Cafe Latte's Turtle Cake

"My friend/co-worker Pat makes the best desserts. When she brought this cake to work we all begged for the recipe! It is worthy of company. She accredits it to the Cafe Latte in St. Paul, Minnesota as shared in Midwest Living magazine. (Cooking time reflects chilling time)."
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Ready In:
2hrs 30mins
1 layer cake


  • unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup sour milk
  • 23 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups flour (I use unbleached)
  • 2 34 cups sugar
  • 12 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brewed coffee, hot
  • 2 teaspoons brewed coffee, hot
  • 12 cup milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 (12 ounce) package semisweet chocolate pieces (2 cups)
  • 1 12 cups pecan halves, toasted
  • 34 cup caramel topping


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Grease three 9-inch round cake pans.
  • Line the bottom of each with parchment paper.
  • Grease the paper.
  • Dust with unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • In a small bowl combine the egg, buttermilk and oil; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, 1 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Gradually add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, beating with an electric mixer until combined.
  • Gradually beat in 1 cup hot brewed coffee.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans; spread evenly. (Layers will appear shallow).
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean.
  • Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes.
  • Loosen sides from pans, invert cakes on racks.
  • Remove cakes from pans.
  • Peel off paper; cool thoroughly.
  • When cool, prepare the frosting.
  • In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup milk.
  • Add 6 Tablespoons butter.
  • Bring to boiling, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add 12 semi-sweet chocolate pieces.
  • Whisk until smooth.
  • If frosting seems to thick or grainy, stir in 1 to 2 teaspoons freshly brewed hot coffee.
  • (Frosting makes about 2 1/2 cups).
  • Place 1 cake layer, top-side DOWN, onto a serving plate.
  • Using an icing spatula or wide knife, work quickly to frost top of this layer with 1/3 of the frosting, pushing it out slightly from edges to make ripple or pedal effect.
  • Arrange 1/3 of the pecans on top and drizzle with 1/4 cup of the caramel topping.
  • Top with the second layer, top-side DOWN.
  • Repeat the above frosting steps with 1/3 of the frosting, pecans and caramel topping.
  • Top with the third layer, right side UP.
  • Repeat with frosting, pecans and caramel topping.
  • Chill cake 1 to 2 hours before serving.

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  1. RuthlessWr
    Very yummy and a big hit at work!
  2. aleda001
    Amazing!!! Loved it!


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