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turtle chocolate layer cake


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Prep Time: 1 hours, 45 minutes

Cook Time: 53 minutes

Total: 2 hours, 38 minutes

Servings: 12

Cost: $5.98 /serving


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Step 1

To make the caramel sauce:

Step 2

Combine the granulated sugar and water in a medium to large saucier pan. Cook over medium-low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the butter and let it melt

Step 3

Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Stop whisking and don’t whisk at all during this part to help avoid crystallization. Allow to boil until the mixture turns a deep golden copper color, about 15-20 minutes, maybe longer depending on your stove. Keep an eye on it, but do not stir. If needed, you can occasionally tip the pan from side to side to help things cook evenly.

Step 4

. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately add in the heavy whipping cream in a slow, steady stream. The caramel will bubbly up quite a bit, so be careful with this step. Whisk quickly and well as you add the cream, whisking until well combined.

Step 5

. Add the vanilla extract and half a teaspoon of salt and whisk to combine. Add additional salt to your desired saltiness.

Step 6

. Set the caramel sauce in the fridge to cool. It will be fairly thin, but will thicken as it cools. You can make this caramel sauce up to a week or so head, if you like.To make the chocolate cake layers:

Step 7

p id=”instruction-step-7″>Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom, and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C).7.

Step 8

Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together.8.

Step 9

Add eggs, milk and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients and mix well.9.

Step 10

Add boiling water and vanilla extract and mix well.10

Step 11

Divide batter evenly between cakes pans and bake for 30-33 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.11

Step 12

Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.To make the caramel buttercream:

Step 13

id=”instruction-step-13″>Make the buttercream while cakes cool. Add the butter to a large mixer bowl and beat until smooth.13

Step 14

Slowly add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.14

Step 15

Add about 1/2 a cup of caramel sauce and mix until well combined and smooth.15

Step 16

Slowly add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.16

Step 17

Add additional caramel sauce to achieve the right flavor and consistency of frosting. You don’t want to thin out the frosting too much or it won’t hold your cake together well.17

Step 18

Add salt to taste.To build the cake:

Step 19

id=”instruction-step-19″>Once the cakes are cool and the frosting is ready, remove the cake domes from the tops of the cakes with a large serrated knife. See my tips on how to level a cake and how to stack a cake.19

Step 20

Place first layer of cake on cake plate. Spread about 2/3 cup of frosting on top in an even layer.20

Step 21

Pipe a dam around the edge of the cake, on top of the frosting. This is help hold your caramel sauce in place (and is why you don’t want your frosting to be too thin – you want it to hold in place well).21

Step 22

Add about 1/2 cup of caramel sauce and gently spread into an even layer. The caramel sauce is easiest to work with when at room temperature, but should be workable when cold as well.22

Step 23

Spread about 1/4 cup of chopped pecans evenly over the caramel sauce and level out the frosting dam, if needed, so that everything is level.23

Step 24

Add the second layer of cake and add another layer of frosting, caramel and chopped pecans.24

Step 25

Add the final layer of cake on top and then add a thin crumb coat to the cake.25

Step 26

Refrigerate the cake for about 30 minutes to an hour so that everything firms up a bit, which will help keep everything in place while you frost the cake.26

Step 27

Frost the outside of the cake with the remaining caramel frosting. Feel free to use my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake.To decorate the cake:

Step 28

id=”instruction-step-28″>To make the chocolate ganache, add the chocolate chips to a medium sized bowl (see my tips on making chocolate ganache).23

Step 29

Heat the heavy whipping cream just until it begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.24

Step 30

Drizzle the chocolate ganache around the edge of the cake, then pour the remainder of the ganache on top of the cake and spread evenly. I like to use a squeeze bottle for drizzling around the edges. See my tips on making a chocolate drip cake.25

Step 31

Allow the ganache to firm up a bit, then pipe the remainder of the frosting around the top edge of the cake. You can also finish it off with a drizzle of caramel sauce and some chopped pecans.26

Step 32

Refrigerate cake until ready to serve. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Cake is best when stored well covered and eaten within 3-4 days.

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