Chocolate Turtle Cupcakes

These gourmet Chocolate Turtle Cupcakes feature a moist and fudgy chocolate cupcake that’s rolled in chopped pecans and chocolate chips. Finally, they are topped with an easy Caramel Russian Buttercream to create cupcake perfection!

chocolate turtle cupcake cake

Story Behind Chocolate Turtle Cupcakes

I love a good cupcake or a good slice of cake. In fact, cake is probably my favorite type of dessert. It’s so hard to refuse a moist cake and delicious frosting.

It wasn’t until I met my husband that I learned about Chocolate Turtles. For some reason, this candy had escaped my childhood. It seems like a treat my mom would have loved, but I never saw them in my house growing up. Now that I’m a mom, I’m assuming she probably kept them hidden so she wouldn’t have to share. I know I do that with all of the yummy treats in my house.

Anyways, these Chocolate Turtle Cupcakes are reminiscent of those delicious Turtle chocolates. You’ve got a moist chocolate cupcake and then you are going to roll it in a mixture of mini chocolate chips and chopped pecans. This mixture adds that most incredible texture and crunch.

If that isn’t enough, you’re then going to top it with the most delicious and easiest buttercream frosting. I used a Russian Buttercream frosting which consists of two ingredients; butter and sweetened condensed milk. However, instead of using sweetened condensed milk, I decided to use dulce de leche, which is just cooked sweetened condensed milk. They are divine. If you want to take them over the top, you can add a small drizzle of your favorite caramel sauce on top.

overhead shot of chocolate turtle cupcakes

Ingredients Needed for Chocolate Turtle Cupcakes

  • Flour- please use regular all-purpose flour
  • Cocoa Powder– I prefer to use unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Hershey’s, nothing special or difficult to find.
  • Sugar- granulated white sugar
  • Brown Sugar- light brown sugar is usually what I have on hand
  • Milk- I prefer to use whole milk, or buttermilk can also work well in this recipe
  • Eggs- please use room temperature eggs. I always have large sized eggs on hand.
  • Vegetable Oil- canola or coconut oil can also be used.
  • Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt
  • Butter- I typically use salted butter in all of my recipes.
  • Dulce de Leche- this can be found by the sweetened condensed milk
  • Chopped Pecans – you can also chop your own
  • Mini Chocolate Chips – Normally I would say you could use regular sized ones, but you are going to want to use mini chocolate chips in this recipe.
unwrapped chocolate turtle cupcakes

Favorite Kitchen Tools for Making Chocolate Turtle Cupcakes

Tulip Cupcake Liners– these are the best liners and result in a large gourmet cupcake.

Cookie ScoopsI love to use the large cookie scoop for scooping batter into the tulip cupcake liners. It measures the perfect amount of batter.

1M Decorating Tipthis is hands down my favorite piping tip.

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chocolate turtle cupcake with bite taken out of it
chocolate turtle cupcake cake

Chocolate Turtle Cupcakes

These gourmet Chocolate Turtle Cupcakes feature a moist and fudgy chocolate cupcake that’s rolled in chopped pecans and chocolate chips. Finally, they are topped with an easy Caramel Russian Buttercream to create cupcake perfection!
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Course Dessert



  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup mini chocolate chips


  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 can dulce de leche


  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • cup mini chocolate chips


For the Cupcakes

  • Preheat your oven to 350°. Line a cupcake pan with tulip cupcake liners. Set aside for later.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Whisk together until well incorporated.
  • Add in the remaining wet ingredients, and whisk until all incorporated.
  • Fold in the ¾ cup chocolate chips into the batter.
  • Using a large cookie scoop (¼ cup size), scoop the batter into the liners.
  • Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until the tops bounce back when touched.

For the Frosting

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer (or you can use a hand mixer), place your two sticks of butter. Mix on high.
  • Mixing the butter is the most important part of the frosting. You are going to mix it for at least 5 minutes.
  • The butter should be creamy and light in texture. It should also be white in color. If it isn't either of these, continue to mix.
  • Once the butter has reached the desired texture and color, slowly add in the dulce de leche. I add about ¼ of the can at a time.

For Assembling

  • In a small bowl, combine your chocolate chips and chopped pecans.
  • Pipe a small amount of frosting on the top of the cupcake. Dip the cupcake in the chopped pecan and chocolate chip mixture. Shake off any excess.
  • On top of the nut mixture, add an additional swirl of frosting. I used a 1M piping tip to get the swirl you see.
  • *Optional* add a drizzle of your favorite caramel sauce on top.

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