Chocolate Turtle Cake – Cafe Latte Style!

What’s my inspiration?

If you have never had the chocolate Turtle cake from Café Latte in St. Paul, you are seriously missing out.  The chocolate cake is uber rich since it’s made with coffee and the caramel and nuts put it over the edge.  I found the recipe online a few years back and it’s just as incredible as the store-bought version. Well, the flavor at least.  My version was slightly falling apart and I had to fill in the cake with extra frosting.  Go figure.  But, even though it looked like a 2nd string cake a 5th grader made, it tasted amazing.

What you need:

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 Egg
  • 2/3 cup Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 3/4 cups Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Good quality cocoa
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tbsp. Baking soda
  • 1 cup Hot coffee


  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 6 tbsp. Butter
  • 2 cups Good-quality semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup Caramel
  • 1 1/2 cups Toasted pecans

What you do:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease 3 (9-inch) cake pans
  • Cover each bottom with disk of parchment paper

To make cake: 

  • In bowl, combine egg, oil and buttermilk.
  • In large separate bowl, mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking soda.
  • Gradually add wet ingredients to dry until well mixed.
  • Gradually add hot coffee.
  • Scrape batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Let cake rest in pans for 10 minutes.  Turn out onto wire racks to cool.

To make frosting: 

  • Mix sugar and milk in saucepan.  Add butter.  Bring to a boil.
  • Remove from heat.  Add chocolate chips to pan.  Using wire whisk, mix until smooth. If frosting is too thick or grainy, add 1 or 2 teaspoons hot coffee.

To assemble cake: 

  • Place one cooled cake layer, top-side down, on cake plate.
  • Spread with one-third of frosting, pushing it out gently from edges to make a petal effect. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans,  Drizzle with 1/4 cup caramel.
  • Add next layer, again top-side down.  Repeat frosting and sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans and drizzle with 1/4 cup caramel.
  • And final layer top-side up, frost with petal effect and finish with remaining pecans and caramel.

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