chocolate, pecan, and caramel "Turtle" cupcakes

“Heaven in a cupcake” is what these should be called. I had absolutely no self control when it came to this caramel frosting. Seriously. I pretty much ate it by the spoonful. (after they were all frosted of course…most of them were at least…) It’s pretty darn delicious on a graham cracker too…just sayin’.

 If you’ve never made swiss meringue buttercream, it does take a bit of time to make, but it’s worth it. Oh so worth it. It’s basically the only buttercream recipe I will make. Add that to the best chocolate cupcake/cake recipe I have in my arsenal, add some caramel sauce and pecans. DONE. Turtle cupcakes go Boom. (and by Boom I mean go right in my mouth.) So try these soon-they are delish without the nuts too if you’re not a fan of pecans.

Seriously…go make them. Now.

HERSHEY’S Chocolate Cake 

via Hershey‘s site


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners.Makes about 30 cupcakes.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. At this point, I usually stick my water in the microwave in a glass measuring bowl to get it boiling. It takes just about 2 minutes-so that works out perfectly! Mix in the boiling water slowly. Pour batter into the liners. It’s a thin batter, so I usually use a 1/4 cup measuring cup and use that to fill. Only fill the liners 2/3 of the way.
  3. Bake 22-25 minutes (rotating halfway through) or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack then let them cool completely.  Then frost to your heart’s delight…preferably with the recipe below…


Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream
makes enough to frost about 2-3 dozen cupcakes

(wipe down your bowl, whisk, beaters, etc with lemon juice before you start, this will help your meringue)


1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
5 large egg whites
Pinch of salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
1 scant tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup caramel sauce


  1. Whisk together sugar, the egg whites, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water; whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture registers 140 degrees. (I rub a drop between my fingers, if it’s grainy, it still needs more time.)
  2. Return bowl to mixer; fit mixer with whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and mixture has cooled down. Switch to paddle attachment. Reduce speed to medium low; add butter, a few tablespoons at a time. Continue mixing until fluffy and smooth. This may take some time, if it curdles, keep mixing and it will come together.
  3. Add caramel and vanilla; beat on lowest speed until combined. Pipe onto cupcakes, drizzle caramel sauce on top, then sprinkle chopped pecans on top! Yum!


  1. My mouth is watering. Came by from Tales of the Reborn Crater.

  2. Oh yum…I am now officially hungry!

  3. Oh yum…I am now officially hungry!

  4. Will do!!!! What are they referring to when asking for caramel sauce??

  5. oh my yum. Love this!

  6. Those look delicious!

  7. Usually I try to NOT look at dessert posts…but today I couldn’t stop myself. These look sooo good!
    I made a Bapron- I’ll be posting it within a week over at It came together really nice! If I have time, I might by the license and whip a few up for a craft show I’m doing in April.

  8. OMG *drool*

  9. Mmm, those look delicious. I love caramel, and with chocolate and pecans it is even better. =)

  10. I made these this weekend and…AWESOME!! I was so proud of myself. They didn’t look quite as cute as yours, but very tasty. Thank you for posting.

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