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Turtle Dessert

Review Recipe
a close up shot of a slice of Turtle Dessert on a plate
This turtle dessert is a creamy and decadent layered dessert with all the fantastic flavors of the classic candy.
Jump to Recipe
Table of Contents
  1. Turtle Dessert Ingredients
  2. How to Make This Turtle Dessert Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Chocolate, caramel, pudding, whipped cream, and peanuts come together in this creamy turtle dessert to create a divine treat that’s perfect for any occasion. You will love the gooey, sweet, and crunchy textures that make up this decadent layered delight.

a close up shot of a slice of Turtle Dessert with a fork grabbing a piece

Turtle Dessert Ingredients

Turtle Dessert raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons salted sweet cream butter, softened
  • 36 crushed chocolate sandwich cookies with cream center filling (I used Oreo cookies)
  • 6 tablespoons salted sweet cream butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 (8-ounce) containers of Cool Whip whipped topping, thawed
  • 2 cups cold whole milk
  • 2 (3.4-ounce) boxes of instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1½ teaspoons caramel flavoring
  • 1 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts, divided
  • 2½ cups chopped turtle candies, divided
  • Chocolate syrup (optional garnish)
  • Caramel sundae syrup (optional garnish)

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

COOKIE CRUMBS: You can substitute crushed chocolate graham crackers for the crushed chocolate sandwich cookies in these no-bake turtle dream bars. Be sure to add 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar if you make the substitution.

NUTS: In this chocolate turtle dessert, you can substitute chopped pecans for chopped peanuts.

PUDDING: You can substitute instant caramel-flavored pudding mix for the vanilla mix if you can find it. If you are able to use the caramel pudding, be sure to omit the caramel flavoring.

How to Make This Turtle Dessert Recipe

STEP ONE: Use either a pastry brush or your hands to butter a 9×9-inch baking dish with the 2 tablespoons of butter. Set it aside.

butter spread into the baking dish

STEP TWO: Add the crushed cookies and the melted butter to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Press the buttered cookie mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the baking dish. Chill the chocolate cookie crust in the refrigerator while you prepare the cream cheese layer.

cookies and butter stirred and pressed into the bottom of the baking dish

STEP THREE: Using a stand mixer or a medium-sized mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, beat the softened cream cheese and vanilla for 1 to 1½ minutes until smooth.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature, so you don’t have any lumps in your creamy dessert.

cream cheese and vanilla blended in a bowl

STEP FOUR: Add the powdered sugar and 1 cup of whipped topping. Continue mixing for another 1 to 1½ minutes until smooth.

powdered sugar and whipped topping blended in a bowl

STEP FIVE: Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the cookie crust, and return the baking dish to the refrigerator.

cream cheese layers spread on top of the cookie crust in a baking dish

STEP SIX: Add the cold milk to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Sprinkle the pudding mixes and caramel flavoring over the cold milk. Use a handheld mixer on medium-low speed and mix just until the mixture begins to thicken (this usually only takes about 1 minute). 

PRO TIP:

You can whisk the pudding mixture by hand; the handheld mixer is just a time saver.

milk, pudding mixes and caramel mixed in a bowl

STEP SEVEN: Add 1 cup of the whipped topping and continue mixing until the pudding mixture thickens.

whipped topping added to the milk mixture in a bowl

STEP EIGHT: Evenly sprinkle ½ cup of the chopped peanuts and 1 cup of the chopped turtle candies over the cream cheese layer.

peanuts and turtle candies sprinkled over the cream cheese layer

STEP NINE: Drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons of the chocolate syrup and caramel syrup over the candy layer.

peanuts sprinkled and chocolate syrup and caramel syrup drizzled on top

STEP TEN: Spread the pudding mixture in an even layer over the candy layer. Cover and chill for 2 hours.

PRO TIP:

Don’t skip the chilling stage. You want to give your dessert plenty of time to chill and set before serving it.

pudding mixture spread over the candy layer in a baking dish

STEP ELEVEN: Just before serving, spread the remaining whipped topping over the pudding layer. 

whipped topping spread over the pudding layer in a baking dish

STEP TWELVE: Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of chopped peanuts and the remaining 1½ cups of the chopped turtle candies over the whipped topping.

