This Chocolate Turtle Poke Cake is made completely from scratch! A moist chocolate cake soaked with caramel sauce and topped with caramel chocolate frosting and chopped pecans!
For the caramel sauce
For the frosting
For the caramel sauce
For the cake
1. To make the caramel sauce for the frosting, combine all the ingredients for the caramel (butter, brown sugar, cream, vanilla extract and corn syrup) in a medium sauce pan.
2. Heat on medium-low until sugar is melted. Be sure to melt the sugar on a lower heat so that you don’t end up with a grainy caramel sauce. When the sugar has melted, turn the heat to medium-high to bring to a boil.
3. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat and pour into a heat-proof bowl. It will bubble up a good bit when boiling.
4. Place the sauce in the fridge to cool and firm. This sauce can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to two weeks.
5. Prior to baking the cake, prepare the caramel that will be poured over top. Add the butter, brown sugar, cream, vanilla and corn syrup to a large saucepan. Heat on medium-low until sugar is melted. Be sure to melt the sugar on a lower heat so that you don’t end up with a grainy caramel sauce. When the sugar has melted, turn the heat to medium-high to bring to a boil.
6. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat and pour into a heat-proof bowl to cool to about room temperature. It will bubble up a good bit when boiling.
7. To make the cake, prepare a 9×13 inch cake pan by greasing the bottom and sides. Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C).
8. Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together to combine.
9. Add eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
10. Slowly pour the water into the batter, mixing well and being careful of splashing.
11. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
12. Remove the cake from the oven and allow the cake to cool to room temperature, then poke holes all over. I use a knife sharpening rod, but you could also use a large straw or the end of a wooden spoon.
13. Pour the cooled caramel over the cake and spread it evenly into the holes of the cake.
14. To make the frosting, add the butter and shortening to a large mixer bowl and beat until well combined.
15. Add the cocoa powder and about half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
16. Add about half of the caramel sauce (which should be cold straight out of the fridge) and 5 tablespoons of milk and mix until smooth.
17. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
18. Add additional milk, as needed, to get a nice, smooth and spreadable frosting consistency.
19. Spread the frosting evenly over the cake, then drizzle with caramel and chocolate sauce and top it off with bits of pecans.
20. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve. It can be served chilled or at room temperature.
NOTE: If you have quite a large saucepan, the caramel sauce for the frosting and cake could all be made at the same time. It makes a total of 3 1/4 cups of caramel sauce and bubbles up a decent bit while cooking, so it should be a large pan. If all made together, you’ll want 1/3 of it refrigerated until cold to use in the frosting and the other 2/3 at room temperature (thickened, but pourable) for the cake.
Keywords: turtle poke cake, chocolate poke cake with caramel sauce, chocolate poke cake, easy poke cake recipe