Turtle Dump Cake is an easy decadent chocolate cake made with a cake mix, instant pudding, gooey caramel, milk chocolate chips, and pecans. This chocolate cake is dense and will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth.
When it comes to my sweet tooth, chocolate is always my first pick. This turtle dump cake is one that my sweet tooth really loves. My family has fallen in love with how delicious this cake is and I have also fallen in love with how easy it is to make.
What is a dump cake?
A simple cake that is made with a cake mix. Usually, the cake is made in one bowl and dumped into a baking pan and baked or the cake can be dumped into the baking pan and mixed with fruit.
Ingredients and substitutes:
- Chocolate Cake Mix – Any chocolate cake mix will work for this.
- Instant Chocolate Pudding – Do not use cooked pudding, make sure it is a small box of instant pudding.
- Evaporated Milk – Do not use sweetened condensed milk, the sweetened condensed milk contains sugar, and additional sugar is not needed in this recipe.
- Caramel Bits – I melt the (Kraft) caramel bits with a bit of cream, but you could use caramel sauce as a replacement.
- Milk Chocolate Chips – I like the flavor of milk chocolate chips in this recipe, but you can substitute semisweet or dark chocolate chips.
- Pecans- Generally pecans are used when making turtles, but you can substitute walnuts.
Do you have to refrigerate turtle dump cake?
No, there is no need to refrigerate this cake. Store in an airtight container on your counter.
How many days can you store this cake?
You can store this cake on your counter for 3 to 5 days. That is if the cake lasts that long, I am thinking that may not happen.
Steps for making Turtle Dump Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
Melt the caramel bits with a tablespoon of cream and set aside.
Add the cake mix and the instant pudding to a medium-size mixing bowl.
Add the evaporated milk and mix for 2 minutes with a hand mixer or a wooden spoon.
Spread the cake batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle a cup of chocolate chips over the batter, then the 1/4 cup of pecans, and then the melted caramel. With a knife swirl the toppings into the cake.
Place the cake into the preheated oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The cake can be checked for doneness with a wooden pick, insert the pick and if it comes out clean the cake is done.
Melt another cup of the caramel baking bits while the cake is baking. When the cake is removed from the oven, drizzle the caramel over the top of the cake, sprinkle the pecans and chocolate chips over the top of the caramel. Cool.
Check out these other cake recipes:
- Buckeye Fudge Layer Cake
- Apple Peanut Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
- Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake
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Turtle Dump Cake
- 1 box chocolate cake mix
- 1 small box chocolate instant pudding
- 12 ounce can evaporated milk
- 2 cups caramel bits divided
- 2 cups milk chocolate chips divided
- 1 cup chopped pecans divided
- 4 tablespoons cream divided
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
- Melt 1 cup of caramel bits with 2 tablespoons of cream. This can be done on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave. For the microwave melt on high for about 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.
- Add the cake mix and the instant pudding to a medium-size mixing bowl. Add the evaporated milk and mix for 2 minutes with a hand mixer or a wooden spoon.
- Spread the cake batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle a cup of chocolate chips over the batter, then the 1/2 cup of pecans, and then the melted caramel. With a knife swirl the toppings into the cake.
- Place the cake into the preheated oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The cake can be checked for doneness with a wooden pick, insert the pick and if it comes out clean the cake is done.
- Melt another cup of the caramel baking bits with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream while the cake is baking. When the cake is removed from the oven, drizzle the caramel over the top of the cake, sprinkle the remaining pecans, and chocolate chips over the top of the caramel. Cool.
- Melt the caramel bits with cream on the stovetop or the microwave. If using the microwave (which is probably easier and faster) melt on high, but make sure to stir the caramel every 30 seconds or so. Once they start to melt they will go fast.
- Make sure to use instant pudding in the cake. I am not sure if the cooking kind would work.
- Store the baked cake in an airtight container on the kitchen counter, no need to refrigerate.
That looks incredibly rich and yummy with all the chocolate chips.
David @ Spiced
I love all things turtle! I’m a huge fan of nuts in my chocolate desserts, so this cake would absolutely not be safe on my countertop. It looks yummy!
I have never baked a dump cake, and yes, super easy…looks delicious with all the layers in it. Thanks for the recipe Dawn. Have a great week ahead!
This cake looks so decadent and delicious Dawn! I am one to reach for chocolate too when my sweet tooth hits. Wouldn’t last long here either.
What kind of cream ?
Hi Dasah, I used whipping cream for this recipe.
Excellent results but I used less chocolate chips over the top. A big hit. I used Kraft caramels for the first addition and simply used caramel sundae topping for the finishing touch. Already have requests for “again”.
I am glad that you liked the recipe. My family enjoys this one too. I hope you will try some more of my recipes.
I appreciate this recipe. My mother use to make this every year for my birthday before she passed. I’ve been looking for the recipe every since. Thank you.
Rebecca, I am happy that you found the recipe. I hope you enjoy it.
I followed directions but something went wrong—cake was dry and almost tough. The middle I had hoped would be edible, but even it was very dry. Was there a specific type of chocolate cake mix I should have used? (I had used a triple chocolate fudge) I’m sorry it didn’t turn out, the concept was awesome!
Hi Cindy, I am sorry that it didn’t turn out for you. The only thing that I can think of is that you overbaked the cake. All ovens are different. Overbaking the cake would definitely dry out the cake. I don’t think a different cake mix would make any difference.