Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cake Roll #chocolateparty

This Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cake Roll is out of this world! A chocolate cake rolled and filled with a whipped caramel then frosted with chocolate and pecans. Turtle indulgence to the max!


Have you ever been so afraid to try something that you worked yourself up into a frenzy about it and then convinced your brain you couldn’t do it so why try?

Yeah, that was me and cake rolls. Until now.


My mother-in-law makes a killer pumpkin cake roll every holiday season. It’s something I look forward to eating every year. She’s sent me the recipe, and even bought me a jelly roll pan a few birthdays back. But I’ve never made it. I’d never made any cake roll. I was too scared to.

Like, you have to de-pan a hot cake, for one. How does that even work? Then you have to somehow roll it up? Without breaking it?

Nope! Too scary to try! I proclaimed. Until now.

Are you scared of cake rolls? Don’t be. Don’t make my mistake. Don’t pine away for a pumpkin cake roll 360 days a year for 11 years like I did.

Get your bottom into your kitchen and use that darn jelly roll pan for what is was made for. I command it!


I am serious, the ease of making this cake is unfathomable. It was easier to make than any cake I’ve ever made, ever.

It starts with a box cake mix. I found the recipe in one of those Betty Crocker books you get at the grocery store. It used only part of a cake mix, and fills exactly one jelly roll pan. And, because it’s cake mix, it bakes up great.

When the cake is hot, straight from the oven, you turn it over a (clean) kitchen towel that’s been dusted with powdered sugar. It comes out the pan easy, because there is foil lining the pan. Peel off the foil, and roll up the cake in the towel. It rolls easy – no ripping or universe exploding.

I filled this cake with the caramel filling I used in the Banana Caramel Cake. Basically it’s caramels melted with heavy cream, chilled, and then whipped, almost like a ganache. A caramel ganache. It’s so easy to make and spreads like frosting. It’s true magic!

Once the cake is cool, you simply unroll it carefully. It does not break or sprout a cape and fly across the room. It’s just…bendy cake. Frost the center with the caramel and roll it right back up. It’s happy to do so.

Frost it with a chocolate glaze and top with toasted pecans. (You could also fill the center with some pecans. Which would be wonderful. I didn’t because my dad was eating some of it, and he can’t eat nuts.)

Slice, and enjoy the fact that you have accomplished something amazing and magical. Something that should have been hard, but wasn’t. Something that everyone will think you slaved over and worked super hard for hours to make.


And well. Why not let them think that? What they don’t know won’t hurt them…and they’ll think you’re amazing. :)

Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cake Roll

Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cake Roll

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker.


    For the Cake:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups Devil’s Food Cake Mix (I used Betty Crocker SuperMoist)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • For the Caramel:
  • 30 caramels, unwrapped
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • For the Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups chopped toasted pecans


  1. Add caramels and heavy whipping cream to a large, microwave safe bowl. Heat about 2 minutes (up to 2 1/2) on HIGH, stirring every 30 seconds, until the caramels dissolve into the cream. Stir until smooth. Chill in refrigerator until completely cooled, about 2-3 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll (15x10x1-inch) pan with foil and spray with baking spray that has flour in it.
  3. Beat eggs in a large bowl on high speed for about 5 minutes, or until they are thick and lemon colored. Add cake mix, water, and oil. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds and then medium speed for 1 minute, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Pour into pan.
  4. Bake 11-14 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Do not overbake - mine cooked in about 11 minutes. Remove from oven and run a knife around the edges of the pan if the foil did not cover the whole thing to make sure the cake does not stick.
  5. Lay a clean kitchen towel on a flat surface. Sprinkle with the powdered sugar. Turn the cake upside down on the towel and remove the foil. While hot, roll up the cake in the towel, starting at the short end. Cool completely on a cooling rack, while rolled up, about 1 hour.
  6. Meanwhile, make the frosting: microwave the heavy whipping cream uncovered on HIGH for 1 minute, until it just starts to boil. Stir in the chocolate chips and corn syrup. Let stand 3 minutes and then beat with a wire whisk until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Refrigerate about 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes, until it is spreading consistency.
  7. Once cake is cooled, remove caramel from refrigerator. Using a hand held mixer, whip the caramel until it is spreadable, like frosting, about 3 minutes.
  8. Unroll the cake carefully. Spread the caramel evenly over the cake. Reroll the cake. It should roll easily.
  9. Place the cake on a cooling rack with a cookie sheet underneath to catch any drips. Frost the cake with the chocolate frosting. Top with toasted pecans.
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This post is part of this month’s Chocolate Party! Click that link for all the information on how to participate in the chocolate party, or see the rules below.



