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Chocolate Turtle Cake

Ingredients 

FOR THE CAKE:

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder*
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup freshly brewed strong hot coffee

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 2 cans dulce de leche (milk based caramel) (13.4 ounces each)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

FOR TOPPING:

  • 2 cups chocolate frosting
  • 15-20 pecan halves

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray.
  • For the cake, put flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and mix well.
  • In a stand mixer, mix the buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla together. Slowly add in the mix of dry ingredients while the mixer is on low. Add the coffee and make sure everything is combined. The batter will be very thin.
  • Pour half of the batter into the pan and bake for 22 minutes. The cake should test done.
  • Open the dulce de leche. Separate out ⅓ cup for drizzling on top of the cake. Set this aside til the end.
  • Place the rest in a bowl. Stir in the chopped pecans.
  • Pour the caramel mixture over warm cake in pan getting it as even as possible. Then sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  • Spread the remaining cake batter on top.
  • Bake 28-30 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.
  • When cool, frost with frosting.
  • Cut into slices and dollop each slice with a teaspoon of dulce de leche and top with a pecan.

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