Turtle Candy With Pecans and Caramel

Turtle candy with pecans and caramel on a white plate

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Chill : 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 24 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
148 Calories
9g Fat
18g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 148
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 36mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 15g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 28mg 2%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 94mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Turtle Candies are a chocolate shop classic. Invented around 1918, these cute and delicious turtles have been available for purchase in-store for decades, with their original recipe unaltered: pecans, caramel, and chocolate. Modern takes on the recipe add other ingredients, but at the core of the confection lies a simplicity of ingredients and a powerfully decadent flavor.

Surprisingly easy to make at home, they just need three common ingredients to recreate the familiar chocolate treat. Double or triple the recipe to have enough to give to family and friends as a holiday treat, or as a party favor for showers or office celebrations. They are meant to be rustic looking, so don't worry about keeping the turtles round or about having some of the pecans poking through, that's the beauty of these confections. Eat them on their own, or use them as decorations for cakes, cheesecake, cupcakes, pies, or ice cream bowls.

Because few ingredients are needed, each is very important to the final flavor, so use good quality pecans and chocolate. Homemade caramel is always best—leftover caramel from a different recipe is great to use here—but using store-bought soft caramels will also make a tasty treat. That's also the fastest and easiest way of bringing these little turtles to life.


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  • 6 ounces pecan halves, toasted

  • 12 ounces soft caramels, homemade or store-bought

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Turtle candy with pecans and caramel ingredients gathered

    The Spruce Eats

  2. Prepare a cookie sheet by covering it with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spraying it with cooking spray.

    Rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil

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  3. Arrange the pecans in clusters of 4. Each pecan should point in a different direction resembling the four limbs of a turtle. Alternatively, you can just drop them in small clusters on the baking sheet but be sure they overlap to avoid the caramel oozing down the spaces between nuts.

    Pecans in a pattern for turtle candy on a foil-lined baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats

  4. Place the unwrapped caramels in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave them until melted, stirring after every 30 seconds. If after the first time in the microwave they seem very stiff, add a spoonful of water to help soften.

    Caramels melted in a bowl

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  5. Allow the caramel to cool slightly, and with the help of a spoon, scoop a spoonful of caramel onto each pecan cluster. Set aside.

    Caramel on pecans for turtle candy

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  6. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave or over a double boiler.

    Melted chocolate in a white bowl

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  7. Spoon the melted chocolate over the caramel layer, letting some drip down the sides, and nudging it around so it covers the top of the caramel completely.

    Chocolate melted on turtle candy on a foil-lined baking sheet

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  8. Place the baking sheet of candies in the refrigerator to fully set the chocolate and caramel for at least 30 minutes.

    Turtle candies with pecan and caramel on a foil-lined baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats

  9. For the best taste and texture, serve the turtles at room temperature.

    Turtle candy with pecans and caramel on a white plate

    The Spruce Eats

  10. Enjoy!

How to Store Chocolate Turtles

Extras can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks. Unless it's very hot on your kitchen counter, don't place the turtles in the refrigerator, as the caramel can harden too much and make the turtles difficult to eat.

Flavorful Additions

Although these candies are pure perfection as they are, other ingredients can be added for texture or for a different flavor profile. Here are some ideas:

  • Use crushed pretzel between the caramel and chocolate layer for an extra crunchy bite.
  • Sprinkle sea salt or pink salt on top of the chocolate to complement the caramel and chocolate flavors.
  • Use half dark chocolate and half white chocolate and make black and white turtles, or use one as a drizzle to make beautiful designs on the shells.
  • Sprinkle coconut flakes on top of the chocolate for a tropical flavor.
  • Use other crushed nuts on top to decorate, either with a pattern or simply crushed on top. Before the chocolate hardens completely, use some nuts to make little eyes for the turtles.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of espresso powder into your melted chocolate for a more adult version. Use coffee beans to decorate and identify this variation.