Want to party with us? Here’s how to do it:

  • Blog about your chocolate treat. Your recipe must include the two ingredients we choose. It can be a simple no bake treat or a sophisticated layer cake, the complexity level of the recipe is totally up to you.
  • Include a link back to the Chocolate party page over at Roxana’s Home Baking. You can also use that handy graphic up there.
  • Your recipe must be published during the current month.

Like chocolate and caramel? How about:

Chocolate Chip Turtle Cookies

chocolate chip turtle cookies

Turtle Sandwich Cookies

turtle cookies

Turtle Brownie Pies

Turtle Brownie Pies by Crazy for Crust

Sweets from friends:
Chewy Chocolate Caramel Bars by Roxana’s Home Baking
Turtles by A Pumpkin and a Princess
Single Serve Salted Caramel Lava Cake by Something Swanky

This post may be linked to: Chef in TrainingLil’ LunaBuns In My OvenChic-and-CraftyI’m Lovin’ it FridaysStrut your Stuff SaturdayWeekend Wrap Up PartySundae Scoop Link Partyand all of these too!




  1. Just beautiful, and thank you for the confidence boost. I’ve always wanted to try a rolled cake. Your instructions are great!
    Karen @ Karen’s Kitchen Stories recently posted..Heart of Darkness Brownies #chocolatepartyMy Profile

  2. This looks incredible! And whipped caramel frosting? I could eat that with just a spoon!
    Jennifer @ Mother Thyme recently posted..Deli-Style Tuna Fish Salad SandwichMy Profile

  3. This cake is beautiful! My dad would love it, he loves turtley things ;) I almost can’t handle that frosting. I mean…whipped caramel ganache? WOW!
    Stephanie @ Back for Seconds recently posted..Almond Fudge Kiss CupcakesMy Profile

  4. Well good for you for getting over a kitchen fear and making this! I’ve never made a cake-roll either. Not something I totally fear but have to say, yes, rolling up a huge slab of cake sounds tricky! I love the caramel + chocolate combo, too! Mmmm!
    Averie @ Averie Cooks recently posted..Mint and Chocolate Fudge Oreo BarsMy Profile

  5. Okay, now you did it…I’m signing off to go find chocolate!
    Tonia@thegunnysack recently posted..Kid’s Easter Basket IdeasMy Profile

  6. I’m drooling! Your cake rolls looks mouth watering!
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) recently posted..salted caramel-pecan barkMy Profile

  7. Just look at that filling!!! I so need to eat this cake!
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts recently posted..Fudgy Salted Caramel Brownies #chocolatepartyMy Profile

  8. OMG Dorothy! This roll includes all of my favorite things – chocolate, caramel and pecans! I need some of this in my life ASAP :)
    Liz recently posted..Banana Caramel Granola BarsMy Profile

  9. Cake rolls stress me out! But this is seriously, seriously inspirational :)
    Baking Serendipity recently posted..Cookie Butter LatteMy Profile

  10. Good for you for making a cake roll, and such a gorgeous one! The flavors are amazing and it rolled perfectly!
    Paula @ Vintage Kitchen recently posted..Salted Caramel Millionaire´s Graham Cracker BarsMy Profile

  11. Wow, that looks so good!! I must confess, I have never made a cake roll! I think you just inspired me to try one. I’m brainstorming flavor combinations at this moment…
    Robin @ Bird On A Cake recently posted..St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Cupcake ToppersMy Profile

