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Caramel Chocolate Turtle Dump Cake is an easy, 6 ingredient dessert recipe that mixes in one bowl and then bakes in one pan. Caramel, dark chocolate, chocolate cake mix, and pecans make this turtle dessert amazing.

A overhead picture of chocolate and caramel dump cake with pecans on top.


Dump cakes are an easy dessert that usually involves mixing up a few ingredients, dumping them into a baking dish, and baking! This caramel chocolate turtle dump cake combines chocolate, caramel, dark chocolate, and pecans in a simple dump cake recipe. 

You must top it with some vanilla ice cream! The creamy, cold ice cream with the soft pudding like warm cake is delicious. 

A “turtle dessert” is a combination of chocolate, caramel, and nuts. This turtle dump cake has some dark chocolate in it which really helps with all the sweetness. It’s the perfect combination of flavors. 

Turtle Dump Cake in a white pan with a wooden spoon scooped into the soft, pudding like dump cake.


All you need are six simple ingredients for this dump cake recipe. Mix it all together in one bowl and dump into a baking dish. Don’t forget to serve with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce or syrup. So good!

Chocolate Pudding – Do not prepare this according to package directions. You will only use the dry pudding mix inside the box. 

Chocolate Cake Mix – You can use a chocolate cake mix, milk chocolate cake mix, Devil’s Food cake mix, or a chocolate fudge cake mix. I prefer the regular chocolate cake mix. 

Dark Chocolate Chips – I am not a fan of dark chocolate but it’s necessary in this dump cake recipe. You want the bitter chocolate to help with all the sweetness. If wanted, you could use semi-sweet in place of the dark chocolate chips. 

Whole Milk

Caramel Sauce – You can melt some caramel square candy or use some ice cream caramel syrup topping. 

Chopped Pecans

How to make turtle dump cake with caramel and chocolate with step by step photo instructions for each step in the recipe.


  • I use a regular chocolate cake mix for this recipe. I have tried using a chocolate fudge cake mix before and although it made the cake more moist, and less cake-like, it was a lot of rich chocolate fudge flavor. 
  • Don’t be scared of the dark chocolate. I don’t even like dark chocolate and I could not imagine this dessert without it. If you want to switch it out, then the next best choice would be semi-sweet chocolate chips. 
  • For best taste serve this dump cake warm from the oven with vanilla ice cream on top of each serving.
  • How do I store leftovers?

    • This cake is best served when it’s warm. However, if you have leftovers, cover the pan tightly and let it sit at room temperature. When you want some just heat up the individual portion in the microwave. 

Chocolate Caramel Dump Cake with a scoop of ice cream on top and a bite take out of it with melted ice cream dripping down the front of the warm cake.


Berry Crisp Dump Cake – Frozen mixed berries and a cake mix are the main ingredients for this recipe. Juicy red berries topped with a pecan cake mix crumble topping. Serve with ice cream. 

Easy Peach Cobbler Dump Cake – Canned peaches (plus the juice from the can!) make this a deliciously simple peach cobbler. Topped with butter, cinnamon, and a french vanilla cake mix. 

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars – If you love caramel apples then you must make this! Caramel syrup drizzled over a oat crumble topping, a cheesecake filling, and cinnamon & sugar apples. 

Turtle Dump Cake in a white pan with a wooden spoon scooped into the soft, pudding like dump cake.
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Caramel Chocolate Turtle Dump Cake

Author Jessica
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 32 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes
Servings 10
Caramel Chocolate Turtle Dump Cake is an easy, 6 ingredient dessert recipe that mixes in one bowl and then bakes in one pan. Caramel, dark chocolate, chocolate cake mix, and pecans make this turtle dessert amazing.


  • 1 box (3.4 oz) chocolate instant pudding
  • cups whole milk
  • 1 box (15.25 oz) chocolate cake mix can also use chocolate fudge
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce or syrup
  • 1 bag (10 oz) dark chocolate chips divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  • Heat oven to 350°. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the instant chocolate pudding mix (the dry powder from the box) and the whole milk. Stir with a whisk until pudding dissolved and it's thicker. About 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the dry cake mix (DO NOT prepare the cake mix before, just add the dry cake mix), caramel sauce, and 1 cup of the dark chocolate chips. Stir together until combined.
  • Evenly spread into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the chopped pecans on top and then the remaining dark chocolate chips.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes.
    * Use a toothpick to check for doneness. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out with some moist crumbs. The sides of the cake will be puffy and slightly pulled away from the sides of the pan.
  • Serve the cake warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and caramel syrup drizzle.


