Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chocolate Turtle Cupcakes

Carmel Pecan Candies (AKA "Turtles") had always been a special treat in my household while growing up. They were my mom's favorite candy, and if we were lucky, we'd get a bite of her cherished treat (she often got large boxes of them for holiday presents). I love the chocolate/pecan/chewy caramel combination & knew it would make a fantastic cupcake flavor. Plus, it gave me another opportunity to find a chocolate cake recipe that I really liked. (I liked this better than the Hershey's recipe that so many love). And, it gave me another opportunity to use the tasty dulce de leche that I've made a few times this year. I used the same frosting for this as I did for my Vanilla Bean Dulce de Leche Cupcakes.

Chocolate Cupcakes (From Cook's Illustrated, May/June 2010)
Makes 12-15 cupcakes

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
3/4 cup hot, strong-brewed coffee
3/4 cup bread flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Place chocolate and cocoa in a medium bowl, and pour hot coffee over the mixture. Whisk until smooth, and transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely, 20-30 minutes.

Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk oil, eggs, vanilla, and vinegar into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk until batter is smooth.

Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups, filling each 3/4 full.

Bake until cupcakes are set and firm to the touch, 17-19 minutes. Allow to cool in pans 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

DULCE DE LECHE BUTTERCREAM (Adapted from Joy the Baker)

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 Tablespoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
3/4 cup prepared dulce de leche

Cream together butter and dulce de leche on low using an electric mixer. Add cream and vanilla and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat to incorporate.

Frost cupcakes as desired. Garnish with drizzles of chocolate syrup & dulce de leche (slightly melted), and top with a half of a pecan.



  1. I love turtles too! These look so yummy and so pretty! I can't wait to make these!

  2. I made the chocolate cupcakes with Nutella buttercream and OMG - heaven! The cupcakes are the perfect chocolate cupcake that I've been looking for. I didn't do the turtle because I didn't have any dulce de leche on hand but you can bet I'll be making it how you have it as soon as I can!

    Thanks for the fabulous recipe :)

  3. That is one yummy looking cupcake. Thanks for linking this up to Sweets for a Saturday. Don't forget to come by and enter my giveaway for a $25 item of your choice from CSN (open to all US residents) -

  4. Turtles are one of my fave things! Found your blog from Sweets for a Saturday! Couldn't pass up these cupcakes. I am your newest follower :)

    Check out my blog and follow back if you like!