  12. Is it possibly I died and went to heaven because this would defiantly be the dessert I ask for! Deliciousness!
    serena@serenabakessimplyfromscratch recently posted..Puff Pancakes aka Dutch BabiesMy Profile

  13. Dorothy, this looks amazing!! Wow. You’ve rolled everything delicious up in one cake roll!
    Whitney @ The Newlywed Chefs recently posted..Cheddar BiscuitsMy Profile

  14. This was amazing cake. Very tasty combination of 3 of my favorite ingredients.
    Thanks again,

  15. This hits the spot! I love it when people reinvent recipes like this – any anything turtle sounds good to me!
    Summer @ Mallow and Co recently posted..Cinnamon Roll Rice Krispy TreatsMy Profile

  16. Oh man, I am totally heebie-jeebies scared of cake rolls. And candy thermoms. And fondant. For some reason, these three things daunt and haunt me to my core. But since you say it’s easy .. and that the universe WILL NOT, in fact, implode upon itself if I make one, then I must. Because I’m kinda sorta swooning over that filling.
    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel recently posted..Samoas CookiesMy Profile

    • It’s easier than frosting a cake. I’m serious! I have so many variations I want to make now.

      Fondant, however? Now THAT will make the universe implode!

  17. I probably have close to twelve different cake rolls recipe sitting in a binder on a shelf somewhere. But I have always been to afraid to bake them. This post is exactly the push I needed to get over my fear. First up is your recipe. Wish me luck!
    Nicole @ youngbrokeandhungry recently posted..Quick Orange Vanilla MarmaladeMy Profile

  18. For goodness sake this cake looks fabulous! I am a little nervous myself to try rolling up cake like this so I’ve really got to try it. I love the whipped caramel filling that sounds perfect.
    Suzanne recently posted..#Chocolate Party- Chocolate Caramel BlondiesMy Profile

  19. This looks so amazing!!!
    Rachel @ recently posted..Pre-View of #HomeRunMovie!My Profile

  20. I was so terrified to make a cake roll until last Christmas when I made my first one. I kicked myself after that for waiting so long to make one. Yours is gorgeous Dorothy! Thanks for bringing it to the chocolate party
    Roxana | Roxana’s Home Baking recently posted..Caramel loaded fudge brownie cookies #chocolatepartyMy Profile

  21. I admit I’m one of the frightened ones. This looks so tasty though!
    Kristin recently posted..LearningMy Profile

  22. Amazing! Love that this started with a mix! Truly phenomenal! I’ve been trying to make the perfect roll-I too have a mother in law who is famous for her pumpkin roll! I finally made my chocolate roll, but it was work! Wish I read your recipe first!
    tanya recently posted..Southwest Deviled EggsMy Profile

  23. This looks amazing, thanks for sharing!
    Caroline @ Stumbling Upon Happiness recently posted..Gnocchi with Turkey Sausage Three WaysMy Profile

  24. This looks amazing! Cake rolls are one of my most favorite things and I have been dying to give them a try! Your recommendation gives me the confidence to try! I think I can do this!:) Thanks for sharing this incredible recipe! I pinned it!
    Heather @ The Unsophisticated Kitchen recently posted..Sausage & Pepper Chip DipMy Profile

  25. This cake roll looks out of this world! And you know I love a good chocolate party!! Linked up:)

  26. Oh my gosh you’re killin’ me!! That looks so good! I am so glad I get your emails to alert me of the many yummy things you create :-)
    Jett W. recently posted..My Homemade Caramel AdventureMy Profile

  27. I was always scared to make a rolled cake. Your instructions makes it look easy. Isnt carmel one of the best things ever invented?

