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Turtle Cake Recipe By Nacho Aguirre

Stop. You had us at chocolate and caramel, Ignacio Aguirre. This rich and delightful cake is perfect for any special occasion. Plus, the caramel and ganache can be made a day in advance, so all you need to do is bake and decorate on the day of celebration. Let’s be clear, though, this cake is a party all by itself, so go ahead and bake it today.

Turtle Cake
Makes 1 cake


For the chocolate cake:
Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1//2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup hot water

For the milk chocolate ganache:
4 cups milk chocolate chips
2 cups heavy whipping cream

For the caramel:
250 grams granulated sugar
250 grams light corn syrup
20 grams unsalted butter, cubed
375 milliliters heavy whipping cream

For assembly:
Chocolate ribbons, optional
Chopped pecans


1. Make the chocolate cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease 2 8-inch cake pans with cooking spray.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine sugar, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt on low speed. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla, and increase the speed to medium until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce speed to low and add hot water. Mix until smooth. 

3. Divide batter evenly into pans and bake until centers are cooked through, and cake pulls from the walls of the pan, about 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely before removing from the pans.

4. Make the ganache: In a large, heat-proof bowl, add chocolate.

5. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring milk to a boil. Remove from heat and carefully pour over chocolate. Let sit 2 to 3 minutes, and whisk until smooth. Let cool completely, up to overnight. 

6. Make the caramel: In a heavy, large saucepan over medium-high heat, add sugar and corn syrup. When golden in color, carefully add cubes of butter and stir to combine. Pour, very carefully, cream in a steady stream while continuing to stir constantly. Bring to a boil, or 212 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and let cool completely, up to overnight.

8. Assemble the cake: Place one cake on a platter. Evenly spread ganache over the top. Place the other cake on top of the ganache. Frost the top and outer layer of the cakes with ganache. Top with chocolate ribbons, if using, drizzle with caramel, and sprinkle with pecans.

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