5 Ingredient Caramel Turtles Recipe

Have you ever wanted to treat yourself to a fancy chocolate confection without spending hours in the kitchen? Well then, these 5 ingredient caramel turtles are for you. Made from homemade caramel, chocolate, and pecans, these caramel turtles come together in less than an hour, with hands-on work only requiring about 25 minutes. They're truly decadent and incredibly impressive.

Recipe developer and registered dietitian nutritionist, Kristen Carli, MS, RD, brings us this recipe to satisfy our sweet cravings. She suggests first making homemade caramel, which is not as intimidating as it sounds. Simply heat up sugar, butter, and cream and you'll have homemade caramel in no time. But if making caramel isn't in the cards for you, you can easily substitute store bought soft caramels for this homemade version. Also, while the caramel turtles are typically made with semi-sweet chocolate, you could use dark chocolate or white chocolate if you fancy something a bit different. Let's face it, no matter what ingredient substitutions you make, these will come out delicious.

Gather your 5 ingredients for caramel turtles

To make these delicious and chocolatey caramel turtles, we need to gather our ingredients. For this recipe, we'll need granulated sugar, unsalted butter, heavy cream, chocolate, and pecans. This 5 ingredient recipe can be made with even fewer ingredients if you choose to buy store-bought caramels instead of making your own. Whichever method you choose, this recipe will come together in no time at all, and is sure to please a crowd.

Make the caramel

First things first, we need to start by making the caramel. To make this simple caramel, place a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar. Stir occasionally until clumps begin to form. Then continue to stir until the sugar has melted completely. 

Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the butter. Stir until the butter bubbles and melts completely. Then, add the heavy cream and stir thoroughly. Set the saucepan aside to allow the caramel to cool.

Assemble pecan turtle legs

Place a sheet of foil over a large baking pan. Fold the edges of the foil over the sides until the foil is secure. This will protect the baking pan from the sticky, hardening caramel. Now, add four pecan halves in an "x" formation to appear like turtle legs. Repeat this step with the remaining pecans until the baking sheet is full. We'll create the turtle "shell" with caramel and chocolate.

Top with caramel

Once the caramel has cooled and is a bit more solid, we can add the caramel to the turtles. Using a spoon, scoop a dollop of caramel into the center of each pecan formation. The caramel will melt and run a bit. Be careful not to add too much caramel — you don't want it to run into the other turtles. The caramel will act as the glue to connect the pecan halves together, forming each turtle.

Top with chocolate

In a small bowl, add the chocolate chips. Microwave for 30 seconds. Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir. Return the bowl to the microwave and heat for 30 more seconds. Remove the bowl again and stir. Repeat the process until all the chocolate chips melt. Then, using a spoon, scoop a dollop of melted chocolate on top of each caramel turtle. Aim the chocolate in the center of each turtle to further solidify the turtle candies to keep them from falling apart.

Allow the turtles to set

Now, to allow the caramel and the chocolate to set, place the entire baking sheet in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes are up, remove the baking sheet from the fridge. Carefully remove each caramel turtle from the foil wrapped baking sheet and set on a plate. Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container on the kitchen counter at room temperature for up to 7 days.

5 Ingredient Caramel Turtles Recipe
5 from 20 ratings
Homemade chocolate treats don't have to be hard to make. This recipe for caramel turtles takes just 25 minutes to prep and cook and will tame your sweet tooth.
Prep Time
Cook Time
caramel turtles on plate
Total time: 25 minutes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces chocolate chips
  • 5 ounces pecan halves
  1. Make homemade caramel by heating the sugar in a pot over medium heat until melted. This will take some time. The sugar will first form clumps, then eventually melt completely.
  2. Once melted, immediately remove the pot from the heat and add the butter. Stir well to melt the butter.
  3. Add the heavy cream and stir until well combined. Allow it to cool completely.
  4. Place foil on a large baking sheet. Place 4 pecans in an "x" shape to make turtle legs. Repeat with all the pecans until there's no more room on the baking sheet.
  5. Top each turtle with a dollop of caramel.
  6. In a small bowl, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave by heating for 30 second intervals and stirring in between.
  7. Place a dollop of melted chocolate over each dollop of caramel.
  8. Place the baking sheet in the fridge and allow the candies to cool for at least 30 minutes, until set.
Calories per Serving 391
Total Fat 26.8 g
Saturated Fat 11.3 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 38.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 37.8 g
Dietary Fiber 2.0 g
Total Sugars 35.0 g
Sodium 21.1 mg
Protein 2.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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