STEP THIRTEEN: Drizzle the chocolate syrup and caramel syrup over the candies. Slice into 3-inch x 3-inch pieces.

peanuts sprinkled and chocolate syrup and caramel syrup drizzled on top

How To Serve

Serve a slice of this heavenly dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to delight your taste buds. For even more decadence, add a warm mug of homemade hot chocolate or a pumpkin spice latte to wash it down.

Our chocolate turtle candies are the inspiration for this delicious dessert, while our turtle pie is another spin on these fantastic flavors.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Store any leftovers covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

IN THE FREEZER: This yummy dessert can be frozen for up to a month.

a close up shot of a slice of Turtle Dessert on a plate with a cup of caramel sauce being poured on top

All the tasty parts of turtle candy are found in this amazing dessert lasagna. The combination of crunchy pecans, gooey caramel, and silky chocolate is sure to be a huge hit with anyone you serve it to.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I make this ahead of time?

This wonderful recipe is actually best if you make it ahead of time and let it chill to make sure all of the layers are set.

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

You could use graham crackers or chocolate graham crackers for your cookie crust.

Can I freeze this no-bake layered turtle dessert?

This tasty dessert can be kept in the freezer for up to one month.

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a close up shot of a slice of Turtle Dessert on a plate

Turtle Dessert

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This turtle dessert is a creamy and decadent layered dessert with all the fantastic flavors of the classic candy.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 9

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons salted sweet cream butter, softened
  • 36 crushed chocolate sandwich cookies with cream center filling, I used Oreo cookies
  • 6 tablespoons salted sweet cream butter, melted and cooled
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 16 ounces whipped topping, thawed
  • 2 cups cold whole milk
  • 6.8 ounces instant vanilla pudding mix
  • teaspoons caramel flavoring
  • 1 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts, divided
  • cups chopped turtle candies, divided
  • Chocolate syrup, optional garnish
  • Caramel sundae syrup, optional garnish

Instructions
 

  • Use either a pastry brush or your hands to butter a 9×9-inch baking dish with the 2 tablespoons of butter. Set it aside.
  • Add the crushed cookies and the melted butter to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Press the buttered cookie mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the baking dish. Chill the cookie crust in the refrigerator while you prepare the cream cheese layer.
  • Using either a stand mixer or a medium-sized mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese and vanilla for 1 to 1½ minutes until smooth.
  • Add the powdered sugar and 1 cup of whipped topping. Continue mixing for another 1 to 1½ minutes until smooth.
  • Evenly spread the cream cheese layer on top of the cookie crust, and return the baking dish to the refrigerator.
  • Add the cold milk to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Sprinkle the pudding mixes and caramel flavoring over the cold milk. Use a handheld mixer on medium-low speed and mix just until the mixture begins to thicken (this usually only takes about 1 minute).
  • Add 1 cup of the whipped topping and continue mixing until the pudding mixture thickens.
  • Evenly sprinkle ½ cup of the chopped peanuts and 1 cup of the chopped turtle candies over the cream cheese layer.
  • Drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons of the chocolate syrup and caramel syrup over the candy layer.
  • Spread the pudding mixture over the candy layer. Cover and chill for 2 hours.
  • Just before serving, spread the remaining whipped topping over the pudding layer.
  • Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of chopped peanuts and the remaining 1½ cups of the chopped turtle candies over the whipped topping.
  • Drizzle the chocolate syrup and caramel syrup over the candies. Slice into 3-inch x 3-inch pieces.

Notes

  • Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature, so you don’t have any lumps in your creamy dessert.
  • You can whisk the pudding mixture by hand; the handheld mixer is just a time saver.
  • Don’t skip the chilling stage. You want to give your dessert plenty of time to chill and set before serving it.

Nutrition

Calories: 1100kcal | Carbohydrates: 135g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 58g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 849mg | Potassium: 586mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 106g | Vitamin A: 1142IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 273mg | Iron: 6mg
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