Easy Texas Turtle Sheet Cake

Indulge in Decadence: Easy Texas Turtle Sheet Cake Recipe

Prepare to embark on a journey of indulgence with our Easy Texas Turtle Sheet Cake recipe! This delightful dessert combines the rich flavors of chocolate, caramel, and pecans in a moist and decadent cake that’s sure to satisfy your sweet cravings. Perfect for potlucks, parties, or simply as a weekend treat, this sheet cake is quick and easy to make, yet impressively delicious. So, let’s dive into the world of sweet delights and discover how to create this irresistible Texas-inspired dessert!


For the Cake:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup strong black coffee
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

For the Chocolate Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

For the Turtle Topping:

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup caramel sauce, for drizzling


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the granulated sugar and self-rising flour.
  3. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the black coffee and cocoa powder until smooth.
  4. Pour the hot butter mixture over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
  5. Beat in the eggs and buttermilk until the batter is smooth.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread it out evenly with a spatula.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  8. While the cake is baking, prepare the chocolate frosting. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the buttermilk and cocoa powder until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar until the frosting is smooth and glossy.
  9. When the cake is done baking, remove it from the oven and let it cool slightly in the pan.
  10. Spread the chocolate frosting evenly over the warm cake.
  11. Sprinkle the chopped pecans and semi-sweet chocolate chips over the frosting.
  12. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the top of the cake.
  13. Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing and serving.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Make Ahead: This Texas Turtle Sheet Cake can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. The flavors actually meld together and intensify over time, making it even more delicious.
  • Add Some Spice: For a twist on the classic recipe, add a pinch of cinnamon or cayenne pepper to the cake batter for a subtle kick of heat. This unexpected flavor will elevate the taste of the cake and add depth to each bite.
  • Nut-Free Option: If you have nut allergies or prefer to omit the pecans, simply leave them out or substitute them with toasted coconut flakes or crushed pretzels for added texture and crunch.
  • Experiment with Toppings: Get creative with the toppings for your Texas Turtle Sheet Cake. Try drizzling melted white chocolate or dark chocolate over the caramel sauce for an extra layer of decadence. You can also sprinkle sea salt flakes over the top for a sweet and salty contrast.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Keto-Friendly: To make a keto-friendly version of this sheet cake, substitute the granulated sugar and powdered sugar with a low-carb sweetener such as erythritol or stevia. Use almond flour or coconut flour in place of the self-rising flour to reduce the carb content. For the frosting, use a combination of unsweetened cocoa powder and heavy cream instead of buttermilk and powdered sugar.
  • Low-Carb Twist: Reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe or use a sugar-free alternative to lower the carb content further. You can also use a nut-based flour such as almond flour or hazelnut flour for the cake batter to make it lower in carbs. Additionally, opt for a sugar-free caramel sauce or make your own using a keto-friendly sweetener.

In conclusion, our Easy Texas Turtle Sheet Cake is a decadent dessert that’s perfect for any occasion. With its rich chocolate cake base, creamy chocolate frosting, and indulgent turtle topping, each bite is a symphony of flavors and textures that’s sure to delight your taste buds. Whether enjoyed as a sweet ending to a special meal or as a comforting treat on a cozy night in, this sheet cake is a true crowd-pleaser that’s guaranteed to impress. So, gather your ingredients and whip up a batch of this irresistible dessert to share with family and friends!

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