clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
side view of a gold platter filled with chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel buttercream

Turtle Cupcakes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star No reviews
  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


These Turtle Cupcakes are a moist chocolate cupcake with a rich chocolate ganache filling, salted caramel buttercream, and crushed pecans. They’re the perfect sweet and salty dessert!


For the cupcakes:

  • 1 ½ cups(285g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup(118 ml) light sour cream
  • 2 cups(280g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (55 g) cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon (5g) espresso powder (optional)
  • 2 ½ teaspoons (9 g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 1 ¼ cup (355 ml) brewed coffee

For the ganache filling:

  • 6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • ¾ cup (12 tablespoons) (177ml) heavy whipping cream

For the frosting:

  • ¾ cup (172g) Danish Creamery Sea Salt Butter, cold
  • ¾ cup (172g) Danish Creamery Unsalted butter, cold
  • 5 ½ cups (716g) powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons (59ml) salted caramel sauce
  • 12 tablespoons (15-30ml) heavy whipping cream
  • Pecans for garnish
  • Caramel sauce for garnish


For the Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Next mix in the sour cream until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Then alternate adding half the dry ingredients followed by half of the coffee and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  4. Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly, filling each liner 2/3 full. Bake at 350°F for 14-16 minutes. Test the cupcakes for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. Cool Completely.

For the Ganache 

  1. Combine the chocolate and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at 50% power for 60-90 seconds. Allow it to sit for about 1 minute before stirring and then stir until it’s completely smooth.
  2. To fill the cupcakes with the ganache, remove the centers using a cupcake corer, a melon baller or a knife. Fill each one with about 2 teaspoons of ganache. Place a piece of the cupcake you removed back on top of the ganache.

For the Frosting: 

  1. Cut butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 5-7 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until the butter looks light in color and is easily spreadable.
  2. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, beating until well combined. 
  3. Next, add an additional 2 cups of powdered sugar, vanilla extract and the caramel sauce and beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining powdered sugar along with the heavy cream. Beat on low until ingredients start to mix together. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for another 2-3 minutes. Use a large open star tip to frost these cupcakes.
  5. Garnish with a caramel drizzled, crushed and whole pecans.


  • Substitutions:
    • Sour cream can be substituted with Greek or Plain yogurt but it adds moisture and texture to the cake, so don’t skip it.
    • Brewed coffee helps bloom the cocoa, you won’t notice the coffee flavor, it simply enhances the chocolate flavor. If you have to, you can substitute it with milk.
  • Storing: Once the cupcakes are fully assembled, they can be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days. They should be stored in a cool place, outside of sunlight. If you live in a hot and humid area, you can also store them in the fridge. They are best served at room temperature. 


  • Serving Size: 1 cupcake
  • Calories: 419
  • Sugar: 44.3g
  • Sodium: 147.2mg
  • Fat: 21.8g
  • Saturated Fat: 14.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 55.7g
  • Fiber: 1.4g
  • Protein: 2.8g
  • Cholesterol: 46mg