of pecans

STEP EIGHT: Add the milk chocolate chips into a medium-sized microwave-safe plastic or silicone bowl.

PRO TIP:

Use dark and white chocolate chips to make “black and white” turtles.

STEP NINE: Heat the chocolate chips for 30 seconds and stir them well. Heat the chocolate again for 30 seconds and keep stirring. Heat for a final 15 seconds and continue to stir. If needed, you can heat it again for 10 seconds but you want to have a few whole chips still in the melted chocolate. Not all of them should be melted as this might overheat the chocolate. Stir the chocolate until all the chips are melted. 

PRO TIP:

Tempering the chocolate in the microwave is best done in a microwavable plastic or silicone container. This is better than using glass because glass maintains the heat and if you are melting chocolate it’s better to cool the chocolate down quickly after melting it.

Chocolate Turtles process hot fo chocolate chips melted in a bowl

STEP TEN: Spoon 1 to 1½ teaspoon of melted chocolate over the center of the caramel. Use the tip of the back of your spoon to make a little swirl in the chocolate on top of each turtle.

Chocolate Turtles process shot of chocolate spooned over the caramel

STEP ELEVEN: If you want to use garnish on top of the chocolate you can use sea salt! Just sprinkle a dash of salt on top of the chocolate.

STEP TWELVE: Allow the turtles to sit for at least 2 hours to let the chocolate and caramel set properly.

PRO TIP:

If you are giving the homemade turtles as gifts, place the turtles in regular cupcake liners.

PRO TIP:

To get your turtle candies off the pan, the easiest way is to lift the parchment paper from the pan and separate the turtles from the paper, bending the paper back. When you try to just lift the turtle flat off of the pan, you can easily break the cute little turtle feet!

Chocolate Turtles process shot of turtles peeled away from the parchment paper

HOW TO SERVE

Turtle chocolate candies are a staple during the holiday season. They are a fantastic choice for homemade gifts. Add them to a gift box or decorative tin along with a variety of chocolates including our buckeyes and chocolate fudge.

STORAGE

ON THE COUNTER: Store your chewy caramel and chocolate candy on the counter for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.

IN THE FRIDGE: You can keep your delicious turtles in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Use an airtight container.

IN THE FREEZER: Layer your homemade candy in an airtight container with wax or parchment paper between turtles so they don’t stick. You can freeze the candy for up to 2 months and then defrost them at room temperature before serving.

close up shot of Chocolate Turtles with a bite taken out of it

Skip the store-bought version and make these classic gourmet chocolate turtles at home. This quick, easy chocolate turtle recipe is perfect for an after-dinner treat or gift. You can’t go wrong with crunchy pecans, creamy caramel, and rich milk chocolate combined into one amazing treat. This dessert is simple, yet incredibly rich and delicious.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I freeze chocolate turtles?

This great recipe can be frozen in an airtight container for up to two months.

Should turtles be kept in the fridge?

While they are fine at room temperature, in order to ensure the chocolate and caramel don’t get too soft.

Can I use a different type of nut for this recipe?

You could use walnuts instead of pecans for this recipe.

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close up overhead shot of a bunch of Chocolate Turtles on a plate

Chocolate Turtles

5 from 4 votes
Combine chewy buttery caramel, rich creamy chocolate, and nuts together to make these chocolate turtles — a homemade treat that’s every bit as yummy as the original!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 48

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups whole pecan halves
  • 11 ounces caramels (38) individually wrapped
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 12 ounces milk chocolate chips you could also use 12-ounce bag of dark chocolate chips
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sea salt optional sprinkles

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
  • Evenly spread the pecan halves over the parchment paper. Bake for 5 minutes. Allow the pecan halves to completely cool.
  • Line 2 to 3 baking sheets with very lightly sprayed parchment paper, wax paper or silicone baking liner.
  • Arrange the pecans in groups of 3 to 4 pecan halves. Make sure to space the pecan clusters at least 1 to 1½ inches apart.
  • Remove the plastic wrap from the individual caramels and place them in a medium size heat safe bowl.
  • Add the 2 tablespoons of heavy cream to the caramels. Heat the caramel and cream 45 second intervals. Stir well after each interval, until the mixture is smooth.
  • Once the caramel is smooth, immediately spoon 1 to 1½ teaspoons over the center of the pecan clusters.
  • Add the milk chocolate chips or the dark chocolate chips to a medium size microwaveable plastic bowl or microwaveable silicone bowl.
  • Heat for 30 seconds, stir well. Heat again for 30 seconds, stir well. Then heat for 15 seconds and stir well. Final heat would be 10 seconds if needed but you want to have a few whole chips still in the melted chocolate and not all the chips to be melted, risking overheating the chocolate. After this final heating stir the chocolate until all chips are melted and continue stirring the chocolate for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Spoon 1 to 1½ teaspoons of the melted chocolate over the center of the caramel. Use the tip or back of your spoon to make a little swirl onto the top of the chocolate.
  • If you wish to garnish the top of the chocolate with sea salt, sprinkle just a dash on top of the chocolate.
  • Allow the turtles to sit for at least 2 hours to ensure they set properly.

Notes

TIP: You can use wax paper or silicone liner as well on your baking sheet.
TIP: Use dark and white chocolate chips to make “black and white” turtles.
TIP: Tempering the chocolate in the microwave is best done in a microwavable plastic or silicone container. This is better than using glass because glass maintains the heat and if you are melting chocolate it’s better to cool the chocolate down quickly after melting it.
TIP: If you are giving the homemade turtles as gifts, place the turtles in regular cupcake liners.
TIP: To get your turtle candies off the pan, the easiest way is to lift the parchment paper from the pan and separate the turtles from the paper, bending the paper back. When you try to just lift the turtle flat off of the pan, you can easily break the cute little turtle feet!

Nutrition

Sodium: 166mg | Calcium: 22mg | Vitamin C: 1mg | Vitamin A: 31IU | Sugar: 9g | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 40mg | Cholesterol: 2mg | Calories: 105kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Fat: 7g | Protein: 1g | Carbohydrates: 11g | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Jenny says

    These look so good! I’m sharing this with my mom because turtle chocolates are her favorite and she makes homemade candy at Easter, this would be a great addition. Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday!

  2. sandy says

    Hi I would love to make these for my son. He is gluten free. My problem is I have a hard time finding caramels that are gluten free. What brand of caramels did you use? Thank you for posting this recipe.

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