Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cupcakes have creamy caramel, chocolate chips and pecans on the inside and are topped with chocolate buttercream. They have an unbeatable fudgy, brownie-like flavor and texture.
OK, friends. I have a special recipe to share with you today. These Caramel Turtle Cupcakes were one of those recipes that was swimming in my head for awhile. But I didn’t allow these to stay in my head for long. Just a few days after I put these together in my mind, we had a weekend full of three parties. When those kind of weekends roll around, I bake up serious amounts of desserts, because I know I can take them to the parties and not end up eating the decadent treats all myself. I like to spread around the calories and not keep them all to myself, ya know?
If you love chocolate cake, caramel, pecans, chocolate chips and chocolate buttercream, you’ll be so happy to meet these little turtle cupcakes. The chocolate cupcakes themselves have a gooey caramel filling, chocolate chips and pecans throughout.
Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cupcakes are easy to make. Here are a few hints for making these:
1. You’ll start with a Duncan Hines chocolate cake mix. Instead of using the water and oil as it says on the back of the box, use butter and milk. You’ll use the same amounts, but switching to butter and milk will give you more of a bakery flavor to your cupcakes. So you’ll add 3 eggs, 1 stick of softened butter and 1 1/4 cups milk to your dry cake mix.
2. Fill cupcake liners half full with cake batter. Bake this for 7 minutes at 350 degrees. You’re doing this step so that the caramel in the middle doesn’t sink to the bottom of the cupcake when it is baking. You want it to bake nicely in the center of the cupcake!
3. While the cupcakes are baking for those 7 minutes, melt your caramels, butter and sweetened condensed milk together on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Keep stirring until your caramel is soft and smooth.
4. Put a spoonful of this melted caramel over each partially baked cupcake. Then fill the cupcakes liners to the top with the remaining cake batter. Sprinkle some chocolate chips and chopped pecans on top of the batter and bake the remaining 13-15 minutes until a toothpick comes out of the center of the cupcake without any cake batter on it.
These turtle cupcakes…they’re fudgy. FULL of chocolate flavor. Almost brownie-like in texture with the extra caramel and chocolate inside.
Just try not to eat one of these turtle cupcakes fresh from the oven with that gooey caramel and those melty chocolate chips inside. Even without the buttercream, they’re amazing!
Q: What is your favorite cupcake flavor?
Caramel Turtle Cupcakes have creamy caramel, chocolate chips and pecans on the inside and are topped with chocolate buttercream. The best!
25 minCook Time
25 minTotal Time
- 1 Duncan Hines chocolate cake mix (16.25 ounces)
- 3 eggs
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cup milk (2%)
- 1 bag (11 ounces) Kraft Caramel Bits
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup salted butter, softened
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips and extra chopped pecans (if desired, for topping)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the dry cake mix, eggs, 1 stick of softened butter and milk.
- Beat this on low to medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl, as needed.
- Fill 24 cupcake liners 1/2 full with the cake batter.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes.
- While the cupcakes are baking, melt the caramel bits, sweetened condensed milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir often until the caramel is soft and completely smooth.
- Remove the cupcakes from the oven and put a spoonful of melted caramel on top of each cupcake half. Then fill the cupcake liners to the top with the remaining cake batter. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and pecans on top of each cupcake.
- Bake for an additional 3-15 minutes, until the cupcakes are cooked through. You can use a toothpick to test them, but remember that there is gooey caramel in the middle that may come out on the toothpick. Just make sure there is no uncooked cake batter on the toothpick.
- While the cupcakes are cooling, make the chocolate buttercream.
- For the chocolate buttercream: Cream the butter in a stand mixer for about 2 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until the frosting is fluffy.
- Once the cupcakes are cooled, use a cake decorating bag and Wilton tip 1M to make a swirl of frosting on top of your cupcake. Or, just use a knife to spread the frosting on top of the cupcakes.
- If you have any remaining caramel, drizzle the caramel overtop the frosting swirls. (If the caramel has hardened, melt it in the microwave for 5-10 seconds until it is drizzling consistency.)
- Immediately sprinkle a few chopped pecans on top of the caramel and place a chocolate chip on the top center.
- Store in an airtight container.
Make this recipe quicker by using store-bought chocolate frosting, or just leave the frosting off of the cupcakes!