Caramel : You can melt caramel from the caramel square candy OR you can use caramel syrup ice cream topping. Whatever you use, just make sure the caramel is melted and in "liquid" form. 
Whole Milk : Higher fat milk is best when baking. But you can substitute if needed. 
Serving Size : This cake safely feeds 10 people. It is a rich dessert so I have found that each person's serving is always smaller. You could probably even get more like 12 servings from this. 
This recipe was originally publish in 2017 and has been updated in 2020. Recipe is the same except for the optional chocolate drizzle on top. I never seemed to use it and I thought it made the cake way too sweet. But if you knew the original version or want the chocolate drizzle on top I will put it here. 
** Melt 1 cup milk chocolate chips + 1 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil in a microwave-safe dish. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until smooth and melted. Drizzle over the top of the cake after it comes out of the oven. 


Calories: 453kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 573mg | Potassium: 414mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 69IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 198mg | Iron: 3mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. C an you use a fudge bronie mix, iam am just learning to bake, never had time, now i am retired and can learn

    1. Together As Family says:

      I have never tested this recipe using a brownie mix so I can’t say for sure if it would work out. So sorry but I suppose it’s always worth trying it out 🙂

      1. I tried it with brownie mix. It is very dense and moist, but good.

  2. Michael W Martin says:

    I don’t need any eggs?

    1. Together As Family says:

      Nope. Just the recipe ingredients listed.

  3. Can you substitute chocolate/hot fudge sauce for the caramel sauce? Also can you use devil’s food cake mix instead of chocolate fudge cake mix.

    1. Together As Family says:

      Yes those would work just fine.

  4. I made this for my husband today as a treat. The only thing I changed was I added in some toffee bits. Because I thought that kind of went with the turtle theme. It was absolutely amazing. My husband loved it. Thanks so much!

  5. Could I make this in a springform pan?

    1. Together As Family says:

      I think it would be too much batter for a springform pan. I would suggest just using the 9×13 baking dish that the recipe calls for, for best results. If you really want to use a springform then you would want the largest size and even then I can’t promise the results cause I have never done it. Hope that helps.

  6. Gina D from Texas says:

    So if I don’t want it too gooey (have a thing about anything with a soggy texture) but more moist cake-like just bake longer?

    1. Together As Family says:

      Yes I would bake it for like 5 minutes longer (maybe longer I am not sure). But yes, baking slightly longer will help with that.

  7. Can you use pretzels since we have nut allergies in our home

    1. Together As Family says:

      Yes I think pretzels work great instead of nuts. You would still get that salty crunch factor.

  8. Can this cake be made satisfactorily the night before? I wonder if it would get too soggy.

    1. Together As Family says:

      This cake is best served right after making it. It’s really good warm with ice cream.

  9. Sharon Drover says:

    Can this cake be frozen after baking and then reheated ??

    1. Together As Family says:

      For best taste I would make right before you need to serve it. I have never frozen it and then reheated it so I honestly can’t say for sure if you could do it. Not sure how it would turn out flavor wise and texture if you did that.

  10. Debbie Roberson says:

    I’m not sure what size of pudding. I have one that is 1.4 oz and one that is 2.1 oz. I don’t find the size you call for in your recipe. Please help!

    1. Together As Family says:

      It sounds like you have sugar free pudding sized boxes. The one called for in the recipe is regular instant pudding mix. Not sugar-free.

  11. Naomi Higgins says:

    1 star
    it’s was simple but it was way too rich and the pecans in top wasn’t good. I tried and won’t make that mistake again wasn’t worth the money

    1. Together as Family says:

      So sorry you didn’t enjoy it!

  12. Ramona Johnson says:

    5 stars
    Loved this made it this morning awesome

    1. Together as Family says:

      So glad to hear it, thank you!

  13. Can you substitute milk chocolate chips for the dark chocolate?

    1. Together as Family says:

      Definitely, the flavor will be slightly different but nothing drastic; still delicious and chocolatey!

  14. 4 stars
    This is in the oven right now. It’s a “test drive” for me to take camping. My husband will be the true tester. It was so easy to put together; thank you for sharing this recipe!

  15. Lorna Terry says:

    no doubt about it…I’m gaining weight. so darn good it hurts!

    1. Together as Family says:

      It’s a pretty tasty hurt! 😆 thanks for commenting!

  16. could you do this In a crockpot?

    1. Together as Family says:

      Maybe…I’m not sure how but I would suggest looking up crock pot dump cake recipes and copy their temp and timing. Good luck!

  17. I think you need to put in capital letters must be served hot. If you’re trying to make a cake to serve the next day, it falls.