Homemade Turtles

Who wouldn’t love getting a tin filled with homemade chocolate pecan turtles this holiday season? My first time making this recipe was last Christmas, and they were a huge hit 🙂 I ended up nicknaming them “Turtle Splats” because my first batch ended up looking more like a puddle then a nice mountain of homemade caramel topped with melted chocolate. This year they turned out perfect! Check out how to can make your own below, this holiday season!
homemade turtles
  Start off by roasting your pecans. Then arrange 2-3 pecans in a cluster, to be later topped with caramel and chocolate.
homemade turtles
 Then make your homemade caramel.
homemade turtles
Top pecan clusters with homemade caramel, make sure to act quickly because your caramel will start to set.  After allowing the caramel topping to cool for about 30 minutes add your melted chocolate.  In the picture below i used semi-sweet chocolate, I did half a batch with semi, and the other half milk chocolate.  I ended up liking the end result with the milk chocolate topping better, as the semi-sweet topping started to sweat.
homemade turtles
Homemade Turtles 🙂 Toasted pecans, homemade caramel, topped with a milk chocolate finish!homemade turtles
Homemade Turtles

Homemade Turtles

Homemade Turtles great for the holiday season!


  • 2 ½ -3 cups of pecans
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream (35%)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 3 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 2 tbsp butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces good-quality semisweet or milk chocolate wafers


  1. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
  2. Toast your pecans for 3-5 minutes in oven at 400F, make sure to keep an eye on them so they do not burn.
  3. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper. Create little piles of pecans at least an inch apart (2-3 pecan pieces) should be enough.
  4. Now it's time to make your homemade caramel; For the caramel, combine the cream, sugars, and corn syrup in a medium-sized saucepan and whisk until all ingredients are incorporated. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. IMPORTANT- DO NOT STIR mixture once it has come to a boil. Continue boiling the mixture until it reaches 250°F, this should take about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in butter and vanilla quickly.
  6. While working fast, spoon at least a teaspoon of caramel over each pecan cluster. Your caramel will begin to harden.
  7. To melt and temper the chocolate coating, prepare a double boiler or set a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water. Melt the chocolate, stirring often, until it reaches the following temperature on an instant read thermometer — 116 to 120°F
  8. Spoon the melted chocolate over the caramel on each cluster. Swirl with your spoon on the top.
  9. Once clusters are assembled allow to cool in the fridge or in the freezer.


Chefs Note- If you do not have the time to heat chocolate over a double boiler you can put your chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave at 30 second increments. Making sure to stir after each time, and watch that chocolate does not burn.

homemade turtles


  1. Soph says:

    Looks so yummy! Will try this next week 😀 to treat my husband…he will LOVE the combination (chocolate, pecans, caramel…all things he loves!)

  2. Becky says:

    I followed your recipe to the letter and it turned out awful!!! The caramel did NOT set up at 250 degrees…I was so disappointed and quite upset that I followed what looked (from your pictures) like the recipe I wanted and wasted all that time, not to say anything about the expense. You should remove this recipe because it doesn’t work.

    • Sammy says:

      Im sorry that it did not work out for you, however I have made these turtles time and time again and have never had a problem. If the caramel didn’t set you should check to see if your candy thermometer is working correctly.

  3. Shar says:

    I have also made this recipe and the turtles are delicious….you need a good candy thermometer to get an accurate reading…hope it works out for you because it is a recipe that every one will request…

    • Sammy says:

      Hi Stella, you can do either if your house is a bit on the warmer side you may want to keep in the fridge so that the chocolate doesn’t get really soft.

  4. Karen says:

    I’m going to try these with chopped pecans as it’s all I have on hand – too cold outside to run anywhere to get whole pecans. They sound amazing and I’m glad your recipe uses a true homemade caramel.

  5. ChelsC says:

    Once the candies are completely set, is the caramel supposed to be hard or is it supposed to be soft and chewy. I followed everything to the T, and I was really hoping for a chewy caramel. Maybe next time I just need to cook the caramel a little less.

    • Sammy says:

      When I make them the caramel is set, not rock hard but soft enough you can chew them. It might be your thermometer, could be a little off. Try taking it off a degree or 2 sooner 🙂

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