Go Back
+ servings

Turtle Poke Cake

This fabulous turtle poke cake is just packed with chocolate, gooey caramel and pecans, just like the candy of the same name.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Chill Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 40 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 615 kcal


  • 15.25 ounces yellow cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup water room-temperature
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 14 ounces caramel sauce ice cream topping
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 16 ounces chocolate fudge frosting
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip whipped topping thawed
  • ¼ cup pecans chopped
  • good quality chocolate sauce and caramel sauce in a squeeze container for garnish (I used Ghirardelli premium sauces)


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13 glass baking dish with baker’s spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium speed, mix the yellow cake mix, eggs, water and canola oil for 2 minutes. This is based on the directions on the back of the box.
  • Pour the yellow cake batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 35 minutes.
  • While the cake is baking you will combine, in a small bowl with a pour spout, the 14-ounce jar of caramel sauce and sweetened condensed milk. Stir until completely combined.
  • When the cake comes out of the oven you will use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the hot cake. Slowly pour the caramel and sweetened condensed milk mixture evenly over the top of the warm cake. Make sure to get the caramel sauce into all the holes. Allow the cake to cool on the counter for at least 1 hour to allow the caramel sauce to be absorbed into the cake.
  • While your cake is cooling on the counter you will make your frosting by adding the chocolate fudge frosting to a large bowl and whipping it on medium speed for 1 minute or until light and fluffy.
  • Fold the thawed Cool Whip whipped topping into the fluffy chocolate fudge frosting. Make sure there are no streaks of whipped topping in your frosting. You can store your chocolate fudge whipped topping in the refrigerator until your cake has cooled completely on the counter.
  • Once cooled, spread the chocolate fudge whipping frosting evenly over the top of the caramel cake.
  • Garnish the top of the turtle poke cake with a drizzle pattern of the caramel sauce, chocolate sauce and sprinkle evenly with the chopped pecans. Refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours but up to overnight.


PRO TIP: The eggs, water and canola oil in the ingredients may vary depending on the brand of cake mix you are using.
PRO TIP: You will note that there are 2 different forms of caramel in this chocolate turtle poke cake recipe. For the 14-ounce jar, any brand you would use for an ice cream sauce will work great. You want it to be pourable for this recipe. I highly recommend using a thicker caramel sauce to drizzle onto the top for garnish, along with a good quality chocolate sauce. The ones in the squeeze containers work great for this recipe and can be stored in your refrigerator to use for other applications. They make great coffee or hot cocoa toppers. 
PRO TIP: It’s best to make the holes in the cake while it is still slightly warm because as it cools, the crust on top of the cake will crumble more easily.
PRO TIP: When you’re pouring the cream into the holes of the cake, tap the pan on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles and make sure the pudding fills the holes completely.
PRO TIP: We used the Cool Whip whipped topping to lighten up the chocolate fudge frosting for this recipe but if you prefer a richer chocolate frosting, you can omit the whipped topping and use two containers of the chocolate fudge frosting to frost cake. Alternatively, you can use the milk chocolate version if that is your preference.
PRO TIP: This turtle cake recipe is best when it has had plenty of time to allow the cake to absorb the wonderful caramel sauce to make it a very moist cake.


Sodium: 521mgCalcium: 220mgVitamin C: 1mgVitamin A: 220IUSugar: 59gFiber: 1gPotassium: 288mgCholesterol: 61mgCalories: 615kcalTrans Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 6gFat: 24gProtein: 7gCarbohydrates: 98gIron: 2mg