  28. Dorothy – this is beyond gorgeous! I love making cake rolls. My mom makes a mean pumpkin cake roll. :) I love chocolate turtles AND so does my mom. Maybe I’ll make this for her one time!
    sally @ sallys baking addiction recently posted..Brown Butter Pretzel M&M Cookies.My Profile

  29. Oh, this looks wonderful! I’ll have to remember this recipe. I always make the same recipe my Mom has always made. I’ll have to venture out a little =o) Thanks!
    Erin @ Making Memories recently posted..Candy BouquetMy Profile

  30. I’ve made the pumpkin roll, but now I have to make a turtle roll!!! Totally irresistible, Dorothy!!!
    Liz recently posted..Croissants…#TuesdayswithDorieMy Profile

  31. Love love love this! This could solve allmyproblems right now. Please pass me a fork and a tall glass of chocolate milk. ;) Beautiful, as always. Thanks for another awesome recipe!
    Tiffany/MyCrowdedKitchen recently posted..Bulk Freezer Waffles ~ Kid Friendly RecipeMy Profile

  32. My aunt makes something very similar to this every year at Christmas, and I’ve always been too scared to try making it myself–it looks so hard. But after reading your instructions, I’m going to have to give it a try this year. I love this, Dorothy–it turned out perfect!
    Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl recently posted..What’s In Your Kitchen WednesdayMy Profile

  33. I have one of those jelly roll pans, but it has never seen a roll cake yet! You have me convinced that it is super easy to do though! I need to just get over my cake roll fear and do it!!!! Love the turtle flavor…and caramel ganache? Shut the front door! I want a bowl and a spoon of just that!!!
    Jocelyn @BruCrew Life recently posted..Carrot Cake FudgeMy Profile

  34. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!! Pinned and can’t wait to try :)
    The Farm Girl recently posted..Tuna Boats [Twice Baked Potatoes]My Profile

  35. Yum!! I can’t wait to try this soon! Thanks for posing! I pinned! Julia
    Julia Kendrick recently posted..Healthy Beauty Naturally…My Profile

  36. Ok, this is seriously awesome, girl! I want it in every way!
    ashley – baker by nature recently posted..Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad with Sherry – Dijon VinaigretteMy Profile

  37. i’m linking up to this one soon! Two perfect flavors. Love your roll, it looks excellent.
    Cindy Harris recently posted..That Really Good PastaMy Profile

  38. Yum!! Love that you finally did another recipe with that caramel!!!
    Ashton recently posted..Better Than Anything Caramel Stuffed BrowniesMy Profile

  39. Oh man, This looks amazing. Should I not admit that I bombed my first attempt at a cake roll (last month)? I’m totally gonna blame it on the recipe… ;)
    Katie @ Dip It In Chocolate recently posted..Valentine’s Ombre DrinksMy Profile

  40. So, SO gorgeous! Featuring at tomorrow’s party :) Thank you so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout!
    Trish – Mom On Timeout recently posted..How To Create a Custom Watermark in PicMonkeyMy Profile

  41. This cracked me up because I love cake rolls and am absolutely terrified of making them. It’s on my bucket list. Great job on yours!
    Laura recently posted..Pierogi Making Adventure of 2013: Part 1 (Meat Fillings)My Profile

  42. This looks A-mazing! I’m pinning this!

  43. Have you tried it with a peanut butter filling? I bet that would be almost as good

  44. this is looking soo yammy cake!! i want this cake,i love cake!

  45. Jeanna says:

    My 2-year old granddaughter and I will be attempting this cake, except it will be filled with vanilla ice cream, for Mother’s Day. Her mom (my daughter) is craving it. We’ll be smothering it with hot fudge and whipped cream….


  1. says:

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  4. [...] roll recipes, unless you edit the ingredients and only use part of the mix. My first cake roll, the Chocolate Turtle Cake Roll, was made with a cake mix. You can adapt that recipe for your favorite cake mix [...]

  5. […] to find out if I could even do it. Much to my delight, I found that I could because Dorothy over at Crazy for Crust had already done it and all I had to do was follow her directions. She, like me, loves a good cake […]

  6. […] to find out if I could even do it. Much to my delight, I found that I could because Dorothy over at Crazy for Crust had already done it and all I had to do was follow her directions. She, like me, loves a good cake […]

  7. […] got so much positive response on my Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cake Roll, that I decided to make another one. Since Easter is next week, Carrot Cake was the obvious choice. […]

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